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The Systems of the Jewish Year

"I Have to Eat How Much Maror?! and other Pesach Shiurim" - Comments

1 Elisha on 2009 04 02

In my humble opinion it is better not to drink intoxicating wine at the seder.  Intoxication is the very worst state a human being can descend to; because he has lost the ability to think.  The only differnce between an animal and man is the ability to think, ipso facto a drunk is no better than an animal.  For this reason Miamonides states that a party where there is drunkeness is worse than a part with nudity.  Rosh also cautions against drunkeness in his Orchos Chaim.  The Bible already castigates drunkness, e.g. Noach.  Yerushalmi discusses the possibilty one may get drunk at the seder; it therefore seems it would be better to drink grape juice

2 Sunnysider on 2009 04 02

Rabbi Haber, I wonder could you discuss Bircas Hachamah. It’s a mitzva that comesonly every 28 years, and I’m so excited. Do you think you could tell us how to do it right?

3 Alex on 2009 04 02

Elisha, are you suggesting that the Rambam used grape juice at his Seder?

That being said. It is a fact that Rav Shach would put out grape Juice (contrary to the opinion of Reb Moshe).

The Avnei Nezer writes that Pesach is a continuation of Purim and that the wine is a pice of that continuation. Of course, everything has a good side and a bad side.

4 shalom on 2009 04 06

you tire me.I somtimes wonder if your last name is ben avuyah. you constantly write the strangest things in an atempt to mock tradition.

5 Passaicer on 2009 04 07

Your recent post to the effect that Elisha hovers between a Traditionalist and a Maskil brought to mind a book I am currently reading.  Bruria David’s PhD dissertation on Tzvi Hersh Chajes (available online).  But I don’t find her arguments that Chajes was a Maskil very powerful; to me it seems he was pretty squarely in the orthodox camp.  Probably Elisha is also very much like the Mahartitz Chiyos, he certainly seems to have a broad command of the Torah literature.  One interesting aspect of David’s dissertation is her refreshing ability to be scholarly and yet dogmatically orthodox and anti-Haskala, something rare in scholarly writing, even among the modern orthodox.

6 Maskil on 2009 04 12

The cause for your confusion and critcism of Dr. David is a simple misunderstanding of the term Maskil as she uses it.  In her dissertation she reffers to Maskilim who were engaged in “Academic Talmud” not reformers.  In that sense Chajes was between the Traditionalists and Maskilim; although he was not a full Maskil, as she herself concedes.  But she certainely did not mean to inply R. Chajes was a radical reformer.

7 Elisha on 2009 04 12

Rabbi Holzer in his new book “The Rav Thinking Aloud” quotes R. Soloveitchik as having said that the Patriarchs all worked, therefore unless you are holier than they were you must work. (p. 128)

8 elisha on 2009 04 14

I have been reading a truly brilliant book over bein hazmanim.  (Quite possibly the most brilliant book I have ever read.) It’s called Makbilot Nifgashot by R. Amnon Bezak, on sefer Shmuel. It traces the parelels found in Tanach.  It has opened up new vistas of thinking for me.  The theory of the book is brilliant yet quiet novel.  I strongly suggest it for everyone especially yeshiva boys whose knowledge of Tanach may be lacking.  R. Bezak is a true Tzaddik and scholar, and teaches at Yeshivat Har Etzion (R. Aharon Lichtenstein’s yeshiva)

9 Elisha on 2009 04 17

Over Yom Tov I read an article I truly enjoyed.  It was in Torah Umadda Journal vol. 9 by Mark Steiner.  Prof. Steiner discusses his theory that R. ISrael Salanter was not only a Musarite, but also a profound and original philosopher who dealt with many of the vexing questions of Philosophy in a deep and original way.  His proofs are not very comprehensive, but the theory of the article is very clever.  R. Israel would never have identified himself as a philosopher, but put in the framework of philiophical debate we can gain a greater appreciation for R. Israel’s words.

10 Simche Wecker on 2015 03 14

Marror- Acoording to the Netziv it is preferable to use Romain Lettuce on the Seder Night
The question that arises is it preferable to use Bitter Romain lettuce (Hazon Ish) or sweet?
Horseradish according to the Netziv in a letter to his son Rabbenu Haim was used because in Poland it was hard to grow

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