Re: Riddles (was: Lateral Thinking)

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Mon Jan 01 2001 - 23:35:11 MST

At 01:10 AM 2/01/01 -0500, Eliezer wrote:

>If you're really, really strict, you can consider
>the complete riddle-and-answer pair to be a Henkin Riddle.

I prefer to think of it by reference to another Henkin, in the interesting
argument advanced by Aliza Berger, who noted his Gordian knot-cutting

`I could carry around with me the responsum in the book "Bne Banim" by
Rabbi Henkin, which says that
if only a few women are present, a mechitza isn't required. By the same
token, a man entering the women's section once in a while is all right. But
I'd rather leave the room for many women to come -- by which time
we'd need a mechitza. Also, I'd rather not make a scene. I just want to

Me too, sort of.

One is reminded, after all, of Chaya Ochs's conundrum, here paraphrased by
Akiva Miller:

1) A person who has absolutely no money does not have to sell his
possessions to get money for Shabbos candles.

2) Even such a person must sell the shirt off his back to buy a single
Chanuka candle, which is the minimum with which to do the mitzva.

3) A person who has only one candle on Erev Shabbos Chanuka must use it for
the mitzva of Shabbos candles, not the mitzva of Chanuka candles.

4) It turns out that he sold his shirt to buy a Shabbos candle, which he
originally was not required to do. Was this required or not?

These are deep issues we venture upon, not quite paradoxes, more indices of
the power of the intelligent human mind to tangle itself up to no useful
purpose. But enough of candles and shirts and interpenetration of loci,
pray unpack that alleged boxed meta-riddle so all may understand.

Damien Broderick

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