Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 23:54:28 EDT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Kenneth G Miller)
Subject: Re: Other Examples Like Tallith
To me, the only thing in common between kitniyos and tallis is that they
are both Jewish practices.
Kitniyos is a minhag. Like most or all minhagim (not to mention mitzvos
d'rabanan!!) it can be relaxed in cases of great need.
Tzitzis is a mitzvah d'oraisa. It seems to me that there is a general
mitzva of tzitzis as described in the Sh'ma. Tzitzis is also mentioned in
D'varim 22:12, and from what some people have told me, the use of the
word "c'sus'cha" refers to a more specific type of clothing than the
"bigdeihem" mentioned in the Sh'ma.
"C'sus", they say, means a covering, and that leads to the idea of "ituf"
(enwrapping) which is done only with a tallis gadol. In contrast, a
"beged" is any generic garment, such as a tallis katan.
Now, are Tallis Gadol and Tallis Katan two mitzvos d'oraisa, or one? If
one, then why are there two distinct brachos? And if they are two, then
why don't unmarrieds do it?
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Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 09:40:01 -0400
From: "Pechman, Abraham" <APechman@mwellp.com>
Subject: RE: Other Examples Like Tallith
> From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Tzitzis is a mitzvah d'oraisa. It seems to me that there is a general
> mitzva of tzitzis as described in the Sh'ma. Tzitzis is also
> mentioned in
> D'varim 22:12, and from what some people have told me, the use of the
> word "c'sus'cha" refers to a more specific type of clothing than the
> "bigdeihem" mentioned in the Sh'ma.
> "C'sus", they say, means a covering, and that leads to the
> idea of "ituf"
> (enwrapping) which is done only with a tallis gadol. In contrast, a
> "beged" is any generic garment, such as a tallis katan.
> Now, are Tallis Gadol and Tallis Katan two mitzvos d'oraisa,
> or one? If
> one, then why are there two distinct brachos? And if they are
> two, then
> why don't unmarrieds do it?
> *AKIVA* Miller
My limited understanding of the mitzva of tzitzis is that when one is
wearing a garment that has at least four corners, he must tie tzitzis to
four of those corners. The terms "beged" and "k'sus" help define exactly
what type of garment is required to have tzitzis (e.g. size of garment,
type of material, how it's worn, etc.). But there was never a
requirement to wear any specific type of garment.
Hence, if I decide to wear exclusively round clothing, I would never
have to wear tzitzis (likewise if all my clothing are triangles). I
believe this is stated explicitly by one of the ba'alei tosfos (I'll try
to dig up the reference if you're interested).
It has become the custom throughout all Judaism that a tallis koton is
worn in order to have the requirement to have tzitzis. In addition
(probably prior to this), it became the custom to wear a tallis for
davening. I believe this is where R. Handel's economic analysis came in,
to explain why the Western European Jews, who were generally rich, wore
a tallis for davening from the age of bar mitzva, whereas the Eastern
European Jews, who were generally poor, waited until marriage to do so.
Regarding the d'oraysa status of tzitzis, R. Zerachya Halevi in Menochos
indicates that t'cheyles is required to fulfil the biblical requirement
of tzitzis. Other rishonim argue. This was mentioned in passing under a
forwarded post of R. Ari Greenspan entitled "Resurrected thread."
As far as the brochos go, we'll leave that for another time. Suffice it
to say for now that if one is going to wear their tallis for davening
shacharis, the brocho on the tallis koton is omitted when donning it,
and the brocho on the tallis covers both the tallis and the tallis
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Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 16:53:11 -0400
Subject: Re: More on Tefilin:
>>>It would seem that if your not going to wear tefilin on chol hamoed
logic would dictate that you should also not do melacha as on yom tov<
I think I have heard in the name of R' Chaim that chol hamoed has a
kedushat Yom Tov with no issur melacha. In other words, the status of
"mikraei kodeh" as it relates to Y"T is not parallel with issurei melacha,
as you assume. The tefillin question can boils down to what is the
conflict with tefillin: issur melacha or kedushat Y"T. (However, I noticed
on Pesach a different explanation in the Brisker haggadah as to why R'
Chaim did not wear tefillin on Chol HaMoed, which I did not understand).
As the issue of wearing tefillin on chol hamoed is a debate in Rishonim,
but as far as I know no Rishon entertains the possibility of wearing
tefilin on Yom Tov, the relationship drawn by R' Hendell >>>If you don't
wear Tefillin on Yom tov don't wear them on CHMoayd If you do wear Tefillin
on Yom Tov do wear them on CHMoayd<<<would seem proven false. In general,
R' Hirsh's symbolism is derush. Hirsch explains halacha with it; he never
seeks new conclusions on its basis. The whole concept of "os" plays no
role in the technical discussion in the end of Eruvin of whether Shabbos
zman tefillin or lav zman tefillin and there is no reason to superimpose
the symbolism on the gemara to explain the sugya. R' Kook among others
rejected the whole notion of symbolism as a rationale for mitzvot; in the
kabbalistic/chassidic model the elements of a mitzva are intrinsically
needed for variuos "tikkunim" etc. I was perplexed by the citation of the
Rav by R'Hendell in the same posting as Hirsch; the Rav as he expresses
himself in Halachik Mind last section would also seem to oppose Hirschian
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Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 19:51:02 -0400
Subject: email@example.com (Al Silberman): Reply to Russel - Part 1
My preference is not to reply to Russel's comments because I don't think
that it serves any purpose. However, Russell implores me to respond.
I very deliberately limited my comments to Russel's original posting to a
very small portion of his post. I felt that the distortion that was
introduced (by omission) had to be pointed out. I left it at that. For
that, I am accused of
not having paid attention to his whole posting.
I will, therefore, repeat my contention that the distortion that was
introduced is the SOLE justification for his interpretation.
This masora appears on several of the words under discussion with
differences in wording. If one location is not clear then another should
be consulted in order to determine its intent. The masora presented by
Russel appears in Devarim and Yonah but in other places it is far
different and clarifying (?) .
1. Semantic vs syntactic
G: MESORAH BASICS--TWO POSSIBLE MESSAGES--SYNTACTIC OR SEMANTIC
I frequently encounter severe resistance to the mesorah. Its language
is ten fold more terse than Gmarrah or Rashi and to the novice it
The Mesorah of course tries to preserve the text by giving exhaustive
* It can list all OCCURRENCES or ALL VERSES (8 occurrences in 7 verses,
* It can list all SYNTACTIC occurences or all SEMANTIC occurences
* In syntactic mesorahs it may separate FULL/DEFICIENT spellings
* It lists all SIMILAR occurences with similarity occuring in either
WORDS, CANTILLATIONS, ACCENT SCHEMES, SENTENCE FORMS..
Thus the above mesorah (on BN) clearly lists VERSES (not occurrences), of
the SEMANTIC unit of BN (not the syntactic unit) and is indifferent to
spelling (actually associated mesorahs discuss spelling).
His contention is that this mesora deals with the SEMANTICs not
of the word (actually it is morphology that is the issue not syntax but I
will use Russel's terminology). That can only be true if the mesora does
not talk about spelling. As he points out, that (i.e. discussion about
spelling) is done only in syntactic mesorahs. Indeed Russel's quote of
masora has not an inkling that it is talking about spelling. However, a
look at the wording of the masora in Mishlei which Russell quotes in his
later post very clearly DOES talk about spelling. Contrast first quote:
"There are 7 occurences of BIN:(And all (Joshua) Bin Nun are similar)"
to amended quote:
"PRV 23:1: MK: NO OTHER (F1); and 7 words (F2)
PRV 23:1: MG: BIN--7 deficient (F3) words and their occurences are.."
Now we are talking about deficient versus non-deficient SPELLING a
2. Citation in Daniel
One of the citations which Russel gave from Daniel was:
" 7* OoViNaH Lo Bamareh (Daniel)--(Note: The verbal form of ViNaH)"
It was very clearly pointed out by Russel that this form of the word is
different from the others (Binah rather than Bin) to prove his point that
the masora is talking about semantics not syntactics. However, as I
out and as Russell admits in his later posting (although not admitting
this point of mine was also correct) the correct citation should be:
"* Dan 9:23 <spelled ByN>"
So now we only have - presumably - citations to words of the same form
(beis, nun pronounced bin - although with and without the vav ha-Chibbur)
contrary to Russel's first contention that we are dealing with semantic
forms only and which was justified only by his using an incorrect
3. Citation counting
Russel makes the point over and over that the masora only talks about 7
citations with the two occurrences in Yonah being counted as one. Indeed,
his first posting has:
"There are 7 occurences of BIN:(And all (Joshua) Bin Nun are similar)"
However, the Mishlei masora and as brought down in Russel's second
"PRV 23:1: MK: NO OTHER (F1); and 7 words (F2)"
Thus, the masora actually has a count of eight NOT seven with the two in
Yonah counted separately. It is clear from this masora that Mishlei 23:1
NOT one of the seven. With the Mishlei masora clarifying the count it
becomes obvious that the masora is talking about spelling not semantics.
Russel in his later post incorrectly quotes the words of
the Minchas Shai and tries to prove the same point, namely, that the two
Yonah are counted as one.
"MinChath SHAI: PRV 23:1: The above mesorah has much confusion.
And I found a mesorah
BIN--3 deficient (F5) and one full(F5)
* Dt 25:2
* Prv 30:1
* Prv 23:1
* Jon 4:10
And ALL BIN NUN (F7) are like them"
Thus, it seems that the two in Yonah are being counted as one. However,
what Minchas Shai does say is very different:
"There are three BIN - two deficient and one full and the citations are:
1. Devorim 25:2 (deficient)
2. Mishlei 30:1 (deficient)
3. Mishlei 23:1 (full)
Then there is one She-bin lailah hayah and [one - not in Minchas Shai]
And All bin nun is similar"
The reason for the break up into two parts in this version is that the
three listed first are PURE beis, (yud), nun while the other two have an
4. Criticism of the MG by the Minchas Shai
"As Moshe noted the Minchat Shai ATTEMPTS to rectify this"
I never wrote that the Minchas Shai attempts to rectify this. What I wrote
is: "The Minchas Shai (in Mishlei 14:9) writes that the version of the
Mikraos Gedolos is not found in any manuscript that he has seen." The
Minchas Shai is not trying to correct a corrupt version that he has
seen in manuscripts which is the impression which Russel is trying
to convey. He says that NO manuscript that he has seen has anything
resembling the masora of the MG. A totally different statement.
Indeed, the Leningrad codex has no masora at all on any of the words bin.
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