Avodah Mailing List
Volume 02 : Number 173
Thursday, February 25 1999
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 09:54:51 -0500
From: "Daniel B. Schwartz" <schwartzesq@WORLDNET.ATT.NET>
Subject: Re: reverse aguna syndrome
I find this phenomenno distinctly un-Jewish. Did Avraham Avinu, for example
tell Eliezver to check for assets and eybige kest when looking for a
shidduch for Yitzchak? The test used was to find those qualities that make
for a good wife; not a fat bank-roll.
From: Harry Maryles <C-Maryles@neiu.edu>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: Tuesday, February 23, 1999 9:46 PM
Subject: Re: reverse aguna syndrome
>Newman,Saul Z wrote:
>> the jewish press had an article last week on the reverse aguna, defined
>> follows: in the communities where bais yakov girls are looking for
>> 'learning guys', the current going rate is five free-and-clear years of
>> support, plus the wedding financed by the girl's side exclusively. the
>> kalla maidel's fate is thus tied to the ~$150000 this encumbers. many
>> girls with great spiritual/physical midot [ the latter apparantly is an
>> issue as well- we hear in our town of bochrim who want to know the dress
>> size before they consider the shidduch [and usually refuse if it's
>> than 6]] are thus in trouble before the game starts. I'd heard rumours of
>> melamdim being asked to cough up that kind of gelt, but didn't really
>> believe it. From around the country, do you all think this is a bube
>> mase, only a boro park phenomenon, or wide spread?
>I don't recall if I posted this before but...
>A friend of mine from my elementary school days who is a Mechanech in a
>large metroplitan area told me his horror story. His daughter started
>going out with someone recommended through a reputable shadchan. After
>about the fifth or sixth date, when things were getting pretty serious,
>My friend received a call from the shadchan with an ultimatum: Cough up
>at least two years of support to the tune of $50,000.00 (or some such
>ridiculous figure to a man in chinuch) per annum or forget the whole
>thing! Needlless to say both he and even more so, his daughter were
>devestated. The daughter was "falling in love" with this "wonderful"
>budding Talmud Chacham and cried out to her father. Well, it was
>obvious that it was too late in the game to back out. So, he called the
>Shadchan back and negotiated a support figure for his futre son in law
>that he could afford... sort of. He had to cash in his pension plan
>(basically his life savings/security for his retirement) so that the
>shidach for his daughter could come to fruition.
>That was his oldest daughter. He has many children.
>There are many such stories.
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Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 11:48:42 EST
Subject: Re: criticism
>>>What exactly is the value of modern literary analysis... This is
comparable to spending time studying literary analyisis of Tanach or
archeological theories which contradict Tanach.<<<
You are right in the fact that if you use critical methods (literary or
other)to undermine that which we accept through emunah, it is of no value, and
borders on issurim (R' Ahron Soloveitchik in his Torah Umada address dealt
with this point). However, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater! There
is much to literary criticism that can help you better appreciate what you
learn by focussing on new methods of analysing and reading text; it will
enhance your learning, not challenge your bitachon.
>>>Which gets me to the 420 years issue. I don't know so much about the
particulars, but why shouldn't I ttrust Chazal just becaiuse They are
A few nights ago my wife was speaking to a friend who dated someone who did
not believe in dinosaurs bec. it was against his emunah. I don't want to deal
with the particulars, but to point out the parallel reasoning: Chazal said so
therefore it is...be it history, be it science. I am uncomfortable with
divorcing myself religiously in such a way from reality. Either accept Chazal
as accurate and provide some explanation within the framework of
science/history that would account for the evidence, or accept the counter
evidence and learn a different pshat in the gemara (if possible) - but don't
gloss over the issue.
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Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 12:58:54 -0600 (CST)
From: Cheryl Maryles <C-Maryles@neiu.edu>
Subject: Re: criticism
On Wed, 24 Feb 1999 C1A1Brown@aol.com wrote:
> >>>What exactly is the value of modern literary analysis... This is
> comparable to spending time studying literary analyisis of Tanach or
> archeological theories which contradict Tanach.<<<
> You are right in the fact that if you use critical methods (literary or
> other)to undermine that which we accept through emunah, it is of no value, and
> borders on issurim (R' Ahron Soloveitchik in his Torah Umada address dealt
> with this point). However, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater! There
> is much to literary criticism that can help you better appreciate what you
> learn by focussing on new methods of analysing and reading text; it will
> enhance your learning, not challenge your bitachon.
I believe that we can learn the proper ways of literary criticism through
the medrash, Rishonim and achronim--I believe that chazal, Rashi, Ramban,
malbim etc, we the biggest and greatest literary critiques of all time and
they had one other maaleh---they feared G-d. I don't think we disagree on
> >>>Which gets me to the 420 years issue. I don't know so much about the
> particulars, but why shouldn't I ttrust Chazal just becaiuse They are
> A few nights ago my wife was speaking to a friend who dated someone who did
> not believe in dinosaurs bec. it was against his emunah. V I don't want
> with the particulars, but to point out the parallel reasoning: Chazal said so
> therefore it is...be it history, be it science. I am uncomfortable with
> divorcing myself religiously in such a way from reality. Either accept Chazal
> as accurate and provide some explanation within the framework of
> science/history that would account for the evidence, or accept the counter
> evidence and learn a different pshat in the gemara (if possible) - but don't
> gloss over the issue.
In fact the existence of dinosaurs doesn't contradict Chazal, it actually
supports Chazal. (see Aryeh Kaplans "ressurection, immortality and the age
of the universe) I'm sure you're familiar with the Tifferes Yisroel which
talks about Dinosaurs. In this sense you're right. People who believe in
Chazal must know what chazal really says, which is often difficult because
Chazal say a lot. As far as divorcing yourself from reality, I think we
just need to approach other peoples evidence with the realization that it
is very easy to misrepresent facts. Most of the evidence we read
about---is being provided through someone's bias. I have studied a little
Archeology and quickly came to the conclusion that a major number of
proofs are from conjecture and thory. I agree that we can try to
understand Chazal in light of historical or scientific discovery, but we
must remember that the information provided by Chazal is more trust worthy
then info presented by a non G-d fearing person. In fact Aryeh Kaplan
proves in a number of books how the latest scientific developments
including BIG BAng, age of the universe, even certain aspects of evolution
are in complete agreement with Chazal. One just needs to know how to learn
those Chazal's. In this sense I do agree with you
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Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 14:01:02 EST
Subject: Re: canonization; kitvei kodesh
In a message dated 2/23/99 7:36:10 PM EST, C1A1Brown@aol.com writes:
> >>>in the Megillah there is mention of Mitzvohs of purim <<<
> If I understood you correctly the problem is in being mechadesh mitzvos of
> purim. I understood the debate of the sugya as revolving specifically
> the Megilla as one of the kitvei kodesh, not the mitzvas hayom. Hence my
> problem - if canonizing a text is a problem of a navi being mechadesh, so
> all of Nach!?
My point/s is that:
1) it is a combination of the two, adding it to the cannon would imply that
this is a work of Nvuoh/Ruach Hakodesh (see Rambam beginning of Hil. Megilah),
hence any Mitzvah mentioned in it (and especially the reading of the text
itself) Ubfrat saying "Lo Yosuf Mizarom" would cause contradiction to "Ein
Novee Rashoee...", otherwise it would be a Takonaas Beis Din (Makkos 23b).
2) The text itself maybe at question according to the Rambam at the end of
Hil. Megilah that all others with the exception of Megilas Esther are Bottul,
hence this would be a violation of Novee Michadeish at it is no more a Horoas
Sho'oh (that explains the Hemshech in the Yerushalmi).
> On another note: pashut pshat in the gemara (10)is that there is an issur
> writing kitvei kodesh in other languages, until Chazal were matir yevanis.
> No makor is given for the potential issur, or for the matir
Perhaps it is self understood from "Lokoach Es Sefer Hatoroh Hazeh", also it
would be giving credibility to those nations akin to Rashi beginning of
Mishpotim, but I would venture that a Sefer Torah written in a different
language when being read from would violate "Dvorim Shebiksav Ee Ato Radshoee
L'omrom Baal Peh" since this is not a true Ksav Hatorah.
> Also, interestingly, the gemera cites Tanaim that Meg. Esther is unique in
> that it must be written only b'ktav ashurit. Perhaps Esther is different
> than all other sefarim in that the tzuras haketiva is b'geder pirsumei nisa
> k'chtavam uk'zmanam - the writing itself serves as a zecher to the nes.
To add see Gitin 80a Malchus Sheinoh Hogenes has no Ksav Vloshon, hence when
the Jewish nation was saved from anihilation (R"L) we emphisise it in Ksovom
U'Lshonom from the Jews and in the Ksav the Shuri = nicest that they have.
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Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 14:12:51 -0500
Subject: Timing of Purim Se'udo
Tangential to the thread of zmanin...
How did the minhog come about of eating the Purim Se'udo towards the end of the
day? When researching Purim b'erev Shabbos, it seemed clear that any time after
Chatzos was good, and zrizim makdimim would imply the sooner the better. yet In
yeshivos we always began the Se'udo within about an hour before sunset.
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Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 14:39:41 -0500
RYGB: <<I am skeptical about this, as we mostly do adopt the GRA and Ba'al
HaTanya even l'kulla (Motzoei Shabbos) and their - the Geonim's shitta - is the
one most in line with physical reality as well....<<
Yet until the advent of the GRO/Baal haTanyo Virtually all Ashkenazim did not
use the sunset and early tzeis...
This can start several threads:
1) How can a Poseik "reach back in time" to undo a Minhog of almost all
Yisreol? EG, if R. M. DeLeon's contemporaries ratified the validity of the
Zohar, then it can also be said that virtually all kehillos Asskenaz ratified
shitas Rabbeinu Tam re: zmanim. How can the paradigm shift?
2) Another old thread, is scientific data authoritative in the Halachic
Universe? We can discuss spontaneous generation, msuhrooms, all kinds of
implications. So how does the scientific or phsyical reality support the GRO
More from RYGB: <<...
Actually, some research via a nice sefer I saw in Shul yeterday called
"HaZemanim b'Halacha" yields the Meiri, Rashba and R' Yona in Berachos around
27a (4th perek) all holding that zman ma'ariv begins at sheki'ah.<<
3) In general, when did Shkio become equated with sunset? Who made that
equation? The term shkio is itself ambiguous. It sometimes refers to susnet,
and sometimes to the "sof shekia" which precedes tzeis. IOW granting that
Rashi says shkio does he mean the same thing as sunset?
Raffy: >>would like to suggest a limud z'chus: It could be that we
have taken on the Gra's shita only l'chumra. Really, m'ikar haDin these
shuls rule like the S"A. As a stringency, we have accepted to stop
m'lacha at sunset, and when we say Mizmor Shir a few minutes later, we
are fulfilling Tosfos Shabbos according to the S"A et al.<<
I confess to a big stiro in an early post. I ignored The Mogen Avorhom Plag
whic is very close to the sunset/shkio. So the shuls that straddle Plag are
actually using the GRO PLAG which is much earlier.
Now this can start up a 4th thread:
4) Given how shuls daven kabbolos shabbos, how are we yotzei Neiros chanuko on
Erev shabbos leshitas MGA? It seems unlikely that most people can light neiros
Chanuko before MGA's Plag and still make it to shul - unless they live next
door. Or is Plag not required for Neiros Chanuko Erev Shabbos? (I guessed
based upon if efsher)?
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Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 17:00:32 -0600 (CST)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Shkio/Tzeis
On Wed, 24 Feb 1999 email@example.com wrote:
> Yet until the advent of the GRO/Baal haTanyo Virtually all Ashkenazim
> did not use the sunset and early tzeis...
Unfortunate, but not binding!
> This can start several threads: 1) How can a Poseik "reach back in
> time" to undo a Minhog of almost all Yisreol? EG, if R. M. DeLeon's
> contemporaries ratified the validity of the Zohar, then it can also be
> said that virtually all kehillos Asskenaz ratified shitas Rabbeinu Tam
> re: zmanim. How can the paradigm shift?
By great authorities disagreeing - but the parallel is not accurate: The
shitta of the GRA and BHT predates RT, as it was that of the Geonim.
> 2) Another old thread, is scientific data authoritative in the Halachic
> Universe? We can discuss spontaneous generation, msuhrooms, all kinds
> of implications. So how does the scientific or phsyical reality support
> the GRO halachically?
We have discussed this in the past!
> 3) In general, when did Shkio become equated with sunset? Who made that
> equation? The term shkio is itself ambiguous. It sometimes refers to
> susnet, and sometimes to the "sof shekia" which precedes tzeis. IOW
> granting that Rashi says shkio does he mean the same thing as sunset?
Yes. The Gemara in Shabbos is learnt most k'pshuto thus, and I do not know
anyone other than RT who learnt - in the Bavli - that sheki'a means
> I confess to a big stiro in an early post. I ignored The Mogen Avorhom
> Plag whic is very close to the sunset/shkio. So the shuls that straddle
> Plag are actually using the GRO PLAG which is much earlier.
Bear in mind there are at least two, maybe more, ways to determine MA
Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
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Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 22:24:43 EST
Subject: Re: correction of source
Yes, some batei din in America take this into account as well. It is based on
the halachos of ha'adafa al y'dei had'chak, as recorded in CM 80.
Oops, that should have been EH 80. Sorry.
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Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 09:58:45 -0500
Subject: Megillas Esther
A student of mine asked me:
How is it that Esther hesitated to approach Achasverosh re: Homon, yet she
seemed to have no problem telling Ahcashverosh about the Bigson voSersch plot?
I have several possible apporaches, but I'd be interested if any knows any Torah
Another few he'oros on word plays:
Does anyone comment on:
1) That Sosson and Shushan are spelled virtually the same?
2) That Vashti's name ends in the tzivuy SHTI?
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Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 17:06:51 +0200 (GMT+0200)
From: Eli Turkel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Avodah V2 #172
> The 4 gedolim from Bavel were on a boat which was captured by pirates. The
> names of 3 of these gedolim are known: R. Moshe bar Chanoch who was sent by
> his captors to Spain where he set up a yeshiva; R. Chanoch b'rav Moshe who
> was captured with his father. After the death of R. Moshe, R. Chanoch took his
> place and one of his talmidim was R. Shmuel Hanagid; the second was R. Chushiel
> b'rav Elchanan who wound up in North Africa. His son was Rabbenu Channanel;
> the 3rd was R. Shmaryahu b'rav Elchanan who wound up in Egypt and was redeemed
> from his captors by the Jewish community in Alexandria. The name of the 4th
> gadol isn't known.
Again the accuracy of this story is very doubtful as there are letters
in the Genizah from Rac Elchanan that show he was born in Eygpt.
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Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 12:14:00 -0500
From: "Lawrence M. Reisman" <LMReisman@email.msn.com>
Subject: Rabbi Michael Broyde and his view on the Rackman-Morgenstern bais din
For those of you who have been following what went on at the Edah
conference, I am pleased to post the following notice that appeared in
today's edition of The Jewish Week.
For The Record
Our coverage of the first Edah conference in the Feb. 19 issue included
an article "Rackman Bet Din Gets Boost," that inadvertently misrepresented
the views of Rabbi Michael J. Broyde, a member of the Beth Din of America.
Rabbi Broyde has been a vocal critic of the agunah solution employed by the
rabbinical court of rabbis Emanuel Rackman and Moshe Morgenstern, and he
reiterated those views during a session of the agunah problem at the Edah
conference. We regret the error.
It's nice to know that they admitted the mistake.
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