Avodah Mailing List

Volume 06 : Number 057

Tuesday, December 5 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2000 09:50:49 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Yitzchak's response to Esav

In a message dated 12/4/00 9:39:01am EST, C1A1Brown writes:
> The Chasam Sofer brings down the Ramban that even kodem 
> mattan Torah the bechor had a status of leader of the 
> family and took all, v'nitna Torah v'nischadsha halacha 
> that a bechor is only noteil pi shnayim.

OTOH see Rashi Vayeira 21:10 "Ani Bchoir Vnoteil Pi Shnayim" (Yishmael isn't 
even Yisrael Mumar as Esov is), and Rashi Vayichi 49:3 D"H Yeser Seis.

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2000 13:23:56 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: parts of psukim

In a message dated 11/29/00 4:40:16pm EST, sethm37@hotmail.com writes:
> To the best of my knowledge, no posek ever went over the text of the
> "zkhiros" before they were printed, ..... Even things quoted by the Ari's
> talmidim, like "harei ani m'kabeil..." quotes only v'ahavta lerai'acho
> kamocha we do not know exactly what words the Ari himself actually used.

I am sure you are aware that the Baal Hatanya inserted the Zchiros as well as 
Hareini Mikabeil in his Siddur.

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2000 13:19:32 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Kol y'mei chayecha

On Wed, Nov 29, 2000 at 10:45:19AM -0500, jjbaker@panix.com wrote:
: Not necessarily.  For instance, while Rambam calls it a "mitzvah" to
: say Yetziat Mitzrayim in Shma based on Ben Zoma's drush, it's *not*
: brought down in Shulchan Aruch (in OH 235, or 239, where you'd expect
: it to be; in fact, the Ein Mishpat Ner Mitzva only references Rambam).
: The Chinuch 419 says that the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs are derabbanan...

Again, you're confusing my statement that di'Oraisa means that the
din must be as old as Sinai with the concept of HlMmS. (I chose my
shorthand poorly.) Derashos can be subject to debate, and yet still
eilu va'eilu divrei E-lokim chaim -- both were in His original intent.

I chose my shorthand poorly.

If you say the din is diRabbanan then asmachta bi'alma hu. We already
discussed in volume 5 whether asmachtos are discovered (left by HKBH as
suggestions of dinim the Rabbanan might find useful to be mesakein)
or invented.

Phrased this way, it's hard to see how asmachtos could be viewed as
inventions. It seems to ch"v imply divine ignorance.

: and doesn't bring the drash about kol y'mei chayecha.

: I don't understand how you call it "misinai".  If the 2nd and 3rd
: paragraphs are d'rabbanan, how can a drash that gives a detail of
: that derabbanan be d'oraisa?  How do you know that the drash is
: d'oraisa?  It's just begging the question.

I think that had you not used shorthand, it would have been clearer.

I'm calling the derashos of "ur'isem osam" and "kol yimei chayecha" to
be miSinai. They clarify the mitzvos di'Oraisos of tzitzis and zechiras
YM respectively.

: Or is this one of the types of drash that is by definition Sinaitic,
: like gz"sh?

All types of derashah are di'Oraisa. According to the shorashim in the
Rambam's seifer hamitzvos, there are three categories of di'oraisa:
halachah liMoshe miSinai, spelled out explicitly in the p'shat of
the pasuk, and deductions based on the first two given derashah and
sevarah. Of the three, machlokesin are possible on conclusions reached
by d'rashah and sevarah.

"Moavi vilo mo'avis" is a g"sh from "Amoni vilo Amonis", where
gender-specific rationale applies. It would seem that in Boaz's day
new g"sh could be discovered. However, their meanings were part of
the original Divine Intent. Just like we use logic to find conclusions
inherent in an existing statement, we can use derashos on chumash.

I don't know why the b'raisa in perek Cheilek singles out gezeirah
shava. Perhaps knowledge of g"sh in sufficient detail to know when they
apply was lost first, so that they were particularly based on mesorah.

However, by the time we reach the later tana'im, we find that of all the
midos of derashah, only kal vachomer could be the subject of chiddush.
(As it is, figuring out why k"vch is derashah and not sevarah eludes me.)


Micha Berger                 When you come to a place of darkness,
micha@aishdas.org            you do not chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org       You light a candle.
(973) 916-0287                  - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

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Date: Sun, 03 Dec 2000 21:11:43 -0500
From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@bellatlantic.net>

Steven noted that no one on this list is in a position to decide between
the views of HaRav Y. Weinberg (RYW) and HaRav Y.B. Soloveitchik (RYBS)
on the question of teaching torah she'be'al peh to girls and women.
I assume that he meant that no one on this list has the position where
they can presume to decide the issue for us. There is certainly no
problem in each of us coming to their own decision as to the possibility
or desirability of such education for themselves or their own families.
That is what happens when there is a dispute amongst poskim, and this
issue should be no different.

The view of RYW as set out in the excerpts of a Q and A session at a
Torah U'Mesorah convention that has been presented here is difficult for
me to understand. It is claimed that one can not teach Rashi on Chumash
in depth to girls and certainly not the Ramban. I fail to understand
the point, then, of teaching Chumash to high-school age girls or to
adult women if it is not to have them come to a proper understanding
of the issues in the Torah. If Rashi is not to be analyzed and the
Ramban completely eliminated, then how does one reach any level of
understanding of the Torah and its message? What about Midrashim -
are they not Torah she'be'al peh? Yet every school that I know of
teaches Midrashim, including those that are not homiletic in nature.
If the objection is purely to teaching Torah on an intellectual level,
what is the intended outcome. Do we really want the better female
students to be bored with their torah studies and to focus instead on
the more challenging secular studies? What message are we sending
those students? That their observance of mitzvot should be by rote
or by formulas in a simplified book of practical halacha? That their
hashkafot should be limited to what they heard from their teachers and
husbands or read in a mussar/chassidus book? That they can't be trusted
to study Torah seriously? How many of the women who become proficient
lawyers, financial advisors, scientists, academicians, and doctors will
be satisfied with this attitude and the very circumscribed area of Torah
knowledge that some would still maintain for them? It should be mentioned
that RYW, HaRav Y. Hutner, and Harav H. Schechter - among other torah
luminaries have daughters with professional or advanced secular education.
If such intellectually challenging studies in a secular environment was
acceptable to them, why deny the same women the right to study any area
of torah that they desire? Even the Rambam, who decides the issue of
teaching daughters according to the view of R' Eliezer, maintains that
a woman can study torah she'be'al peh and receives reward for doing so.
Only required study of the oral torah is under the stricture of R'
Eliezer, in this view. Why not let the teacher decide if a group of
girls is interested and suited for talmud study, and to provide another
course of study for those who aren't?

The rationale that RYW uses to deny a broader torah knowledge to women
is the asserted need to preserve the traditional difference in the
role of male and female parents. An implied concern (as evidenced by
the vehemence of the objection), however, is to oppose some undefined
feminist agenda. That viewpoint argues against the voluntary study
of Gemara by married women under present circumstances. Such an
hora'at sha'ah should require a consensus among the torah luminaries.
That consensus does not exist. Not only is it counter to the views of
RYBS, it is also counter to the views of the Lubavitcher Rebbe who has
written about the new circumstances of Jewish women that allow and even
dictate their study of talmud.

It seems to me, that traditional parental gender differences where the
father earns the family's income during the day and studies at night,
while the mother takes care of home and children have been eroded in
any case because of the availability of employment opportunities for
women, and the general need for families to have two bread-winners.
If women are going to need baby-sitters and home-makers to take care of
the little children and the home while they are away at work, then why not
also for a limited time of study. Or why should a husband not sacrafice
some of his study time and take care of the kids while his wife studies?
Who is to say that there will be a net bitul torah, or that the chesed
done and the greater interaction with the children will not compensate
for lost study time? Why is it stated as self-evident truth that such
a situation will lead to family disintegration?

Yitzchok Zlochower

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Date: Mon, 04 Dec 2000 08:07:09 -0000
From: "Avi Parnes" <avparn@hotmail.com>
zemer lechanuka

A zmirot that I have includes something called : zemer leshabbat channuka 
shel haibn ezra. It starts : Hay hay bet kor timkor tachkor lichvod shabbat 
channuka. I have been trying for years to understand the zemer. If anyone 
knows of a peirush or knows the zemer and has ideas of it's meaning' please 
respond. Upon request I will send the full text in Hebrew as a "word" 


[I heard someone comment (at RYGB's daf-yomi shiur on Sunday) that Yekkes
sing it. Perhaps one of you know more?  -mi]

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Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2000 09:16:28 +0200
From: "S. Goldstein" <goldstin@netvision.net.il>
Gaza in Israel?

I would like to agree with R' Micha concerning Gaza.  Even though there are
points further South than Ashkelon that are considered E. Israel, many
Poskim consider Ashkelon as marking the Western border.  Therefore, further
South and West of Ashkelon(ie Gaza Strip) is outside of Israel.  This is
learned from the first Mishna in Gittin.  See Tos. there.

Tshuvos Maharit says that the minhag of Yerushalayim in his time was to
bring produce from Gaza and it was considered Hutz l'aretz.  There is one
rishon, Admas Kodesh, who rules that Gaza is E. Israel.  Therefore, as a
chumra some don't fully consider Gaza as Chutz L'aretz.  This is the psak of
Mishnas Yosef, Rav Moshe Sternbuch, the Eida Chareidis and is explained in
sefer Minchas Yerushalayim.  Rav Y. Y. Fisher, Raavd of Eida Chareidis rules
that Gaza is Chutz L'aretz.

I think it's not fair to quote Rav Steinsaltz in a peirush on Gemara for
psak halacha.  That was not his intention.  Even Periush haMishnayos of the
Rambam is not considered a standard psak-halacha sefer.

See Ritva in Gittin that even if it is not fully E. Israel with kdushas
ha'aretz, it could still count for yishuv E. Israel.  According to this, it
seems to me, that it is not preferred for this mitzvah/inyan since it lacks

Shlomo Goldstein

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Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2000 04:01:09 -0500
From: "Ari Z. Zivotofsky - FAM" <azz@lsr.nei.nih.gov>
lo shinu es shmam

recently someone posted that the Mesach Chachmah cited the midrash about
the Jews not changing their names, clothes, and language.
If I remember correctly it was cited as being in a comment on the Ramban
on Bo about the month names. I have been unable to find such a mesach
Chachma and would appreciate further guidance where to find it.


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Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2000 09:18:00 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Intent to write a get

In a message dated 11/30/00 6:11:23pm EST, micha@aishdas.org writes:
> It's an interesting question. Can a kofer's get ever be lishmah?

See Even Hoezer 129:5.

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2000 22:11:49 EST
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Chumrot and kullot- an excellent discussion from Darchei Noam

"Chumrot and Kulot and Hachnasat Orchim -- Darche Noam Institutions"
<http://www.darchenoam.org/articles/web/responsa/chumra_bz.htm> an
excellent series on a much discussed topic on our list

                                       Steven Brizel

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Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 10:29:52 +0200 (IST)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>

Subject: RSZA

Earlier this week I purchased the 2 volume set "Ve-alehu lo Yebol"
with the customs and psakim of R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach. The total
cost was 100 shekels ($25) from Or Hatzafon at 15 Meah Shearim St.

The author is Nachum Stephansky. He does not describe himself. In a quick
glance he mentions he learned one year in Shaalavim and a while in Merkaz
haRav and referes ro Rav Nebenzahl as Mori u-Rabbi. Each short piece
states the source of the story.

I read through the section on Yoreh deah and here some interesting pieces

1. NonIsraeli students who are invited out for shabbat can eat in anyone's
   house from any hechsher kashrut. One can be machmir for himself but
   not for others.

   Similarly when one is invited out or to a wedding. He testifies that he
saw R. Sonnenfeld eat at weddings from Sephardim when the shechitah
was sephardi shechita. He said that he eats chicken at weddings from
hechsherim that he would not bring them home. They are not treifah!!

2. When asked about moving to the Moslem quarter of the old city when
the parents object that it is dangerous. RSZA suggested not to move
there because of the parents feelings and others can do it. When asked
but the others also have parents he answered someone lime me can move
who no longer has parents that will worry.

Note: neither the questioner nor RSZA were bothered about moving into
a dangerous neighborhood !!

3. Choosing a rav for a question. One need not always go to the same
rav with ones questions, However, one cannot choose the rav based on
who gives the kula. In terms of hashkafa one can choose whichever rav
is more appropraite for each topic.

4. On questions of what shelichim of Israel should do he sent them to
the chief rabbinate (R. Eliyahu and R. Shapira at that time).

5. A baby born 25 minutes after shekiya on friday night should have the
brit on shabbat (when told that the sefer Otzar haBrit quoted him as
saying 33 minutes RSZA resonded that he never said any such thing.

6. RSZA said that a brit on shabbat should not be postponed because some
people may drive there on shabbat.

7. R. David Baharan paskened that someone could take on terumot
and maaserot al tenai for all Jews to prevent problems with shabbat.
RSZA disgreed strongly with this psak and published an article against it.
Nevertheless, under extenuating circumstances he told people to rely on
this kulah.

8. Someone who learns the gemaras about medicines should not rely on them
but certainly would have to say birchat haTorah before learning them.
He was not sure if one learned the medical dinim in Rambam hilchot deot
if that would require birchat haTorah. He said that the medical books
of Rambam are certainly not Torah but nevertheless it is nice to learn
them once but not for practical use.

9. The minhag of standing for "Vayeverech David" starting because people
stood up to give charity to the gabbai at that time.

10. When he davened at chazan in a sephardi shul he would use havarah

11. Someone apologized about not quoting RSZA about some halacha. RSZA
answering that he doesn't care about people that don't quote him.
However, he is very makpid about people that do quote him about things
that he never said!!

An interesting sefer.
Eli Turkel

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Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2000 17:15:16 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
Re: Nishmat

On 3 Dec 2000, at 21:11, Isaac A Zlochower wrote:
>                                    Or why should a husband not sacrafice
> some of his study time and take care of the kids while his wife studies?

Because the husband has a chiyuv to learn and the wife doesn't? 

Other than that, no problem with the babysitter solution, for a 
woman to go to a shiur.

-- Carl


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: Mon, 4 Dec 2000 10:09:20 -0500
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
RE: zemer lechanuka

R' Avi Parnes:
> A zmirot that I have includes something called : zemer leshabbat channuka 
> shel haibn ezra. It starts : Hay hay bet kor timkor...

MSB added:
> [I heard someone comment (at RYGB's daf-yomi shiur on Sunday) that Yekkes
> sing it. Perhaps one of you know more?  -mi]

See Baer's. Avodas Yisrael p.205 re: Ezkera Rachamecha. I'm not familiar
with this other zemer, Hai Hai, though I have seen it.

I don't know how all/most yekkes sing Ezkera Rachamecha, though we have
sung it to the Maoz Tzur Melody. FWIW the last lines need to double up
to make that arrangement work.

Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2000 16:46:34 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Yitzchak's response to Esav

In a message dated 12/4/00 9:58:38 AM Eastern Standard Time, Yzkd@aol.com 

> OTOH see Rashi Vayeira 21:10 "Ani Bchoir Vnoteil Pi Shnayim" (Yishmael isn't 
>  even Yisrael Mumar as Esov is), and Rashi Vayichi 49:3 D"H Yeser Seis.

While one can argue that Yishmael was arguing that at a minimum he gets "Pi 
Shnayim" (as B"N all, as Yisrael 2 portions), see Rashi Noach 9:25 that Cham 
was afraid that by having more children each ones portion would become 
smaller (and see Rashi Lech 12:6 D"H Vhaknani Az B'oretz that Shem (who was 
not the oldest, Rashi Noach 10:21) received E"Y as his portion, likewise if 
the Bchor got everything why did Kayin have to kill Hevel (as brought in 
above mentioned Rashi) he would have got everything anyway.  

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 09:21:11 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Avot 1.14

Moshe Schorr posted the following to scjm, in response to my posting R'
Shimon Schkop's p'shat in "Im ein ani li ..." (which can be found in
the Avodah archive as well). I am reposting with his reshus.

Please apply my usual disclaimer that one need to take into account the
level of chinuch of his intended audience, the typical scjm-er.


: From: moshes@mm.huji.ac.il
: Newsgroups: soc.culture.jewish.moderated
: Subject: Re: Avot 1.14 (was Re: Morality Without G-d)
: Date: 3 Dec 2000 09:25:00 GMT
: Organization: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

[Quotation of my email snipped. -mi]

: Reb Noson explains the two parts of the Mishna as follows. Hillel is
: setting forth an apparent paradox.

: 1. If I will not be for me, who will be for me? IOW, I, as a Jew,
: have an _obligation_ to observe all the mitzvos and to bring myself
: (and as much of the universe as possible) to perfection. That's why I
: was placed in this world and that's my job.

: 2. If I am for myself, what am I? IOW, as a fallible, imperfect human
: I'm bound to make mistakes, commit sins etc. So how will the world
: (and I myself) reach perfection? G-d, who created the world, without
: any human intervention, will bring the world to perfection without
: human intervention.

: But wait a minute? That's a contradiction. If 1 is true than 2 is
: not, and vise versa. How can both be true?

: That's why Hillel said his third line; 3. If not now, when? IOW,
: _now_ when you can't reconcile this seeming contradiction, is the
: time to act, to obsererve Torah and perform mitzvot. In the future,
: when this paradox will be resolved, it will be too late.

: Reb Noson connects this to the prohibition of mixing Meat and Milk.

: Meat symbolizes the first saying that _I_ am responsible for getting
: to perfection. In order to eat meat a person must go through _many_
: steps. The animal must be slaughtered according to halacha. The
: carcass has to be carefully examined for any defects. The meat must
: be soaked and salted to remove all the blood. Many parts of the
: carcass must not be eaten. When all the halachic preparations are
: finished the meat must be cooked for several hours before eating.

: Milk, on the other hand, symbolizes the second saying, that _G-d_
: will bring the world to its perfection. There is nothing to be done
: to "prepare" milk. Just squeeze and drink.

: Both meat and milk are kosher. IOW, we must make use of _both_ ideas.
: When a person is about to perform a mitzvah, s/he should do it with
: complete concentration and care "as if" the whole world depended on
: it. When faced with a temptation, s/he should overcome it since
: failing to do so will cause a blemish on the person hirself and on
: the whole world.

: BUT, if a person has already fallen, if s/he neglected Torah study or
: observance, s/he should not be discouraged. One must realize there is
: a facet of "milk" in the world, where G-d "fixes" everything and sets
: things aright.

: One must be very carefull however, not to "mix" the two. In time of
: temptation one cannot blithely say "Well, I'll do what I feel like.
: G-d will take care of it". So too, at the time of self-inspection,
: one must not become overwhelmed by one's failings.

: Moshe Schorr
: It is a tremendous Mitzvah to be happy always! - Reb Nachman of Breslov
: (mailed & posted)

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Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 12:46:22 -0500
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
Yaakov and Taryag Mitzvos

According to Rashi in Vayishlach, Yaakov observes all Taryag Mistzvos
while with Lavan. Question: according to this Shita (as opposed
to the Ramban) how can we explain Yaakov's marrying of 2 sisters?
Mema mafashach, if if is mutarr, fine but then how is he mekayyem
Trayag Mitzvos?

Rich Wolpoe 

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