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Ore and let davven.™

Mail: lippomano@gmail.com

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Party line

I'm not going to drop by Gil's blog anymore for the time being.

There was a post about tzitzes, starting

Although wearing a Tallit Katan is always a commendable act, it is not always clear however whether doing so is a mitzva on a Torah level or rather a rabbinic one.

In the comments, I asked:

How about "Although wearing a Tallit Katan is quite a universal custom and thus a commmendable act in most situations, it is always clear that doing so is not a mitzva at all, neither on a Torah level nor even a rabbinic one"?
Lipman |

The author wittily replied:


I'm not sure what you're getting at, unless of course, you're a Karaite.

Ari Enkin |

[some other issues, then:]

[…] I thought there was no mitzve to wear such a garment. We're simply in a position to artificially create the opportunity to fulfil the mitzve of tzitzes in an easy way (disregrading tcheiles etc.), as opposed to heshoves gezeile, for instance.
Lipman |

R' Ari,

I would appreciate if you would edit the post with that info. Not everyone reads comments. Thank you.
opinion |

Not every mitzvah is a chiyuv. There is also such a thing as a kiyyum of a mitzvah. Colloquial speech calls most a chiyuv and a kiyyum a mitzvah


It is difficult for me to understand how one who lives in chu"l can be so concerned for the notions suggested in the last paragraph - even if mitzvat yishuv haaretz is a mitzvah kiyumit (which is a minority opion - most hold it is chiyuvit) - when the same statements are applied by chazal to mitzvat yishuv haaretz.
Ben Bayit |

[discussion about if it's easy to move to Israel, Ben Bayit saying it is, and even if it wasn't, you'd have to anyway]


I misunderstood mitzva in the narrow sense, as in, say, a mitzva on a Torah level or rather a rabbinic one. Of course, you can use it in many other ways, up to "Can you do me a mitzve". Anyway, let's not fight about words when we agree about concepts.

Ben Bayit,

opening that can of worms… AFAIK, yishuv hooretz is a mitzve only according to a minority opinion, pretty much limited to the Ramban.
Lipman |

AFAIK only a minority pf poskim regard mitzvat yishuv haaretz as a mitzvah kiyumit and not chuyuvit (similar to tzitzis) and a majority of poskim hold that it is a mitzvah, period.
Ben Bayit |

[more strong statements, trying to establish facts retroactively]

opening that can of worms… AFAIK, yishuv hooretz is a mitzve only according to a minority opinion, pretty much limited to the Ramban.

Oh man, I do not need this discussion today! :)

But, in the interest of putting it out here:

The vast majority of opinions of the rishonim and acharonim hold like the Ramban in M"A hashmata 4, where he writes it is a mitzvah to live in Israel at all times, for all Jews. This includes most rishonim you could mention (I don't have time to list them, but I can if anyone needs).

The Megilas Ester and R Chaim in Tosafos (although there are many achronim who say this was a talmid to'eh, and not really a part of tosfos) are the minority who say that today there is either no mitzvah to live in Israel, until Mashiach comes, or alternatively, that the dangers (maaser, etc) outwiegh the mitzvah.

Rav Moshe Feinstein says clearly that we pasken like the Ramban. However, he adds (without sourcing) that it is a mitzvah kiyumit, like wearing tzitzis. This is very hard, since the Ramban himself uses the word "chiyuv" numerous times in his piece. (I asked Rav Shachter about this and he said that it is a very hard question to answer. I suggested perhaps R Moshe was being melamed zechus, but RHS did not like that as an answer.)

There are many many acharonim who argue on Rav Moshe, including the Tzitz Eliezer (in a very well documented 10 page teshuva), where he shows that it is a chiyuv.

Many acharonim reject the very notion of a mitzvah kiyumit, and explain that it doesn't exist in the mitzvah of living in EY or in tzitzis (I can explain more if needed).

In summary: the majority hold it is a mitzvah chiyuvis. Rav Moshe held it is a mitzvah kiyumis. The megilas ester and R Chaim (and the satmar Rov amongst the acharonim(IIRC the only acharon to seriously pasken like the miut against the vast majority)) are in the minority to say there is no mitzvah today.
mevaseretzion |


Where did Rambam live? Could it have been Egypt where one is not supposed to go back to?
opinion |

I am not sure what the Rambam has to do with the Ramban's opinion.

However, there are many acharonim who explain that the Rambam himself agreed that it's a mitzva and explain why he didn't count it in the 613.

Be that as it may, the Rambam signed his letters with the sentence, 'Rav Moshe ben Maimon, who sins thrice by living in Egypt' or something to that effect, ie he was 'oness' living in Egypt.
mevaseretzion |

Of course, the Rambam's opinion vis a vis Israel is complex, and there is much discussion concerning it.

I can give you mareh mekomos if you like, opinion.
mevaseretzion |


That's an urban legend. Rambam signed his letters "Moshe be-ribbi Maimon," and that's it.
Anonymous |

There is alot of distortion in the above posting re Mitzvat Yishuv HaAretz.

RMF is far from alone in his approach. See:
Maharitatz 1:85
HaElef L'cha Shlomo 118
Rashbash Simman 3 - ראוי להשתדל בעלייתה
Moadim UZmanim 5:346
Tzitz Eliezer 14:72:(7) quoting R' Shmuel Salant
Preface to Toras Zeraim.
Moshe |

Thanks for the extra sources, Moshe. I should not have made it sound like RMF was singular.


But what is "alot" of distortion?
mevaseretzion |

That's an urban legend. Rambam signed his letters "Moshe be-ribbi Maimon," and that's it.

Could be. I didn't research it at all. However, the fact that the Rambam lived in Egypt is no proof for his rejection of the rule not to live in Egypt or to live in EY.
mevaseretzion |


Anonymous-I think that it is very well known and hardly "urban fiction" that the Rambam signed his letters in that manner and that it is undeniable that

Rambam included many halachos that can only be fullfilled in EY in the Yad, as opposed to the more general mitzvah of Yishuv EY simply because one of the Rambam's Shoreshim in the Sefer Hamitzvos, which RYBS viewed as an introduction to the Yad, is that mitzvos of a generalized nature, even if they are permanent in nature, are not counted in the calculation of 613 mitzvos.
Steve Brizel |


Sorry Steve. It is absolutely an urban legend, ie, it isn't true.

That it's "very well known" only makes it an urban legend--because it's not true. We have letters in the Rambam's own hand, and that is simply not how he signed them.
Anonymous |

Anonymous-which edition of the Rambam's letters? Proof please?
Steve Brizel |


Not edition. The actual letters, written by him. All of them.
Anonymous |


I did a bit of research and it seems it is an urban legend.

Not that it changes anything about my original point.

mevaseretzion |

I'm afraid this speaks volumes. Anyway, about at that point, I posted this comment:

I don't understand why people always try to defend their nationalism and sometimes even hateful racism (not referring to the commenters above!) with Jewish sources. Maybe from a bad conscience, consciously or unconsciously, at least in the first generation. The next ones already grow up with it.

It's Herder and Fichte, just as with 19th-century Germans and today's Kosovars, it's American post-melting pot emptiness, it's the unpleasant side effect of trying to establish a place where we Jews aren't killed. Did I mention Herder and Fichte?

I think these were the exact words, but I'm not sure, because when I checked in later, my comment had been killed by the blog administrator(s). No mail to me, nothing, just deleted.

Toodles, then.

(Bli neider, I'll write about something more cheerful during the next days.)


Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

I don't quite understand your last comment, since i don't know anything about Herder and Fichte. Do you think the editors did? Or maybe they deleted it because they didn't know what you were talking about.

I'm just happy to see a particular person in that stream's misinformation and bad attitude get slapped down. But that's probably not a good מידה to embrace... :-P

Friday, February 22, 2008 8:49:00 AM  
Blogger Phillip Minden said...

It's a good midde of you not to name that person! (No, I don't know, and I'm not asking you.)

I specifically said "19th century Germans" in order to make clear I'm not making any Nazi comparisons here.

Herder in short.

Friday, February 22, 2008 9:08:00 AM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

Just off the top, living in the land is considered a mitzvah - by the public, if not necessarily by the sources. But that is almost certainly a later development, and it is clear that in the real world it is very much a mitzvah kiyumis. I have seen it mentioned as such and compared with tzitzis in a number of places. That there are those who do not fulfill the mitzvah establishes that it is not a normative practise (irregardless of ideals); were it otherwise, those mi chutslarets would be on thin ice at best visavis their Yiddishkeit. No?


Regarding "a place where we Jews aren't killed", that reminds me of a common statement in my business: "all customers pay well - untill they stop".


When blog admins start nixing comments other than the usual advertising lures, it deadens discourse. I do not visit such blogs very much (even if I did not contribute to the discussion). Not that it is any skin of Gil's back, but I doubt that I'll have much call to go to that blog.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 1:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe this...are you saying that Hirhurim deleted your comment because the names Herder and Fichte(an anti-Semite) appeared in it as models for today's Zionist rhetoric or because you implied some Ziionists are hateful racists.

Except for few people like Ben Bayit most everyone commenting lives in America. What do you believe the censor saw in your comment that required it to be deleted?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 9:22:00 AM  
Blogger Phillip Minden said...

I have no idea why it was deleted -I still got no reaction from Gil or others.

I can't imagine Fichte's opinion of Jews was or is known to them. Maybe the mere claim that Zionism isn't built exclusively on Tôre miSinai is too blasphemic.

Monday, April 07, 2008 4:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Tucker C said...

Great blog, I enjoyed reading it

Sunday, July 10, 2022 10:10:00 PM  

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