Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 058

Sunday, October 24 1999

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 23:36:58 -0400
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Yated article

From: "Akiva Atwood" <atwood@netvision.net.il>
> Subject: RE: Yoatzos Neeman or Female Rabbis

> According to the author of the Yated article (a neighbor and 
> personal friend), there are at least *two* such programs underway,
under the guidance of Gedolei HaTorah here in Jerusalem.
	Can we then look forward to an article describing exactly how the two
"approved" programs differ from the one which was the subject of the
article?   It would certainly be an interesting follow up to the original


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Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 14:01:21 +1000
From: SBA <sba@blaze.net.au>

From Shlomo B Abeles <sba@blaze.net.au>
Subject:  Ken yehi ratzon

richard_wolpoe@ibi.com writes:>>> I have a fuzzy/vague recollection that we davka do
NOT say omain when the Shatz is "pinch-hitting" for actual kohanim.  IOW the
omein might confuse one to regard the shatz as a cohain, etc...Note that Chabad's
Nusach Ari they DO answer Omain, <<<

micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger) writes; >>> The Berger family minhag is to respond
to the Chazan's rendition of birchas kohanim with "Kein yehi ratzon bizchus
Avraham avinu", "... Yitzchak avinu", and "... Ya'akov avinu"....Does anyone
know where this particular custom comes from?<<<<

The Taamei Haminhogim quotes the Maharam Chagiz mentioning this minhag.
The Likutei Maharich also  mentions saying  Avrohom, Yitzchok & Yaakov
(from the Avudraham). Darkei Chaim Vesholom (minhogei Munkatch) states
that it 'Minhag Haolom' - even though the Munkatcher Rebbe himself  said Omen
- as per minhag Chabad - which originates from some Gaonim and Rishonim.

However the Mechaber OC 127:2 writes 'ein omrim omen eleh ken yehi rotzon'
The TAZ gives the Minhag Haolom as twice 'yehi rotzon' and then 'ken yehi rotzon'
(which the Mogen Avrohom says is a Ta'us...)

Nahareh nahareh uposhtei - Ha-Ikar - mir zoln zayn gebencht - ken yehi rotzon...


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Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 03:06:46 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: boggle

In a message dated 10/22/99 11:45:41 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
driceman@WORLDNET.ATT.NET writes:
>  >
>  >Aren't the Halachas that Ein Morin Kein transmitted in Shaas?
>  >
>  Some of them are.  Do we know that all of them are?

Halacha Vein Morin Kein, means that the Yochid could do it (and even Brabim 
where he has good excuse), IMHO by definition we cannot be Mchadeish that 
there might be one that was not transmitted.  Even in other terms that show 
on a hiding of Halacha's (see Enyclopedia Taalmudis Erech Halacha Vein Morin, 
and there are others) it is Mashma that it was given over from generation to 

Kol Tuv

Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 03:06:47 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Mazal L'yisrael, Lishma, other he'aros

In a message dated 10/23/99 8:34:27 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
C1A1Brown@aol.com writes:

> 1. The gemara in Shabbos 155 says Hashem told Avraham to abandon his belief 
>  in astrology because ain mazal l'Yisrael and he would have a son even if 
>  not in the stars.  When citing this Chazal Rashi (ch 15) adds that Hashem 
>  therefore changed Avraham's name - Avram could not have a son, Avraham 
>   L'chorah this overturns the gemara's whole point - acc. to Rashi yesh 
>  except for the name change, no?

This Kashe can be asked on the Gemara itself, as the gemara (156a) continues 
that HKB"H said he will move his Mazal from the west to the east, IOW that 
the Mazal does control, and see Tos. that Psaht in Ein Mazal is that the 
Mazal can change (not that they don't have Mazal), (I would venture to say 
that the Koach of Shinui Hashem/Ein Mazal Lyisroel was Nischdeish by 
"Vayotzei Oisoi Hachutzah".

Kol Tuv

Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 09:14:11 +0100
From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk>
Re: objections to women yoatzot

In message , Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer
<sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu> writes
>A respected Conservative Rabbi, Jack Riemer, has written that the full
>throttle egalitarian tendencies of his movement disturb him, because,
>expereince has shown, in the Protestant chruch, that where women are given
>equal footing as men, the women then become the predominant players in the
>Church, and the men will tend to gravitate to the other spheres that more
>naturally attract them.

There are a couple of aspects of this that I wanted to discuss, because
there are some other interesting parallels (besides the protestant

For example, the Anglican church recently had its whole fight about
having women priests.  But the arguments advanced for this were the
reverse.  That is, given that the congregations of the Anglican church
are increasingly female, how could you not let them be priests?  This
would seem to suggest that men withdrawing from going to church is not
linked to women taking leading roles, but that men have been withdrawing
from going to church anyway, leaving more woman believers. (To be
honest, my best guess, looking around at the women I work with, is that
those congregations are probably increasingly elderly women - neither
sex showing much interest in church going, with all the other pressures
that a high flying career produces)

But there are other areas of the non Jewish and no religious world that
can be examined for similar phenomena.  For example, men have, to a
large extent, withdrawn from certain professions as women have entered
them in large numbers.  The male secretary is an almost extinct species.
The male teacher, among the secular populance, is reasonably endangered
- certainly the male primary school teacher, and the male arts,
humanities, music, English or languages teacher.

Turning to our universities.  Women have taken over and are dominating a
number of Humanities departments.  Not always at the very top, but
certainly in terms of the student population and junior lecturers.
(This is something that can be noticed among male high school teachers
as well, there aren't very many of them, but there are more of them,
percentagewise, the higher up the tree you go.  So there are a fair
number of male headmasters and professors, but very few experienced, but
still classroom taking, male teachers).

However, it is *not* true in other areas of the university.  The most
obvious and striking being the physics and engineering departments.
When I was doing my honours degree (theoretical physics), and we used to
hold departmental lectures,  there used to be 50-100 people in the
lecture theatre, and if more than five were women, that was a lot.  This
was despite a very big push by feminists and others to have more girls
doing maths and science.  But the truth was, and I saw this over and
over again, most women just didn't want to do maths and science, they
didn't like it, they wanted to do messy things like biology and history.

Now I had a lot of difficulty understanding this, because i loved maths
and science, found it deeply satisfying and interesting. But part of
being in touch with reality is understanding that most of my friends did
not feel likewise.  They didn't.  they kept complaining they couldn't do
it and didn't want to do it and happily went off and did something else.
A number of them did do the full science high school.  But that was
because there was a lot of pressure to do it, because of the structure
of Australian universities, which meant that if you did maths/science,
all courses remained open to you, including humanities, but if you did
humanities subjects, you could never switch back to science.  But most
of those happily left the maths/science behind in high school.

That is why, when I see the same pattern in learning, I recognise it.
Because it happens here also.  Just the other day Rabbi Brovender was
complaining that the problem was that there are just too few women who
are interested in talmud.  It is almost impossible to get together a
decent class because the numbers are so low.

And you see this in the seminaries that teach gemorra.  The drop out
rate is high as girl after girl decides that she would much rather learn
tanach. She is very glad for the exposure, and a bit of background (just
as my contempories were for the maths and science they then left). But
that is that.

That is not to say there are not girls with this interest.  Just as
there have been and are top physicists who are and have been women.  But
their numbers are small relative to the total body of students.  And
despite all the feminist agenda out there, it stays that way.

I read somewhere (and I don't know how reliable this statistic is) that
there is only one top female mathematician for every 6 men.  That
doesn't mean there are no top female mathematicians, just they are a lot
rarer than the men.

My non statistical anacdotal research into this subject would indicate a
surprising result, which is that of the women i know who are interested
in physics or gemorra, a strikingly large number of them also seem to be
left handers.  I would say of those I know around 70%.  Which of course
means that even I know some right handed gemorra interested women, just
fewer of them than one might expect.

Now this is without getting into the question of nature or nurture. 

All one can say is that if it is nurture, it is nurture that extends to
the nurture provided in the secular world, so it is unlikely to change
soon.  On the other hand, the evidence from the secular world is that
women do seem to be more interested in prayer and spirituality than men,
and turn up in larger numbers to such functions.  So while there may be
validity in exploring the similarities with the plight of the protestant
church and say davening issues, the analogy to serious gemorra learning
would seem to be flawed.

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

Kind Regards


Chana/Heather Luntz

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Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 05:04:31 -0700 (PDT)
From: harry maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
R. Aaron Soliveichik and The Yoetzes Program

I spoke to R. Aaron yesterday about this whole issue
and he supports the program, provided it is not
femminist driven. 



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Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 09:16:54 EDT
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
Dina D'malchusa, dor hapalagah, specialization

>>>1) In mitsves that require 'lochem' such as esrog where one owns the
object according to din toyre but not according to the law of the land
is one yoytse the mitsve?<<<

Why would you think you are yotzei?  Firstly there are achronim who hold dina 
d'malchusa is d'oraysa, rendering the whole question moot; seceondly, even if 
you hold it is derabbanan b'pashtus it can be mafkia ba'alus, e.g. King 
Acahav could forcibly negate ownership of the kerem if not for th 
etechnicalities discussed in Tos. Sanhedrin 20.

>>>2) According to the principle of dine de'malchise dine is a Jew
permitted to engage in civil disobediance assuming that there are
respected opinions that support it?<<<

The Ritva's distinction between dina d'malchusa and dina d'malka would allow 
for disobeying unjust laws.  

>>>This plan was initiated to counter the effects of diversity that had been 
created as a result of the division into nations.  What God did was to insure 
that this attempt to force unity would not succeed.<<<  

While I don't have access to the essays cited, I think this is how Ohr 
HaChaim learns the parsha and I think may be found in some of the Rishonim as 

Re: specialization in halacha: R' Yisrael Salanter encouraged specialization 
in particular areas (in addition, of course, to learning to the best of one's 
ability the totality of halacha) as was necessitated by the halachic 
'information explosion' (kal v'chomer in our day with the abundance of 
seforim in print).  


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Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 10:22:16 -0400
From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@juno.com>
Bircat Hamazon with Tzur Mishelo

Sammy wants a better Terutz on what happens if you
said Tzur mishelo and did not intend not to yotzay
Bircat hamazon.

I would simply say

--you probably are yotzay bircat hamazon Doraitta
--but you still have a rabbinic obligation to say the bracha
in Tzurath Habracoth that chazal made

To what can the matter be compared. To a person who
exercised alot and asked for a drink of water. When
given the water the person says "Thank God".

He is still chayav to say the blessing in the manner that
Chazal were metaken it (with that particular wording)

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Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 09:55:19 -0400
From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@juno.com>
Supply demand is a Torah View not just capatalistic

Rabbi B writes

>But is that ethical (from a Torah viewpoint, not a capitolist one)?

in response to a statement that Kollel Rabbis get paid more (Because
of higher credentials and less availability) than females.

But throughout Hilcoth mecirah prices are always set based on 
quality and availability. Why should this be different

(Disclaimer: I was only answering the Mecirah aspect of the 
question. I am opposed to anyone getting paid for Chinuch...
we have enough good teachers who would do it for nothing
and that would solve most of the chinuch problems)

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Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 09:46:56 -0400
From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@juno.com>
On the lighter side

RE: Female Rabbis.

I get the impression that people are worried that the 
Yoatzoth will become recognized female rabbis, that
this will lead to more female rabbis who in like turn
will pasken TM issues for the conservative and 
reform movements (which support female Rabbis)

So to summarize...there is concern that the 
conservative and reform movements will start
observing TM at the hand of female Rabbis

I personally find this "fear" amusing. (Who knows
maybe if they observe TM from female Rabbis
the men will eventually become interested (because
of all the issurim their wives make) and pasken

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Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 10:41:36 -0400
From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@juno.com>
Haran and Civshan Haaysh

In answer to Chaiim

--This is all learned from the verse
	>and charan died in the FURNACE of CASDIM
There is a controversy between Rashi, and Mnachem on the
meaning of OOR. If necessary I can prove that OOR means
furnace (but this would take another posting).

---I suggested that 
	>>Nevuchadneztzars treatment of Jews
	>>the churchs treatment of Jews
immediately suggests that someone was thrown into
the furnace.

--The above is all background. The actual story (haven't
had time to look it up is that)

---Nimrod ordered anyone who didn't worship into the furnace
---Abraham refused and was thrown in
---while Abraham was in they asked Charan to bow
----Charan said to himself "let me think about it"
	>If  Abraham comes out I will say no
	>If he dies I will bow
--When Abrhaam came out Charan refused to bow
--He was thrown in and died (and hence the verse
	>And Charan died in the fURNACE of CASDIM

In passing there is a complementary verse
	>I God who saved you from the furnace of Casdim

This will soon be posted on Rashi Is Simple(Haven't heard
from you in a while)

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Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 10:31:39 -0400
From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@juno.com>
Creating EXTRA distinctions

David Nadoff writes about my proof that RYBZ 
blessed his students 
	>May your fear of heaven be like your fear
	>of men
and hence thought that social fears are the primary
reason for doing mitzvoth that

This conclusion does not follow. RYBZ  holds that we
ordinarily do mitzvos l'shem shamayim, but that our inhibitions
about sinning before Hashem are weaker than our inhibitions about
sinning before our fellows, and it is the latter that often saves us
from sin. His blessing to his students is therefore that their yiras
shamayim (which he presupposes that they really have) match their
yiras basar v'dam. The mere fact that social inhibitions are usually
stronger than religious inhibitions does not mean that people have
only social motives for religious acts.

Hmmm... David agrees that 
	>Social fear is more important than religious fear in
	>avoiding sin
but claims (introduces the idea that)
	>Religious desire is more important than
	>social desire in doing mitzvoth

My only problem is that David introduces a distinction between
	>avoiding sin
	>desiring mitzvoth
The introduction of this distinction appears without ground in the

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Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 10:08:57 -0400
From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@juno.com>
What is a Rabbi

Akiva Miller writes

>(I hope this post did not sound too autocratic. If anyone has a
>view, PLEASE share it with us!)

Yes. Without meaning to repeat myself (which Michah asked us not
to do) if you look at my (infamous) 9 point posting (of which I have
deleted the points asking for retraction) I clearly state that

>We learn that one witness is believed in issur-heter from women
>not from men.

So....the institution of a female Rabbi was NOT CREATED by 
Rabbanit Henkin. It was created by Moshe Rabaynu.

Also it is logical...you can't have issuray careth involving women's
status unless you trust them.

In particular ALL statements that women are flippant (datan kaloth)
must be taken in light of the above view (of Moshe Rabaynu)

What I do give Rabanit Henkin credit for is getting women to learn
2000 hours (In passing whether or not it is leshon hara to cast doubts
(gilu biradah) on what will happen from this 5 years from now ) I
am shocked and appaled that people who spent 2000 hours learning
should not be praised (Correct me if I am wrong but I have seen no
one give them a yasher coach).

In (cynical passing) how many Rabbanim have studied TM for
2000 hours


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Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 10:53:12 -0400
From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@juno.com>
A Solution To chinuch

I am responding to all Avodahs of this week (I find it hard
to respond every day) and therefore have to add something
to what I wrote about chinuch.

It seems to me that the Jewish community is not studying
its resources. The SPIRIT behind the law of not taking
money for Chinuch is in my opinion to prevent the type of
"guild like tactics" that screen people out who don't concur
with "guild practices". In other words I am claiming that
because people get paid for chinuch they very often
poo poo or insult people who would do it for nothing.

My ideas are really quite simple: There are many Hebrew
education topics (reading the siddur, reading hebrew,
simply chumash and rashi, holiday halachoth) which
could be taught by a large number of people. If you allowed
these people to teach (it would only require a few hours
per day per week person ) alot of the salary needs for chinuch
teachers would disappear without a loss of quality

To substantiate this idea I would have to know if anyone
has studied how much talent is out there who would volunteer
if the system allowed it. I don;'t think this is a far fetched idea
(though it may sound unfeasable)

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Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 10:15:42 -0400
From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@juno.com>
NSCY--What truly increases observance

Moshe Feldman (no relation to Moshe Rabaynu) wrote

> I know this is hypothetical but it is also way off.  I personally made
>study of one NCSY program (Camp NCSY Sports) & found out over 40% (plus
>couldn't track a lot of them down) of the P.S. students from 1990-1998
went on
>to Yeshiva.  NCSY is far from perfect but I do not believe  (a) people
are over
>negiah because of NCSY; (b) that 1/3 of the affected people by NCSY were
>effected for the worse; (c) They have a psak that group singing is not
kol isha.

In fact there was a beautiful Federation study done a few years ago. Many
variables were studied for staying Jewish. THe one factor they found was
3000 or more hours of Chinuch. (None of the other obvious variables 
mattered---home, schooling orginazations (like NSCY etc).

I repeat what I wrote in my (infamous) posting on the Yoatzoth:

>Without exception every Gadol in Jewish history from
>Rav Hirsch to Rav Shneerson has said that
>the solution to the Jewish problems lies in Chinuch and only
>in Chinuch

So I would judge any orginazation (from Hinani to NSCY) by how
much Talmud Torah is done.

In passing since the Yoatzoth learned for 2000 hours it is precisely
for that reason that I have a high opinion of them.

(I would recommend another 1000)

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Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 11:02:45 -0400
From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@juno.com>
Intent and Leshon hara

YH wrote me privately

Gut voch, Russell
>I really DO believe it is leshon hara to say PERHAPS

Wouldn't that depend on the intent of the poster? If he was sincere in
his belief that there was a potential problem that people should be aware
of, isnt't that leto'eles?

kol tuv

Good point. But that is exactly my question.

Let us eg go back to the Kashruth example. Does a Rabbi have
a right to say
	>Let us be cautious in trusting the Kashruth of this
	a) he does not normally speak that way
	b) he does not have an IMMEDIATE concern  
	c) he REALLY does have a distant concern (ie
	there is nothing concrete bothering him
	d) he does NOT apply this distant concern
	to other bakeries

My opinion is that
	1) It is leshon hara 
	2) he is hiding behind lehson hara to try 
	and appear legitimate

In other words I am questioning whether you can just
say 'I have doubts' and AUTOMATICALLY be free
from leshon hara simply because of your intention.

Although this has application to the topic at hand
I would prefer to discuss this as it relates to 
shiduchim, dates and Kashruth since it comes
up all the time. We can always apply later

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Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 09:48:21 -0700 (PDT)
From: harry maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Bias in Jewish Publications

--- "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer"
<sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu> wrote:

> Now, fellow members of the Avodah list, let me make
> a point I have been
> itching to make for years, but have not found proper
> occasion to make until
> now. There is anunderlying assumption that many have
> here that the RW media
> distort, while the LW media is accurate. Several
> people wrote me offlist
> rather virulent things about certain RW publications
> (that they named by
> name).

> B'didi hava uvda. I may have noted this before,
> please forgive the
> redundancy. If you go to the aishdas website, you
> will find, in the
> baistefila section, several essays that I have
> written. Most have been
> published. Some have not. Of those that have not,
> one was commissioned by a
> prominent LW media mouthpiece. It is a review of R'
> Herschel Schachter's
> "Nefesh Ha'Rav" and some related works. In it, I
> cite RHS's paragraphs
> relating that RYBS held that women must, al pi din,
> cover their hair and
> that he would have preferred that Maimonides be
> separate. I cited these
> among examples of points in the book that were
> likely to stir controversy.
> The first thing the Editors of the publication made
> me do was verify that I
> had 110% accurately translated the passages in
> question. When that rigorous
> process was complete, they still decided that they
> could not publish the
> essay with those two passages, lest certain
> constituencies be offended. They
> demanded that I delete those passages. I refused,
> and they (who had
> commissioned this piece) rejected it. I have not
> been asked to write for
> this publication since.
> That experience (and some subsequent ones) was
> revelatory and educational
> for me. Like many, I had thought that censorship and
> bias were a tool of the
> RW, abhorred by the LW. Now, I knew that this was
> untrue.

This highly regarded scholarly magazine which RYGB is
reffering to is well known to all of us.  Considering
the high standards it seems to set for itself it is
appaling to me that the politics of the LW is a factor
in it's decisions on whether or not publish a
commisioned piece.

OTOH, it is my belief that there is no such thing as
objective journalism... not in the compositions of the
articles nor in editorial policy.  It is only a
question of degree.  And to that end every periodical
brings with it a certain bias.  The worst offender in
my book is the Jewish Press. They are rather blatent. 
But perhaps the above refferenced Journal of Orthodox
Jewish Thought is even more insidious than the JP
because of it's defacto editorial policy of censorship
to avoid offending constituancies. 

When a periodical sets itself up as seekers of truth
as I believed this periodical did and then censors in
a way that is only known to the editors, it loses it's
credibility. They become no better than the Jewish
Observer whose editorial policies have the same degree
of censorship vis-a-vis anything they disagree with. 
They only publish articles and letters favorable to
their point of view. It seems that this periodical
does the same.

What a shame.



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