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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Sun, 7 May 2000 21:57:53 -0400 (EDT) Subject: RE: Obligatory vs Pious-Voluntary acts--What is the difference Roger Kingsley in Volume 32 Number 17 makes some excellent comments about my attempt to introduce the concept OBLIGATORY VS VOLUNTARY/PIOUS into the discussion about going to Israel. However Roger refuted my examples not my logic. Let me briefly summarize the argument, indicate Rogers point and give new examples. Some people had argued that it was OBLIGATORY TO GO TO ISRAEL by citing sources to that effect. But many postings argued that SINCE it was good to go to Israel and it had many benefits (eg increased atmosphere and mitzvah performance) THEREFORE it was OBLIGATORY. I countered by suggesting that the BENEFITS of going to Israel don't justify it being classified as OBLIGATORY--rather perhaps it only justifys classifying going to Israel as being a PIOUS/VOLUNTARY act. I then (erroneously) tried to show that BENEFITS of an act can imply its PIOUS BUT VOLUNTARY nature by citing acts that are QUANTITATIVE in nature-- eg it is GOOD to study Torah all day, to give alot to charity, to visit sick all day, to work for ones synagogue etc...but none of these acts are OBLIGATORY. Roger correctly pointed out that I was incorrectly generalizing from examples that were QUANTITATIVE in nature. So I now restate my argument by bringing in examples of PIOUS BUT VOLUNTARY that are QUALATATIVE (eg a) Rambam Monetary Torts 13:22 Pious people use to burn their broken glass or bury them 9 inches so they shouldn't accidentally damage people; b)it is PIOUS VOLUNTARY to return a lost article (with a name on it) that was lost in a non jewish sector (it is not obligatory because the owner gave up hope of finding it (Robbery/Theft 11:7); c) It is PIOUS VOLUNTARY if someone put his objects on my property (without my permission) to sell the objects and hire a place to keep them till this person comes Hire 8:7). I could go on---I think the crucial issue here is many acts have benefits-- some of them are OBLIGATORY and some of them are VOLUNTARY/PIOUS. Why? Is the answer because 'they go beyond what is strictly required'? But then 'increasing atmosphere' or 'increasing my capacity to do Mitzvoth' which are the major benefits of going to Israel should also be so classified. Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA; RHendel@Towson.Edu Moderator Rashi is SImple http://www.shamash.org/rashi/