Avodah Mailing List
Volume 05 : Number 123
Monday, September 18 2000
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 00:19:41 -0400
From: Gershon Dubin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There was a request for amplification on Rav Hutner's discussion
This is from the second ma'amar in Pachad Yitzchok on Chanuka:
Hoda'ah refers both to admitting something, as in hoda'as ba'al
din, and thanking, as in hoda'ah al he'ovar. The reason these ideas
share a word is that all people desire independence; not to need anyone
else's help. At the same time that a person thanks another for something
he has done for him, he is admitting that in this instance he has not
been able to do without that favor: his thanks includes within it a
hoda'as ba'al din.
When we say modim, we include both ideas.
The hoda'ah of hoda'as ba'al din uses the following prefix,
"she", I admit...that. The first phrase of modim is an admission that
The hoda'ah of thanks is constructed with the following word,
"al". This is represented in the second phrase of modim: modim anachnu
lecha...al chayenu hamesurim beyadecha.
When Leah said "hapa'am odeh es Hashem" Rashi comments "al
shenatalti yoser mechelki"; a hoda'as ba'al din that she did not
deserve, be'din, what she received, at the same time as she thanked
With this Rav Hutner explains the fight between Yaakov and the
saro shel Esav: ki sarisa... vatuchal, mikan shehodeh lo al
haberachos. Thus, ledoros, whenever there is a confrontation between
saro shel Esav and Yaakov, and a yeshua (through mesiras nefesh of
Yisrael) from the saro shel Esav, it is a repetition of the hoda'ah al
Therefore, when Chanuka was nikva lehalel vehoda'ah, it was as
a re-enactment of the hoda'ah al haberachos: The hoda'ah of praise on
Chanuka contains within it an admission by saro shel Esav that Yisrael is
deserving of the berachos.
Go to top.
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 04:52:03 +1000
From: SBA <email@example.com>
Subject: Hagbeh/Orur Asher Lo Yokum es Divrei Hatorah Hazos
An interesting Ramban Al Hatorah on the Posuk "Orur Asher Lo Yokum es
Divrei Hatorah Hazos":
He says that this refers to the person, who when doing Hagbeh, does not
show the Torah to all - as per Mesechta Sofrim which states that upon
lifting the Torah - one should show the writing to all those standing
to his left and right and to those in front and behind him - as it is a
Mitzvah for all the men and women(!) to see the Ksav and to say "V'zos
Hatorah Asher Som Moshe etc."
A few years ago, (when I was Gabai in our BHMD), I did some research
on the correct method for Hagbeh. It's quite obvious from the Mishnah
Berurah that you should turn right and slowly go 360 degrees. The MB
(IIRC) compares it to the way the Cohanim turn for duchenen.
I have noticed over the years that many are not makpid on this and
simply give a quick wave towards left and right and then sit down.
Another thing that many don't know is that they should open (and keep
open during Hagbeh) the Sefer Torah - 3 amudim (and should try to have
the tefirah b'emtzah-but that may be more important for the Gollel).
Another halocho which is often overlooked is that you should not be
mechabed for Hagbeh a person who does not have the strength to do all
of the above.
During a trip to EY, I was introduced to a young TC who had published
a Kuntres on this subject (IIRC called Lehachzir Atoro Leyoshno - or
something like that), where he is clearly mevarer this halocho- and had
haskomos from many poskim - including the Debreciner Rov zt'l and yblcht
Rav S Wosner shlit'a.
Again - IIRC - that is where I first learned of this Ramban - which
should give a strong encouragement to all of us to do
The same Ramban also quotes from theYerushalmi Sotah (7:4) a Chazal -
which I heard fundraisers quote: "Lomad v'Limad v'Shomar v'Osoh - v'Hoyo
Sipek B'yodoy l'Hachzik v'lo Hichzik - harei zeh b'chall Orrur...
SHLOMO B ABELES
Go to top.
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 04:54:18 +1000
From: SBA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
During a conversation with our Rov shlita today he was telling me how
tzaddikim often explained the Tochocho - as brochos rather than k'lollos.
EG the posuk this week (28:53) "V'ochalto pri vitnecho bsar bonecho
uvnosecho..." (but fits even better on the Tochocho in B'chukosay (26:29)
"V'achaltem bsar bneichem uvsar b'nosechem tochelu") - is explained it
as a brocho that your children will be Erlicheh Yidden with Kosher homes
and you will be able to eat meat there...
Go to top.
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 08:56:21 -0400
Subject: Re: Question From A Yid
> "Who is a ger toshav? Whoever has resolved to convert and has renounced
> idolatry but who still has not actually converted. We allow him twelve months
> to do so. This applies to a ger toshav, but as for a gentile it is forbidden
> for him to dwell among Jews and to work on the Sabbath lest the Jews learn
> from his deeds" (Tannaitic text published 40 years ago called MRE, sec.20,
> 374. See P. Yeb 8.1 / Also referenced by the Saadyah Gaon ca. 1000)
> This then seems to be the basis for the later Amoraic statement that a "Ger
> toshav" who has not been circumcised within twelve months is considered to be
> a confirmed idolater. Thus we see that even in the Talmudic period the
> absolute separation between the ger toshav and the ger tzedeq was not
> consistently held. A good case can be made that generally in the Biblical
> period, and even in the early rabbinical period, the ger toshav was in fact
> considered a potential Ger Tzediq. (B. AZ 65a., Only Meiri, 256, codifies this
> We need definitions according to time periods.
I'm not entirely sure what the suggestion is that you quoted. If the suggestion
is that someone who wanted to convert, to become a Ger Tzedek, was first
required to undergo a test period as a Ger Toshav before he converted, I would
say interesting and, if true, an excellent idea on the part of the tannaim
and/or amoraim. If the suggestion is that originally a Ger Toshav was someone
who HAD to convert after a period of time, I would say that this is a difficult
idea which needs much more proof than offered.
I'm not familiar with the MRE. However, the passages in TY Yevamot 8:1 and TB
Avodah Zarah 65a seems to support the theory I quoted in an earlier post that a
Ger Toshav can accept whichever mitzvot he wishes with a minimum, that is
debated by tannaim.
The passage in TY Yevamot 8:1 (44a) is difficult to read. The Ridbaz tries to
infer from the Rambam's Mishneh Torah how the Rambam read the passage.
According to the Ridbaz, all of the cases in that passage are of a Ger Toshav
who accepted different levels of mitzvah observance but DID NOT accept to be
Even if the passage can be read simply (I'm not sure that it can) and a Ger
Toshav can accept all of the mitzvot, that still does not equate him with a Ger
Tzedek. A Ger Tzedek has the intent to become a Jew and join the Jewish people
and immerses in a mikvah for that purpose. A Ger Toshav does not have that
intent and therefore remains a gentile.
The passage in TB A"Z 65a quotes a tannaitic source who says that a Ger Toshav
who is not circumcised within 12 months is considered to be a regular gentile
i.e. he loses his status of Ger Toshav. An amora then explains that this is
referring to a Ger Toshav who accepted to circumcize himself. In other words,
if a Ger Toshav does not fulfill the conditions of his acceptance then his
acceptance is nullified.
From neither sources do I see any proof for the suggestion that a Ger Toshav is
a Ger Tzedek-in-training.
Go to top.
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 09:35:24 -0400
Subject: Re: Toychochoh
> During a conversation with our Rov shlita today he was telling me how
> tzaddikim often explained the Tochocho - as brochos rather than k'lollos.
R. Itzele Blaser, in his Kochvei Or, compares the derashah on the pasuk (28:66)
"Vehayu chayecha teluyim..." that you will have to gather your food daily with
the derashah on the pseukim (Shemos 16) that the omer was given daily so people
would have bitachon.
R. Itzele asked whether receiving your food daily is a berachah or a kelalah.
He answered that to those who have bitachon, like those in the midbar, it is a
berachah and to those who don't have bitachon, like those in a generation of
"vahayah im lo sishma bekol Hashem E-lokecha."
Go to top.
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 09:32:09 -0400
Subject: Re: Hagbeh/Orur Asher Lo Yokum es Divrei Hatorah Hazos
RSB Abeles wrote:
> He says that this refers to the person, who when doing Hagbeh, does not show
> the Torah to all - as per Mesechta Sofrim which states that upon lifting the
> Torah - one should show the writing to all those standing to his left and
> right and to those in front and behind him - as it is a Mitzvah for all the
> men and women(!) to see the Ksav and to say "V'zos Hatorah Asher Som Moshe
There are two nuschaos in the Ramban. One has the Ramban saying that everyone
must SEE the kesav. The other has the Ramban saying that everyone must READ the
kesav, i.e. be close enough to be able to read from the Sefer Torah.
> A few years ago, (when I was Gabai in our BHMD), I did some research on the
> correct method for Hagbeh. It's quite obvious from the Mishnah Berurah that
> you should turn right and slowly go 360 degrees. The MB (IIRC) compares it to
> the way the Cohanim turn for duchenen.
R. Feivel Cohen is makpid to do this and he once said that he saw in a sefer
that the Chazon Ish was as well.
Go to top.
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 17:14:52 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <email@example.com>
Subject: Nishtana HaTeva
Anyone have mekoros [for Nishtana HaTeva -msb]?
Go to top.
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 10:33:57 EDT
Subject: Re: Nishtana HaTeva
In a message dated 9/15/00 10:20:54 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> Anyone have mekoros [for Nishtana HaTeva -msb]?
The Sdei Chemed has alot on this also in the Kllolim of the Brizhaner Rov in
the last Vol. (Kehot edition).
Kol Tuv, KVCT,
Go to top.
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 11:42:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RO"Y and Minhag E"Y
From: Richard Wolpoe <PMSRXW@IBIVM.IBI.COM>
> Let me say that Kalir's krovos on Tisha b'av skis "matzmiach keren Yeshua"
> indicating that AFTER vlamalshinim there was 18.
> AIUI there were 18 BEFORE vlmaslhinim and that afterward binyan
> Yerushlayim and Yeshua were merged to preserve the mystical number 18.
Actually, as I understand it based on Netiv Binah and the sources in
Bavli & Yerushalmi that he uses, there were 18 from the time of Ezra.
The Yerushalmi has 18 including the minim, without yeshua. The braita
in Brachot about Shmuel haPicoli and Shmuel haKatan has Shmuel haKatan
"tiken" the bracha of the minim. Not "chiber", he didn't compose it
ab initio. Not a takkanah of beis din which, it seems to me, would
have been necessary to add a new bracha expressing a new idea to the
tefillah. But "tiken", fixed up, updated. The bracha of minim had
existed already, but the nature of minus had changed - different ideas
were floating around, so they had to update the language of the bracha,
and it needed to come from someone who was ideologically pure. This
implies that the bracha already existed. What seems to have happened
was that the bracha for Yerushalayim, which already has malchut beit
David *in* it, was split in Bavel to render honor to the house of the
Reish Galuta, the continuation of the Davidic line down to the time
of the Geonim.
So there were 18 in EY and 19 in Bavel probably all the way back, or
close to it.
Go to top.
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 12:46:34 EDT
From: Richard Wolpoe <PMSRXW@IBIVM.IBI.COM>
Subject: Re: RO"Y and Minhag E"Y
On Fri, 15 Sep 2000 11:50:05 -0400 said:
>From: Richard Wolpoe <PMSRXW@IBIVM.IBI.COM>
>> Let me say that Kalir's krovos on Tisha b'av skis "matzmiach keren Yeshua"
>> indicating that AFTER vlamalshinim there was 18.
>> AIUI there were 18 BEFORE vlmaslhinim and that afterward binyan
>> Yerushlayim and Yeshua were merged to preserve the mystical number 18.
>Actually, as I understand it based on Netiv Binah and the sources in
>Bavli & Yerushalmi that he uses, there were 18 from the time of Ezra.
AS I understand Ezra was before the lamlashinim so as I understand
we are in agreement - is that how you understand it too <smile>
Go to top.
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 13:57:24 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Mesorah Ashk. vs. Sfard
In support of R' Rich Wolpoe, a paper abstract, which bears reposting:
Law, Custom and Tradition in Early Jewish Germany
- Tentative Reflections
In "Law, Custom and Tradition in early Jewish Germany-Tentative
Reflections"- Prof. Ta-Shma investigates early Ashkenazic custom from
phenomenological and historical evolutionary perspectives. In the
first part of the paper various attributes particular to Ashkenazic
custom are presented. The author demonstrates the full development
of Ashkenazic custom as exiting already in the eleventh century,
challenging the widely held belief, since Graetz, that obsession
with custom is a fo urteenth-century development, an outgrowth of
the decadence charactrristic of that century. A general theory is
proposed for the attitude towards custom and its rank in halakhic
hierarchy in early Ashkenaz.
The actual historic development of Ashkenazic custom and the struggle
concerning it are dealt with in the second part of this paper. The
establishment by R. Gershom of the yeshiva in Mainz, and the ensuring
advance of the study of the Babylonian Talmud, u ndermined the basic
Ashkenazic perception of the precedence of living custom and oral
tradition over halakhic literary sources. In the ensuing comprtition
between the mitzva of thepretical Torah study and observance of
other mitzva, the former gradually g ained the upper hand. The many
contrasts between Babylonian halakhah and the traditional halakhah
and custom of Ashkenaz were gradually exposed and it became clear
that these could be harmonized only with great difficulty, if at
all. During the eleventh c entury the devotees of the old school
strggled to protect their traditions and their attitudes, and they
sanctified custom in almost metaphyhical terms. Important scholars
opposed this trend, but the devotees of custom succeeded in censoring
the oppositio n in their writings, which constitute the majority
of what has come down to us from eleventh century literature.
Thus, when we fitst meet Ashkenazic custom in its full strength,
in the middle of the eleventh century, it wass already in retreat,
struggling to survive in the face of young scholars whose "academic"
study was at its peak and who sought halakhic authority for their own
mwthod. This process is the background of the Tosatist phenomenon
and the revolution they brought to the Jewish word of spirit and
It looks like this paper is a predecessor to the book I'm reading.
Go to top.
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 15:55:36 -0400
From: "David Glasner" <DGLASNER@ftc.gov>
Subject: Re: Dor Revi'i on shemitah bizman ha-zeh
The Dor Revi'i arrived in Eretz Yirael in the spring of 1922. He
quickly became involved in the controversy over the observance
of shemitah in the year 5724 (1923-24). In his history of Religious
Zionism, Rabbi Maimon (in whose house the Dor Revi'i lived
after arriving in Jerusalem) writes that the Dor Revi'i believed
that the heter mechira was unnecessary and was amazed that
Rabbi Kook resorted to its use. The Dor Revi'i based his
position on the Ba'al ha-Ma'or who holds that the laws of
shemitah are not in force bi-zman ha-zeh. Although the
Ba'al ha-Ma'or seems to be in the minority among Rishonim,
Rabbi Maimon writes that the Dor Revi'i felt that he had an
invincible proof to support the Ba'al ha-Ma'or.
The Dor Revi'i cited Sanhedrin 12a which forbids intercalating
a shemitah year, because, Rashi explains, a leap year would
prolong the prohibition against working the land. The Dor Revi'i
observed that, under the fixed calendar now in effect, the
shemitah year of 5724 was intercalated. Since the fixed calender
violates the prohibition in Sanhedrin 12a, the Dor Revi'i concluded
that, unless there was a rabbinical court competent to intercalate
the calendar through witnesses, there was no longer even a
rabbinic obligation to observe the law of shemitah.
Is anyone aware of whether this point has been addressed in
the subsequent literature on shemitah?
Go to top.
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 17:19:17 -0400
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
Subject: RE: RSZA Essay on Heter Mechira
From: "Daniel A. Schiffman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Here's a paraphrase of RSZA's essay: ...
> Sefekot which are not resolved
> 4. Is a temporary mechira a violation of Lo techanem, or is it totally
> mutar (afilu midrabbanan), and less chamur then a sechirut?
> 5. Can a temporary mechira accomplish hafkaah mikedushat perot sheviit?
> 6. Does the mechira work despite not having any official legal status in
> the eyes of Israeli secular law? (It isn't registered in the official
> government land registry)
> 7. Although RY Karo holds that avoda by a Jew is assur, and
> this is how we pasken, Sefer haterumah holds that today, EY has the din
> of Suria so that a kinyan nochri is strong enough to permit avoda. May
> we rely on a daat yachid such as this beshaat hadchak? Even the matirim
> allowed avoda only for aniyim who could not afford to hire nochrim, and this
> only for melachot that are derabbanan even when shmitta is deoraita.
> Any melachot that are deoraita may only be performed by
> Nochrim, not by a Jew, no matter what the circumstances. However, Betzira
> U'Ketzira are letzorech perot only (not the land/trees), and are allowed if
> the perot have no kedusha, so for perot nochrim these melachot are
> muttar (despite being meikkaran, assur mideoraita).
> 8. Is there an issur aseh of shvitat sadehu, as there is an issur aseh
> of shvitat behemto an Shabbat? Shvitat behemto is violated when the
> behema is rented to a goy, and the goy works it on Shabbat.
Carl Sherer stated (probably on Areivim) that he believes that the Heter M
should be allowed for the purposes of allowing farmers to export their
produce (otherwise they may face financial ruin), but not for sale to
Jews--even non-religious ones. Such a position implies that for the farmers
there is a sha'as hadchak and therefore the Heter is valid for them.
But if that's the case, the issur of lo s'chanem must be viewed as having
been overcome not only for the farmers, but for all Jews, especially the
issur focuses specifically on the one selling the land (the farmer), not the
one buying the produce.
If we look at the list of s'feikos that are unresolved:
4., 7. and 8. cause a problem for the farmer, not the consumer
5. causes a problem for both the farmer and the consumer; if the problem is
resolved l'hakel regarding the farmer because of sha'as hadchak, perhaps the
consumer should be machmir
6. causes a problem for both the farmer and the consumer; if the problem is
resolved l'hakel regarding the farmer because of sha'as hadchak, it is
possible that the issue should be similarly resolved for the
consumer--either the mechirah is efficacious or it isn't, but it is possible
to argue and say that the consumer should be machmir.
I still maintain that while religious Jews should not rely on the Heter, it
is unclear whether Rav Kook would have (in light of all circumstances in
Israel, esp. charges of religious coercion and the challenges to the status
quo) paskened that it is incumbent upon religious Jews to save
non-religious/mesorati Jews from the "aveirah" (compared to bsar oaf
bchalav!) of relying on the Heter, even if that means that in the future
some will eat food with no hashgacha at all and increase their hatred of
Remember RSZA's discussion arguing for permitting the offering of food to
non-religious Jews even if it is known that they will not make a bracha, in
order to avoid hatred. While RSZA was msupak halacha l'maaseh, Rav Amital
paskened that it is definitely permitted.
Go to top.
[ Distributed to the Avodah mailing list, digested version. ]
[ To post: mail to email@example.com ]
[ For back issues: mail "get avodah-digest vXX.nYYY" to firstname.lastname@example.org ]
[ or, the archive can be found at http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/ ]
[ For general requests: mail the word "help" to email@example.com ]