Thursday, September 28, 2006

The time has come.

Thank you all for responding to my previous post.

A Sefer Torah is divided into many parshiyos - 'Pay' and 'Samach', "Li'tain Revach Bein Parsha L'parshah".

As I noted in my previous post, I have learnt a lot about Judaism and its people. I needed a "Revach" to absorb what I learnt. I have stopped commenting over the last week as I have been spending much time rethinking what I have been doing until now, and whether I should continue.

Your comments were very enlighting. Actually, they were fascinating. Mi'kotzeh Li'kotzeh.

Here's a recap:

* I respect the level of passion that in your writing.

*you post very intelligently, and offer valid, legitimate arguments

*I hardly ever agree with you

*I don't think you are convincing those who have not already been convinced. I just don't find your defenses of the Charedi lifestyle and the gedolim, persuasive.

*LY: You are putting yourself in an intellectual environment that is foreign and antagonistic to yours

*you come across as a person who means and writes well.

*because in my experience you are friendly and honest, which is a tone the J-blogs need more people setting.

*LY you must not give up. I for one am most gratified that you stand up for Torah true ideals when all too often they are rubbished.You maintain your integrity without flattering falsifiers or insulting doubters.

*L'maan Hashem continue.

*Hmm..keep blogging, but lay off the age of the universe issue.

*I don't agree with everything you say but it's refreshing to hear the POV of underrepresented part of klak yisroel in the blogging universe.

*Don’t stop. But I doubt that you changed any skeptical minds.

*I say stop. Or at least change your name.

*LY is courage personified. He puts himself in place behind Torah and Truth. I say they are jealous of his emunah.

*you don't come across as arrogant, condescending, and angry.

*The fact that LY might be doing great things for himself is wonderful--not so wonderful if he is also negatively impacting others, and in this case I mean his own community

*So keep it up. It's great to see the other side of things.

*I am not sure you represent the true Chareidi world (if there is such a thing).As I have commented before, you very often overstate & exaggerate matters for effects sake

*Since most people who are blogging are doing so to debate and discuss, you will only stir up opposition and will not gain adherents.

*but I honestly feel that your posting on blogs is a chillul Hashem

*So keep blogging. If everybody barks the same we're just a pack of dogs.

*I feel the fact that you are chareidi and (mostly) good natured, is good PR for Chareidism.

*Putting your views out, for all to refute or ridicule, takes a certain amount of courage

*As a fellow "Lakewooder" I say that although I often disagree with you, you probably do represent a viewpoint which might otherwise not have a voice on the blogosphere. Chazak Ve'amatz.

*I would suggest that you think a little more before you write

*You have accomplished and do accomplish many wonderful things. It is very possible that your voice is a unique one in the blogosphere and a much-needed one.

*But if you would have instead spent the time learning Mesechta Temurah, for example, and chazering it well, writing out your own biurim on a couple of the difficult sugyos, it can be argued persuasively that you would be better off and Klal Yisroel would be better off.

*I too am a BMG alumnus and still live in Lakewood. I admire your emunah peshuta and what you are trying to accomplish. However, I think you sound very foolish at times.

*What makes you think you represent all of us lakewooders?

*LY - there is no doubt that there is good in what you are doing. Even if I dont agree with what you say it is clear that you are honest and sincere. It is great that we have a character in our blogosphere who is willing to have a go at portraying the Charedi line. Only occasionally do you defend the undefensible, but generally you are the best defender of your values currently around.

*I really think that you blogging is doing a disservice to Charaidim in general and to Lakewood in particular

*you should ask daas torah.

A couple months ago, I asked a notable Rosh Yeshivah. We discussed the pros and cons. In the end he said, if your doing it correctly, its surely a worthy cause. But you have to carefully evaluate the dangers involved. Bottom line he said, be your own Posek.

I have received much criticism in the past. When someone suggests that my views are "turning them off", is it really my fault? If "Amalek" or "Aguna" turn people off, should we remove it from Torah?

My intentions had been good. I fought for what I believed. And I fought clean. It bothered me that bloggers were able to write so freely against Gedolim and Charedim and get away with it.

Nevertheless, I did wish to hear it out from everyone.

My conclusion is that while my name "Lakewood Yid" was well intended, it was too controversal. It very often gave the impression that I was speaking on behalf of Lakewood. Or, it implied, that my views are "Lakewoodish", and it actually encouraged the skeptics to further dig themselves into their skeptic holes.

The time has come.

I have decided to give up "Lakewood Yid".

If I left the impression, that a Charedi blogger was able to debate head to head with the skeptics and doubters, and be able to do it in a refined aidel way, without the need to resort to course
language and name calling, I will be satisfied with that.

But if I wish to have any further success in winning over the skeptics and doubters, it will have to be under a new identity with some changes in my strategy.

So for now, I say Good bye. I thank you all for everything you taught me.

Hatzlocha V'chol Tuv. G'mar Chasimah Tova.

PS I will be keeping my email address and everyone is welcome to email:

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Your opinion please.

To all my blogfriends,

I have been blogging for about 6 months now. I have learnt a lot.

I have learnt a lot about mankind, nature, science.....

But most of all, I learnt a lot about Judaism. I learnt a lot about our Mesorah, Chazal, and Gedolim. I learnt about many aspects of Torah which I hadn't known before. And as much as I learnt, I realized how much more there is still to be learnt.

I also learnt about the diversity of the Jewish nation. That there are Acheinu Bnei Yisroel which come in all different colors, stripes and beliefs.

I am thankful to HKBH that with all the Kefirah and skepticism that I have seen, I still maintain my faith 100%.

My "blogging mission" had been to defend Gedolim, Charedim, and quite often even Judaism from the critisicm expressed by many bloggers. I learnt early on, that "Kofer calling" won't get me anywhere. No one wants to be called names, even if they are wrong. Instead, I attemped to challenge the critics by responding to their arguments.

I have recently been thinking about what kind of impression I have made on Jblogs. Have I inspired anyone? Have I dis-inspired anyone? Have I caused people to view Charedim in a better light? or a worser one? Have I caused any skeptics to re-think their anti-charedi stance? Or have I just caused skeptics to dig deeper in their holes?

Blogging takes a lot of time out of me. No one wants to feel like they are wasting their time. Should I continue blogging? Should I stop?

I look forward to hearing from you.

In the interim, I wish you all a Kesivah Va'chasimah Tova, and a happy sweet healthy year.

If I have ever insulted or verbally hurt anyone, I ask them for forgiveness. I am definitely Mochel everyone B'lev Shalem.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


הלכות שחיטה פרק י

יב ואין להוסיף על טריפות אלו, כלל: שכל שיארע לבהמה או לחיה או לעוף חוץ מאלו שמנו חכמי הדורות הראשונים, והסכימו עליהן בתי דיני ישראל--אפשר שתחיה. ואפילו נודע לנו מדרך הרפואה, שאין סופה לחיות. [יג] וכן אלו שמנו ואמרו שהן טריפה--אף על פי שייראה בדרכי הרפואה שבידינו שמקצתן אינן ממיתין, ואפשר שתחיה מהן: אין לך אלא מה שמנו חכמים, שנאמר "על פי התורה אשר יורוך"

Says the Rambam - which animals are considered Treifah (they will shortly die, and thus non kosher) and which are considered that will live?

The ones that the Chazal told us.

EVEN IF MI'DARKEI HA'REFUAH (science, biology, zooalogy etc) WE KNOW OTHERWISE (there is contradictory evidence) , WE FOLLOW WHAT THE CHACHOMIM TOLD US.

MEANING - we may eat something which Chazal told us will live, even though science has proven that it won't, and vise-versa.

Is there any difference between this and age of universe etc? If Chazal taught us that the world will last for 6 thousand years, do we need to consider the contradictory evidence that science presents us?

This Rambam says no. We follow Chazal. שנאמר על פי התורה אשר יורוך. Period.

Monday, September 11, 2006


דברים פרק כח

מז תַּחַת, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-עָבַדְתָּ אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּשִׂמְחָה, וּבְטוּב לֵבָב--מֵרֹב, כֹּל.

47 because thou didst not serve the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, by reason of the abundance of all things;

מט יִשָּׂא יְהוָה עָלֶיךָ גּוֹי מֵרָחֹק מִקְצֵה הָאָרֶץ, כַּאֲשֶׁר יִדְאֶה הַנָּשֶׁר: גּוֹי, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-תִשְׁמַע לְשֹׁנוֹ.

49 The LORD will bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as the vulture swoopeth down; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;

נ גּוֹי, עַז פָּנִים, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יִשָּׂא פָנִים לְזָקֵן, וְנַעַר לֹא יָחֹן

50 a nation of fierce countenance, that shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young.

נב וְהֵצַר לְךָ בְּכָל-שְׁעָרֶיךָ, עַד רֶדֶת חֹמֹתֶיךָ הַגְּבֹהֹת וְהַבְּצֻרוֹת, אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה בֹּטֵחַ בָּהֵן, בְּכָל-אַרְצֶךָ; וְהֵצַר לְךָ, בְּכָל-שְׁעָרֶיךָ, בְּכָל-אַרְצְךָ, אֲשֶׁר נָתַן יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לָךְ

52 And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fortified walls come down, wherein thou didst trust, throughout all thy land; and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Daas Torah: The world will stand for 6,000 Years.

Rashba Chidushei Haggados, (Mosad Harav Kook) Baba Basra 74:b

עוד תדע, שדעת אנשי תורותנו והמקובל מן הנביאים ושהסכימו עליו חכמי התלמוד, כי יש לעולם הזה קצב ובא אל תכלית, כאמרם שיתא אלפי שנין הוי עלמא

Clearly, the Rashba is saying that the POV of the Neviim and the Chachmei Hatalmud, is that the world will stand for 6,000 years, no more, no less.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Why we learn K'tzos

This post was really supposed to be a response to XGH's post on DovBear, Kollel vs Math. But being that the thread is sort of over, I decided to make a post out of it.

The main issue of XGH's post was the following:

"Problems in the Ketzos might be beautiful and fascinating, but solving them won’t bring about any measurable benefit to the world."

My response:

There is a discussion end of first Perek Kiddushin if 'Talmud' (learning) is greater, or 'Maaseh' is greater. The Gemara concludes that Talmud is greater because "Talmud May'vee Li'day Maaseh. According to basic Gemara logic, if the 'Maskana' is that 'Talmud which brings to Maaseh' is greater, then in the 'Havah Amina', the Gemara was discussing 'Talmud' on its own - not 'Talmud which brings to Maaseh'. And yet, the Gemara had a consideration that 'Talmud although its not L'maaseh' might be greater than Maaseh.

Have you ever read any of the hundreds of Shaalos U'tshuvos Sefarim? Take Igros Moshe (R' Moshe Feinstein) for an example. I've never read through it (just a little here there), but I would venture to say that at least 60% - 70% of the Shaalos are not found in Gemara or even Shulchan Aruch (Microphone?). What it takes is, Knowledge (you can make a huge pilpul, only to discover that on the next page, the Gemara concludes otherwise), Understanding (what the Havah Amina was, how did Rashi understand vs Tosfos etc), and Binah - L'havin Dovor Mi'toch Dovor - to extrapolate the thesis and rules -the 'yesod' of the sugya from one application, and to correctly apply it to another application. And anyone who learnt Daf Yomi 7 times over won't be able to really help out here. What it entails is a very thorough grasp of every sugya by utilizing sharp analyzation, extremely precise Chakiros, and hair splitting Sevaros.

Thats where K'tzos comes into play. Its a mental exercise. Its purpose is to sharpen the mind. To train the Talmud student how to think, how to analyze, how to understand, and how to correctly extrapolate.

Now of course, not every kollelnik is on the verge of becoming a Posek. But nevertheless,

"Talmud Torah K'neged Kulam"

"Lo Yamush M'Picha" (I forget the exact wording)

"V'dibarta Bam" - Bam V'lo B'dvorim B'taylim"

Mitzvas Talmud Torah is every minute, its a mitzva which is "SHE'LO Hazman Ge'rama". Woman are Patur because "V'limad'tem Es B'naichem - V'lo B'noseichem".

All this applies to every kollelnik.

The Heter for a man to work (no jokes, it requires a Heter) is V'osafta D'ganecha. In theory, one may only work to "put bread on his table" - "Paas Ba'melach".

I once asked R' Malkiel Kotler, since a wife and kids aren't Mechuyav in Paas Bamelach, and one is Mechuyav to provide her with her needs, then this should be a Heter to work more than just to "put bread on his table".
IOW, since a woman isn't Mechuyav in Paas Bamelach because she isn't Mechuyav in Talmud Torah, she is Mutar to work, say to buy a nice piece of furniture, whereas a man might not be permitted to be Mevatel Torah simply to buy 'nice' furniture. But a married man has to provide his wife with HER needs as well.

The RY agreed that this might be a good 'Limud Zechus'.

But bottom line, Mitzvas Talmud Torah is even when one learns 'Talmud', even when its not L'maaseh. The above quoted Gemara discusses which is greater, not if 'Talmud' alone has value or not.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Please Daven

Please Daven for Ruevein Ben Tova Chaya, grandson of R' Harry Maryles.

He should be zocheh to a Refuah Shleimah B'korov.

Koach Hatorah Even Today!!!

Many of you commented on other blogs, that with the Matzav in Eretz Yisroel that our Jewish soldiers are sacrificing themselves on the front line, the people which are exempt from the army because 'Torah Um'nosom' should not break for Bain Hazmanim, since their idealogy is that Torah protects, and therefore its only right that while the physical soldiers are fighting on the physical front line, the spiritual soldiers should be fighting on the spiritual front line (Bais Midrash).

I believe I heard in the name of R' Elyashiv Shlita, that the learners do need the Bain Hazmanim break or their learning of the Winter Zman will be affected.

R' Elyashiv also came under fire from many bloggers for declaring on August 3rd, that the best interest for Israel would be a cease fire. Rather they said, Israel must keep on pounding out the enemies.

It just struck me.

On August 13, Israel accepted the ceasefire with 2 weeks of Bain Hazmanim left to go.

So R' Elyashiv's military analysis that Israel should accept a cease fire became a reality, and that, enabled the Bnai Torah to be able to truly relax on their Bain Hazmanim break so they will regain their strength for the next Zman.

Eh, happywithhis lot? What you got to say now?

Mamesh Ah Emeseh Moifis!!! Pure Koach Hatorah!!!

(PS, Over here, someone writes that hearing a story that Zechus Hatorah saves people from rockets makes him nauseas.

"Today in schul part of the Rabbis drasha was one of these stories and it frankly got me nauseated about those who were saved by a rocket missing them because of kavod they were giving the Torah."

I hope this post won't make him vomit.)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Koach Hatorah of the Gaon

In my previous post, I quoted:

"If the Gaon says that he could bring down kol galgal hachamah on this table and show it to Aristo – do we have a safek that what Chazal HaKedoshim said is emes?"

I've had with some of you debates if the Gaon learnt secular studies. I conceded that he did, based on the testimony of R' Baruch M'shklov etc..

But I will tell you this. The above statement of the Gaon, was NOT a result of his secular studies. Show me even one Secularist who ever even attempted to make such a claim.

It was purely from the Koach Hatorah of the Gaon.

My Hero!!

Drosha by Rav Uren Reich, Rosh haYeshiva of Yeshiva of Woodlake Village in Lakewood

(Extract from address at the Melava Malka of Agudath Israel of America's 82nd National Convention)

…If the Gemara tells us a metziyus, it’s emes veyatziv. There’s nothing to think about. Anything we see with our eyes is less of a reality than something we see in the Gemara. That’s the emunah that a yid has to have. Unfortunately, I don’t know where or why this is, but recently there’s been a spate of all kinds of publications – I don’t know where they’ve come from – questioning things that have been mekubel midor dor, that every child learns, together with his mother’s milk, al titosh Toras imecha, we learn that every word of Torah is emes, every word of Chazal hakedoshim is emes. We’re coming to hear new kinds of concepts, that we have to figure out a way to make Torah compatible with modern day science – it’s an emunah mezuyefes! There’s a tremendous emunah that these people have for scientists in the outside world – everything they say is kodesh kadoshim!

And then we have to figure out according to what they say, how to fit in the Gemara with this newfangled discoveries that the scientists have taught us?! These same scientists who tell you with such clarity what happened sixty-five million years ago – ask them what the weather will be like in New York in two weeks’ time! “Possibly, probably, it could be, maybe” – ain itam hadavar, they don’t know. They know everything that happened 65 million years ago, but from their madda, and their wissenschaft, we have to be mispoel?!

Chazal HaKedoshim – hakatan shebetalmidei Rabbeinu haKadosh mechayeh meisim! If the Gaon says that he could bring down kol galgal hachamah on this table and show it to Aristo – do we have a safek that what Chazal HaKedoshim said is emes? Ra’u mi’sof haolam ve’ad sofo – ain leharher achar divrei haGemara.

Our emunah has to be, and will continue to be, that every word of Chazal haKedoshim is emes le’amitoh! Ve’ain leharher achar divrei haGemara. And that’s the emunah that we were mekabel midor dor, and with this kind of emunah, these keriyos, this kara v’modim, when a yid like Rav Moshe, whose counterpart in Yale or Harvard is showing his great mind, his great genius, by questioning everything that there was in previous generations, and Rav Moshe with his humility and with his clarity as to the greatness of previous generations, he says ain leharher achar divrei haGemara – who knows how many kochos hatumah he shattered with that kind of kara vemodim! If we’ll be koreya vemodim, we’ll be zocheh, we’ll be mekarev rechokim, we’ll be mekarev kerovim, and we’ll be zocheh to see the ohr ha-emes when Mashiach comes…

In my previous post, I wrote that I was at a loss for words. In this post, I have no need for words.

(hattip - Lamedzayin)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Olam Hafuch Ra'isi

Hakol Kol Yakkov, V'ha'yadayim Y'dei Eisav.

That was our slogan for thousands of years.

Not anymore.

At least according Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

"God's promises have come true," Ahmadinejad told a huge crowd in Arbadil in northwestern Iran. "On one side, it's corrupt powers of the criminal U.S. and Britain and the Zionists .... with modern bombs and planes. And on the other side is a group of pious youth relying on God."

I am at a loss for words.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Are you claiming to understand Gods ways?

Over here, I quoted: "R' Weinreb talked about was the importance of not talking in shul, and the potential impact of such behavior on the war."

Someone (of course, anonymously) left the following comment: "Weinreb must be a sick man. Some Jews are gonna die in the war because I talk in shul? Sick, really sick thinking."

My initial response was to delete the comment. I then decided to rather challenge it. By the time I was done, I thought this actualy might be "post-worthy".

So here goes:

Your lack of understanding doesn't make him a sick man. How about contacting him directly and asking him your questions before attacking him?

Your statement of "Some Jews are gonna die in the war because I talk in shul?" is saying that you fully understand Gods ways and it can't be that God would do that.

Great. Being that you are such a Mayven on what God would do and what he wouldn't do, please explain us the following:

1) Holocaust
2) Katrina
3) 9/11
4) Tsunami victims
5) So many young children and young people who are sick
6) So many young children which die or are killed
7) So many young people dying leaving behind Yesomim and Almonos.
8) Etc Etc...

When you can explain all the above, I'm willing to hear your opinion if God punishes for talking in Shul.

והוי זהיר במצוה קלה כמצוה חמורה, שאין אתה יודע מתן שכרן של מצוות

I don't see any reason why this Maamar Chazal shouldn't apply in the reverse too. That one should be careful in "minor" aveiros the same as "major" ones, for we don't know the punishments of aveiros (the punishments that God himself gives to us).

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What would you do?

The other day as I was walking on the street, a Black man stuck his hand out to me and asked for a quarter.

I gave one to him.

My thoughts: Its was definitely worth the 25 cents, to have a Goy think highly of Jews. Now of course, this doesn't mean that one should run around passing out quarters to every Goy on the street. But once this Goy had already stuck his hand out, I thought it would be a Kiddush Hashem to give him one. To show him that Jews are compassionate people.

Would you have given him a quarter?

Is God "talking" to us?

Over here, Hirhurim links to a statement from R' Weinreb:

"R' Weinreb talked about was the importance of not talking in shul, and the potential impact of such behavior on the war."

Someone commented : "I find this to be a repulsive notion - that talking in shul has any connection to causing evil in the world. To me this is a sick theology. Just my two cents worth."

I responded: "Here's my two cents:

I was in court the other day for Jury duty. Some observations:

  • "all rise" when the judge comes in.

  • He's always addressed as "your honor".

  • "close your cellphones" when court is in session.

  • "put down all reading material when the judge is speaking"

There was no need to announce to all, to keep quiet when the judge speaks.

I wonder what would happen if in middle of the judge speaking, someone would answer his phone and talk loudly on it.

Kal V'chomer when we are sitting in front of the almighty god, no one should have the audacity to speak during davening.

It therefore shouldn't be such a shock, that if our respect to God is lower than the respect our fellow gentiles have for a judge, that God might be inclined to "talk back" to us.

Why we don't understand Chazal

No doubt, that "Chazal vs Science", is probably the biggest debate argued about, here on J-blogs.
All agree that Chazal were men of great wisdom. Hence their name - Chachomeinu Zichronom Livrocha. The questions arise when the basic meaning of their statements don't concur with our current knowledge of science and how the world works.

I would like to propose a theory, to explain why that is.

The first thing we have to acknowledge, is that wisdom comes from God.

כי ה' יתן חכמה; מפיו, דעת ותבונה

"חכמה" is generally associated with the brain - the brain is the source of our intelligence

I would like to show you that there exists another source of חכמה.

Yuma 39:a

תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל עבירה מטמטמת לבו של אדם שנאמר (ויקרא יא) ולא תטמאו בהם ונטמתם בם אל תקרי ונטמאתם אלא ונטמטם

"An Aveirah is "M'tamtem" the heart of a person".

Rashi: אוטמת וסותמת מכל חכמה

It (the Aveirah) blocks the person from all wisdom.

The Gemara is clear that an Aveirah affects the heart - מטמטמת לבו. From where does Rashi get, that it affects חכמה?

I believe the answer is, that there is another source of חכמה, called חכמת הלב which God dispenses to those he chooses to.

Shemos 28: ג ואתה, תדבר אל-כל-חכמי-לב, אשר מלאתיו, רוח חכמה; ועשו את-בגדי אהרן, לקדשו--לכהנו-לי.

Shemos 31: ו ואני הנה נתתי אתו, את אהליאב בן-אחיסמך למטה-דן, ובלב כל-חכם-לב, נתתי חכמה; ועשו, את כל-אשר צויתך.

Shemos 36: א ועשה בצלאל ואהליאב וכל איש חכם-לב, אשר נתן ה' חכמה ותבונה בהמה, לדעת לעשת, את-כל-מלאכת עבדת הקדש--לכל אשר-צוה ,ה

The Gemara in Eiruvin 53:a describes the greatness of the "Rishonim" - the earlier Chazal:

אמר ר' יוחנן לבן של ראשונים כפתחו של אולם ושל אחרונים כפתחו של היכל ואנו כמלא נקב מחט סידקית

R' Yochonan said: The hearts of the "Rishonim" were like the opening of the Ulom......

I believe that the intention here is that those "Rishonim" had חכמת הלב like the opening of the Ulom...

There is no doubt, that the advent of modern technology is a result of the huge amount of חכמה which God has granted us. I would like to propose, that the tremendous חכמה we see today in the world, is חכמת המוח - Wisdom of the brain, and not חכמת הלב - Wisdom of the heart.

The reason for that is based on the above quoted Gemara Yuma and Rashi, that Aveiros block the heart from wisdom. In today's bitter golus, none of us can proclaim to be free of Aveiros. Therefore, our hearts are "blocked" from חכמת הלב, and therefore, we find it extremely difficult to understand the depth of Chazal, whose wisdom was derived from their special God given חכמת הלב.

Recently, I had the opportunity to ask R' Avrohom Schor Shlita a question. I asked, "People ask me if Midrashim are to be taken literally".

He answered: "Tell them, that when they will learn "enough Torah", they will understand".

At first I didn't fully understand his answer. I think with the above, I understand it better. Once someone learns "enough Torah", he will be Zocheh to חכמת הלב, and then - "he will understand".

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Boruch She'kivanti

On this comment thread, I asked Happywithhislot:

The Gemara in Brochos 54:b says that Og Melech Habashon picked up a huge stone and threatened to kill all Klal Yisroel. A 'Nes' occurred and some type of bugs ate out the area where his head was........... and then Moshe Rabbeinu killed him.

Happy, do you believe that Klal Yisroel was threatened by Og throwing a huge rock and were saved by a 'Nes'?

Happy promptly responded: "Answer is no. I've definitely seen and heard rishonim who explain away the whole mountain neck thing as a moshol."

I asked him back:

Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 218:1 paskens that when one sees "the stone that Og was going to throw at us", he is required to make the Brocha "She'asah Nissim La'vosainu Ba'mokom Zeh" WITH SHEM AND MALCHUS (He must say 'Hashem Elokeinu'.)

How can one make a Brocha on a Nes which never happened??? According to you, isn't it a Brocha Le'vatalah???

I just recently saw that the Maharal in Gur Aryeh brings this proof. Being that the issue of taking Midrashim literaly is so controversial here on J-blogs, I feel it would be worthwhile to quote the actual words of the Maharal.

The Maharal quotes the above mentioned Gemara Brochos 54:b and then says:

ומפני שאמרנו שכל מדרש מדברי חכמים נפרש על אמתתו, צריכין אנו לפרש המאמר הזה על אמתתו. ואם שנמצא מאמר זה, שזה אמר בכה, וזה אמר בכה, אבל דברינו הם דברים ברורים באין ספק. ונראה מדעת רבותינו ז"ל כי כמשמעו היה, שרצה לזרוק אבן שהרי אמרו רז"ל שהרואה את האבן ההיא חייב לברך על הנס שעשה הקדוש ברוך הוא, משמע ומוכח שהקדוש ברוך הוא עשה נס עם ישראל כשהיה רוצה לזרוק אבן

(The following translation is my own)

"And because we have said that all Midrash from the words of the Chachomim we will explain them in its truth, we therefore have to explain this passage in its truth.... And our understanding of our sages is that this passage should be taken as its understood, that indeed he (Og) wanted to throw the stone on them, for Chazal have said that one who sees that stone is obligated to make a blessing on the miracle that HKBH did,


The Maharal is clearly stating that this Midrash should be taken in the literal sense. In the above mentioned Gemara Brochos, the end of this passage is that Moshe Rabbeinu was ten Amos tall, he took his staff which was ten Amos tall, and jumped ten Amos and smote Og and killed him. I don't see any reason to differentiate, that the part about Og picking up the stone should be taken literaly, any more than the part that Moshe was ten Amos tall, when these two Midrashim are in the same paragraph. The Rambam, Ramban, and Abarbanel all have different explanations how Adam Harishon etc literaly lived such long lives. If Adom Harishon lived for 930 years, I don't see any reason why not to believe that Moshe Rabbeinu could have been ten Amos tall.

P.S. The Biur Halacha clarifies the above mentioned Halacha by asking - how is it possible for a human being to have been able to pick up such a large rock? And he answers, because Og was the son of the "Bnai Malachim" and therefore he had superhuman strength. Apparently, the Mishna Brura also understood this Midrash/Halacha literally.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

To all my bashers - HAHAHAHAHA!

Take a look at the picture above, and tell me why President Bush is looking at Tony Blair with such disgust.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Things that irk me

I get very irked when I see people walking into shul with their shirt flying.

I don't care if you come to shul in a blue shirt, brown shoes, straw hat, no hat, whatever. Just don't come wearing a pink tie. I CAN'T STAND PINK TIES. What's next, pink suits??? With matching pink Rockport's??? Its scary how some designer in Italy decides that men should wear pink ties, and everyone follows. So why do all the skeptics have a problem with us RW wearing black hats? If your willing to wear whatever some Joe Shmoe decides is fashionable, I'm willing to wear what my Rosh Yeshiva decides is fashionable.

What's the difference?

Anyways, getting back to the issue at hand, it says "Ha'chon Li'kras Elokecha". "Prepare yourself to stand before God".

The least one could do is tuck their shirt in.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Its about emunas chachomim

On Hirhurim, someone wrote this comment:

"How do we know that the Maharal did not make a golem? How do we now that the Chofetz Chaim did not exorcise a dybbuk? The same way we know that no one has been abducted by aliens and that there is no Bigfoot. COMMON SENSE."

I responded with:

Err, common sense also dictates that seas don't split, food doesn't fall from heaven, and rocks don't turn into wells. Its not about common sense. Its about emunas chachomim. One of the 48 kinyanei Hatorah. If you lack it, you lack an understanding of Torah. And if you lack an understanding of Torah, your opinions are worthless.

Need I say more?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Lakewood Yid meets the Godol Hador!!

The Godol Hador anounced his anonymous presence in Lakewood, Ihr Hakodesh. No way was I going to pass the oppertunity of getting a Brocha from the greatest Godol ever invented. So I e-nvited (invitation via email) the Godol to meet with me! The Godol expressed his concern that the Lakewood Kannoim might pelt him with the newly banned issue of the Jewish Observer, so we agreed to meet in a top secret location with no possiblity of any neighbors spying on us.

We had a pleasant meeting. We shmoozed a little, argued a little, and agreed on nothing. Well, I shouldn't say nothing. We agreed to disagree!! Just kidding. He happens to be a nice friendly guy. He even used to be Charedi. But Nebach, some skeptics "Drayed him ah Kupp".

I offered the Godol a tour of BMG. He politely declined as he expressed his interest in getting home in one piece.


In middle of one of the many topics we discussed, the Godol revealed to me his weakness! He can get easily persuaded by a good argument!

Therefore, I appeal to all my readers who comment on the Godol's blog not to give up hope!

If we can come up with a good enough argument, we might convince the Godol to become the "Uri Zohar" of Blogvelt!!

אל תתיאש! אפילו חרב חדה מונחת על צוארו של אדם אל ימנע עצמו מן הרחמים

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