Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 346

Tuesday, February 8 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 20:30:31 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
Re: limiting posts

On 8 Feb 00, at 10:10, Harry Weiss wrote:

> The only limitation I would suggest would be a limit of lines per post, with 
> only the list  owner able to post longer ones.  If the software could be 
> set up to reject all posts over a certain length it would get rid of the 
> posts which include the entire issue as well as encourage more snipping.

Good point. On my list with the 125 message per day, 4 per 
person per day and one off topic per person per day limits, there is 
also a 250-line limit to posts.

-- Carl

Carl M. Sherer, Adv.
Silber, Schottenfels, Gerber & Sherer
Telephone 972-2-625-7751
Fax 972-2-625-0461

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.
Thank you very much.

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Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 14:12:26 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com

SOY Seforim Sale has resumed.

For details, please see http://seforim.yucs.org/


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Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 14:22:52 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
interesting story

> Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 20:25:33 +0200
> From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@zahav.net.il>
> Subject: Re: interesting story
<<There are actually two volumes of his book.  The copy my parents have
is from post WWII and has the introductions for both pre WWII (from
approx. 1932) and the new introduction.  It's quite shocking to read
Anyway, the contents are simply fascinating.>>

	Great.  Where does that leave curious ol' me <g>?


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Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 13:32:11 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Calendical Issue

Just for the record, I am aware that the actual cycle is 247 years (Iggul
d'Rav Nachshon Gaon). This will be discussed en passant in a forthcoming JO
essay by myself and fellow list ember RAZZibotofsky of the RSG/R Aharon b
Meir Controversy.

And, for the record, I did not mean "eve" literally. My birthday is 10 Adar
I. :-)

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

----- Original Message -----
From: Daniel M Wells <wells@mail.biu.ac.il>
To: <avodah@aishdas.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 08, 2000 11:17 AM
Subject: Calendical Issue

> > my 38th birthday (which, should coincide, being a multiple of 19, but
> > is : off by two days).
> Just for your information:
> 4 adar 1 5722 =  8 feb 1962
>            31 =  8 feb 1981
>            60 = 10 feb 2000
>            79 =  9 feb 2019
>            98 =  9 feb 2038
>          5817 =  8 feb 2057
> Be aware that 19 jewish years has exactly 235 months and can be 6939, 6940
> 6941 or 6942 days long
> 19 civil years can be 6939 or 6940 days.
> Thus the difference can be up to three days in a 19 year period.
> Daniel

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Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 13:33:09 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Kedusha out Loud

See the Emek Brocho for his machlokes with the MB and the shittas ha'Rambam.

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

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Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 13:36:43 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Korbanos For Bnei Noach

Goyim may bring korbonos, this is explicit in Bavli and Yerushalmi - the
Yerushalmi at the end of the first perek of Megilla, the Bavli in Zevachim.
If you have the Meshech Chochmo with mafteichos by R' Copperman and you look
under bamos in the "Pninei Meshech Chochmo" section you will find extensive
discussions. If you need more specific details, let me know.

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

----- Original Message -----
From: <gil.student@citicorp.com>
To: <avodah@aishdas.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 08, 2000 9:36 AM
Subject: Korbanos For Bnei Noach

> Jews have an issur to bring a korban on a bamah but can a gentile bring a
> (to Hashem) today on his own altar?  When a gentile will bring one to the
> Beis HaMikdash the kohanim will obviously do the avodah.  Is there any
issur for
> a gentile to do his own avodah on his own altar?
> Gil Student
> gil.student@citicorp.com

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Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 14:56:08 -0500
From: "Stein, Aryeh E." <aes@ll-f.com>
RE: 3 Questions (kedushah out loud)

Actually, I don't think R' Moshe uses the sevara of "trei kalei lo
mishtama`ei".  I think his reasoning was that, in order for shome'a ke-oneh
to "work", the person doing the speaking has to have in mind to be yotzei
the shome'a.  Presumably, the kahal does not have this collective state of
mind when they say kedusha.

Of course, it is possible that the shatz also won't have the "oneh" in mind
when he says kedusha, but  R' Moshe says that we assume that the shatz
always has everyone in the kahal in mind for everything the shatz says out

Pursuant to R' Moshe's reasoning, perhaps the following eitza would work for
a person  who knows that he will still be davening shemona esrai when the
shatz reaches kedusha and who also knows that the shatz won't repeat kedusha
out loud:  Prior to davening, he should ask a nearby mispalel (who davens a
short shemona esrai), to have him in mind when he says kedusha.

Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 11:53:00 -0500
From: "Clark, Eli" <clarke@HUGHESHUBBARD.COM>
Subject: 3 Questions (kedushah out loud)

R. Aryeh Stein writes:

>R' Moshe (don't remember exactly where offhand, but if anyone's interested,
>I can look it up) states that the shatz, during kedusha, should say all the
>words out loud.  (This is for the benefit of those still in the middle of
>shemona esrai.)  Again, this is usually a problem on shabbos (e.g., when a
>shatz wants to sing mimkomcha, saying "Baruch K'vod Hashem Mimkomo" might
>seem odd.)

IIRC, the reason R. Moshe requires the shaliah tzibbur to repeat out
loud every word of kedushah is because those who wish to be yotze
kedushah through shome'a ke-oneh cannot do so by listening to the
kedushah of the kahal because of trei kalei lo mishtama`ei,

Bi-mkhilat kevod Torato, my personal experience is otherwise (and I deal
with this issue daily).  More importantly, a number of other Aharonim
argue with R. Moshe and hold that, because the ikkar kedushah is that of
the kahal, the person relying on shome`a ke-oneh should davka listen to
the kahal.  I believe one can find a survey of opinions on the subject
in R. Greenblatt's Rivevot Efrayim.

Kol tuv,

Eli Clark

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Date: Tue, 08 Feb 2000 15:23:47 -0500
From: "Ari Z. Zivotofsky" <azz@lsr.nei.nih.gov>
Gaw'al Yisrael

I have written up the blurb below on the question of saying Gaw'al
Yisrael out loud.


Misconception: The shliach tzibur (sha"tz - communal prayer leader)
should say the end of the brachah gaw'al yisrael silently so that no one
should erroneously answer amen and thereby interrupt the vital link
between the bracha of gaw'al yisrael and the beginning of Shemoneh

Fact: The custom of saying the last few words of gaw'al yisrael silently
seems to be a relatively recent innovation of the Lithuanian yeshiva
world. The older custom seems to have been that the sha"tz completed the
brachah of gaw'al yisrael out loud. Both customs have strong defenders
and vigorous opponents.

Background: An important concept in shachrit (morning prayer) and
Ma'ariv (evening prayer) is the required linking between the brachah of
gaw'al yisrael and the start of Shemoneh Esrei without any interruption,
known as smichat geulah le'tfillah (OC 66:8-9; OC 236:2).1 The Talmud
(Brachot 9b) declares that whoever links gaw'al yisrael and Shemoneh
Esrei will be protected from harm throughout that day and will merit
olam habah (Brachot 4b).
 However, there is on hitch in easily accomplishing this goal. In
general it is meritorious and required to answer "amen" to all brachas
that one hears (Shulchan Aruch, OC 124:6). What is one supposed to do
upon hearing the shliach tzibbut - shatz, conclude the blessing of
gaw'al yisrael? Because of the importance of not interrupting after
gaw'al yisrael there is a debate (OC 66:7 and 111:1) between the
Mechaber and the Ramah about how to proceed.2 The Mechaber held that one
should not respond "amen" since that would constitute an interruption,
while the Ramah (and the Tur before him) viewed the amen as part of
prayer, and not only permitted saying it, but indicated that such was
the custom.3 It is clear that both assumed that the sha"tz was
completing the blessing out loud and neither they, nor any other early
authorities that I could find, suggested otherwise. And since they were
all concerned with this issue, their silence loudly proclaims that for
some reason, whether to fulfill the obligation for the illiterate or
something else, the custom was to say it aloud.
 There are suggestions how to avoid the situation that leads to this
debate. Timing in this situation is crucial. If the shatz completes the
bracha first, one certainly may not answer amen as he is them in the
middle of a section (Mishna Berurah 66:35). The question seemingly
arises only if one completes the bracha before the shatz.4 Thus, the
Mishna Berurah (66:35), in the name of the Magen Avraham and others,
suggests that one should complete the bracha of gaw'al yisrael in
synchrony with the sha'tz and thereby, according to most authorities,
obviate the obligation to answer amen. Rav Yisrael Chaim Friedman
(Likutei MaHarich, 5724, 1:70-74) and others suggest that merely
finishing simultaneously is insufficient and one should commence a
phrase or two of his Shmoneh Esrei with the verses "Hashem sfatai
tiftach" and then wait for the Sha"tz to finish gaw'al yisrael. These
suggestions would seem to indicate that the prevailing custom was for
the sha"tz to complete the bracha out loud. Similarly, the Aruch
Hashulchan notes that while it may be permitted, the prevalent custom
was to not answer amen to gaw'al yisrael. He too is thus indicating that
the custom was to conclude it out loud.
 Despite this, about 100 years ago in the Litvisha yeshiva world it
became customary for the sha"tz to conclude gaw'al yisrael in a whisper
so that the listeners would not respond amen.5 There is precedent for
saying a bracha quietly so that others do not respond. The Pri Megodim
(Eishel Avraham 25:10) questions whether one should answer Amen to the
bracha al mitzvot t'fillin said by Ashkenazim when putting on the tfilla
shel rosh. Because of this doubt, the Maharsham (Da'at Torah OC 25:5),
quoting the Teshuvas Ramatz, opines that one should say the bracha
quietly so that others will not hear it.6
 The custom of saying gaw'al yisrael silently was strongly condemned by
Rav Yosef Eliyahu Henkin7 (Eidut L'Yisrael, p. 161; Teshuvot Ivra, p.
6). He based his objection to this "new custom" on the requirement to
fulfill the talmudic concept of "pores al ha'shema."8 His instructions
that the shatz say the brachot of yotzer ohr and gaw'al yisrael out loud
have appeared in every issue of the widely used Ezras Torah Luach (pages
18-19 in the luach of 5760) since 5707 (1947). Other critics of the
custom argue that it is disrespectful to enunciate the start of a
blessing but not its conclusion, and if it is said quietly it robs those
who are in other stages of davening from answering amen. Recently, Rav
Moishe Sternbuch (Tshuvot v'Hanhagot 1:105) and Rav Ezra Bick (Chovat
ha-Chazan b'Tfila b'Tzibur, Alon Shvut 117(1987):24-38, also appeared in
Kesher Tfutzot [of Yeshivat Har Etzion] 12(1987):4-18) have written in
favor of the practice of concluding the bracha out loud. Still others
argue that even if the shatz concludes the bracha quietly it does not
solve the problem, since there is a requirement to answer amen if one
knows what bracha is said even if without hearing the conclusion (Beis
Baruch on Chayei Adam 20:56).
 Rav Aizik Ausband (Telshe Rosh Yeshiva, journal Moriah? Hapardes?
[YEAR??]) and Rav Ephraim Greenblatt (Rivevos Ephraim 1:71; 5:42) have
responded to many of the objections and defended the yeshivish minhag.
They argue that it is predicated on the decisions of the Gra and they
cite some earlier precedent for the custom. The Yesodei Yeshurun (vol.
1, page 284) quotes Mahari Tirnah as suggesting the silent completion of
gaw'al yisrael to avoid the requirement of saying amen. It seems that
the practice of the Aishel Avraham (OC 66)9 was to say the ENTIRE bracha
of gaw'al yisrael silently. The Chatan Sofer10 wrote that it is proper
to conclude the bracha silently and Rav Chaim Kanievsky is quoted as
saying to conclude the bracha silently is a good custom (Ishei Yisrael,
page 164, end of note 83).
 It thus seems that neither custom is "the correct" one, both have their
defenders,11 and it is a misconception to suggest that it is proper and
required to conclude gaw'al yisrael in an undertone.12
 The irony of this custom is that this practice, virtually unknown 100
years ago has today become so ubiquitous and its origins have been
obscured, that one can now find shlichai tzibbur that conclude the
kaddish before the maariv shmone eisrei silently!

  1The verse "Hashem, sfatai tiftach ..." said in shachrit and the
blessing of Hashkey'vanu and the Kaddish said in Maariv are all said
after gaw'al yisrael but are not considered interruptions. According to
most authorities the additional verses beginning with Baruch Hashem
l'olam in Maariv is also not an interruption. See Tur OC 236; Shulchan
Aruch OC 236:2; and Igros Moshe OC:2:102. The gabbai may also announce a
reminder to add Ya'ale v'yavo for Rash Chodesh (see Magen Avraham 236:1
for the reason). However Al ha'nisim and other announcements may not be
made (Kaf Hachaim 236:16-17).
     2It is worth noting that the bracha is in the past tense, gaw'al,
and refers to the redemption from Egypt, as opposed to the seventh
bracha in Shmone Esrai that concludes Go'el Yisrael, in the
present/future which is a prayer for the future. See Pesachim 117b;
Rashbam ibid; Tur OC 236; Mishna Berurah 66:33. Taz (66:6) says that if
one accidently said go'el instead of gaw'al it is OK. However, according
to Rav Chaim Kanievsky (cited in Ishei Yisrael, by Avraham Yishaya
Papauper, 5758, chapter 32, note 101) and Rabbi Ephraim Greenblatt
(lengthy analysis in Rivevos Ephraim, 5:51) the reverse is no good and
one would have to repeat Shmone Esrai if they said gaw'al instead of
     3The same debate exists about amen between ahava rabbah and shema.
The Gra sided with the Ramah in permitting all amens, with the notable
except of between gaw'al yisrael and Shemoneh Esrei. Of course, it goes
without saying that even the Ramo agrees that one may not answer amen to
another bracha that he may happen to hear between his saying gaw'al
yisrael and beginning shmone esrei (SA OC 66:7, Mishna Berurah 66:35).
     4Or, after completing his bracha, hears it completed by another
worshipper - an issue that will not be discussed here.
     5Despite the "yeshivish" custom of saying gaw'al yisrael in a
whisper, several well known roshei yeshiva made a point of completing
gaw'al yisrael out loud whenever they davened for the amud (led the
services). These include Rav Shneur Kotler (Lakewood), Rav Yosef Dov
Soloveitchik (YU), and Rav Yaakov S. Weinberg (Ner Yisrael).
     6Rav Shlomo Kluger (Ha'elef Lecho Shlomo, 57) disagrees and rules
that it is permissible and appropriate to answer Amen to the bracha of
al mitzvot t'fillin.
     7He further explained his reasoning in an article in Hapardes, Elul
     8This is a difficult term to translate and is subject to much
discussion among the talmudic commentators. See explanations of the
mishna Megillah 4:3 (23b).
     9There are at least three commentaries called Aishel Avraham to
Orach Chaim. This quote is from the Pri Megaddim on OC, written by R.
Joseph b. Meir Teomim (1727-1792).
     10Not the Chatam Sofer as erroneously stated in Tshuvot v'Hanhagot,
but the Chatan Sofer as stated in Rivevot Ephraim. The Chatan Sofer,
Rabbi Samuel ben David Zevi Ehrenfeld, 1835-1883, was the son of the
Chatam Sofer's daughter and son-in-law, and in his later years served as
the rav of Mattesdorf (Moravia/Hungary). See Encyclopedia Judaica 6:508.

     11See Minhag Yisrael Torah, Vol. 1, Pg 153-154 and Ishei Yisrael,
paragraph 24, notes 83 and 84 for additional supporters of each side.
     12An irony in this custom is that many people are more careful
about it shabbat morning, when in reality the required linkage of gaw'al
yisrael and shmone esrei is the weakest on shabbat morning and may be
broken in order to respond to certain prayers (Ramo, Orach Chaim 111:1;
Mishna Berura 66:50)

 This article is a draft & is not for circulation or distribution.
Draft of February 8, 2000 Please do not cite without permission.
 Page 1

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Date: Tue, 08 Feb 2000 15:28:06 -0500
From: "Ari Z. Zivotofsky" <azz@lsr.nei.nih.gov>

I hate to differ with my co-author, but the 247 cycle also does not
"birthday coincidence."
As a matter of fact, assuming RYGB was born during the day, his
birthday is Feb 14 1962.
when he God willing turns 247 on 10 Adar it will be Feb 15 2209

See below for my short write-up on this.


"Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" wrote:

> Just for the record, I am aware that the actual cycle is 247 years
> d'Rav Nachshon Gaon). This will be discussed en passant in a
forthcoming JO
> essay by myself and fellow list ember RAZZibotofsky of the RSG/R
Aharon b
> Meir Controversy.
> And, for the record, I did not mean "eve" literally. My birthday is 10
> I. :-)
> Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
> Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL 60659
> http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila    ygb@aishdas.org
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Daniel M Wells <wells@mail.biu.ac.il>
> To: <avodah@aishdas.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, February 08, 2000 11:17 AM
> Subject: Calendical Issue
> >
> > > my 38th birthday (which, should coincide, being a multiple of 19,
> > > is : off by two days).

Misconception: The Jewish calendar has a 19 year cycle such that one's
Hebrew and English birthday's coincide every 19 years.

Fact: There is a 19 year cycle, but it only determines if the years have
a regular or a leap status. The calendar does not repeat every 19 years
and birthdays do not necessarily coincide (mine didn't).

Background: In the current, fixed, Jewish calendar the are two sets of
requirements that must be fulfilled. The intrinsicly unrelated lunar and
solar cycles must be aligned so that months follow the waxing and waning
of the moon, while the yearly holidays occur in the correct season. This
gross adjustment is handled by adding leap months (an extra Adar) 7
times every 19 years. This cycle is known as the Metonic Cycle.
 There are more refined adjustments that need to be made to the calendar
to comply with, for example to rule that Rosh Hashana cannot fall on
Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday. These are made with the aid of two
variable length months, Marcheshvan and Kislev which can each have
either 29 or 30 days. The 19 year cycle makes no specific demand on
these two months, and hence on the length of the years for each year in
the cycle. The only cyclical component about the 19 year cycle is if the
years have a regular or a leap status, such that all 19 year cycles have
235 months. Within the cycle, years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 19 are leap
years.1 Because of the variations in Marcheshvan and Kislev, a nineteen
year cycle can be either 6939, 6940, 6941, or 6942 days long. Thus the
Jewish calendar does not repeat every 19 years. In addition, not all
cycles of 19 years on the Gregorian calendar have the same number of
days. The number of days in 19 Gregorian years depends on where in the
Gregorian leap-year cycle the 19 years begins and can have either 6969
or 6940 days.
 One might suspect that there is a larger cycle that would guarantee
"birthday coincidence." The logical one to try next is the 247 year
cycle that consists of 13 cycles of 19 years. But it too is inexact.2 It
is short by 905 chalakim (about 3016.6667 seconds or 50.27778 minutes),
and it too does not always have the same number of days, although it is
more consistent. Over 98% of 247 year cycles have 90,216 days (to be
precise, out of the full 689,472 year cycle, 675,716 have 90,216 days,
10,317 have 90,214 days and only 3,329 (0.5%) have 90,215 days,
averaging 90,215.9651 days per cycle or 365.2468222 days per year). Here
too, not all periods of 247 Gregorian years have the same number of
days. In addition, the Gregorian calendar is zipping past the Hebrew
calendar at a rate of about 1 day every 230 years. So even for those who
live long enough, there is no guaranteed relationship between one's
247th Hebrew and English birthdays. For example, people born Sept. 23
1901, 1902, and 1903 will find that in 2148, 2149, and 2150 respectively
their 247th birthdays do indeed coincide. However those born in 1904,
1908, 1963, or 1965 will find that their birthdays in 2151, 2155, 2210,
and 2212 respectively miss the starting date by one day. Those born in
1964 will find their 247th birthdays misaligned by two days. There are
just no guarantees even after 247 years!

     1This is remembered by the Hebrew mnemonic GUCHADZat, standing for
the Hebrew letters gimmel-vav-chet-aleph-daled-zayin-tet.
     2A true Hebrew calendar repetition requires the ridiculously long
period of 36,288 cycles of 19 years, or 689,472 Hebrew years.

 This article is a draft & is not for circulation or distribution.
Draft of February 8, 2000 Please do not cite without permission.

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Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 16:03:16 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Re: Calendical Issues

Sepculative  question: Is there a relationship between Rosh Hashana L'ilanos 
kdivrei Beis Shammai (i.e. Rosh Chodesh Shevat)


the Chinese New Year which  - excepting for a Jewish Leap Year - also falls out 
on Rosh Chodesh Shevat.


PS: I've {humorosly} considered the possibility that the real girso is k'divrei 
Beis *Sinni* (as in Hebrew for Chinese!) 

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Calendical Issues 
Author:  <avodah@aishdas.org> at tcpgate 
Date:    2/8/2000 7:53 AM

On Mon, Feb 07, 2000 at 07:22:20PM -0600, Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhof
er wrote:
:    my 38th birthday (which, should coincide, being a multiple of 19, but is 
: off by two days).

The cycle of shanos me'ubaros is 19 years long, not the system for Kisleiv 
and Cheshvan. The pattern of 7 leap months in 19 years is called the Metonic 
Cycle. On inyana diyoma, the Chinese calendar also uses the Metonic Cycle, 
but they're at a different point in the rotation than we are.

The Bavliim also used the Metonic Cycle to correct their calendar. 
Interestingly (to me, at least) their change of leap month from Ellu (Ellul) 
to Adu (Adar) coincided with Galus Bavel.

I was under the impression that the pre-computation of Shanos Me'ubaros 
started with Anshei K'nesses haGdolah. But when I was called to prove this 
point, I was unable to find my makor. (Help anyone?) If it is correct,
it would be unsurprising that we used the results already in use by the 
surrounding culture.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for  2-Feb-00: Revi'i, Mishpatim 
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 108b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Melachim-II 15

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Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 21:53:56 +0000
From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk>
Re: Smoking and Halocho

In message , Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer
<sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu> writes
>But what really bothers me is the implication of the proposals here. In a
>sense, they seem to me thoroughly "Brisker". The underlying assumption of
>the drive for halachic solutions to a health problem is that there is, in
>Yahadus, only Halocho and non-Halocho. I.e., either it is assur - or muttar.
>But Yahadus is not pure Halocho. There are other values beyond "Assur" and
>"Muttar". There is the greatest question of all: "Will this activity add to
>or detract from my Ahavas or Yiras Hashem?" And there are many other
>corollary questions, such as one which may even be halachic; "Will this
>activity make me a naval b'reshus ha'Torah?"
>So, it seems to me that it makes our Yahadus shallow, almost
>two-dimensional, if our sole criterion is Halocho: Muttar or Assur. Indeed,
>it seems to impart to the religious world a distinct aura of immaturity:
>"They are not sophisticated enough to understand health issues qua health
>issues, so let's attack them with their own weapon: religion."

Now here is a real Avodah issue, and  what a fascinating one it is.

Because this isn't a viewpoint I have heard in a while.  Once upon a
time it was very widely held, particularly, I would say, among the Torah
u'Mada crowd, ie there is Torah, and there are things outside Torah
which have their own value and therefore should be studied and valued
independently.  This was traditionally contrasted with the view in
favour of "only Torah", which said that nothing outside of Torah had any
value and since Mada was outside, it should not be valued.  And I think,
to a large extent, the "only Torah" people won the debate.  Look, they
argued, if Torah is emes, and emes is Torah, everything that is not
Torah must be tiflus or sheker (if not the sitra achra).

And in the face of this argument, it seems to me that viewpoint you
articulate has virtually disappeared (sure it seems to reflect a
position within the traditional sources, but I don't mean that, I mean
in the living breathing Torah world of today).   However, that does not
mean that those who supported Mada abandoned its study and involvement.
Rather, it seems to me, there was a shift in philosophical position, in
many ways a paradigmatic shift to a perspective that agrees that Torah
"covers the field".  That does not mean that the full "only Torah"
viewpoint has taken over and areas of knowledge that were once accepted
were rejected.  Rather the shift has been to see various parts of Torah
as "picking up" the other things that are valued, rather than seeing
them as other but still emes.

The classic case is derech eretz, by which I mean here, basic human
decency.  The old way was to say, derech eretz is something additional,
outside, before the Torah.  The new way is to say, derech eretz is part
of(ie incorporated within) the Torah eg via the pasuk "v'asita hayashar
v'hatov" -  as articulated by the Ramban there.  How, such people ask,
can derech eretz be before the Torah if the Torah was created before
everything else, and was the blueprint for the creation.  Thus what is
meant by derech eretz kodmin l'torah is that you cannot fully appreciate
and learn and function with the Torah, if you do not lay as your
grounding in Torah such psukim as v'asita hayashar v'hatov.

V'nishmartem meod l'nufshosechem fulfills the same function within this
philosophy, bringing in heath and physical activity within the perview
of Torah.

And, of course, the Rambam's linkage of ahava with knowledge, eg
scientific knowledge brings that sphere within the boundaries of Torah.

But I disagree that the mindset behind this shift is that of Brisk.  If
anything, I would identify it as Habbakuk (with the emphasis on the
"Kook" part).  That is, the zeitgeist that leads us to search for a
"grand theory of everything" not to mention, at its extremes, mystic
oneness with the universe, similarly pushes towards an inclusivist and
overarching view of Torah.  Yes, there is a certain compatibility with
Brisk (which may help explain the dominance of Brisker analysis in the
Beis Medresh) but such thinking goes way beyond Brisk.  And because of
the Kook influence, I think it is difficult to describe it as shallow
(the irony is that it can operate to make the old "Torah only" viewpoint
look shallow, because their definition of Torah is so limited by
comparision).  In another manifestation, however, this viewpoint fuels
the growth of belief in daas Torah, because an inclusivist view of Torah
expects the greatest knowers of Torah, ie the Gedolim, to know about a
much wider field than one who believes in a more limited definition.

Um, don't know what more to say here, really.  Except that I think we
have cut through to the core of the matter.

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

Kind Regards


Chana/Heather Luntz

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Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 17:09:09 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Re: Gaw'al Yisrael

Not so ironic at all.

Chassidim threw out Minhag Ashkenaz (except for Vien and "Oberland") about 200 
years ago. During the last century or so, virtually all Ashkenazim in Israel 
follow the Gro.

When I daven in Washington Heights, I get the stark realization that virtually 
nobody else still does the traditional Ashkenazic practice - even the ones that 
prevailed in Lita. EG, how many Litvisher Minyanim STILL say piyyutim on the 4 
Parshiyos?  On Yom Tov?

I would recommend seeing the Vilna Kol Bo Machzor/Siddur and comparing it to the
Roedelheim, and you will see a LOT more in common than you might first expect. 
Even on YK where the German minhag is very different, both  have selichos for 
shacharis/mussaf/Mincha.  Follwers of RYBS thought he was being original when he
"addedg" selichos on YK, but he was actually restoring an older minhag that had 
fallen into disuse (Again see see the Vilna Kol Bo)

The Gro and the Yeshivishe velt in his wake has been gradually "undoing" Minhag 
Ashkenaz for centuries.  I get the impression that this is based upon a 
TB-centric view of halacha and minhag and I have posted this many times.

EG #2 in Ner Yisroel we were makpid to be mesayim the brocho before Shma with 
the Shatz.  This is being chosheish for the BY, yet the Remo says to say Amain 
and so is the Minhag in the German communities.


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Gaw'al Yisrael 
I have written up the blurb below on the question of saying Gaw'al Yisrael out 



 The irony of this custom is that this practice, virtually unknown 100
years ago has today become so ubiquitous and its origins have been 
obscured, that one can now find shlichai tzibbur that conclude the 
kaddish before the maariv shmone eisrei silently! <<


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