[Avodah] A Time When We Ought Not Learn Torah?

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Sun Jan 6 18:42:19 PST 2013

On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 03:41:02AM +1100, Meir Rabi wrote:
: Even if we tolerate others making these additions to the Mezuzah, we are
: making a terrible concession that erodes the core of Yiddishkeit...

: The RaMBaM did not win his fight, he was forced to concede, to at least
: allow their perversion to the outside of the Mezuzah...

I'm not sure who the "we" are in the first half of your quote, since you
admit that the Rambam lost. The mesorah moved on. Qabbalah was allowed
to have its influence on the mezuzah -- as long as we kept it clear
where the mitzvah ended and other things continued.

And then it becomes questionable whether one can use the word "perversion"
to describe the minhag of the vast majority of Benei Yisrael. It raises
real questions of perishah min hatzibur.

:                                                       And today, a Mezuzah
: without these kabbalistic inscriptions would probably be deemed to be
: Passul. Not just, "make sure it is there to continue tradition" but Passul.

This is just accusing people for something you imagine they would do.
I simply don't accept that the objection would be beyond that of breaking
from minhag Yisrael.

: This harks to my earlier discussion regarding the Maharal's forthright
: condemnation of those who are destroying the world because they Pasken
: without understanding the reasoning and without troubling to analyse the
: Halacha...

Which I still say you don't understand as intended, because you do not
link it to the rest of his rhetoric in his battle against the Shulchan
Arukh. Vehara'ayah -- you would have him justify an ignorant balebas to
open the gemara and decide on his own, rather than listen to a poseiq who
knows the trends of the following 1400 years of pesaq. And arguing against
the Behag, the Rif, the Rambam, the Tur, the SA, the Rama, and every other

When instead he limits his comments to specific abuse of codes. Look
at the top of the 2nd column on Nesiv haTorah pereq 16, pg 69
<http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14202&pgnum=72>. "Ve'ilu
yad'u hamechaberim" -- the problem isn't with what the mechaberim
set out to do; but had they known their works would be used in a way
other than intended...

: And violation of this Biblical command is justified because we are feeding
: the SitraAchra? As though HKBH is incapable of ensuring that when we follow
: His commandments no evil should eventuate from our loyalty?

I don't have a problem with avoiding learning on nitl nacht. People need
downtime anyway. It's not like minhag is being set by those yechidei
segulah who learn every free minute. (And I bet they violated the minhag
anyway, citing their inability to stay away.)

Besides, LAD, if they didn't need to empty out the batei medrash and keep
people home that night for safety reasons, I doubt the minhag would have
gotten very far.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             I have great faith in optimism as a philosophy,
micha at aishdas.org        if only because it offers us the opportunity of
http://www.aishdas.org   self-fulfilling prophecy.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                              - Arthur C. Clarke

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