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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 22:56:10 -0400 (EDT) Subject: RE: Using Law to suggest reasonableness vs Proof Carl in Mail Jewish Volume 32 Number 32 cites a posting of mine in which I cite Rambam, Laws of Gifts to the Poor to the effect that "part of the definition of charity is that a poor person MUST be given gifts in accordance with his former life style" I then go on to extrapolate to living in Israel--I suggest that if a person had a "luxurious life style" in America it would be morally wrong to ask him to have a lower one in Israel and I cite the above Rambam as a proof. I conclude that "going to Israel" is "an act of Piety" but not obligatory Carl then carefully cites the Rambam (too long) and points out that the above Rambam only applies when the person FIRST became poor. Since 'rich Americans' going to Israel do not become poor it follows that my argument does not follow. In other words Carl is claiming "All you can do is prove that halachah recognizes the extreme difficulty of transiting from a 'rich style' to a 'poor style' PROVIDED THE PERSON ACTUALLY BECAME POOR...you cannot prove it in your case where the person probably remains middle class" However the disagreement between me and Carl is NOT on whether a "rich American" would reach the poverty level. The difference between us is not even on whether I have proven my point. The difference between us is on whether I have a right to EXTRAPOLATE a law to make an argument of REASONABLENESS. Let me recap my argument and state the difference between Carl and myself. I am stating that "GOING TO ISRAEL" is not an obligation but rather "an act of piety". To support my opinion I show that IN THE CASE OF POVERTY, halachah recognizes the great emotional difficulty in transiting from a "rich life style" to a "lower life style". I then argue that it is REASONABLE to extend this concept to going to Israel--I apply this argument of reasonableness to conclude that it is not obligatory but an act of piety. I don't believe Carl has answered me. If the difficulty of transiting to a lower life style exists for the poor why is it not reasonable to apply this concept to the middle class--why is the burden of proof ON ME--doesn't Carl have a burden of proof to answer a rich American who does not feel obligated to go to Israel. I think there is some symmetry here. I hope this clarifies my position Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel@Towson.Edu; Math Towson Moderator Rashi is Simple http://www.shamash.org/rashi/