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Volume 06 : Number 060

Friday, December 8 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 06:53:43 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Hechsher on Bubble bath

[I'm forwarding this bit of the thread to Avodah. To save space, I folded
everything into a single email. -mi]

R' Akiva Atwood <atwood@netvision.net.il>:
> R' Eidlitz in his book on Kashrut (Is It Kosher, Feldheim Publishers) says
> cleansers and Bubble Baths require supervision.

R' Eli Linas <linaseli@mail.netvision.net.il>
: Does he give a reason why?

> Only that they may contain animal derivatives.

> (I've seen soaps with basar v'chalav in them...)

MSB <micha@aishdas.org>:
} This subject is a machlokes between R' Eidlitz and R' Blumenkrantz on
} one side, and R' Frand (who went on tapes about the needless inclusion
} of non-flavored medicines in certain unnamed -- he cut the sho'el off --
} "Pesach Guides") along with pretty much any poseik I've personally had
} the occasion to ask, on the other.

} When I realized this was the same issue, I bowed out of the conversation.
} I would like to hear (and see on Avodah) the other side's reasoning.

> When I realized this was the same issue, I bowed out of the
> conversation.
> I would like to hear (and see on Avodah) the other side's reasoning.

> R'Eidlitz's reply:

> "since they can leave a residue, the companies make sure that they should be
> Roui Leachila Bsha'as Hadchak."

} This assumes that ra'ui la'achilah doesn't involve the normal shiurei
} achilah. For example, toothpaste tubes warn you not to put more than
} a pea sized dab on a young child's toothbrush. A small amount isn't a
} problem, but a k'zayis could be.

} Those who matir wheat-starch based unflavored medicine in pills on Pesach
} do so because one can't eat a k'zayis of that stuff. Clearly it is safe
} to swallow a single pill, though.


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Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 09:44:18 EST
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
RE: Yaakov and Taryag Mitzvos

> Doesn't this Nefesh haChayim reflect the Maharal's reason #2

Not exactly - nevuah is not the matir. The Avos were mekayim the Torah
as a means to certain ends; when those ends dictated another course of
action, they acted accordingly.

I mis-cited the Shev Shmaytza yesterday. He does not not discuss whether
'ger shenisgayer' applied kodem mattan Torah. However, l'chorah it is
still an issue that needs to be addressed. Also, yesh lachkor as to
whether true geirus at all existed kodem mattan Torah - see the GRI"Z in
P' Bo. Some of his ra'ayos seem forced - e.g. the fact that the status
of shifcha and nochriya existed kodem mattan Torah (Yevamos 100b) might
be a din in yichus independent of geirus.

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Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2000 22:24:17 EST
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Lo yilbash gever

From an upcoming daf yomi related topic

The S'A in Y"D 182:1 mentions the issur of a man shaving certain body hair in 
a geographic location where only women shave that hair. If men in that 
geographic location shave that hair, it's OK.  The chidushei R"AK quote 2 
opinions in the Prisha as to whether the "men" that are polled:-) are Jews or 
non-Jews. He mentions no sources.

I was thinking of the following explanation as to why these 2 opinions were 
considered and wondered if anyone could reject or support.
Perhaps the reason to say it's Jews is that why would we care or learn from 
non-Jewish practice.  Perhaps the reason to say it's nonJews is that since 
the original Jewish practice was for men not to shave that hair, then the 
only way that Jews did it was nonhalachik, so that if now the majority do it 
we still don't want to validate a minhag based on inappropriate action. 

Would this also have implications for certain subjective tzniut definitions?

Joel Rich

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Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2000 07:08:42 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Fwd: Sfas Emes, (Zechuso Tagein Aleinu), VaYeitzei, 5632

Sfas Emes
Dr. Nathaniel H. Leff
Le'anius Da'ati / Yismach Lev


Shalom Leiby,

The Parsha begins: 'VaYeitzei Ya'akov MiBe'eir Sheva, VaYeileich
Charana'. (ArtScroll: 'Jacob departed from Beer-sheba, and went toward
Haran.') ArtScroll is presenting the Pshat -- the simple/plain/surface
reading -- of this Pasuk. Take a good look at this reading. Why? Because
once you have seen the SE's Non-Pshat interpretation of this Pasuk,
chances are that you will never again understand this Pasuk (exclusively)
in a Pshat (or, for that matter, in a Drash -- a la Rashi -- mode)
the same way any more.

The SE starts by telling us that in its deeper meaning, Ya'akov Avinu's
departure was voluntary ('BeRatzon'). But how could that be? Why would
Ya'akov leave the Kedusha (Sanctity) of Eretz Yisroel for the profanity
of a land outside of EY? (Note that in Hebrew, lands outside of EY
are called 'Chutz La'Aretz'. And we can read this acronym as 'Chol' --
the opposite of Kedusha.) In fact, Ya'akov's destination actually had
the name 'Charan'-i.e., an allusion to anger!

The SE answers this question by explaining that 'BeVadai'
(certainly!) Ya'akov undertook this drastic action on our behalf. How
so? To prepare us and to counsel us for OUR departure from EY; i.e.,
to enable us to grow spiritually even in Galus. More generally, Ya'akov
Avinu went to where he went to extend the Greatness of HaShem's Presence
even to a place where His Presence was hidden. Indeed, hidden to such
a degree that to an uninformed observer, HaShem was totally invisible!

The Pasuk cited above tells us that the starting place from which
Ya'akov Avinu embarked on his perilous journey was Be'eir Sheva. The
SE tells us that Be'eir Sheva had aspects of Shabbos. How does he see
the similarity? One Remez (hint) is the name: 'Be'eir SHeVa'. Moreover,
not only are Shabbos and Sheva spelled (almost) the same way, but the
two words also share one meaning: namely, seven.

More important than these Remazim (hints, allusions) is the similarity
in function. Thus, the word 'Be'eir' means 'a well'. We draw water from
a well. And water is a classic metaphor for Ruchniyus (Spirituality). So
too can Shabbos provide us with the Ruchniyus we need to live our lives
as Ovdei HaShem BeSimcha even during the weekdays. Concluding on this
point, the SE reemphasizes that before leaving on his journey into Golus,
Ya'akov Avinu had attached himself closely to the world's Penimiyius
(inner reality); i.e., to the Vibrancy emanating from HaShem.

Continuing, the SE refers us to the first paragraph of Medrash Raba on
Parshas VaYeitzei. The Medrash, in turn, quotes a Pasuk which applies
to someone in the situation of Ya'akov Avinu: namely, rmbarking on
a dangerous journey. The Pasuk quoted is from (Mishlei (3, 23): 'Ahz
Teileich LaBetach Darkecha...' (ArtScroll: 'Then will you walk on your
way securely...'). The SE notes that the letters of 'Ahz', the Pasuk's
first word, have a numerical value of Eight.

To understand what is special about the number Eight, note the
following. A cube has 6 sides. With the internal point, that gives
an object 7 points. Accordingly, we can construe the number Seven as
an allusion to the world of Nature (Teva). And from that observation,
we can quickly devine that the number 8 can stand for the world that is
higher than Nature ('LeMa'ala MinHaTeva'). Hence, the number Eight can
indicate special Kedusha (Holiness).

This discussion can help us understand what that often-used word
'Kedusha' actually means. The Malbim (on Parshas 'Kedoshim') explains that
Kedusha means 'LeMa'ala Min HaTeva'; that is, behavior that transcends
Nature. Thus, it is 'natural' to speak 'LaShon HaRa', or to take what is
not ours, or to engage in illicit relationships. To refrain from such
behavior requires that we go higher than Nature. Thus, the Pasuk from
Mishlei is telling us that to handle the world's spiritual dangers,
we need to start with 'Ahz' -- i.e. LeMa'ala Min HaTeva.

Concluding, the SE tells us that if we cling to our vision; that is, to
our awareness that HaShem's Presence pervades all reality, we can attain
a state of Kedusha even in Ma'aseh Gashmi (worldly activities)! Easy to
say, but hard to do...

A take-home lesson? The SE already has given it, loud and clear:
before going to Charan, a person must start from Be'eir Sheva. That
is, before entering dangerous territory -- and all of life involves
dangerous territory -- a person would be well-advised to immerse himself
in Kedusha. For the SE's poverty-stricken Chassidim, Collel was not an
option. Hence, the SE's focus on Shabbos. For us, the Mussar Haskeil
points to a spell in Collel in one's youth (and, possibly. when one is
old), with plenty of Kevi'as Itim (a fixed learning schedule) in between.

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Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 15:51:29 +0200
From: "Akiva Atwood" <atwood@netvision.net.il>
RE: Hechsher on Bubble bath

> This assumes that ra'ui la'achilah doesn't involve the normal shiurei
> achilah. For example, toothpaste tubes warn you not to put more than
> a pea sized dab on a young child's toothbrush. A small amount isn't a
> problem, but a k'zayis could be.

AIUI, pachot m'shiur is still assur b'achilah. The "punishment" is

> Those who matir wheat-starch based unflavored medicine in pills on Pesach
> do so because one can't eat a k'zayis of that stuff.

Given the large safety factor with some medication, I wouldn't automatically
assume you couldn't "safely" eat a k'zayis worth. You would have to check
with a poison specialist.


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Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 10:22:01 -0500
From: "Markowitz, Chaim" <CMarkowitz@scor.com>
Woman and learning

Chana Lutz wrote:
> Isn't the whole question more complicated than this?  Because while the man 
> does indeed have a chiyuv to learn and the wife doesn't, according to many
> opinions, the husband also has a chiyuv to a) be mechanech his children (once 
> they reach the age of chinuch) and b) to support and look after them (at a
> minimum up to the age of six) while the wife doesn't.

	Without getting into a discussion of whether your assumptions are
correct (and they very well might be-I'm just not in the position to agree
or disagree) we do have the gemara in Brochos which clearly states that
women get their schar by letting (or encouraging) their husbands to learn.

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Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 11:27:53 -0500
From: "Gershon Dubin" <gdubin@loebandtroper.com>

From: Chana Luntz <luntz@demon.co.uk>
> So isn't the correct analysis that rather than him "sacrificing"
> a bit of his learning to allow her to go to a shiur (say once a week),
> she is enabling his learning five or six (or however many) of the other
> nights a week she does not go to a shiur by agreeing to stay home and
> be his shaliach in fulfulling his mitzvah of looking after his children
> thereby freeing him to perform another mitzvah of learning.

	Your analysis holds even if her intent is to go shopping/night
out with the girls every single night of the week, thereby forcing him
to take care of the kids and not learn. Is this what you mean?


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Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 11:04:13 -0500
From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
Re: Woman and learning

Mordechai wrote:
> According to the Chofeitz Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvot, it is a mitzva to believe 
> and have faith in G-d. This is not a simple mitzva to observe (I know I do not
> do it well) therefore women need to do learning (whether Chumash, Hashkafa, 
> Nach, etc to properly fulfill this mitzva.
Unbelievable as it may seem, for thousands of years Jewish women have
managed to maintain their belief and faith in Hashem without having a
seder kavua. Certainly, saying Tehillim does the trick also. Except for
some Maimonideans, everyone agrees that there is no OBLIGATION to have
a highly sophisticated knowledge of Hashem.

The Mishnah in Avos says "Ein boor yerei chet, velo am ha'aretz chasid."
The Rashbatz adduces that only a boor, a callous person, cannot be
a yerei chet. However, an am ha'aretz, someone unlearned but pious,
can be a yerei chet. [Chasidus, going beyond the letter of the law,
requires detailed knowledge of Torah which an am ha'aretz lacks.]

Gil Student

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Date: Fri, 8 Dec 2000 10:22:09 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
(Fwd) Parshat Vayetze 5761

Once again, I would like to post an excerpt of Rav Nebenzahl's 
weekly sicha. I hope you will all read the whole thing - I am leaving 
the URL and subscription info at the end.

-- Carl


	"Dedication of heart" implies strengthening the recognition of
"ein od milvado" "there is none beside Him" [11] (Devarim 4:35) - no other
force exists in this world.  One who totally enslaves his thoughts towards
the sole Master of the Universe can accomplish anything, for all other
powers and wills cease to exist (see Nefesh HaChaim shaar 3:12).  By
nullifying the existence of all other powers, Yaakov was able to lift up
the stone, rendering both the weight of the stone and the earth's
gravitational pull insignificant.  By the same token, he could have moved
mountains - things that no other human being would be able to manage -
because "ein od milvado".  It would appear that only one who has spent his
life in the tent of Yitzchak Avinu and in the tent of Ever can achieve
such a level of totally dedicating his heart to Hashem.

	Our question then remains: what did Yaakov expect from the
shepherds?  Did the shepherds learn in Yeshiva? They were mere idol
worshippers!  If so, how could he expect them to remove the stone as he
did - they lacked the physical as well as the spiritual ability.  We must
therefore explain, that even a Noachide idol worshipper can attain this
level if he so desires - there is no need to grow up in the house of
Yitzchak nor to study in Yeshiva for many years in order to understand
that "there is non beside Him".  By being conscious of the fact that all
idols and other forces are nothing and it is only the word of Hashem that
matters, a non-Jew too can accomplish what Yaakov did.  We see that Yaakov
was justified in rebuking them for not having provided for their flock.  
If these non-Jewish shepherds should have reached that level of awareness,
how much more is demanded of us - believers, descendants of believers.  
If we were to totally recognize this, no force would be able to overpower


	Hashem told David: "you have shed much blood and have made great
wars; you shall not build a Temple for My Name's sake, for you have shed
much blood upon the ground before Me" [28] (Divrei Hayamim I 22:8).  What
did David do wrong?  Do Chazal not tell us (Yalkut Shimoni Shmuel II 145)
that all the blood David spilled during his reign had the status of an
offering?  Chazal derive this from the words "before Me" - before Hashem
implies a sacrifice, as we are told: "he shall slaughter the bull before
Hashem" [29] (Vayikra 1:5).  Why then was David not worthy of constructing
the Beit Hamikdash?

	My Rebbe HaGaon HaRav Chaim Shmuelevitz zt"l explained that during
times of war it is difficult to have pure motives when constructing the
Beit Hamikdash.  Even if David's motives would have been pure, those of
the Jewish people constructing the building would not have been, for they
would have built the Beit Hamikdash in order to offer protection against
the enemy.  Chazal in fact tell us that the Beit Hamikdash does serve to
protect us from the other nations, this however is not the main purpose of
its construction.  Something would have been lacking from the "lishma"
aspect of the construction.  It was only during the reign of Shlomo, in
which "I will bestow peace and tranquility upon Israel in his days" [30]
(Divrei Hayaim I 22:9), that the Beit Hamikdash could be built purely

	Conquering the land of Israel is also a Mitzvah, how can we do so
without having in mind that we are also looking for protection from the
Arabs and other enemies of our nation?  Even if we do not have the ability
to work with pure motives, the least we can do is to include Hashem in our
troubles.  Chazal tell us: "Anyone who makes the Name of Heaven a partner
in his distress - they double his livelihood for him" [31] (Brachot 63a).  
In other words we must not only feel distressed because we are suffering
at the hands of other nations, but because the Shechina, so to speak, is
also pained by our suffering.  When a Jewish child is maimed by a bomb and
has her legs amputated, G-d forbid, Hashem is in tremendous pain.  Our
pain must not only be for our own suffering and for that of Klal Yisrael
but for the suffering of the Shechina as well.

	One of the three categories of people Chazal describe "whose lives
are not lives" (Pesachim 113b) is those who are overly compassionate.  I
do not know if I am permitted to say this, but it would appear that since
Hashem is compassionate perhaps His life is not a life, so to speak.  We
can perhaps say this based on a simple understanding of the following
Gemara.  The Gemara quotes what Hashem told Moshe Rabenu following the sin
of the spies: "I have forgiven because of your words.  But as I live and
the glory of Hashem shall fill the entire world, that all the men who have
seen My glory ... " [32] (Bamidbar 14:20-22).  The Gemara inquires as to
what is meant by "but as I live".  On the surface it would appear that
this is some form of an oath.  Chazal, however, understood it differently:
"Hashem said to Moshe: Moshe, you have revived me with your words" [33]
(Brachot 32a).  Rashi offers an explanation as to how Moshe revived Hashem
with his words, but given that there are seventy faces to the Torah
perhaps we can offer a different approach. Hashem was telling Moshe that
had He carried out the decree of destroying the Jewish people, G-d forbid,
then His life would not have been a life, because Hashem is merciful and
He would have been in great pain over the prospect of having to destroy
the Jewish people.  By the fact that Moshe nullified the decree, Hashem
was now "given life" - His life is still a life.

	We must take this to heart.  We must be pained by the suffering of
the Jewish people.  When there is shooting into Psagot and Gilo, people
are suffering even when there are no casualties - simply having to sit "in
siege and distress" [34] (Devarim 28:55) is stressful enough.  When a car
travels these routes, who knows if it will return safely.  Every shot that
is fired, who knows if the bullet will enter my apartment?  The people in
Gilo and Psagot are suffering greatly.  We must feel the pain of the
Jewish people as well as the pain of the Shechina.

	On the other hand, we are aware that during time of war there is a
special Divine Providence.  Hashem is constantly watching over us, but
even more so during times of war.  Chazal tell us: (see Avoda Zara 2a)
that in the future Hashem will ask the other nations to produce an account
of what they have accomplished in this world - perhaps they are deserving
of reward.  Among the responses quoted by Chazal is that the Persians will
claim that they made wars.  Hashem will then respond that only He wages
war as it says: "Hashem is Master of war" [35] (Shmot 15:3).  Hashem is
willing to give them credit for whatever else they may have done - albeit
they only had their own interests at heart, regarding wars, Hashem is not
even willing to acknowledge that they waged them.  What does this mean?  
Do human beings not wage war?  The explanation is that during times of war
Hashem watches over us even more than at other times, so much so that we
cannot even attribute the acts of war to human beings.  Perhaps the
current war we find ourselves in now is for the good, perhaps it will be
that specifically through this war we will merit Hashem's salvation.

	During the Six Day War, HaRav Chaim Shmuelevitz zt"l once
delivered a sicha in which he quoted an incident related by Chazal. Chazal
tell us (Vayikra Rabba 24:3) that there was once a demon who lived next to
a spring.  This demon was good to the people and never wished to bring any
harm upon anyone.  One day the demon remarked to one of the townspeople
that another demon was planning to move into the neighborhood, but this
demon was not so friendly.  He asked for the neighbors' help in preventing
this new demon from moving in.  The man asked how it was possible for
human beings to have any influence on a fight between two demons.  The
demon responded that he wished the residents of the neighborhood to stand
on the side during the fight and shout "ours will win".  I am not sure of
what use it is to shout that our demon will win, but this is what Chazal
tell us.  Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz zt"l remarked that if standing on the side
and cheering helps when two demons are fighting, how much more so when we
shout out that the King of kings will be the victor. Hashem will
definitely win, During the Six Day War this certainly had an effect, as is
well known.

	With Hashem's help, this will occur in this war as well.  If we
believe very strongly that the G-d of Israel will win, we will understand
that "ein od milvado" "there is none beside Him".  Not Arafat, nor the
left, nor anyone else has any power, only "Hashem's right hand is raised
triumphantly" [36] (Tehillim 118:16).  I am not referring to the right
wing parties, but to the right hand of G-d!  Once we realize this, then we
will truly merit "Hashem - Master of War.  "Ours" will then win and we
will merit Hashem's salvation and that of the Jewish nation.  May there be
peace and tranquility at which time we will be able to build the Beit
Hamikdash speedily in our day. Amen.

		     This sicha is brought to you by 
Yeshivat Hakotel - The Wohl Torah Center - Old City of Jerusalem, Israel
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- HaRav Podolsky on the parsha (hk-podolsky-subscribe@lists.hakotel.edu)
HaRav Nebenzahl's sichot in Hebrew, including the recently published
Sichot on Sefer Bamidbar are now available on the internet:
(C) 5761/2000 by American Friends of Yeshivat Hakotel
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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

See pictures of Israel. Point your browser to:


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Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 12:27:19 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Ani Bechorcha Eisav

A p'shat I thought of last night on this: Ani bechorcha Eisav = I am
playing the role of your bechor, the rama'i Eisav.

Eisav failed to be Yaakov's partner in founding klal Yisrael. However,
there was still a nekudah that Eisav brought to the table that was a
necessary component. Yaakov therefore had to force himself to assume
that nekudah in order to get Eisav's berachah.

Bereishis Rabba connects Leah's rama'us on their wedding night
to that incident. The Medrash has Yaakov ask Leah why she tricked
him by pretending to be Racheil. She replies, "Every student has a
teacher. Didn't you pretend to be Eisav?"

Leah was destined to marry Eisav, but remember that Eisav had the
potential to be one of the fathers of klal Yisrael. Her role, therefore
should have been that of the eim opposite the ideal Eisav. Through her
trick, she midah-kineged-midah connected with that nekudas-Eisav that
Yaakov adopted to get the berachah.

What this says about why Racheil's children -- Shaul, Mordechai,
mashiach beis Yosef -- are the ones to defeat Amaleik (who are b'nei
Eisav) is left as an excercise for the reader.


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: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 18:06:48 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Yaakov and Taryag Mitzvos

In a message dated 12/6/00 4:05:40pm EST, C1A1Brown@aol.com writes:
> I guess this would assume Rachel and Leah had different mothers (as per
> Rambam Issurei Biya 14:16); also yesh lachkor whether 'get shenisgayer
> k'katan shenolad' applied kodem mattan Torah (I think the Shev Shmaytza
> raises this in his hakdamah).

See MaHaRShA Yuma 28b.

In a message dated 12/6/00 3:24:28pm EST, Gil.Student@citicorp.com writes:
> Rich Wolpoe wrote:
>> 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? ...

> The Maharal, in his Gur Aryeh to Bereishis 46:10...
> Alternatively, he suggests that while Ya'akov generally kept mitzvos,
> he had Ruach HaKodesh which told him to marry them. Therefore, he
> violated his habit of following the Torah and married the two sisters.

This does not answer how he kept them rather that he was allowed to "violate" 

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 18:06:50 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: What Makes Rashi so Beloved

In a message dated 12/6/00 3:24:52pm EST, richard_wolpoe@ibi.com writes:
> In Toldos, 28:5 Rashi comments re: Eim Yaakov v'Esav (the mother of
> Jacob and Esau)
>  "Eini Yodea ma melamdeinu".

See the Gilyon Hashas Brochos 25b.

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 18:06:49 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: From the Dor Revi'i website on parashat va-yeitzei

In a message dated 12/6/00 3:25:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, DGLASNER@ftc.gov 

> Concerning the second one on v'yikah mei-avnei ha-makom, I have a
> question. The Dor Revi'i argues that Hazal deduced that the stones were
> miraculously combined in one....because Ya'akov would not have made a
> matzeivah, which is prohibited by the Torah, had he not seen that the
> stones of the place had been miraculously combined into one. Thus,
> the matzeivah that he placed there in reality consisted of many stones
> not one, and was not a true matzeivah.

IIUIC his main Rayoh is from the fact that he used the stone that he used for 
protecting his head and not one that was not used for Chol, and that is why 
Davka by this Matzeiva he said "Yihiyeh Beis E-lokim" as this one was from 
many stones.

> My question is that in parashat va-yishlah there are two other places
> where it says that Ya'akov places a matzeivah, and there was no miracle.
> However, one of them seems to be at the same place, and presumably the
> same matzeivah as on the way to Haran,

See Rashi 28:22

> and the second was at the tomb
> of Rahel. Perhaps one could say that the matzeivah at the tomb of Rahel
> was more of a marker of the gravesite than a form of religious worshp
> and therefore did not run afoul of the prohibition against a matzeivah.

As also the Matzeiva that mentioned in Vayeitzei 31:45 was as a marker.

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 12:34:00 EST
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
Re: Woman and learning

> Unbelievable as it may seem, for thousands of years Jewish women have
> managed to maintain their belief and faith in Hashem without having a
> seder kavua.

But recognition that that is unsustainable in our society is what led
the C"C to his psak in Likutei Halachos.

> we do have the gemara in Brochos which clearly states that women
> get their schar by letting (or encouraging) their husbands to learn.<<<

The gemara refers to the particular schar of miztvas T"T. Woman get
other schar for learning - 'Isha shelamda Torah yesh lah sechar'
(Rambam T"T ch. 1).


Go to top.

Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 15:36:15 -0500
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <Richard_Wolpoe@ibi.com>
RE: Woman and learning

> Unbelievable as it may seem, for thousands of years Jewish women have
> managed to maintain their belief and faith in Hashem without having a
> seder kavua. Certainly, saying Tehillim does the trick also....

Historically speaking, it certainly seems that Jewish women maintained
their hearts in the right place with Davening, Tehillim, etc.

The question is: have things changed? Have the greater intellectual and
educational opportunities afforded today's women, altered their ability
to retain a loyal heart based solely upon an emotional commitment without
a concomitant intellectual commitment?

That's how I see the issue. I'm not sure which way to go. It seems to
me that many women do fine with the traditional approach of sticking to
emotionally supportive seforim such as Tehillim; while others need more.

If I were to put my spin on RSYW's comments, I would say that:
1) It is wrong-minded to IMPOSE the aggressively intellectual approach
upon those women who neither seek it nor are likely to benefit from it.
IOW universally applying an analytical approach for women is a flawed
2) On the other hand, for those women who do crave a more analytical
track, perhaps even RSYW would have agreed that when needed it ought to
be provided.

I seem to recall that other's have said something similar.

Shalom and Regards,
Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 18:06:46 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Lo yilbash gever

In a message dated 12/7/00 10:03:40am EST, Joelirich@aol.com writes:
> Perhaps the reason to say it's nonJews is that since 
> the original Jewish practice was for men not to shave that hair, then the 
> only way that Jews did it was nonhalachik, so that if now the majority do it 
> we still don't want to validate a minhag based on inappropriate action. 

We find Al Derech Zeh that Doshu Bah Rabim (Amei Ho'aratzim) removes a Sakana 
even from Talmidei Chachomim.

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 18:37:24 -0500
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: Women and Hannukah Lights

From: MSDratch@aol.com [mailto:MSDratch@aol.com]
> In a conversation with R. Meir Twersky today I learned that in the home of 
> RYBS all women, single and married, lit their own candles. The Rav did not 
> apply ishto k'gufo in this matter.

That's because RYBS learned different pshat in the gemara Shabbos 23a than
did the Mishnah Brurah.  The gemara states (loose translation): "Rabbi Zeira
said: Originally, when I was in the house of [my] rebbe (i.e., living away
from home), I would pay money to the [innkeeper] (meshatef b'friti) in order
to fulfill the mitzvah of ner chanukah.  After I married my wife, I said,
'Now certainly I do not need to do so, because they are lighting on my
behalf in my house.'"

The MB understands this to mean that ishto k'gufo--either the husband or the
wife need light, but not both.  However, RYBS understood differently (from
what I heard, with some guesswork on my part): 

The gemara on 21b speaks of three levels of fulfilling the mitzvah: (1)
[plain] mitzvah--Ner ish u'baiso [idea that this is chovas habayis], (2)
mehadrin--ner l'chol echad v'echad [integrating chovas habayis with chovas
haguf], (3) mehadrin min hamehadrin--according to Beis Hillel, increase the
number of candles each night.

There is a machlokes rishonim w/regard to #3: (a) Tosfos--on the second
night you light 2 candles for the entire house, irrespective of the number
of its inhabitants; (b) Rambam--if there are 5 in the house, on the second
night the master of the house lights 10; (c) Ramo--(compromise between Tos.
& Rambam): *each* member of the house lights 2, but each menorah should be
in a distinct place (this answers Tosfos' implied question--"leika
hekaira"--on the Rambam).  The Ramo's shittah is relatively new (though
pretty nifty)--to my knowledge it was not recorded in the Rishonim.

Getting back to R. Zeira: which level (mitzvah vs. mehadrin min hamehadrin)
was he trying to fulfill?  The MB assumes mehadrin min hamehadrin and
therefore rules that one fulfills this via ishto k'gufo.  However RYBS would
argue that when R. Zeira was unmarried and was meshatef b'friti, he wasn't
fulfilling mehadrin min hamedrin l'shitas Ramo--after all, the inkeeper lit
just one menorah.  Rather, R. Zeira fulfilled the plain mitzvah--one menorah
for the entire house.  Consequently, when R. Zeira got married, he was able
to fulfill the plain mitzvah via his wife's menorah lighting.  (In fact, if
you're medayek, it doesn't say that "my wife is lighting for me" but "they
are lighting for me in my house"--anyone in the house would be authorized to
cause the house to fulfill the chovas habayis of having a ner chanukah.)

RYBS would say that since we try to fulfill mehadrin min hamehadrin, it
makes sense that each person in the house would have the chovas haguf.
Certainly, the Rambam in my example would light 10 not 8 candles.

Kol tuv,

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