Avodah Mailing List

Volume 03 : Number 031

Sunday, April 25 1999

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 99 00:26:04 PDT
From: toramada@netvision.net.il
RE: Avodah V3 #30

I read all these posts in response to Rabbi Wolpoes comments on the issue of 
stipends, and didn't see any one challenge the claim that "this method has 
produced more G'dolim for Ashkenazim".

I'm shocked.  Is there indeed such ignorance that no one on this list 
realizes that there are at least the same number of Sephardi G'dolim as 

Do members of this list solely read shu"t by Ashkenazi rabbis ignoring what 
the Sephardi rabbis have to say?!

People forget that prior to the Sho'ah only a fraction of the Ashkenazim 
actually went to learn in Yeshivot, and only the best among them went on to 
become rabbis.   The same proportions existed in the Sephardi world too.

Nowadays, it is much easier for youth to go on to Yeshivot and delay going 
to work etc., but this is true for both Ashkenazi and Sephardi youth.  
Yeshivat Porat Yosef and others have been turning out Sephardi rabbis for 
generations, many have risen and are rising in stature to become the new 

I hope members of this list will take the time to read shu"t by Rav Kapach, 
Rav Ovadia Yosef, Rav David Yosef, Rav Hayim David Ha'Levy ZT"L, Rav Uziel 
ZT"L, Rav Rakah ZT"L(author of the book on the Tu B'ishvat Seder, whose 
shu't are being re-published) and many other shu"t of these and other 
Sephardi G'dolim.  I could go on, but I hope people will make a point of 
learning more.

Shavu'a Tov,


Name: Shoshana L. Boublil
E-mail: toramada@mail.netvision.net.il
Date: 25/04/99
Time: 12:26:04 AM , Israel

This message was sent by Chameleon 
Torah U'Madah Ltd. is developing a DB on the topic:
"Environmental issues and the Halacha (Jewish Law)"
any and all related information would be welcome.

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Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 21:00:55 -0500 (CDT)
From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
Re: Girsos and Halocho

In v3n27, Rich Wolpoe <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com> writes:
: And, this is why I believe it is a bit dangerous to overturn minhoggim EVEN
: when based upon a supposedly erroneous psak/girso/peshat. Because if you allow
: for changes to halocho lema'asse based upon "proofs" that rishonim and others
: had faulty texts, or fualty udnerstandings of texts - im kein ein ledovor sof!

I tookm this statement as a challenge, as I surmized that the authority
given to minhag yisrael was only to determine which derech within Divrei
Elokim Chaim is halachah, not in being more "true". The source of authority
in terms of "truth" is that it's impossible that the only opinion cited by
any tanna (for example) is false. Therefore, to disagree with a tanna requires
another tanna.

As to the "ein ladovor sof", of course there's a clear end. You can't prove
everything  you set out to. So yes, any provably wrong minhag may fall. But
do you really believe our process of forming minhagim is so flawed that this
will lead to overturning more than a small minority of them?

Gut Voch / Beunas Samane!

Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 24-Apr-99: Shevi'i, Mos-Kedoshim
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H O"Ch 314:21-315:1
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Eruvin 70a
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Kuzari I 105-108

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Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 21:16:49 -0500 (CDT)
From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
Chosheish for kol deios

: Also not so clear.  There are opinions that hold this way (and no doubt
: you could argue kum li in a beis din based on this), but if you want to
: be choshesh for kol deos I think you would still need to be careful.

I'm very worried about the approach of being chosheish for multiple dei'os.

First, we know the gemara's opinion of people who hold by the chumros of both
batei Hillel viShammai.

Second, it's not normal halachic process. Aside from the compromize most
Ashkenazim use for not hanging a mezuzah "like a nail" we usually pick an
opinion and stick with it.

One really needs to know one's incentives for being machmir lichol hadei'os. If
the person has even a nekudah of yuharah sullying a more pure desire, the
person could have stepped beyond the border of frumkeit. After all, finding
a way to be machmir because you want a chumrah is just as much tayloring a
p'sak as the games the Conservative movement plays with their rulings. So,
if the want is even partially because of a desire to have a certain image,
or ga'avah, how is it any better?

And who has entirely pure motives for anything?

Gut Voch / Buenas Samane!
Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 24-Apr-99: Shevi'i, Mos-Kedoshim
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H O"Ch 314:21-315:1
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Eruvin 70a
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Kuzari I 105-108

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Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 22:46:30 -0400 (EDT)
From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@idt.net>
Re: Avodah V3 #30

> ------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 13:59:23 -0400
> From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
> Subject: Kollel Stipends
> >>hat do forumists think of this opinion? Does anyone have sources
> for ahronim 
> on this issue? If haredim today justify receving payment for torah because of 
> losses in the holocaust how can this still be relelvant 50 years on? Why in 
> Israel is there still a tradition of (almost all) haredim sitting
> and learning 
> and living off charity or public funds? 
> Saul Davis
> Beer-Sheva, Israel<<
> I was taught in yeshiva that Sefardi Gedolim opposed taking of stipends for 
> learning (EG Rambam and Besi Yosef) but that Ashkenazi Gedolim said
> it was ok.  
> History bore out the overwhleming success of Ahskenazi Yeshivos in p;roducing 
> "gedolim".

===> I dunno..  The "modern" Kollel is really a recent development.  I
thikn that we are talking AFTER the time of R. Yisrael Salanter.  The
discussion in Rishonim (as I understand it) is really referring to
Rabbonim who accept a salary (instead of having an independant
profession).  So, I do not understand how we can cite the "overwhelming

> One Chareidi rationale is simple.  In the aftermath of the holocaust,
> we have a 
> shaas hadechak or a horo'as sho'o situation that makes restoring Torah to its 
> former glory an imperetive.  I do not no what the term-limit is on this,
> but as 
> long as there are holocaust survivors alive, we are porbably still within the 
> boundaries of that Dor...

===> I don't know about that.  The Chassidic Shita appears to be AGAINST
this sort of "everyone sit and learn" (at least the Chassidim that I have
met here) so I do not see the "hora'as Sha'a".  I think that the answer is
closer to something that Arnie Lustiger once cited.  R. EE Dessler ZT"L
wrote in a letter (published in the Hebrew 3rd volume of Michtav...) where
he says that the "purpose" of Yeshivot is to "produce Gedolim" (and that
is how he distinguished this from the "Frankfort Shita" -- which R.
Dessler calimes did NOT "produce" so many Gedolim -- a claim that R.
Schwab ZT"L respectfully but forcefully refuted...).  It is this concept
of "producing Gedolim" that seems to be behind the "learning all day for

> Peronally, I oppose the en masse concept of Kollel because to me it's a 
> privilege and not a right. Kollel IMHO should be reserved for the "elite".
>   I 
> do not favor the uunderming of the work concept nor the effect of udnermining 
> one's sens of societal responsibility.  Of course Pirkei Avos does suggest that 
> Ol torah frees one from ol malchus.

===> I think that we can define two categories.  There are the "elite"
that we can "see" are our future Gedolim... and which "deserve" our
support.  A second category are the ones that "Nas'a Naafsham" -- they
HONESTLY wish to sit and learn -- even though there is no "current"
evidence of being an "elite".  For such people, I would suggest that while
they might not be entitled to a stipend, they may be entitled to OTHER
benefits (such as the Israeli calssification of "Mefarneset Mishpacha"
that the wife is allowed.  ALSO, we should "monitor" such people because
we may find that such a person has BECOME an "elite".  However, the reason
for NOT providing a stipend is to discourage the ones who are NOT "nas'a
nafsham"....  The latter shoudl -- perhaps -- have a limited stipend for
one or two years while they develop the foundation to be "good ba'alei


> Rich Wolpoe
> ------------------------------

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Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 22:16:43 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Urgent Request for "Luach" Marei Mekomos!

Esteemed Colleagues!

For a shiur (and essay, eventually) I need your help on marei mekomos on
the following two (related) topics:

1. When the accepted Luach will no longer be valid because Pesach (Sukkos)
will be too early. (Essays and articles welcome - if someone knows of a
web resource, that would be very helpful. If someone also knows the date
offhand that would be extremely helpful - it would help me title the

I know there was an essay several years ago in "Intercom", put out by the
AOJS (I used to be a member. Do they still exist? Do they still put
"Intercom" out?). If someone has it that would be great - I no longer do.

2. The dispute between Ben Meir and R' Sa'adia Ga'on in 922 over the
kevi'us of Rosh HaShana. As above, essays, articles, seforim - anything!

I guess I might add a third topic - the person, circumstances and details
concerning Hillel II and his kevi'us of the luach. As above.

Finally, sheer curiousity. How is uniformity regarding the Luach ensured
today? Does everyone rely on Spier?

Please help - Thanks!


Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

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Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 22:35:45 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Divrei Torah

On Sun, 11 Apr 1999, Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer wrote:

> As all are acutely aware, "Sheimos" has turned into a major problem. 
> This is particularly true in Israel in which we are literally innundated
> every erev Shabbat with Torah containing newspapers and Torah pamphlets
> of all kinds from a variety of sources. I am in search of marei
> makom/Teshuvot regarding the disposal of the following which contain
> divrei Torah:  (1) Newspapers (mostly news and articles; some Torah
> columns and articles), Fliers (2) Tapes, diskettes and CD's. 

For some reason, nobody has responded to this pressing question!

(Sorry it took me so long!)

See Tzitz Eliezer 16:39 and Igros Moshe YD 1:172. Prevalent minhag is to
wrap any photostat of Divrei Torah that does not contain one of the
sheimos she'einam nimchakin and throw them out b'drech kavod.


Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

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Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 12:35:31 +0300 (IDT)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>

1. When can a person be called to the Torah for 3 successive aliyot on the
same day?

2. Someday, if they colonize the moon and there is a Jewish community,
what blessing will they be unable to recite?

3. How can you have a mixture which is dairy, and when meat accidentally
falls in, the mixture becomes parve (neither meat nor dairy)?

4. What is the explanation of the following? "Shmini B'Shmini Shmini Shmini."

5. One morning there were three people attending the same minyan. Each
finished the silent amidah at the same time, yet, during
the repetition of the amidah, one responded "amen" 26 times, the second
only 22 times and the third only three times. Can you
explain this? (By the way, none of these people fell asleep or failed to
respond amen as required.)

6. What is the shortest word in the Torah?

7. The year 2000 is generally thought to have no particular significance to
Jews, yet, the year 2000 is special in one respect:
there is a particular commemoration that will not be observed in that
calendar year. What day is it?

8. On what date in the Jewish calendar do we sometimes recite Hallel
while, in other years, on the same date, we recite Tachanun?

9. Triplets and their cousin are born within two hours of each other. Yet
their circumcisions are on four consecutive days. How
can this occur? (No consideration need be given to the international date
line or any possible health related issues.)

10. Twins are born on the same day, Shabbat, yet their circumcisions are
NOT on the same day. (The health of neither baby is an issue.)

11. Generally because Jerusalem is in an earlier time zone, rituals are
performed earlier there than in New York. What celebration occurs earlier
in New York than in Jerusalem.

12. What single verse (i.e. the same verse, not different verses with the
same words) is read publicly from the Torah most often?

13. We read the next regular Shabbat weekly Torah reading at Shabbat
mincha. What weekly parashah is read at Shabbat mincha in Israel but
NEVER in the diaspora?

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Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 23:07:55 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Urgent Request for "Luach" Marei Mekomos! (fwd)

Here is some intial response from an off-list source - it is very lucid
(as always), but slightly short on marei mekomos. The request still


Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila



	brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Yerushalayim
	    Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

ERUVIN 56 - was generously dedicated by an anonymous donor in Los Angeles. 

ERUVIN 60 - Dedicated by Gerald (Gedalia) Ziering of New Rochelle in honor
of his son, David Ephraim, who studied this year in Yeshivat Sha'arei
Yerushalayim of Yerushalayim. 

The Kollel needs your help in order to continue its work. Pledge a Daf
dedication now! DAF: $250; WEEK: $1,250; MONTH: $5,000. For more
information write to: daf@shemayisrael.co.il

Eruvin 56

1) SUMMARY: THE LENGTH OF THE YEAR The Gemara quotes Shmuel who makes an
important statement about the seasons of the year. Shmuel says that the
four Tekufos of the year are exactly 91 days and 7 1/2 hours long, which
means that the year is 365 days and 6 hours long (91 days and 7 1/2 hours
X 4). Consequently, the time of day that each Tekufah occurs will be 7 1/2
hours later in the day than the previous one.  How accurate is Shmuel's
measurement according to present-day calculations? 

Julius Caesar, in the year 3714 (46 B.C.E.) arranged a *solar* calendar,
the first calendar based on the earth's relationship with the position of
the sun, which is very similar to the one used by the modern world today.
At that time, his astronomers advised him that the solar year is exactly
365 1/4 days (365 days and 6 hours), the same as Shmuel's calculation.
However, in truth this figure is inaccurate; it is a bit too long. The
true solar year is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds. Shmuel's
calculation was off by some 11 minutes per year, which means that with the
passage of time, the actual solar year lags behind Shmuel's year. The
equinoxes and solstices slowly migrate through the calendar with the
passage of time; every 128 years the equinoxes and solstices arrive one
day too early.

At a later time, the astronomers noted that they were slightly off and
corrected the length of the year to 365 days 5 hours, 55 minutes, and 25
seconds, cutting out about half of the 11 minute discrepancy between
Shmuel's year and the actual year. Rav Ada, a third century Amora,
recalculated the Jewish lunisolar calendar based on this calculation and
organized it into the present 19-year cycle, which has as leap years the
3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th, and 19th year of the 19-year cycle. This
was done in order that the lunar year, divided up among those 19 solar
years, will average out to the length of the solar year mentioned, and
thus every 19 years the lunar and solar years will meet. 

(NOTE: In 1582 C.E., the non-Jews, not wanting the summer months to fall
during winter and the winter months to fall during summer, modified the
Julian calendar and adopted a new version called the Gregorian calendar.
The first change they made to the calendar was to cut out the 11 days that
were mistakenly added to the year due to the miscalculation of the Julian
astronomers. (The day after September 3 that year was not September 4, but
September 15.) They also adjusted the calendar to by subtracting one leap
year every 400 years. This means that they worked with a year of 365 days,
5 hours, 49 minutes and 12 seconds -- which is still off by approx. 26
seconds, but close enough for most practical purposes. At the time, the we
instituted *no* parallel changes to the Jewish lunisolar calendar.) 

In the final analysis, we follow Rav Ada's calculation in our lunisolar
calendar, breaking it into a 19-year cycle. However, for the Halachos
which depend on the Tekufos, such as when to say the prayer of "v'Sen Tal
u'Matar" in Galus and when we recite Birchas ha'Chamah, we rely on
Shmuel's calculation. ("V'Sen Tal u'Matar" in Galus is added in Shemoneh
Esreh starting 60 days after the autumnal equinox, and Birkas ha'Chamah is
said on the day of the vernal equinox every 28 years, as calculated
through Shmuel's calculation. This is why "v'Sen Tal u'Matar" is said in
Galus beginning from the 5th or 4th of December, depending on whether the
following year is a leap year. This date will not change after the year
2000, since that year is not affected by the Gregorian calendar.) 

Dr. Norman Bloom of Miami, Florida, points out that since we are working
with two different solar calendars, the time when Jews in Galus start
saying v'Sen Tal u'Matar will migrate towards the summer even faster than
the spring festivals will migrate towards the summer. This means that
eventually, the time to start saying "v'Sen Tal u'Matar" will catch up to
Pesach, and the first day to say "v'Sen Tal u'Matar" coincide with day on
which we stop saying it! Fortunately, we will not encounter this problem
for another approx. 42,000 years, which will be long after the Ge'ulah
will have come and all of the Jews will be living in Eretz Yisrael. 


Mordecai Kornfeld        |   kornfeld@dafyomi.co.il  |Tel: (02)6522633
P.O.B. 43087             | kornfeld@netvision.net.il |Fax:9722-6522633
Har Nof, Jerusalem,ISRAEL|kornfeld@shemayisrael.co.il|US:(718)520-0210

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