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location Keser Elyon
age 42
visits member for 4 years, 7 months
seen Jul 28 '13 at 6:23
Graduate of Beis Medrash Oholei Torah and "Seven Seventy"; now a בעל הבית with ריחיים בצוארו but still trying to be עוסק בתורה

Apr
20
comment Esrim - mi yodeya?
Mi Shemeis, actually (Bava Basra 156a).
Apr
20
comment Choices before birth
"Fight" is a strong term, maybe, but Avos 4:22 (4:29 in some editions) does say that "against your will you are born," and Bartenura there explains that the neshamah is in fact taken forcibly from On High and placed into the womb.
Apr
20
comment Shavuos Versus Simchas Torah
The Golden Calf was forty days after the Giving of the Torah, no? So yes, on Shavuos - and for a while afterwards - we were complete tzaddikim (see Shabbos 146a: "פסקה זוהמתן").
Apr
20
comment Shavuos Versus Simchas Torah
The second Luchos (along with Torah shebaal peh - see Shemos Rabbah 46:1), yes. But the original Giving of the Torah was indeed on Shavuos, and "if the Jewish People had not sinned, we would have been given only the five Books of the Torah plus the Book of Yehoshua" (Nedarim 22b).
Apr
19
comment What is the status of a pull-apart challah for “lechem mishneh”?
On the other hand, you could argue the opposite about the original intent: why would they make them in that way, if not so that the individual pieces can serve as separate challos? Especially the ones that are made out of 12 sections, which is presumably in keeping with the custom that Bas613 mentioned.
Apr
19
comment What is the machlokes between the Gra and Ba'al HaTanya?
But surely R' Chaim Volozhiner also had a tradition from the Gra? If anything, his ought to carry greater weight, since he was the Gra's direct student, while the Leshem was a generation later. And in Nefesh Hachaim he states quite clearly that from Hashem's point of view the worlds don't really exist - the very position that the Leshem decries as "destroying the truth of the entire Torah"! In the Rebbe's letter he reconciles this by stating that in this regard R' Chaim in fact disagreed with the Gra; and according to the Leshem's understanding, that must certainly be the case.
Apr
16
comment Shemona Asar - mi yodeya?
Another one is that the verse about who the Kohen Gadol may marry (Lev. 21:13) starts with the word והוא, whose numerical value is 18 (Baal Haturim on this verse).
Apr
16
comment Ditch school: stealing?
I think he meant 19:11, "לא תגנובו". (The prohibition against stealing in the Ten Commandments - or Ten Declarations, as you prefer to call them - refers to kidnapping, so that's not relevant here.)
Apr
16
comment An accidental killer who needs to leave the eer miklat
Exactly my point: he'll have to judge which one is more likely to result in his death, and take his chances with the other alternative.
Apr
15
comment Two days of Yom Tov outside of Israel
It's cited as being from Or Ne'erav, but apparently the current editions don't have it there. An article at hebrewbooks.org/… , though, references a later Kabbalistic work (Tuv Ha'aretz, by R. Nosson Shapiro, first published in 1655), which quotes this idea in the Ramak's name.
Apr
14
comment What is the machlokes between the Gra and Ba'al HaTanya?
Also, think of it: why would it have been in the Baal HaTanya's interest to maximize the difference between their opinions? On the contrary, if there would have been a way to harmonize the two of them, we would expect him to have said so in this letter (i.e., "look, there's no reason for us to be fighting each other - we both basically hold the same way.")
Apr
14
comment What is the machlokes between the Gra and Ba'al HaTanya?
Because we may assume the Baal Hatanya, who was prepared to debate the Gra on the subject (as mentioned in this letter), would first have "done his homework" to understand what he'd be arguing against.
Apr
13
comment What is the machlokes between the Gra and Ba'al HaTanya?
It's not just the proclamations, though. The Rebbe also references a letter by R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi (available online at hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=31632&st=&pgnum=105), written during the Vilna Gaon's lifetime (to the chassidim in Vilna), in which he writes flatly that the Gaon "considers it absolute heresy to say that He, may He be blessed, is literally found within the most lowly and debased things." In short, then, this too indicates that the Gra's position is closest to #1 or some minor variant thereof, but surely not #3 (Nefesh Hachayim) or #4 (Tanya).
Apr
12
comment How is it possible that Yisrael went out of Egypt after only 210 years due to hard work?
The 430 years mentioned in Ex. 12:40 begins with Avraham (specifically, with the Covenant Between the Parts), yes. But the 400 years specifically refers to זרעך, "your descendants" - and Avraham didn't have any of those at that time.
Apr
9
comment What is the machlokes between the Gra and Ba'al HaTanya?
"Tzimtzum gamur" would mean "total withdrawal," which is the opposite of what the Baal Hatanya believes in. The Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l (whose letter I refer to in my answer) calls it "tzimtzum shelo kipshuto, verak ba'or."
Apr
9
comment Baal Habayis in Bentching
In your paragraph 2, yes, the Baal Hatanya's nusach (which of course Chabad follows) always has the mention of one's parents; R' Y.Y. Schneersohn (the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe) clarifies in a letter of his that this applies even after they are deceased. He further explains that the entire series of "Harachamans" in bentching actually refer to the ten Sefiros, and so "my father... and my mother..." have to be included, as Kabbalistically they represent Chochmah and Binah (loosely, "wisdom" and "understanding").
Apr
7
comment Mail Delivery on Shabbos
When you consider that you can have a gap in one place but then none in another place parallel to it (see also "kefarim hameshulashin," Eruvin 57a-b), then yes, it may well be possible.
Apr
1
comment Mail Delivery on Shabbos
Perhaps a better question is whether, even if not, the mail may be within the techum anyway. I've heard it said (though I have no source for this) that pretty much the entire Eastern Seaboard from Boston to Washington is all within one techum, because there is no gap between buildings wider than 70 amos (~110 feet).
Apr
1
comment Custom to refrain from eating meat at the Pesach Seder?
Fair enough, but Magen Avraham (476:1) says not to eat "tzli kedar" (pot roast) either. Although it is true that one of the Rabbis I asked before Pesach said that this doesn't apply if it's baked or roasted or whatever inside an oven, only on the stovetop or on a grill.
Mar
29
comment The beginning of Maftir in Krias HaTorah on Pesach
Reb Chaim: is that really so surprising, though? Consider the actual keriah (not just the maftir) for the sixth day of Pesach, which doesn't even mention the Yom Tov itself - just the Korban Pesach, and (mostly) Pesach Sheni at that.