Anything about JUDAISM
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yEsHiVa BaChUr 113 Posted - 07 September 2009 0:51
One of my younger siblings is having trouble with yiddishkeit. I am baruch hashem able to influence her with this and she has been coming back slowly but steadily. There is one issue which I have been having trouble approaching with her and I need some help getting the information required to resolve this. This is a multi-faceted problem so I will split the questions up as well as I can.
1. How do I explain to her the things which are brought down in Halacha as being dangerous, if there seems to be no apparent reason that this is dangerous.Some examples for this are having meat and fish together (see Yoreh De'ah Siman 116 Seif 2), drinking sweat (ibid. Seif 4), as well as others which I can't remember right now.
2) How do I explain the things brought down in halacha to cause forgetfulness, such as eating olives, walking between two women, walking under the smell of a carcass, and others (I can't supply the sources because I don't have with me the sefer which I saw them in, Siach Hasadeh from HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita -the third chelek has a kuntrus which lists all the things mentioned in Shas to cause forgetfullness). This question is more focused on the things which cause general forgetfulness, as opposed to forgetting ones learning, which I'm pretty sure can be explained by the fact that Torah is not remembered the same way that other things are remembered (BTW if you could supply me with a straight forward source for this idea -that torah is remembered differently- I'd appreciate it).
3) How do the subjects mentioned above work with the different minhagim we have regarding the extent of the prohibition, for instance in the first question I brought up eating meat and fish together, but I know that Sephardim hold that you are not allowed to eat milk and fish together. Does this mean that it is dangerous for a Sephardi but not for an Ashkenazi? Another example is the problem with eating olives. Some Poskim hold that the issur is only one eats it more frequently then once in 30 days, whereas some Poskim hold that it is ok to eat them in olive oil, because olive oil is good for your memory, and also other opinions in this. Does this mean that it is not forgetful for someone who holds one way and it is for somone else who holds a different way? You also fond this by walking between two women, that some Poskim hold that if someone is holding something at the time then it is ok, and others who hold it is ok if one of them is a ketana, etc.
I think I have covered all my bases with this but if I remember something else I will post it then.
taon Posted - 13 September 2009 14:34
This is spiritual reality type of information, which may be hard. How old is your sister, and how hashkafically knowledgeable?

May the Geulah have come before this post goes up.

questions? go here:

www.frumteens.com/forum.php?forum_id=65

yEsHiVa BaChUr 113 Posted - 16 September 2009 15:22
My sister is 13, and does not know very much Hashkafa. If there is a more simple answer, then I think that that would be more appropriate. However, if there is more to it then I would appreciate if you could give me some sources to check up on my own, because I would like to satisfy my own curiosity as well. By the way, I made a mistake on the previous post, it's actually the second chelek of Siach Hasadeh which lists the things that are kasheh leshichicha.
rachy18 Posted - 24 September 2009 15:35
The only thing I have an actual explanation for is your first question. I'm not sure if your sister will accept this answer, but the real truth is that secular medicine has not caught up to Torah knowledge. There are many many examples of halachos that keep Jews healthy. Just to list a few: 1) Jews, more than any other ethnic group, survived the Black Plague in Europe. In those days, the idea of contagion didn’t exist and no one washed anything ever. Because of halacha, Jews washed after the bathroom, before eating bread, every morning, etc. 2) Glatt kosher meat is the healthiest meat out there. A lot of the fat is cut out and it is also much less likely to be from a sick animal. 3) Not sure if she’s old enough to handle this example, but as a girl I found it interesting. Because of the halachos surrounding married life, Jewish girls are much, much, much less likely (like 90%) to develop cervical cancer. 4) For boys, milah makes them healthier and less likely to develop infections.

The other explanation, which she may not like as much, is that some things held true in the past, but are no longer applicable today. However, because of the concept of “Minhag yisroel din hu,” we still follow the guidelines from the past.

LchapesEmes Posted - 24 September 2009 15:35
There can be many answers to a question. I wrote what seemed right to me at this moment.

"1. How do I explain to her the things which are brought down in Halacha as being dangerous, if there seems to be no apparent reason that this is

dangerous.Some examples for this are having meat and fish together (see Yoreh De'ah Siman 116 Seif 2), drinking sweat (ibid. Seif 4), as well as others which

I can't remember right now."

"Dangerous" does not mean that it's like cyanide - we eat it and then we die. In fact, most foods talked about nowadays as being "dangerous" are ones that,

by the very fact that they *seem* so benign, are all the more dangerous. For example, high-fat, deep-fried foods, trans-fats, etc, that can lead to heart

disease. Excessive consumption of sugary foods, which can lead to diabetes, chemical food additives that have been discovered to be carcinogens, etc. Lo

aleinu. The dangerous components of these foods may build up over a period of time too slowly to notice their effects. Some of these things a layman will

understand on a very childish level without any additional research: like, I think the reason high cholesterol is bad is because plaque builds up inside

one's arteries and starts blocking blood flow, ch"v. But I'm not quite sure why certain eating habits cause a deficiency in insulin production, or exactly

how certain chemicals cause cells to start misreplicating, creating cancer l"a. I just accept that medical science tells me so.
Chazal were intimately familiar with all sorts of subtle physical (and spiritual!) components that can lead to diseases, perhaps painful or inconvenient

conditions such as poor eyesight and memory, and much more. All of this was revealed to them from the Torah and/or b'ruach kodshom, as the Chidushei haRamban

writes in bava basra (12?) yad'u ha-emes me-ruach ha-kodesh asher b'kirbam. I don't know what kind of chemicals, elements, or even more subtle components

interact between meat and fish, or what slow-acting poisons may be present in human sweat (although I do seem to remember that even science tells us that

sweat contains urea, the same waste product that's in urine - gross!). But since Chazal tell me that they are there and it is ro'ui to be misrachek from them

- sakanta chamura me-issura - I try my best!

"2) How do I explain the things brought down in halacha to cause forgetfulness, such as eating olives, walking between two women, walking under the smell of

a carcass, and others... This question is more focused on the things which cause general forgetfulness, as opposed to forgetting ones learning, which I'm

pretty sure can be explained by the fact that Torah is not remembered the same way that other things are remembered... "

Perhaps it does only cause shichcha for learning Torah. Or perhaps it causes general forgetfulness. Why should the causes of forgetfulness be based only in

physical causes? The entire world is run according to a spiritual system parallel to the physical one, as the Ramchal writes in Derech H'. Therefore, any

specific action that is rooted to a set of invisible spiritual cases-and-effects may have repercussions in this world, especially when discussing something

like memory, of which a major component is spiritual and not rooted in the physicality of the brain.

"3) How do the subjects mentioned above work with the different minhagim we have regarding the extent of the prohibition, for instance in the first question

I brought up eating meat and fish together, but I know that Sephardim hold that you are not allowed to eat milk and fish together. Does this mean that it is

dangerous for a Sephardi but not for an Ashkenazi? "

I think that there could be different levels of effect, like milk and fish has a very minor danger and therefore not being concerned about it will not hurt

us all that much. From an Ashkenazi point of view, there's no talmudic source for milk and fish and we chalk up that mechaber to a ta'us sofer. But even if

you hold shtark that it's a sakana, maybe we can say shomer pesa'im Hashem about this Ashkenazi minhag of not being careful - Hashem will protect Ashkenazim

since they made an honest mistake.

"Another example is the problem with eating olives. Some Poskim hold that the issur is only one eats it more frequently then once in 30 days, whereas some

Poskim hold that it is ok to eat them in olive oil, because olive oil is good for your memory, and also other opinions in this. Does this mean that it is not

forgetful for someone who holds one way and it is for somone else who holds a different way?"

Seems like, again, there could be different levels of forgetfulness, and some pasken that we are not mechuyav to avoid such a small chashash. I don't have a

complete answer to this, I'd be interested if anyone else has input.

" You also fond this by walking between two women, that some Poskim hold that if someone is holding something at the time then it is ok, and others who hold

it is ok if one of them is a ketana, etc."

I would advise looking up the sources of these psakim and seeing the svaros of the poskim themselves. That may lead to some more clarity in the matter.
Hatzlochoh rabboh!

taon Posted - 30 September 2009 19:20
I heard a shuir on this, I hope I am giving it over correctly. First, ask her a simple question. What is a computer screen made of, or a radio? She’ll a probably tell you (if she takes this question seriously) glass, plastic, wires, computer chips, etc. Then ask, but what about the picture on the screen? Or the sound on the radio? She didin’t list those, is she saying they don’t exist? If she goes along with this, she will say they do, sort of. The picture isn’t real, but you see it because of the tiny pixels on the screen, and the light rays traveling the air. You hear the radio because of invisible radio waves. And if you ask about molecules, or microbes, or electricity or whatever? They are all there, too. The screen or radio is all of those at the same time, even though you cant see them, and it is no contradiction. So, you say, if there can be what you see, and the individual parts, and electricity which is also information being transferred, and light, which includes many colors we can not see, and air particles, and microscopic things and particles, and radio waves and television signals and everything, as different levels of the same object or space, why can’t there be a spiritual level of reality as well? If she is up to it, show her or explain to her the post here www.frumteens.com/topic.php?topic_id=74 about the spiritual world and physical world in how they relate to each other. SO to answer those questions, just like something can affectm you even though you can’t see it, like x-rays, there is also a spiritual realm where you can be affected on another, different level. The real level. One mitzvah or aveira can affect the entire world on this level. It’s not so strange, lhavdil radioactivity does something similar. So too thse things you list, while on a physical level they may seem trivial, have a different meaning on a spiritual level. I don’t know the exact significances. And anything having to do with Torah, since it is on this level, is affected by other things in this realm. So Torah learning is different, sorry I can’t think of a source right now, and so the things that can make you forget are different, basede on that other reality. And the words we use are just words we can understand,. And another thing, our gedolim are given some level of control over where nthe spiritual and physical levels interwine. If Rosh Hashanah is said by beis Din to fall out on X, even if they are chas vesholom wrong, Hashem will do the judging on that day. Our priviledge. So when there is a machlokes, yes, it may be (I only heard this in one instance so it may not apply to everything) that it is only dangerous for those whose Rabbis said it was dangerous. But this is getting onto a whole new topic. This idea ay not be for everyone, but oither people posted ideas, so that should help.

May the Geulah have come before this post goes up.

questions? go here:

www.frumteens.com/forum.php?forum_id=65

taon Posted - 30 September 2009 19:20
Also, some thigns R' Mod said on Torah and science, if any of it helps

Re: The scientific knowledge of our sages.

Scientific facts in Chazal and rabbinic tradition can be divided into two categories:
(a) Scientific facts that are taken from the Torah itself, and
(b) Scientific facts that were known by Chazal based on their knowledge of science.

That scientific knowledge can be derived the Torah, there is no doubt. The Gemora in Bechoros 8a derives from a posuk in Bereishis the fact that a snake stays with its children longer than the rest of the animal kingdom. This is cited by the Ramban (Toras Hashem Temima p.159 in Chavel edition) as but one example of how Chazal knew facts of science from the pesukim in the Torah that describe Brias HaOlam. He cites more. Rabbeinu Bachyai writes in the Introduction to Chumash that all wisdom and science in existence is contained in Torah. Some scientific facts were known through rabbinic tradition. The Rashba cites a rabbinic tradition from Sinai that a treifah cannot live more than 12 months. (Rav Yonason Eyebushitz (kreisi Upleisi 40) writes that such traditions are not to be disregarded even if found to be against “all the laws of heaven and earth”, since they are part of Torah shebal peh.)

The most recent example of this is the Chazon Ish ZTL, who lived in our times, and had no secular education at all, yet showed much knowledge of math and astronomy, much of which can be seen in his teshuva on the international dateline.

To question a scientific fact that is derived from the Torah is to question the author’s understanding of the Torah, which, in the case of Chazal, cannot be done. The only question is, did Chazal derive all of the scientific facts they used from the Torah, and what do we do when we see a scientific fact in Chazal that contradicts current scientific knowledge?

The Rama in Toras HaOlah quotes the Rambam who says that in the days of Neviim and Chazal, the science of astronomy was “incomplete”. The Rama strongly argues, stating clearly that we assume rabbinic science to be infallible, and ancient rabbinic knowledge of astronomy complete.

The Maharal (B’er Hagola 6) writes that when the sages mentioned a scientific fact, they derived it from their knowledge of the Torah and Hashem, Who is the Cause of all science. He says that science is inferior to Torah even where it comes to scientific knowledge, because scientists base their opinions on what they see, which is a finite and imperfect method of investigation, as opposed to knowledge of science through Torah, which is the root and cause for all facts in the world.

The fact that science in Chazal was gathered from “higher sources” was used by Rav Yehuda Breil ZTL, Rebbi of the author of encyclopedia Pachad Yitzchok, to refute his student’s suggestion that we reconsider Chazal’s leniency of killing lice on Shabbos because lice are spontaneously generated. The Pachad Yitzchok (topic: “zaide”) suggested to his Rebbi that now that science has refuted the possibility of spontaneous generation, we should not be lenient in allowing the killing of lice on Shabbos.
But Rav Breil did not accept the suggestion. Stating an idea similar to that of the Maharal, that Chazal’s knowledge is based on the reality, not mere scientific observation, it is certain that the rabbinic science is more accurate than the science of the scientists, and even if currently it appears one way, the rabbinic view will eventually be proven correct. He mentions that in the disagreement between the sages and the scientists regarding whether the sun revolves around the earth or vice versa, the sages conceded to the scientists, but centuries later, it was proven that the Torah sages were right all along (Moderator’s note: See Shitah Mekubetzes that the sages never conceded that the gentiles were right; they merely “lost the argument”. They knew from tradition that they were right; they just could not defend the correct position).

There are others (Rav Dessler, if memory serves) who write that when the sages explain a Halachah based on a scientific fact (such as the heter to kill lice on shabbos), they do not mean to say that the Halachah depends on this fact. Rather, the Halachah is based on deeper, hidden reasons, and they merely “clothed” their reasoning in the scientific fact. They did not even mean to commit themselves to the truth of that fact per se. So if the fact is proven wrong, the halachah stays the same.

(I am fully aware of the statements in the Sefer Me’or Anayim of Rabbi Azariah min Ha’adumim where he states that secular scientific fact would outweigh the science of Chazal. Please note that the sefer Meor Aynayim is considered highly unreliable (see Sdei Chemed vol. 9 p.179), declared prohibited to read by many Gedolim (and even worthy of being burned); at the very least, not everything he says is considered true or authoritative. It is his statement that the Maharal (quoted above) came to refute.)


------

The Maharal (B’er Hagola 6) writes that when the sages mentioned a scientific fact, they derived it from their knowledge of the Torah and Hashem, Who is the Cause of all science. He says that science is inferior to Torah even where it comes to scientific knowledge, because scientists base their opinions on what they see, which is a finite and imperfect method of investigation, as opposed to knowledge of science through Torah, which is the root and cause for all facts in the world.

--------


From the Maharal (Ber Hagolah 6):

The Maharal is explaining why Chazal sometimes seem to contradict what science says:

Some people say that Chazal were not experts in the sciences. They say this because they see things stated by Chazal regarding causes of natural phenomenon that seeem unlikely to be true. But the truth is not as these people claim, because when Chazal spoke about natural causes they did not mean superficial, physically scientific causes - that is fitting for scientists or doctors, not for our sages. Our sages, on the other hand, when they spoke about the causes of nature, were referring not to causes that are natural but to what causes nature to act the way it does. And anyone who disagrees with this disagrees with our Emunah and our Torah ... the idea is this: When the Torah mentions a natural reason for something, that is the real reason, for every natural phenomenon there is a scientific cause, but for that scientific cause there is a spiritual cause – i.e. that cause of the cause – and that is what Chazal were referring to … when they discussed scientific matters, they did not mean to describe the surface-level cause, but rather the reason of the cause….there are people who misunderstand the words of Chazal who criticize them, saying that they did not know things that the non-Jewish scientists knew, but the truth is the very claim they make against [Chazal] applies to them, for they are far from the true science .. I will tell you a rule about the words of the sages: all their words are logical, and represent the true understanding of nature .. and even though some people will find this idea far-flung or doubtful as an explanation of what Chazal meant, but you should know that there is no doubt at in any manner whatsoever that this is what Chazal mean … for their words are correct and reliable, and only someone who does not understand them will have doubts … I have already explained that Chazal were nto discussing the physical aspects of things but rather their essence … the words of Chazal are with wisdom and logic and are not surface-level [physical] descriptions, but rather the words of our sages refer to the essence, and have no relation to the outer, material matter.


May the Geulah have come before this post goes up.

questions? go here:

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taon Posted - 13 October 2009 15:39
I found a topical index to Gemrah, here are some sources which, if i understood to index correctly, show that Torah is in it's own category in how it is learned and remebered.

Berachot 22a

Berachot 18b

Shabbat 147b

Berachot 5a

Pesachim 117a

Shabbat 83b

Eruvin 21b-22a

Eruvin 53a-55

Berachot 8a

Eruvin 65a imp

Makkot 10a

Moed Katan 16b

Succah 46a-b

Yevamot 109b

Chagigah 5b

Eruvin 65a

Eruvin 54b

Eruvin 64a Rashi s.v. Honah

Taanit 7a-b

Temurah 16a

Chagigah 3a

Shabbat 147b

Nedarim 22b

Nedarim 37b


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JewishAndProud! Posted - 11 January 2010 1:04
This may not answer your question...but, I just want to say you sound like such an amazing big brother :) :)


The user name says it all...

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