Avodah Mailing List

Volume 05 : Number 071

Thursday, June 22 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2000 21:51:00 -0400
From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@bellatlantic.net>
Shavuos minhag

I congratulate those who have been able to arrange to eat a milchig
repast on Shavuot followed by a fleishig meal.  It best exemplifies what
I consider the major reason to eat milchig on Shavuot.  Shavuot no
longer has any biblically ordained ritual such as the bikurim, 2 chalot,
or other korbonot associated with it.  We don't eat matzoh, or sit in a
succah, or wave agricultural products.  Instead we focus on studying
torah in an attempt to recreate an atmosphere somewhat akin to the
preparations for standing at Mt. Sinai.  We do one more thing that is
associated with the torah's description of Shavuot.  This verse is
repeated three times, "The first of the new fruit of your land shall you
bring to the House of Hashem, your G-D; you shall not cook a kid in its
mother's milk".  If, in the absence of a Temple, we can not bring the
first fruit of the Holy Land, the Jewish people have decided to at least
demonstrate their allegiance to the second phrase - that of separating
meat and milk by eating milchig, removing all traces, and then eating

Yitzchok Zlochower

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Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 07:27:33 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Women and Succah (was Re: Kesuvos 62 Father leaving home to learn...)

On Thu, Jun 15, 2000 at 01:32:24PM -0500, Eric Simon wrote:
:>                                                 Are men and women supposed
:> to relate to time differently? What do we learn from the fact that matzah is
:> an exception to the rule, but sukkah isn't? What does this say about gender
:> roles and the home? What does it say about what kavannah I ought to have
:> while sitting in the Succah?

: To move from the abstract to the specific, do you or anyone want to discuss
: any answers to the excellent questions in the latter paragraph?

I cited this example because I raised it in the past, in our discussion of
gender roles. As the discussion caused me to slightly shift position and
greatly shift terminology, here's a brief recap:

According to RSRH, in addition to the well-known criterion of mitzvos asei
shehazman gerama (MASG), there is a second criterion that also must be met
in order for women to be peturos from a chiyuv. That is, that the mitzvah
must also relate to man's calling to "mil'u es ha'aretz vikivshuha".

RSRH notes the difference between k'ri and k'siv in the last word. While
the nikud for "vikishuha" is in the plural, the kubutz/shuruk is written
chaseir, as though the word is in the singular. As in the rest of the pasuk,
"p'ru urvu", the obligation rests on the man, but it takes both genders in
order to acheive this goal. As he puts it, "by excusing the female sex from
the hard labor of subduing and mastering the earth, He left it free to be
devoted to the higher and more humanistic task of employing the products of
the man's labor for the ethical purposes of building up a house and a family,
that is to say, in the service of his true vocation..."

IOW, it's Jewish man's duty to extend the influence of klal Yisrael, it's
the woman's duty to insure that we, internal to beis Yisrael, stay on course.

I called this in the past "inside" and "outside", as it relates also to
Hirsch's translation of the verse "kol kivudah bas melech penimah -- the
daughter of the King is all-glorious inside". Man focuses on goal, on moving
outward, kibbush; woman refocuses on the process, on the internals of how
that goal is reached. (Be it on the level of the home or of the community.)

The seder is internal, in the sense that it's "vehigadta libincha machar".
Succah, however, deals with the relationship between "inside" and "outside",
which is why we leave the home. Therefore, RSRH explains, women are mechuyavos
in seder and its mitzvos but not in succah.

According to RSRH, if we take the two criteria together, all the exceptions to
the rule of MASG evaporate. However, one could argue that this mapping from
mitzvah to ta'am, and therefore to whether or not it relates to vikivshuha,
is somewhat subjective. With a different understanding of the purpose of
Succah, perhaps one could argue otherwise. For example, Succah could also
be seen as teaches us the nature of home, and the difference between the
Jewish home and the house of hishtadlus that it dwells in. In which case,
why aren't women mechuyavos?

Perhaps RSRH would say that this is why the 2nd criterion isn't included in
Chazal's rule-of-thumb. It's too hard to pin down to be a useful guideline.
It's (also? or is this just a rephrase of the previous sentence?) not the way
halachah and aggadah work -- you don't derive halachah from aggadah (until
all else fails at providing a preference) you learn lessons of aggadah from
the halachah. We can't use the "kivshuha-ness" of the mitzvah to determine
whether or not women are mechuyavos. Rather, RSRH utilizes the presence or
absence of chiyuv to understand the message of the mitzvah.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 16-Jun-00: Shishi, Nasso
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Yuma 22b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Haftorah

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Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 10:27 +0200
Re: the term hillula

=On Fri, 16 Jun 2000 18:17:30 -0400 Alan Davidson <perzvi@juno.com>writes:
=> Because the term hillula actually means progression from one status
=> to a new one -- marriage is one, one's neshoma being re-united with
=> the aibishter is another.

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
= I see what you say about uniting with the RBShO as a hilula;  I
= question the generality of progression from one status to another.

I've heard this definition for the word "Histalkus".

Moshe Schorr

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