Thursday, June 23, 2005

TIDE (from an Avodah post)

At 05:03 AM 6/23/2005, Eliyahu Gerstl wrote:

Rabbi Schwab was not an advocate of TIDE nor was he atypical. In twenties and thirties many young men from the German Jewish community decided to study in the east because that was where they could learn gemorah on what was generally a higher level than in Germany. At the same time the Orthodox Rabbiner Seminar in Berlin brought in a young Eastern European iluy, R. Elya Kaplan as its head and after his death R. Y.Y. Weinberg who was also from the east followed as the last head of the seminary.

The interesting thing about RAEK and RYYW is that both developed a quasi-TIDE philosophy during their respective tenures at the *Rabbiner Seminar*. This is, of course, in contradistinction to RYBS and the Lubavitcher Rebbe, whose sojourns at Western European *Universities* did not have that impact on them.

I recall reading R. Schwab's Elu ve-Elu when I was about to go to university when seeking some personal guidance. I was confused by it as it did not advocate general studies as having intrinsic worth and therefore as a lechatchila and it therefore contradicted what I had believed was the Hirschian position. Of course I did not know that R. Schwab as a young man was the person who had elicited the famous opinions of eastern European rashei yeshiva as whether general studies were muttar. A true Hirschian, IMO, and would not have therefore have doubted that general studies were not only muttar but rather le-chatchila and moreover he would not have needed the approval of rashei yeshiva of a different hashkafic orientation. He would have approached the rabbanim in his own community.

There is no doubt in my mind that R' Schwab was not a true advocate of TIDE and R' Gelley is certainly not. I once asked one of my cousins who is a grandson to R' Breuer how many true TIDEeans in the truest philosophical meaning of the word exist today and he answered (and named) four (I disagree about one of them).

As to TuM and TIDE, IMO the latter accords with much of TuM, BUT not an Orthodox form of Wissenschaft des Judentum as advocated at the Rabbiner Seminar begun by R. Hildesheimer. RSRH was generally against the employment of modern critical scholarship in Torah study and believed that Torah was an independent system and that there therefore was no need to employ outside methodologies. Thus RSRH did not support the Rabbiner Seminar of R. Hildesheimer.

As we have iterated many times here, there are vast differences between TIDE and TuM - at least as the latter was formulated by RYBS. TIDE sees life as a seamless whole, and seeks harmony and true synthesis of T and DE. TuM sees life as consisting of two paradoxical poles and bridging between the two, with no need nor quest to resolve the discrepancies.

As far as R. Elias' commentary to his new edition of RSRH's Nineteen Letters: it is correct that he views TIDE as a horaat shaah. But see a point-counterpoint series of two articles in 1996 in Jewish Action. In that series,R. Joseph Elias and R. Shelomo Danziger debated this issue. R. Danziger (who had previously taught at Breuers for over twenty years ) argued strongly that TIDE was not a horaat shaah but le-chatchila. R. Elias (who had been the principal at Breuer's) disagreed.

I do not know how anyone familiar with the writings of RD Joseph Breuer and RD Isaac Breuer can contend that they would acquiesce to the position that TIDE was an Horaas Shaah.

A detailed study of RSRH, his life and his ideas is that of Samuel Rosenbloom, Tradition in an age of reform, JPS, 1976. IMO the author of the latter book would strongly support Rabbi Danziger's opinion.

As a side comment, it is of interest that the Breuer's community has not associated itself with YU and in fact I was told by someone who grew up there that he when he was considering going to YU in the early sixties (?) that he was advised by the late long-time president of the community, that it was far better that he go to some other university. But of course that's not a proof as to RSRH's hashkafot but only the views of the leadership of the Breuer's community, and a proof that the community had obviously undergone many changes since the time of RSRH.

See above. Precisely because there are similarities between YU and KAJ it was important to negate the comparison. Hence the perennially (tragically) mostly abortive attempt to sustain a separate KAJ Beis HaMedrash.

A person named George D. Frankel has written a pamphlet decrying the changes in his community (mentioned in Avodah, 50:47,48)."Dan Shall Judge His People: 5 Essays on Torah im Derech Eretz and the Breuer Community Today."

My own opinion based admittedly on only a few observations and without an intimate knowledge of that community is that Breuer's is now a yeshivish community (with German minhagin) but one that is more open to Torah im Parnasah than some other yeshivish communities.

Accurate enough. It is a pity that it did not go the other way - better, IMHO, to have sustained TIDE and jettisoned the minhagim than to have sustained the minhagim and jettisoned TIDE.


Monday, June 20, 2005

Compiled by one of the talmidim at Ohr Somayach:

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The Age of the Universe - A Torah True Perspective

by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan

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This is a lecture given by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan ztl on the common question of the age of the universe. Is it 6000 years or 13.7 billion? Rabbi Kaplan goes through many approches to this question, and concludes with a view based on authoritative sources from over 700 years ago, showing a very satisfactory answer to this question. Also breifly touching on other interesting topics, this panphlet is a must read for every Torah-jew, as well as those wanting a non-apologetic approch to this question. I am providing this pamphlet at zero-profit (free download, or minimal printing fee) so everyone can read it.

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ספר במדבר פרק יא
ו) וְעַתָּה נַפְשֵׁנוּ יְבֵשָׁה אֵין כֹּל בִּלְתִּי אֶל הַמָּן עֵינֵינוּ:

אבן עזרא על במדבר פרק יא פסוק ו
נפשנו יבשה - היא הנפש המתאוה הנטועה בכבד:

I do not recall the source, but it is asked how the Jews could possibly complain about the Mon considering that it would taste like anything they desired. And it is answered that the Mon only tasted like specific foods when the intent that it taste as such was held in one's mind. Therefore, the Jews complained: "Isn't it enough that we must have kavannah when we daven? Now we must have kavannah when eating as well?!"

This is medukdak in the lashon of nafsheinu. The nefesh is the seat of emotion. The eating of the Mon was an essentially intellectual activity. [Chabad-style Deveykus?] The Jews objected to having eating, an essentially sensual and emotional activity, transformed into an essentially intellectually and mind-focusing activity.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Off of the Derech or in the Derech Hashem?

"An interesting and important essay by Reb Michoel Gutmacher, a talmid in Ohr Somayach's semichah program hailing from France: I don't agree with everything he writes, particularly, in that I do not think you may tell a person to sin a smaller sin so as to save himself from a bigger sin. You may say: "It is forbidden to do X, but if you feel you must do X then [insert here the modern equivalent of yilbash shechorim v'yisatef b'shechorim etc.]." It may just be a matter of semantics, but educationally I think it must be made clear - if the person asks! Otherwise, Torah is being presented in a false light. But it is a very vitak work nonetheless.

Off of the Derech or in the Derech Hashem?

My goal here is just to do the Ratzon Hashem and help the world, and if I wrote something that is not Emes, may Hashem forgive me, and may it become annulled as if I never wrote it...

(I wrote this essay as a consequence of being a Dorm father of 10 Girls at risk (15-18 years old) during their school-year, and I hope it will help others)

Why do our kids go"off the Derech" is a very simple question, but maybe so simple that we are blind by it.

As the Ramchal says in Messilas Yesharim: The more obvious and known something is, the more we will forget it and lose its true meaning.

Our kids live in a generation of physical pleasure and spiritual stimulation(from the side of Tumah), now it is known by Chazal that one need to make a balance in the world . If we are not able to show our kids a Yiddishkeit of pleasure, a Yiddishkeit of spiritual experiences, we won’t be able to fight against the Tayvos of the Goyshe world (Chas VeShalom).

Now, Of course one has to keep Mitzwos!

Of course one has to be a frum Jew!

Of course one has to learn Torah!

But weren’t the Halachos kept in a much better way at the Time of the Bais Hamikdash ?! and still, the Holy house got destroyed.

As Rabbi Hirsch explains:The outward and visible life of the temple was superficially correct and strictly according to the letter of he Law, presenting the illusion that the temple was still filled with the Glory of G-D (Chapter 1 of Isaiah, collected writtings).

And as Chazal teaches us: every day that the Bais Hamikdash is not build is as if we destroyed it that day! (Lo Aleynu)

This seems to show that there is still something wrong in the way we approach Hashem, Torah and Mitzwos, because this is the way you will teach it to your kids.

This comes essentially from a lack of true Avodas Hashem and devotion ; as the Maharsha writes in Sanhedrin 106b: without devotion to G-d a person's intellect will not lead him to truth. This is one of the reason, I believe, that Hashem needed to send Baaley Teshuvah: to rejuvenate this lack of devotion.

And more than ever in this generation and even more in America, where everything is about the outside: about how much I learned or how frum I look, if we don't carefully focus on the inside then we lose ourself and our Kids in a superficial frumkeit.

Most of the kids that went off the Derech are kids that deep inside them, felt their Neshama crying and be frustrated from a lack of True Torah, a lack of passion in doing the Mitzwos, a lack of spirituality which since Shabbatay Tzvii (Imach Shemo), became something almost Taboo and dangerous, or reserved for high Tzaddikim, we had people like the Ramchal, the Baal Shem Tov, the Gaon of Vilna trying to show that this wasn’t true, but the truth is that Gemara-Halacha and mysticism need each other, unfortunately nowadays even a big part of Chassidus has fallen into the hand of the Yetzer Hara using tools like habit and a lack of Derech Eretz, just like the student of Rabbi Akiva who loosed their sens of respect for each other even though they were all Tzaddikim.

So now, this is I believe, one of the approach we have to use to help our kids and redirect them towards the True Derech Hashem:

but before this we have to set up a few rules:

Before helping the kid one has to:

  1. Ask Hashem for help.

  2. Love him: to understand that this kid is at risk because his Neshama is higher than others and therefore might have even more potential than others, you have to see his greatness. As Rav Kook writes: In our generation there are many souls who are on a very low level regarding their willed holiness. thus, hey are afflicted with immoral behaviour and dreadful beliefs . But their innate Segulah light shines brightly.(Igrot vol.II, letter 555 (1913)). Rav Kook went on to explain that heretics and non-believers usually lose their inner segulah-holiness. However, we live in special times. The Zohar describes the pre-Messianic generation ("Ikveta deMashicha") as being good on the inside and bad on the outside". that is to say, they have powerful inner holiness, even though their external, acquired holiness is weak and undeveloped (based on Olat Ri'iah vol. I p.236).

  3. Do it in a way that is not going to humiliate him (in private) (Sefer haChinuch Mitzwah Asseh 218).

  4. Speak to him with calm and softness and that he should know that you do it for his good and to bring him into Olam Haba. (Rambam,Hilchos Deos chapt. 6 Halacha 7).

For kids that have already issues with Yiddishkeit:

Teach them with Love that they are not a failure to the system! Just the contrary! They are the hope of the Jewish people, the one that can finally bring Moshiach! Why ? Because your kids, are aware of what is missing, what need to be added to Judaism to make it better.

You can finally focus and be aware of why you do Mitzwos and their deeper meaning, so that you can understand why they can bring you closer to Hashem .

Kid! find out what is bothering you! what is your Neshama telling you, speak it out.

You want to have pleasure, there are Kosher ways to have pleasure . I have even better than that for you, you can taste a pleasure higher than any physical pleasure of this world, and this is to meet with Hashem . And you don’t even need to meditate to achieve this, you just need awareness of what reality truly is. Every Mitzwah can become a meeting with Hashem until you start to have a relationship with Him.

This way you are going to start to feel Him more and more until you’ll Love Him, and you’ll understand that every Halachos He has given you are meant to be pleasurable and meaningful.

This way being religious becomes enjoyable, which is crucial as Rabbi Dessler zt”l writes:

''Service without joy -without heart- is no service at all ... He has not even started on the road of true service of Hashem. And this is the root of all sin.” (Michtav Eliyahu, Ki Tavo).

This is probably related to the fact that it says in Sanhedrin 106b: “Rachmana Liba Baei” - “Hashem recquires the Heart.”

One has to be clear in his mind when dealing with kids taht the most important is the devotion, not the material. Derashos Haran#6 says: Someone who devotes his body and soul to G-d and strongly desires to serve Him (even without being a scholar), will reach a higher level than someone who is a scholar (but is lacking desire).

Of course, there might be a problem here for the parents or the Teachers who never made that reality real, making this reality real is achieving Yiras Shomayim .

Reshis Chochmah Yiras Shomayim, this is the first thing our kids need, the first Chochmah they have to learn, to be in AWE of Hashem.

So, If you never showed your kid a beautiful landscape, or observed a stunning piece of art or taught an incredible insight in Tanach-Gemara or ate a delicious fruit and said: “Wow!, isn’t this great ?! Isn’t it amazing what Hashem created for us to enjoy ?!”

Then you will have a lot of difficulty to change the child’s reality.

But you have to do it now .

You have to tell them that for YOU it doesn’t matter so much that they’ll should be religious or not . The kid needs to feel that you love him no matter what, and that the only reason you want him to be frum is because that’s the only way he can be truly happy, the only way he can achieve the highest level of pleasure.

The only reason he should be frum is because that’s what Hashem wants, because He loves you and he wants You to love Him.

But not because you want it for your own pride, so that you will be admired in the community... this is only selfish reasons, therefore it is written: Success in the education of children depends upon the purest of motives. (Mechilta Mishpatim).

The Chovot Hatalmidim from Rav Shapira zt’l clearly explains in his Hakdamah that the child has to come to want to do the Mitzwos by himself, the desire has to come from him, from his Neshama not from you. Otherwise one day he is going to drop everything in one shot, nobody is going to understand ; until now he was just making you a favor, sometimes just so that you won't feel embarass when people will ask: how is your son/daughter doing ?...

You, parents-teachers are just guides to help THEM CHOOSE instead of YOU choosing for them. THEY have to want to be frum.

All those kids have different issues, and need their issues to be healed to become more frum.

How can you tell a child to walk in the Derech Hashem if his leg is broken!?

Heal first the leg then he will run by himself.

Most of those kids know the halachos anyway, they are just missing the taste that goes with it.

Don’t tell him not to do Mitzwos, don’t tell him what is Assur, tell him what is Mutar, what is enjoyable in Yiddishkeit. If you don’t know then you have the same problem as the kid, but you buried it in you long time ago and never dealt with it, you were until now like a robot, and it is the opportunity for you to become a true Jew now, don’t focus on the past, focus on now .

I believe strongly after having discussed it with Rebbeim, that the kids that went out of the Derech need to go through the same process as a Baaley Teshuvah, Now the Baaley Teshuvah need also to be taught the same way I described it here for the kids, so that the Baaley Teshuvah also won’t fall in the hand of a boring Judaism . They have passion, and we have to keep the coals hot, to inspire the frum world.

Interestingly Ha-Gaon Rav Moshe Sternbuch(Responsa Teshuvos V'hanhagos, Orach Chayim 350) writes:We must begin with a Baal Teshuvah as with a child, who at first lies flat, then progressively learns to sit, crawl, stand, walk and eventually to run. So too, we educate him according to that which he is able to accept... according to his capabilities little by little....therefore there is no need to start with Shabbos, but rather with that which he is able to accept.

Therefore both Baaley Teshuva and Kids at risk should be focused on Asseh Tov before the Sur Mera...

The Gerrer Rebbe once said, “We are told in Tehillim first to leave evil and then to do good. I will add that if you find it difficult to follow this advice, you may first do good, and evil will automatically depart from you.

According to Tosafos (Nazir 28b-29a) the concept of education for mitzwos is only pertinent to instruction in the active performance of Mitzwos, however to warn against transgression is not an element of education. A possible explanation for this comment is that the purpose of education is to instill love for the Torah. The Baalei Tosafos maintain that this love is developed by the performance of positive Mitzwos rather than by refraining from wrongdoing. Therefore, someone who is not ready to accept the"Yoke of Mitzwos" completely should fulfill positive Mitzwos and experience through them the beauty of the Torah. “Contemplate/Taste and see that G-d is good” (Tehillim 34:9). (From the book After the Return, by Rabbi Mordechai Becher and Rabbi Moshe Newman.)

And as Rabbi Daniel Mechanic says, the way to be Mekarev nowadays is with: cholent, vodka and Carelebach...

I believe also, and this is my own opinion, that a big mistake is done with the Baaley Teshuvah: They are taught to become FFBs, which is wrong, and on the contrary the FFBs should be taught how to be Baaley Teshuvah.

The frum world of course has to give the Chochmah from the Mesorah with the different Hashkafos.

The Baaley Teshuvah has to give the passion and their originality .

Thus creating a new type of Jew, a Jew who serves Hashem with heart and head, unifying the eastern world and the western world (Sfardim with Ashkenazim, Chasidim with Misnagdim, Mekubalim with Yekes...).

There is also too much Taboo, there is a need as much for the Frum world than the Baaley Teshuvah world to learn with Rabbis how to deal with drug and sex and all the different issues we are confronted with nowadays, things that people are scared to speak about, many are shy and end up never speaking about, the Rabbis have to introduce it. there is a big confusion among kids, at 15 they should already know why sex and relationship with the other sex before marriage is destructive, how alcohols and drugs are dangerous and give them a false idea of what joy and spirituality is.

They have to be prepared, they have to be aware of the dangers of the Goyshe world.

And more than anything they have to know that if they stumble and they are not always Tzadikim, they are normal, and they won't be rejected, they are still Tzadikim, and we still love you, and we are going to help you.

But if they stay too long with a sense of guilt and sadness, then Chazal says that this is the root of all sins.

Teshuvah works for absolutely everything ( Tomer Devorah ).

I want to bring out a last two very important points:

  1. For some of our kids at risk, sometimes, one would have to tell them to continue doing what they do wrong, but in a way that will bring them to eventually stop doing it. There is this concept in the Zohar: to give a gift to one's Yetzer Hara. Also it is written that, to commit a minor sin in order to save oneself from a greater sin is not only permitted, but is also obligatory( Shabbos 4a, Tosafos and Meiri). For example: If the kid smokes 10 cigarettes on Shabbes, Chas veShalom, tell him to smoke 9, then 8 ... until he totally stop.

  2. As we all know there is this concept of Shelo Lishmah that will bring you to the Lishmah (Pesachim 50b).

It seems clear that nowadays this Heter that the Chachamim gave in order to study Torah doesn't work anymore, as a support I will quote Rav Dessler: In recent times we have witnessed a great decline in external motivations for Torah and Mitzwos... Nowadays the Shelo Lishmah of Torah has virtually disappeared... the result is that the Shelo Lishmah of Torah has been destroyed. So far from conferring any prospects of material advantage, to be a Torah-student nowadays demands self-sacrifice. He goes on to explain that the reason Hashem has taken away this ladder from beneath our feet is to make up our mind to return. Then Hashem himself will raise us to the top. (Michtav Eliyahu, chapter on Teshuvah)

All that, that is happening nowadays is a clear sign for everybody to return towards a true and sincere Avodas Hashem with the burning desire in our hearts to come close to Hashem so that His Glory should finally be revealed. For this, one need a great effort (self sacrifice) each time he studies Torah: he has to be aware that he does it because that is what Hashem wants, but not only that, he should do it with pure intentions, with Ahavah and Yirah which are the two wings to elevate us and the Torah.

One's divine service must be a balance of love and fear (great awe) of G-d. This love and awe of G-d are referred to by the sages as “trey gadfin,” in Aramaic “two wings,” with which one can elevate oneself to higher and higher levels of divine service. One cannot fly with only one wing. By Rabbi Binyomin Adilman Based on Chiddushei HaRim Al HaTorah, pp.160-61.

The Sefer Charedim in his introduction on the mitzwos brings the Zohar that says: Mitzwos done without Ahavah and Yirah are not Mitzwos.

The Malbim seems to clearly express this self sacrifice: What is needed is an extreme effort to retain contact with one's awareness of the creator: an effort against nature, almost against gravity. (On Mishley 4:13)

The Maggid of Mezrich says: the expression, “Lishmah” refers to the name of the Torah: The word “Torah” indicates something that teaches the way in which one should go (Likuteim Yekarim #201). It has to bring me more clarity, it has to bring me closer to Hashem.

For our kids Chinuch

I believe there should be 5 main Focus in the Chinuch

  1. First Middos, Derech Eretz Kodem LaTorah, the child has to understand clearly that the whole goal here is to become a Mentch by purifying his character traits constantly, this should be his main focus everyday of his life, because this is the only way to connect to Hashem and be Happy, and have pleasure all the time. He should use his Torah learning for this purpose essentially! The Chofetz Chayim said that the only thing missing for Moshiach to come is to fulfill: Veohavtah Leracha Kamocha. Orchos Tzaddikim says in the Hakdamah: no deed is of much value without pure awe... and if you do not have good traits, you do not have Torah and Mitzwos, for all of Torah hinges upon the perfection of one's traits. One's Olam Haba depends essentially on this. The Vilna Gaon writes: The prime purpose of man's life is to constantly strive to break his bad traits, and to improve. Otherwise what is life for ?All sin stems from unimproved character traits. ( Even Shleymah 1:1,2)

  2. Torah, needs to be interesting, this is Torah! if it is not wonderful at least at the end of the Shiur, the child is not going to be interested, he is not going to remember either, it becomes just a science or a piece of information in space . Avodah Zarah 19a: A person only learns Torah if he finds it interesting... Rashi: A student should only be taught the Gemora that he interested in .If he is taught a different Gemora, it will not be retained since attention is dependent on interest. Maharal: The reason is because torah requires a connection to the recipient. The Shiur needs to have practical aplication, so that the that the Torah becomes Toras Chayim. Torah by definition is something that attracts the mind and touches the heart . The focus has to be the quality of learning, how well the Torah is changing me, as opposed to quantity. we can see this in the story of Doeg ( Sanhedrin 106b: Eyn Toraso Shel Doeg Ela Mesafa veLachutz: Doeg's Torah (knowledge) was merely from the lips outward (that is: he did not internalize it in his heart - Rashi) and even though he knew so much, he became wicked and died prematurely. We are not interested in someone who 30 years later has just acquired more knowledge, this is worth nothing! The Meam Loez says: Even if one is a Torah scholar, but lacks awe of G-d, his scholarship will be of no value in the eyes of G-D (Ekev10:12). It has to be a Torah that fills his all body and changes his behavior until he becomes a true Yiras Shomayim, which is the goal of his learning... unfortunately, too many people get distracted with the details of the learning and forget the Tachlis of all those details, what we learn from it. One has to remind himself all the time why he is learning and what is his goal in life.

  3. Mitzwos need to be explained, why is it going to bring me closer to Hashem, what’s the purpose of it ?! But even more important than that, one has to focus first on the mitzwos that are most important and relevant like the six constant Mitzwos. One has to learn how to make them pleasurable which will then be a sign of closeness to Hashem.

  4. Tefilah needs to be studied constantly, almost every day, it teaches you how to speak to Hashem, is there something greater than that? that is the essence of the Jew. Everybody can be like Moshe Rabbeynu means, to my humble opinion, that everybody can have an intimate relationship with Hashem, each one on his level, you can really speak to Him and He will really respond .

  5. Everything else

As the Messilas Yesharim explains that everything in this world is to help us come closer to Hashem, it is up to every individual to judge carefully and see if he is coming closer. But one has to be very honest with oneself and one has to know the Emes about one's intention when choosing to use this material world.

My goal in writing all this is obviously not in order to go against the system that we have, but I believe that all the troubles that we have with our kids is part of the message that Hashem is sending: look, there is a lack of awareness of your goal in your Torah and Mitzwos, make Teshuvah = feel that you are coming closer through your actions, if you don't, then it is a sign that something is lacking.

I will end up with a quotation from Michtav Eliyahu: We see holy sparks ( our kids) held prisoner by the forces of darkness. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE ? THOSE WHO LEARN TORAH BUT FAIL TO PRACTICE WHAT THEY LEARN IN EVERYDAY LIFE.

As Rabbi M.C. Luzatto wrote, heavenly lights which are left unused and are not engaged in the world of action are prey to the forces of evil (Adir Ba-marom,Warsaw ed. p.22) The result is utter confusion and instability... (Ekev).

May Hashem help us achieve Truth in all our ways.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Eidah - Kahal

Check out my thesis at:

And then check out the following essay that was noted to me by "Der Alter":

דברים שבין עם ולאום
פרופסור שלום רוזנברג עומד על ההבדלים המהותיים שבין המילים, הנרדפות לכאורה: לאום, גוי, עדה ועם
שלום רוזנברג
3/6/2005 10:07
פרשת במדבר מתארת את ארגון בני ישראל במסעותיהם במדבר. היה זה ארגון של שבטים, מטות, שהיוו ב'יחד' שלהם את עם ישראל. השבטים חנו מסביב למשכן, מעין הר סיני המלווה אותם במסעם במדבר (במדבר ב, ב): "אִישׁ עַל דִּגְלוֹ בְאֹתֹת לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם יַחֲנוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל - -מִנֶּגֶד סָבִיב לְאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד יַחֲנוּ". בראש השבטים עמדו הנשיאים (א, טז): "קְרוּאֵי הָעֵדָה, נְשִׂיאֵי מַטּוֹת אֲבוֹתָם, רָאשֵׁי אַלְפֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל".

בני ישראל מכונים בפסוק זה 'עדה'. שלושה מושגים משמשים בתורה כמעט כשמות נרדפים: גוי, עם ועדה. רבי שמשון רפאל הירש (רשר"ה) ניסה להבחין בין שמות אלה, ונעמוד להלן על גישתו. אך לפני שאציע את דבריו, מן ההכרח להביא כמה משפטי הקדמה על המתודה שהדריכה אותו. הפילוסופיה של המאה העשרים, גם בעולם האנגלוסקסי, וגם באירופה היבשתית, הייתה עשירה מאוד בדיונים על השפה, מבחינות שונות. כאן מעוניין אני בניסיון ללמוד על תרבות לא מתוך הספרות אלא ממבנה השפה בה היא משתמשת, מהמילון וממרכיבי המילים שבה ואפילו מעצם הדקדוק שלה. כיוון זה, שפותח באופן מופלא על ידי פרנץ רוזנצווייג בספרו 'כוכב הגאולה', הושפע רבות על ידי הפילוסוף הגרמני (המתועב) מרטין היידגר. היידגר חשב שהשפה הפילוסופית האמיתית והאותנטית, זאת שמבטאת במילותיה את גילוי הישות, היא היוונית הקלאסית. במידה רבה – הגרמנית היא יורשתה המודרנית. את קריאתו הפילוסופית ניסה היידגר להדגים בדרשות שונות, ובייחוד תוך פירוק המילים למרכיביהן. פירוק זה חושף את המשמעות העמוקה של המילים. בדרכו הלך הפילוסוף הדגול עמנואל לוינס שהשתמש בשיטה זאת בשפה הצרפתית, ואכן, מאז, מוצאים אנו פעמים אינספור בכתבים הפילוסופיים, מילים רגילות שבתוכן מקף המפרק אותן, תוך ניסיון להצביע על משמעותן האותנטית והמקורית. אביא דוגמה אחת בלבד מכתביו של לוינס; את המילה הצרפתית intéressé, בעל ה'אינטרס', מסביר הוא על פי המקור הלטיני inter-esse. ה'אינטרסים' הם אכן, המניעים את היחסים בין הישים בעולמנו. המוסריות, לעומת זאת, היא הגילוי של גישה אחרת שאיננה מבוססת על יחסים אלה, אלא על עמידתנו בפני האחר. כאן נולד העימות בין הממשות על כל גווניה וחוקיה לבין החזון, החזון המשיחי של השלום.
העם והחזון
את השפות "הארִיות" הללו אנו מסוגלים לדרוש על ידי החזרת המקפים האבודים. החזרה זאת נותנת לנו את האפשרות לתפוס את המשמעויות האבודות, אשר כשטרות כסף ומטבעות, נשחקו מרוב שימוש. מתודה זאת היא אנטי-"שמית", כי העברית ה"שמית" בנויה אחרת. בגרמנית אנו מסוגלים להוסיף קידומות ותחיליות שוב ושוב כדי ליצור משמעויות חדשות. בעברית יש בידינו אמנם את צורה הנסמך ובניות אחרות דומות, אך כדי לדרוש את משמעות המילים עלינו לנקוט בשיטה שונה. לפי רש"ר הירש אנו יכולים ללמוד רבות על רוח השפה, אם נשים לב לקשרים שבין המילים. משל למה הדבר דומה? לשטיח קיר מפואר, אשר את תמונותיו אנו רואים יום יום. אנו נדרשים עתה לראות אותו בצדו השני, בחוטים המקשרים בין נקודות שונות בשטיח. מתוך כך נוכל ללמוד על הפילוסופיה המסתתרת בשפה בעברית, והמבטאת את רוח התרבות שהיא לשונה. אשתמש שוב בדוגמה של עמנואל לוינס. באחת מהרצאותיו בארץ התייחס הוא לקשר שבין 'אחריות' ל'אחר'. האחראי הוא הערב, המוכן לעזור לאחר, להסתכן עבורו, ההפך של ה- intéresséהלועזי.

בדרך מעין זאת נקט לפני כמאה וחמישים שנה, רש"ר הירש. ייתכן והבחנותיו הן מלאכותיות, ובחלקן "דרשות" פילולוגיות. ולמרות זאת הן לדעתי, מעניינות ומאירות עיניים. מאמין אני שיש ספרים שכל מה שכתוב בהם אמת, אך הספר עצמו שקרי, ולהפך יש ספרים שכל מה שכתוב בהם שגוי, ולמרות הכל לפנינו ספר-אמת. ואנו, חייבים להמשיך את עבודתו בזהירות שלא הייתה למחבר פורץ הדרך.

כשהוא דן על פרשת מגדל בבל, משווה רש"ר הירש את המונחים המבאטים את המושג 'עַם' בגרמנית ובעברית (בראשית יא ז): "בשפה הגרמנית העם הוא Volk, הווה אומר קיום העם תלוי במנהיג, והכל חייבים לציית לו (folgen); והרי כאן מושג של תלות משפילה. בשפות הרומניות העם הוא populus, המון המכלה את הכל. בעברית הרי הוא 'עַם', איחוד כל השווים". המילה 'עַם' קשורה אכן ב'עִם'. לעומת המונח הלועזי הרומז לכך ש"העם אינו קיים אלא למען המלך", המושג היהודי "חתום כולו לעצמו". הוא בנוי על היחס שבין בני העם "לבין עצמם". בדומה לכך אומר רש"ר הירש על דברי הכתוב (ויקרא כה, לו) "וְחֵי אָחִיךָ עִמָּךְ", "'עִם' זה הופך אתכם ל'עַם'.

גוי הוא "חטיבה לאומית מלוכדת". רשר"ה (בראשית ו, יז) רואה מילה זאת כקשורה במלה 'גֵו', "הגוף הלאומי כלפי חוץ – בניגוד ל'עם', שהוא מציין החברה כלפי פנים. המילה 'עם' מציינת את הציבור כחברה שבתוכה ריבוי של יחידים הקשורים יחד זה עם זה", המונח 'גוי' לעומת זאת מציין את האחדות, "כללות הקהל כגוף אחד וכיחידה אחת הסגורה כלפי חוץ".

ה'לאום' מוסיף רש"ר הירש הוא 'המדינה המייצגת את העם והחברה, היא מגינה על הניגודים החברתיים והלאומיים ומקיימת אותם בעצם ניגודם – הווה אומר: בהתאם לזכויותיהם ובתוך גבולותיהם. אין לאום אלא מלכות (עבודה זרה ב, ע"ב)". הלאום זה החוק שבידו המונופולין על הכוח.

המילה 'עֵדָה' מקורה בשורש 'יעד'. משמעותה "להתאחד... למען ייעוד משותף, ואשר השותפות של ייעוד זה מאחדת אותם. יחידים הופכים לעדה – לא על ידי פקודה הבאה אליהם מן החוץ – אלא על ידי עניין משותף הפועם בלבם... ה'עדה' מציינת את כל השומרים העצמאיים של תפקיד הכלל". מכאן גם המושג 'קרואי העדה', האנשים שהעדה קוראת להם "לנהל את ענייני הכלל".

הוגים ופרשנים רבים התייחסו לפרשנות לשונית זאת. במאמרו 'קול דודי דופק' (עמ' 93) פירש הרי"ד סולובייצ'יק את המונחים קצת אחרת, כשהוא מסתמך על הגאון מוילנה. אנו עצמנו משתמשים היום אחרת במונחים, ובצדק אנו מנסים להתאימם לשימוש הבינלאומי המקובל, אשר משתנה בכל עידן, בייחוד בכל הנוגע למושג 'לאום'. על כל פנים, השינויים הסמנטיים לא צריכים להבהיל אותנו. המושגים קיימים, אף אם קבלו לבוש אחר. הם מתייחסים לארבעה ממדים שונים של המציאות הפוליטית: לקשר הפנימי המאחד את הציבור ('עם'), לייחודו מול העמים האחרים ('גוי'), למדינה כארגון המבוסס על חוק ועל כוח (לאום), ול'עדה'– המתייחסת לקיומו של ייעוד וחזון המוביל את העם, 'הר סיני' המלווה את העם במסעיו ההיסטוריים.

"בְּאֵין חָזוֹן יִפָּרַע עַם" (משלי כט, יח). החזון מלווה בתוכחה, וקריאת דבריו של רשר"ה הם עבורנו תוכחה. לפי גישתו, 'עם' מבטא קשר חופשי, לא מתוך כניעה למנהיג פשיסטי, "ולא מתוך כפייה קומוניסטית... אלא מתוך הכרת החובה המוכתבת על ידי יראת ה'". זהו "קשר חופשי, ואף על פי כן – או מוטב: דווקא משום כן – זהו קשר חזק ונצחי של הדדיות עוזרת; בו מתקיים מאמר הבחירה (שמות ו, ו): "וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם לִי לְעָם". שכן יראת ה' הטהורה היא היוצרת כאן את החברה הלאומית" (פירושו לויקרא כה, לו). ואולי מן הראוי לסיים בפירושו לדברי הנבואה לרבקה לפני לידת בניה (בראשית כה, כג) "שְׁנֵי גוֹיִם בְּבִטְנֵךְ וּשְׁנֵי לְאֻמִּים מִמֵּעַיִךְ יִפָּרֵדוּ". על כך אומר רשר"ה: "כי שני גויים בבטנה, המייצגים שתי שיטות חברתיות שונות. המדינה האחת תיבנה על רוח ומוסר, על נשמת האדם באדם. כנגדה חברתה תבקש להיבנות על עורמה וכוח, רוח וחייל. מוסר וכוח יהיו ניצבים זה מול זה... בגבור המדינה האחת תחלש חברתה... ההיסטוריה כולה אינה אלא מאבק אחד: ידו של מי תהיה על העליונה, יד הסייף או יד הספר, יד ירושלים או יד קיסרין (מגילה ו, ע"א)".

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Challah (Today's Blatt)

Several notes, cobbled here together:

Date: Friday, May 04, 2001 2:31 PM

It requires more thought to develop this to a full blown discourse, but:

Bikkurim, first fruit, Chochmo - Reishis Chochmo Yiras Hashem -
Undifferentiated Knowledge.
(The Maharal calls this a Nesina to HKB"H from that which is not
yet murkav - corresponding to the Olam of Seichel -
undifferentiated hashpo'oh - Chochmo.)

Ma'asros, multiple separations and distinctions, Bina, Categorization and
Classification of Knowledge.
(The Maharal calls this a Nesina to HKB"H from that which is a
harkava shichnis - a non-complex combination - the Olam of
Galgalim, - or, I believe, Malachim - i.e., where hashpo'os are
already distinct - Bina.)

Challah, from a finished product that is complex and complete, Da'as - the
chibbur of Chochmao and Bina (Widsom - there is a Chazal "Yosif Da'as
Yosif Mach'ov - when a child can eat bread he is considered to have Da'as).
(The Maharal calls this a Nesina to HKB"H from that which is a
harkava mizgis - a complex combination - the Olam ha'Tachton - already
developed, and, of course, the water in the dough - Torah - is an
integral part of Da'as.)

As to Se'udos Shabbos, this requires a lot more work, but Friday night is
Chakal Tapuchin Kaddishin - an orchard - corresponds to Bikkurim (also,
Yitzchok and Yiroh). Shabbos morning is Attikah Kadisha - corresponds to
Challah (Mattan Torah - "Lechu Lachmu b''achmi" (also Avrohom - first
mention of bread in the Torah, I believe, Va'yeira - and Ahavah). Shabbos
afternoon is Ze'eir Anpin - corresponds to Ma'asros (given to Lev'im and
brought to Yerushalayim - connecting Elyonim and Tachtonim (also Ya'akov -
"aser a'asrenu lach", and given in Chu"l - and Tiferes). As I said, more
work is necessary.

BTW, one can do something with Challah - gematriya 43, and its shiur - 43

A bit more explanation plese. Like for example what is "murkav"? What is
"harkava shichnis"? what does the chazal "yosif daas yosif mach'ov" mean?
what is "mach'ov"? what is "harkava mizgis"? what is "chakal tapuchin
kaddishin"? what is"attikah kadisha"? what about "lechu lachmu b"achmi"?
what is chu"l?

One more question. Why did the kohanim eat challa the night of

Pesach? Explain please. Also explain kometz ha'mincha on why al pi
kabbalah/chassidus one cannot make an entire dough chassidus?

I will expand, but b'kitzur. These concepts are best explained b'al peh,
but you can get a lot out of R' Immanuel Schochets "Mystical Concepts
in Chassidus" or, more comprehensively, R' Aryeh Kaplan's "Inner Space".

The "murkav" terminology is actually from the Rambam, I believe, and is
used extensively by the Rogatchover. Murkav means combined. Something
that is not murkav is not combined. "Harkava Shichnis" is a simple
combination of many things adjacent ("shochen') to each other. "Harkava
Mizgis" is a complex combination, or fusion, such as a chemical compound.

Bikkurim is taken at the stage of individual fruit - no Harkava. Ma'aser
is taken at the stage of gathered grain - Harkava Shichnis. Challahis
taken when the grain has been made into a dough - Harkava Mizgis. The
parallel to Chaba"d is relatively simple.

The parallel to Se'udos Shabbos is more intricate and far more speculative.
The Arizal in the Tikkunei Shabbos ("Askinu Se'udoso") identifies Shabbos
night as Chakal Tapuchin Kaddishin - the aspect of our Avodas Hashem
consecrating Shabbos - much as our work creates a crop in an orchard - and,
thus, when Yitzchok smelled Ya'akov's fragrance he used the term "sadeh
asher beracho Hashem." That is why Shabbos is called, in Friday night
Shemoneh Esrei in all nuscha'os, "bah" - Shabbos receives from us, and that
is why we are botzei'ah on the bottom challah. (This bechina is attributed
to Yitzchok)

Shabbos morning is Attikah Kadisha in the Arizal: The opposite concept,
Hashem imparting to us, in turn, Kedusha via Shabbos from on high - this is
the crown of the neshama yesira ("klil tiferes") that comes down to us.
That is why, in many nuscha'os, Shabbos is called "bo", and we are
botzei'ah the top challah (Shabbos imparting to us). (Avrohom)

Shalosh Se'udos is Ze'eir Anpin - the connection and flow from on high to
below and vice versa - the harmonious reciprocity. Shabbos is called "bam"
(plural, both roles in tandem), and, I believe, the we are botzei'ah side
by side. (Ya'akov).

In this scheme, the highest madreigah is Shabbos morning (reflected in the
Halacha of Kavod Yom Adif). That is why it seems to me that in the order of
the three mitzvos it should be Challah in the morning - corresponding to
Da'as as the highest madreigah, with Bikkurim on Friday night and Ma'aser
at Se'udah Shelishis. But I am not prepared to commit to this.

Shabbos morning is the Shemoneh Esrei of Shabbos Mattan Torah (Friday night
is Shabbos Bereishis, Shabbos afternoon is Yom she'kullos Shabbos). This is
not necessarily the same order as that of the Arizal, but the Shabbos
morning davening is the idea of the Hashpo'oh from above, and that is
reflected in that Mattan Torah was on Shabbos (The Pesikta says that the
"edyam me'Chorev" removed after the Chet ho'Egel is restored to us by Moshe
every Shabbos). Torah is called lechem: that is the meaning of the pasuk
'lechu lachmu b'lachmi." Shabbos is "bechol moshvoseichem" - it gives its
kedusha to Jews wherever they are - even in Chutz la'Aretz (Chu"l) - like
challah, that applies even in Chu"l.

"Yosif da'as yosif mach'ov" is interpreted by Chazal (it's a psauk) to tell
us that when a kattan can eat wheat bread we must distance ourselves for
devorim she'b'kedusha from his excrement. That's the mach'ov: Unrealized
Da'as is more repugnant than non-Da'as.

Kohanim eat Challah the night of Pesach, says R' Tzadok, because Pesach is
the ultimate manifestation of total Hashpo'oh from Above: Ge'ulah when we
were unworthy and with only minimal zechus. That is the realization, even
after a human has created this extraordinary Harkava Mizgis, that
everything comes from the Hashpo'oh of HKB"H.

And, finally, says R' Tzadok, in Olam ha'Zeh nothing can be Kullo Tov: that
is only L'Osid Lavo: That is why it is inimical to the nature of Olam
ha'Zeh and its Avodah to make a dough completely Challah.

In the post on Challah and Se'udos Shabbos, I mentioned the two elements in
Shabbos - Friday night, our contribution to Shabbos, called "Is'arusa d'l'Tatta"
(Awakening from Below - IdT) vs. Shabbos morning, called: "Is'arusa d'l'Eila"
(Awakening from Above IdE).

R' Shlomo Fisher notes that Shabbos is, overwhelmingly, a manifestation of IdE,
as opposed to Yom Tov, which is IdT - except for Pesach, where the Ge'ulah was
an IdE - without Am Yisroel's merit, or even great longing (which is why, says
R' Tzadok, the Kohanim ate Challah the night of Pesach, and why, I believe - as
I kind of tikkun - we read Shir ha'Shirim - the ultimate statemet of IdT - on

RSF explains that this is why Pesach is called Shabbos ("Me'mochoras
ha'Shabbos"). He notes that this year we do no read the Haftara of the Dry
Bones, which R' Hai Gaon says we read because Techiyas ha'Meisim will occur on
Chol ha'Moed - because this year there is no Shabbos Chol ha'Mo'ed, and Techiyas
ha'Meisim is an IdT thing (I believe this why we say there is a *tal* shel
techiyah, not geshem - geshem comes down, IdE; tal condenses on the ground, IdT)
- it needs merit, and the first and last days of Pesach (Keriyas Yam Suf despite
"halalu ovdei Az v'halalu ovdei AZ) are IdE days.

Chol ha'Moed, on the other hand, is an IdT thing, because it is linked to
Sefirah, and Sefirah is our IdT to ascend towards Mattan Torah. (He links this
to Matzoh on Pesach vs. Chometz - Shtei ha'Lechem - on Shavu'os.)

He notes that all the days of Pesach correspond to days of the week of other
Yomim Tovim, and the Tur gives A"T Ba"Sh simanim for this. He adds one of his
own: The second day of Pesach - the initial day of Sefiras ha'Omer, is on the
same day of the week as Gimmel Adar. Gimmel Adar is the date that the pasuk in
Ezra says was the Chanukas haBayis of Bayis Sheni. Bayis Rishon was IdE - focus
on Nevu'ah. Bayis Sheni was IdT - focus on the creation of Torah she'be'al Peh.
Chacham (Bayis Sheni) adif me'Navi (Bayis Rishon) (BB 12a).