Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 465

Saturday, March 25 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 18:05:34 -0500 (EST)
From: Claude Schochet <claude@math.wayne.edu>
Kom Rabba v'Shochtei l'Reb Zeira

 Re Raba and Rav Zeira see the Rebbe's Sichas Vol 31, p 177ff, also in an 
English translation in the book "Beacons on the Talmud's Sea" at p 149, 
more to come after Shabbas for those who don't have the sforim available.
The story and the Rebbe's interpretation make a beautiful dvar Torah for 
the Purim Seudah that will hold the attention of all, young and old alike.

a Gutn Shabbas,

Pesha Rivka Schochet

Claude Schochet				claude@math.wayne.edu	
Mathematics Department			313-577-3177	office phone		
Wayne State University		    	313-577-7596	department fax
Detroit, MI 48202

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Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000 23:42:45 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Tuitions and the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

> Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 14:16:46 -0800 (PST)
> From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
> Subject: Tuitions and the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

If one's home
> mortgage is $2000 per month it is a legitimate
> deduction and gets the same "value" as the one whose
> mortgage is $700 per month. The $700 mortgagee has
> more money available for tuition even if his income is
> less than the mortgagee with the $2000 per month
> mortgage.  This is fair.  

I don't see why this is necessarily fair. If someone has traded up 
and taken a huge mortgage on himself in order to live in a big fancy 
house that he really cannot afford, why should he get full credit for 
that? Why is that fair? IMHO the mortgage component of the "non-
disposable" income ought to be capped, with the cap going down 
as your overall income goes up.

> What is unfair in my view, is a policy that no one
> should have to pay more than a certain percentage of
> his disposable income.  

It's not netiquette to say it, but I agree with you on this.

-- Carl

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

Carl and Adina Sherer

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Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000 23:42:44 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Golus Mentality

> Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 13:34:24 -0600
> From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
> Subject: Re: Golus Mentality
> To me, kedushah means "committed for a given purpose". The usual meaning is
> "... for the Ultimate Purpose" (lichvodi barasiv). In chumash the Purpose is
> often stated outright, as in "kadoshim atem Lashem E-lokeichem". And we also
> have kiddushin, where the purpose isn't directly the Ultimate One.

I think Kedusha means separated. See the Toras Kohanim at the 
beginning of Parshas Kdoshim. Note that Rashi limits it specifically 
to arayos, but the Ramban (and apparently the Rambam, at least 
based on the content of the Sefer called "Kdusha" in the Yad) give 
a broader meaning.

> : A Pure Jewish Mentality would *only* think in terms of Choshen Mishpat for
> : litigation -- Golus Mentality would think about courts and secular law, at
> : least as an option.
> What I was saying earlier is that a Pure Jewish Mentality, which I would
> consider identical to the concept of someone with perfect Da'as Torah,
> would not be thinking about the rules of halachah, he'd have an intuitive
> sense of mutar and assur, or of who has ba'alus.

Well, yes, but I don't think Choshen Mishpat always breaks down 
into pure mutar and asur or only into questions of baalus.

-- Carl

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

Carl and Adina Sherer

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Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 00:09:30 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
(Fwd) Another slice of life (off topic)

This one was posted on tachlis yesterday morning....

-- Carl

Purim Bus Ride

by Judy Lash Balint

It doesn’t pay to own a car in Jerusalem.  Not only is traffic and parking a 
major hassle, but it’s far too easy to miss out on the neighborhood action 
when driving the shortest route from A to B in a private vehicle.

This was nowhere more in evidence than on Shushan Purim, the holiday observed 
by residents of walled cities, a day after the rest of the world has returned 
to normal after the raucous Purim festival. (Erev Shushan Purim I saw 
busloads of Haredim descend on the city from Bnei Brak so they could 
celebrate the holiday all over again...)

This year, just to add to the bizarre nature of the occasion, Shushan Purim 
coincided with the first day of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Israel.  The 
authorities wisely decided that the pontiff would be better off with Yasser 
Arafat on this day, so they packed him off to Bethlehem to avoid having to 
explain why there were so many little popes and nuns running round the city.

In the afternoon of the festival, after a swift Purim seudah,  I  headed off 
to the press center at Binyanei Hauma to watch the live TV feed from the 
Palestine Authority and attend the press briefing with Internal Security 
Minister Shlomo Ben Ami.  As I hopped on the #15 bus, I noticed that the 
shops in my neighborhood were already closed, the owners home enjoying their 
festive meal.  I’d brought along a newspaper to pass  the time on the 20 
minute trip, but the street was far more entertaining than any paper.

The #15 passes Beit Hanassi, the President’s residence, where workers were 
putting the final touches to the marquee which would host the pope the next 
day.  Down on Jabotinsky Street, kids in costume could be seen bustling in 
and out of apartment buildings delivering baskets of mishloach manot--gifts 
of prepared foodstuffs--to friends and neighbors.  Most were unaccompanied by 
adults--children as young as six or seven years old are frequently seen 
riding the bus alone here.

As the bus arrived in town on Rehov Yafo I could see that the main post 
office and the banks were closed in honor of the holiday.  A group of 
bewildered Christian tourists from Indiana got on the bus and turned to ask 
why everything was closed and people were running around in costume--wasn’t 
Purim yesterday, they wondered.

The #15 climbed up Strauss St. headed for Geula, right next to Mea Shearim.  
Music blasted through the windows as we approached Kikar Shabbat, the main 
intersection of the neighborhood--the place the ultra-Orthodox generally hold 
their demonstrations and post their community pronouncements. Today, the 
posters announced that the Pope is the wordly representation of the cross 
which had caused Jews so much grief over the centuries.  But most people in 
the streets were far too busy enjoying the one day a year when they could act 
out with the sanction of the rabbis to pay attention to the harsh words.  
Some men had exchanged their somber black hats for bright red, tassled Fez’s. 
 Others wore cowboy hats, their long peyot ( sidecurls) mingling 
incongruously with the strings of their foreign headgear.

The women apparently had been too busy making sure their offpring were 
adequately decked out to bother with their own costumes.  Most wore regular 
Shabbat clothes.  But the kids, who clogged the sidewalk and spilled out onto 
the narrow street causing massive traffic jams, were happily trying out their 
new identities.  Little Rabbi Ovadya Yosefs were running around everywhere, 
chased by a few Yasser Arafats and some more traditional Mordechai characters.

Everyone was hauling mishloach manot baskets. Some parents took their kids 
over to deposit a basket with the beggars on the street who were standing 
back to watch the action.   Our bus was stuck in the gridlock for almost ten 
minutes. While we were sitting there , a  young man sitting in costume at the 
front of the bus, suddenly opened the window and yelled out to a pedestrian 
walking by holding an upturned hat: “Is that for matanot l’evyonim?” (Gifts 
to the poor?) Seeing a nod, he stuffed a 20 shekel note into the hat and sat 
back, satisfied that he hadn’t even had to get off the bus to perform the 
mitzvah.  Cars hired by various charities roamed up and down with megaphones 
blasting, offering the opportunity  for others to fulfil their obligations..

 A few creative young men had pulled gloves onto their windshield wipers, 
pulled them away from the windshield, and turned them on, so that they 
appeared to wave to passers by in time to the music.

As we inched up the street, one of the megaphones was broadcasting a nasty 
message about Education Minister Yossi Sarid and his affinity with Amalek--a 
theme sounded days before by Rav Ovadya Yosef.  The secular bus driver turned 
up the volume on the radio to drown out the message.

Despite the injunction that one is supposed to imbibe enough strong drink to 
blur the distinction between Mordechai and Haman, there was no sign on the 
streets of anyone being overtly drunk. Passing the large Yakiray Yisrael 
Yeshiva, however, we could see bottles being passed around amongst the men in 
the large study hall which had been converted into a makeshift all-male dance 

When I finally arrived at the press center, things there felt a little tame 
after all the street action.  Several hours later, I took the same #15 bus 
back home.  It was already dark, so the holiday was technically over, but 
there was still plenty of entertainment going on.  Back in Geula, buses 
clogged the streets waiting to return the Hasidim back home.  Scores of Gerer 
hasidim were scurrying around, still dressed in their holiday finery--their 
tall fur hats making them stand out in the crowd.  

At the last stop in Geula, two young men climbed onto the bus holding a 
bottle and half full shot glasses.  One sat quietly a few rows from the 
front, but his exuberant, and obviously quite drunk companion, plonked 
himself down next to a poor, unsuspecting fellow at the front of the bus. 

Sizing up the situation, a young yeshiva bocher further back yelled out: 
“Come sit next to me.” “Nah--why should I sit with you--you’re already frum!  
I have work to do on this brother...” the drunk one replied. It wasn’t clear 
whether he was still in costume, or whether in fact he was a genuine Hasid, 
with fine kapote and fur hat.  But he threw his arm around his neighbor and 
loudly started to tell him how he had become religious in reaction to his 
Reform family. In rapid fire Hebrew the Hasid told of how his parents had 
come to visit from the States and expressed only a passing interest in the 
kotel. “They wanted to come here to relax,” Hasid said, contemptuously.  
“They didn’t see the beautiful holiness here--could you imagine?” he asked 
his fellow traveler.  The young man next to him quietly squirmed in his seat, 
unresponsive.  Undeterred, Hasid went on--describing how a life of soccer 
matches, work and TV was a complete waste of God’s gift of creation.  
Finally, before rolling off the bus at Kikar Zion, Hasid invited the man to 
study with him and experience the fulfillment of Torah learning. “Anywhere, 
any time,” he said, in his parting effort, before the doors of the bus 
swooshed shut.

In the square, the Bratslaver boys, those whirling dervishes of Hasidism, 
were just warming up for their evening’s performance. Their white heavy knit 
kipas visible among the curious crowd gathered around as they bobbed up and 
down to the music.

The bus carried on, past the stately YMCA building across from the King David 
Hotel.  A dozen tourist buses  disgorged their passengers to take part in the 
kitschy Israel/Arab folklore evening that takes place every night in the 
ornate auditorium.

A few more stops and we arrived at the elegant Belgian Consulate at the top 
of Jabotinsky--revelers could be seen here too.  Perhaps Shushan Purim 
coincided with Belgian independence day this year, or maybe the Belgian 
Catholics were celebrating the Pope’s visit?

Finally, we arrived at my stop.  After this evening’s entertainment, I  know 
why I don’t have a car in Jerusalem.

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

Carl and Adina Sherer

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Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 23:02:31 +1000
From: SBA <sba@blaze.net.au>
rabbah shechting Rav Zeira - Chasam sofer

>Ari Z. Zivotofsky"                Subject: rabbah shechting Rav Zeira - Chasam sofer
>Yesterday Shlomo B. Abeles posted a reference to a Chasam Sofer with Purim
>torah from his rebbe the Hafla'oh. He mistakenly said it was on Chullin 17b; it is actually on 8a.

Sorry. I only looked up the gemoro (17b). I didn't get a chance to
check the CS.


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