Avodah Mailing List

Volume 06 : Number 096

Monday, January 8 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2001 18:26:38 +0000
From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk>
Re: Davening

Against netiquette, I am providing a further response to my own posting,
since I have now had time to check the sourcs on heicha Kedusha:

"Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com> writes:
>>Re: Chazaras Hashatz vs. a "heicha kedusha" for mincha:
>>The black letter of the law is to do CH
>>a lot of Rabbonim would pasken that a Heicha Kedusha is OK under many
>>conditions - e.g. at work.

[text deleted where I talked about the conflict of halachic priorities
in non ideal situations, particularly in relation to work]

I then said:
>I have not thoroughly been through the sources for hecha kiddusha to see to 
>what extent it actually contradicts the texts, rather than being accepted, 
>textually, as the appropriate course of action in non ideal situations. 

I have now checked Yoreh Deah (siman 124, si'if 3) and note that the
Rema explicitly provides for heicha kiddusha bsha'as hadchak and
specifically gives the example of running out of time.

That, to my mind, takes it out of the category of an action against the
text and puts it firmly within the category of "black letter halacha".
What is a sufficient bsha'as hadchak is, of course, a matter of
judgment, but given that Yoreh Deah 110 explicitly deals with the
conflict when workers have to both daven and work, this is a not
unreasonable matter to take into account when making that judgement. 

The most, it seems to me, that you could say is that the minhag may be
to extend the scenarios of bsha'as hadchak beyond what may have been
intended, but even if that goes against various piskei teshuva, I doubt
you would find that it is so flat out against the "black letter" as to
constitute an actual conflict.

Shavuah tov

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Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2001 19:32:59 +0000
From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk>
Re: Women Davening

In message <H00013ad07e74f85@MHS>, Gil.Student@citicorp.com writes
>Here are some other examples I thought of. Let's not quibble on the
>details. I know that RYGB will protest vehemently over one and some will
>protest over others. Hopefully, my pointing that out will avoid it.
>Unless you disagree with all of the examples (and the many more that
>I'm not bringing), don't bother picking on one or two of them.

I hope you won't see this as quibbling, I think it is a fascinating list
- and rather than quibbling, I think each is worthy of discussion in its
own right.   I think, however, if we investigate them, many of them will
fall into different categories.  BTW If you or anybody else can think of
any more, I think, from a learning point of view, this is a great

> Some of these were justified by rishonim, others
>by acharonim, based on the minhag. 

I think we need to distinguish between those justified by the rishonim
and those by the achronim. If you include those justified by the
rishonim, you would then have to include a significant percentage of the
Rema's glosses on the Shulchan Aruch, which we Ashkenazim then take as
black letter halacha. This may be due to the weight we give to the
rishonim over the achronim, or to the validity given within the
Ashkenazi tradition to minhag discussed by the rishonim (which may or
may not be due to RRW's frequently cited reference to an alternative
Yerushalmi tradition).  

However it occurred, it is accepted that if a minhag is discussed by the
Ashkenazi rishonim it often goes on to be poskened as textual halacha.
I would therefore say that minhagim justified by tosphos are no longer
in the category of minhagim which overrules black letter halacha, but
that these are, for Ashkenazim, black letter halacha.

However, a very noticable cut-off occurred with the SA/Rema.  There are
several possible approaches that could be taken to the significance of
that cut-off:

a) any minhag that was not codified by the rishonim/Rema is no longer
halachically justifiable (if you hold by an alternative Yerushalmi
tradition that the rishonim had access to but the achronim do not, then
this is the most likely position to take, and you no longer are in touch
with which of these minhagim belong to that tradition and which do not);

b) the justification of minhagim continues, *so long as it does not
outright contradict the position of the majority of rishonim and the
codified text*.  Part of the work of justification is thus to reconcile
the text and the minhag to show they are not contradictory (perhaps
learning from the methods of tosphos in doing just that - this, at a
stretch, may even include saying the metzius has changed, similar to
saying that melech sodomis or snakes are no longer prevalent).  

c) the justification of minhagim continues even in circumstances where
there is outright contradiction of the majority of the rishonim and the
codified text, if there is even one rishon to rely on (even if that is a
stretch) or even if there are really none at all and poskening in such a
way will have knock on impacts to other piskei halacha.

Davening falls into category c).  What I was asking for was examples of
other cases that fall within category c). 

> Let me also point out that many of these 
>examples have very plausible rationalizations, albeit very new ones.  I happen 
>to think that the sevara for women not having to daven is fairly plausible as 
>well.  It just doesn't have mekoros except for maybe a Rambam.

Well, another problem I have with the Magen Avraham's explanation (which
I forgot to include in my previous posts) is that it also does not
square very well with the Rambam's own explanation as to *why* the
Chachamim had to institute the formal davening requirements, which
relates to the children of the exiles growing up with confused language,
and therefore not able to formulate their davening requests properly.
As there is no reason to suppose that the women were speaking any better
than the men, there is no reason to leave them out of the takana.
Rather, in my view, what the Rambam may well have been trying to explain
was why we have numerous examples of people davening during the times of
the Tanach, where they did not follow the formulas now set out in the
Amidah. (Query, if we held that women were never required to follow the
formalised davening pattern, would we even have this contradiction, as
many if not most of the davening recorded in the Tanach was done by
women?  Why not say that men were always davening the Amidah and women
were always davening otherwise?)  However, the Rambam does not say this,
he said it was necessary for the Chachamim to institute the formal
language of davening because of the growing inarticulateness of the

>1] Kiddush on less than a revi'is of schnapps.

While I agree that this implicitly contradicts the textual tradition,
the sevara that is advanced is, of course, that it does not do so, by
holding that all the references to rev'is and kiddush is assuming wine,
ie it is an attempt to harmonise the text and the minhag.  Whereas the
Magen Avraham is going against the texts (even the Rambam does not
actually provide explicit support, all the Rambam is offering is an
explanation for why the transition occurred, all the Magen Avraham is
doing is trying to harmonise the minhag and the Rambam, since it is not
possible to do so with any of the other sources, such as the SA).

>2] Not sleeping in the sukkah.

Are you referring here to i) the argument that it is too cold (mitza'er)
or ii) the argument that married men should not sleep in the sukkah
because it upsets their wives  (Taz).

I don't think i) fits into this category (sleeping in the Sukkah in
Eretz Yisroel and in Lithuania are two completely different physical
experiences, the first is usually pleasant and the second you really do
have to be meshuga).

ii) however may well fall within the category we are discussing.  

What is interesting to note is that, today, I do not find a lot of
awareness of the Taz, and get the impression that many in Eretz Yisroel
and other climates where sleeping in the sukkah is not unpleasant are
increasingly doing just that, even if they are married.

>3] Lighting Chanukah menorahs indoors.

Rishonic and hence a different category.  Also note that in Israel,
lighting outside appears to be fast making a reappearance.

>4] Not washing on something that is dipped in a liquid.

Rishonic. [NB note that this is really the one that does not appear to
me to be making any kind of reappearance - that and covering liquids,
although note that the traditional sephardi kiddush cup has a lid to
prevent snakes getting in]

>5] Chadash bizman hazeh.

Rishonic textual support - and in addition, this one is fast making a

>6] Marrying a woman who already had two husbands who >died (i.e. a katlanis).

Sorry, didn't know we allowed this (not enough experience in the area, I
don't know anybody who married more than two husbands who both died).
Can you provide details of the s'vara used b'zman hazeh to allow this?

>7] The takanos zecher lechurban such as leaving a square amah unfinished
>in a house and not listening to music.

Not sure, would appreciate more information on the s'varah justifying
the minhag of not doing the first.  The second (assuming we are talking
about live music, taped music is such a new thing it is hardly a s'vara
to justify that it is different) may well be a valid case of c).

>8] A father marrying off his ketanah daughter (see tosafos, kiddushin 41a).

Err, this is more a case of tosphos going against the text, but us
having reverted to the text.  And tosphos's justification could be seen
as a form of horaas sha'ah.

I think we may have identified a couple of others that fall into
category c), but I don't feel fully confident of that - any more out
there (perhaps also from RRW who stated in his last post that many
rabbis posken like the prevailing minhag, but it wasn't clear to me that
this was in cases of my paragraph c), rather than a) or b) or
extentuating circumstances situations).


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Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2001 02:11:35 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Re: women davening

On 4 Jan 01, at 17:33, C1A1Brown@aol.com wrote:
> Also, even if you choose to pasken like the MG"A, you end up with two
> chumro... 2) Shabbos morning a man may have coffee/water before davening as
> his chiyuv kiddush is not chal, but a women may not as she has already
> been yotzei her minimal chiyuv tefillah by saying berachos.

Why do you describe 2 as chumra? There is also nothing 
preventing her from making Kiddush for herself immediately after 
saying brachos.

-- 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.

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Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 12:53:41 -0500
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: Some Thoughts on Limud Zechut

From: Wolpoe, Richard [mailto:richard_wolpoe@ibi.com]
> "...the general rule that we do not undo halachos written in the gemara
> simply because their reason no longer applies)"

> Have you a source for this rule?
> If this approach is correct, the objection of the Gra falls away.
> It's not undoing a Gmoro by making a "ta'am" obsolete. It's a matter of
> sticking up for a competing mesorah and giving that mesorah a rationale.

You just provided the source.  Look at the Gra (I don't have it in front of
me).  As I recall, that was exactly his objection.

> Tosfos was defending a minhag that - as far as Ashkenazim go - had an
> authority on par with the Gmoro. However, a later minhag would NOT have
> that same weight. So we might want to be discerning which minhagim we
> are defending.

I agree with you that this is the probable historic explanation.  However,
the point is that Tosfos was not aware that Ashkenazic mesorah was different
than the Bavli and was still willing to use limud zechus against a
b'fairusheh gemara.

Kol tuv,

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Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 12:56:58 -0500
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
RE: Some Thoughts on Limud Zechut

In Avodah V6 #94, MFeldman replied:
> Poskim until the time of the Aruch Hashulchan gave much more deference
> to minhag avos (e.g., Tosfos noting that we no longer do mayim achronim,
> though the reason they give contradicts the general rule that we do not
> undo halachos written in the gemara simply because their reason no longer
> applies).

to which YGBechhofer responded:
> But, re Tosafos and Mayim Acharonim, it is the case that Tosafos does
> not hold of the general rule you cite - that rule is the one cited by
> the Gro in his argument against Tosafos.

Perhaps Tosfos held "mayim acharonim" to be nothing more than an aitzah
tovah (a thought that I personally have no proof for but which was
mentioned to me some time ago)?

All the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ

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Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2001 10:50:35 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: hair covering as a das yehudis or a das moshe

At 02:28 PM 1/4/01 -0800, Harry Maryles wrote:
>> Where in SA EH 21 does it say this is relativistic.
>It doesn't. The Harchokos mentioned in 21 are not categorized as either
>Das Yehudis or Daas Moshe. It is therefore, not possible to determine
>IIUC, from this Siman what is relativistic and what is not...

Then mei'heichei teisei that in any respect other than divorce law the SA 
meant it to be relativistic?

ygb@aishdas.org      http://www.aishdas.org/rygb

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Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2001 20:15:43 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
The Shulchan Aruch and Bal Tosif

On Thu, Jan 04, 2001 at 02:28:52PM -0800, Harry Maryles wrote:
: It doesn't. The Harchokos mentioned in 21 are not categorized as either
: Das Yehudis or Daas Moshe. It is therefore, not possible to determine
: IIUC, from this Siman what is relativistic and what is not. The SA is just
: telling us how to behave, in a "lump sum" fashion, without refference
: as to the level of Issur...

The Rambam's has a 2nd definition of bal tosif. Not only does it assur
taking a fifth min, but bal tosif also includes passing off a derabbanan
or a minhag as a di'Oraisa.

As R' Herschel notes, the SA usually doesn't distinguish between
types of issur or chiyuv. "Tzarich" could mean a chiyuv di'Oraisa or a
minhag Tz'fas that didn't even become a more universal minhag Yisrael
(yet). Although you don't seem to find the later in the Beis Yosef --
an effect also noted in this conversation.

Apparantly the mechabeir is choleik with the Rambam about this 2nd type
of bal tosif. Or am I misunderstanding?


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: Sat, 6 Jan 2001 17:38:33 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: hair covering as a das yehudis or a das moshe

"Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer"
<sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu> wrote:
> Then mei'heichei teisei that in any respect other than divorce law the SA 
> meant it to be relativistic?

If you are reffering back to SA 115:4, the only thing I am saying
about it is that it is plausible to say that in categorizing covering
as a Daas Yehudis, the SA was doing so as a General categorization,
and then applying it in this Sif as a means to demostrate violation of
Daas Yehudis allowing for divorce sans Kesubah.


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Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2001 00:16:43 -0500 (EST)
From: jjbaker@panix.com
Re: limud zchut

From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
> "...the general rule that we do not undo halachos written in the gemara
> simply because their reason no longer applies)"
> Have you a source for this rule?
> Bepashtus I would say that since Tosfos was defending or rationalizing
> the existing minhag, or iow making a limud zchus - he was note really
> overriding a gmoro, just defending an old mesorah.

But that makes limud zchut into a much stronger kind of thing than
RMJB or RYGB hold it to be.  Their limud zchut is a way of saying
"even though those guys/women are objectively wrong, there is a way
we can pretend that they had a theoretical textual reason for doing
so."  THere's a teshuva haRema (15, I think) about Moravians who drank
non-kosher wine, which is essentially a limud zchut (it postulates a
fantasy rationale for the Moravians) so that we don't have to say 
that they're completely untrustworthy.  In either that case or the
case of women with uncovered hair, the action is objectively wrong.

What Tosafot do, OTOH, is override the gemara with a parallel
mesorah OF EQUAL STRENGTH, even though the parallel mesorah wasn't always
written down.  I don't see that as a limud zchut in the sense of "it's 
wrong, but we don't have to write them out of the book".  It's more of
"yes the text says X, but we know that our mesorah is just as authentic
as that from which the text sprang, so the fact that Ash do Y is not 
wrong, it's just different."

> I would also speculate that this falls into the rubric of many minhagei
> Ashkenaz that conflict with the Bavli, only Tosfos was - kdarko bakodesh
> - trying to reconcile this apparent contradiction by offering a reason
> or apologetics.

As may be, but I don't see Tosafot taking the approach that "Ashkenaz
is wrong".  Rather, "the text is holy, the mesorah is holy, how can
we make them agree".
> If this approach is correct, the objection of the Gra falls away.
> It's not undoing a Gmoro by making a "ta'am" obsolete. It's a matter of
> sticking up for a competing mesorah and giving that mesorah a rationale.
> L'mai nafka mina?
> Tosfos was defending a minhag that - as far as Ashkenazim go - had an
> authority on par with the Gmoro. However, a later minhag would NOT have
> that same weight. So we might want to be discerning which minhagim we
> are defending.

Or at least, how we define the idea of "limud zchut."

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Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2001 19:11:53 +0200
From: "Rabbi Y. H. Henkin" <henkin@surfree.net.il>
Limud Zechut in women's haircovering and davening

As used by the poskim, limud zechut does not mean demonstrating
the good intentions and sincerity of seeming violators of Halacha,
but rather finding a source or argument to justify their un-Halachic
practices. Assumed, although not always articulated, is the proviso
that the source or argument is a real one. A spurious or misinterpreted
source is not a basis for limud zechut, any more than mutav sheyiheyu
shoggegin ve'al yiheyu meizidin is a limud zechut. If mistakenly relied
upon, it may be a mitigating factor in lieu of blame or punishment,
but it does not justify the practice itself.

This applies inter alia to two recent topics of dispute. The first
concerned women's head-covering. A claim was made that the Shulchan Aruch
in Even haEzer 115:4 holds that the prohibition of going wholly bareheaded
is only a matter of minhag. Leaving aside contextual arguments such as
the unlikelihood that the Shulchan Aruch held a view which has no source
among the rishonim, and the impossibility of reconciling such a ruling
with the explicit statement in the Talmud that going fully bareheaded
is a de'oraita violation, the question hinged on the language of the
Shulchan Aruch: "What is dat Yehudit? It is a custom of modest behavior
adopted by daughters of Israel. These are the things that if she did
any of them she violated dat Yehudit: she goes out to market or to an
alleyway open on both ends or to a courtyard frequented by the public,
verosha paru'a ve'ein aleha redid like all women, even though her hair
is covered by a kerchief."

Does "verosha paru'a ve'ein aleha redid" mean "when she is [completely]
bareheaded or without a shawl over her..." in which case the Shulchan
Aruch includes going completely bareheaded under the category of dat
Yehudit? Or does it mean "when she is bareheaded [in that] she has no
shawl in her..." in which case going completely bareheaded, without a
shawl and without even a kerchief, is not included under dat Yehudit?

What was not mentioned in the arguments either way is that the entire
paragraph, from "What is..." other than the insert "or to a courtyard
frequented by the public" is a verbatim quote from the Rambam, Hilchot
Ishut 24:12. The Rambam's meaning is definitely the second of the above
two interpretations, since he lists going completely bareheaded as dat
Mosheh in 24:11. Unless it can be demonstrated that the Shulchan Aruch is
in the habit of using someone's exact language while meaning the opposite
of what the original author intended, this settles the question. The
Shulchan Aruch does not mean that going completely bareheaded is only dat
Yehudit and, therefore, thist can not serve as a basis for limud zechut.

The second controversy concerned the question of why most women do
not pray Shemoneh Esreh regularly. Magen Avraham in Orach Chayim 106
explained that they rely on the Rambam, who holds prayer to be a Torah
obligation met by any short, self-composed prayer and that the Sages did
not obligate women in Shemoneh Esreh. The discussion revolved around
whether the Rambam can be relied upon in the face of the disagreement
of almost all the other rishonim.

But is that really the opinion of the Rambam? In his commentary to
the Mishnah in Kiddushin 1:7, concerning the generalization that woman
are not obligated to observe "all" (i. e. any) positive commandments
which are time-determined, Rambam writes, "We have a generalization
that one doesn't learn from generalizations, and by 'all' they mean
'most.' The full range of positive commandments, those that woman are
obligated in and those that they are not obligated in, are not subject
to a generalization but rather are conveyed by oral tradition. Eating
matzoh on the night of Pesach, rejoicing on the Festivals, Hakhel, prayer,
reading the Megillah, Chanuka lights, Sabbath lights, and kiddush are
all time-determined positive commandments, and in each of them men and
women are equally obligated." Here "prayer" (tefilah) refers to the
rabbinically-instituted Shemoneh Esreh prayer which is time-determined,
and not to the Torah obligation of prayer which is not.

Moreover, that Rambam holds that women are obligated in Shemoneh Esreh can
be shown from his Hilchot Tefillah as well, by comparing the reference
to "women, servants, and children" in 6:10 (the inclusion of "children"
proves that he is referring to rabbinical prayer) with the reference to
"women and servants" in 1:2.

Finally, the Meiri in Berachot 20a, referring to the Rambam, writes
that those who hold that women are obligated in prayer from the Torah
hold that they are rabbinically obligated as well. See on all this at
greater length in Resp. Bnei Banim, vol. 2, no. 6.

A mistaken reading of the Rambam cannot be used as grounds for limud
zechut for women not davening Shemoneh Esreh. But there exist other
grounds. Here the right question needs to be asked. It is: women at the
time of chazal were not less burdened with having babies and raising
children and running a household than they are today. How. then, could
chazal require women to daven Shemoneh Esreh regularly? Even if chazal
tried to legislate it, would it not be in the category of an enactment
which the community is unable to carry out, which is automatically null
and void?

The answer, given by a number of modern writers, is that the original
rabbinic enactment of Shemoneh Esreh included the provision that a person
should not pray unless he can properly concentrate. The Tur in Orach
Chayim 98 collected the various statements by Chazal in this regard:
"He should not pray in a place or time which negates his concentration,
as R. Chiya b. Ashi said that Rav said, 'Anyone whose thoughts are
unsettled should not pray.' R. Chanina did not pray on any day he got
upset (ratach). R. Eliezer said, 'Someone who returns from a journey
should not pray for three days,' i.e. until he gets over the excitement
of the trip. R. Eliezer b. R. Yose haGlili said, 'nor one who is troubled
(meitzar).' Shemuel would not pray in a house where there was a brew,
because of the smell, which bothered him. R. Papa would not pray in a
house where fish were frying."

None of this was later codified in the Shulchan Aruch because, as the
Tur himself wrote, at least from the days of R. Meir of Rottenberg the
custom became established for men to pray even when not concentrating
fully-lest they never pray at all. This custom, however, was adopted by
the men, but not by the women, who maintained the Talmudic exclusions.

The daily pressures, tensions and distractions involved in running the
normal household and family thus enable most women to forgo Shemoneh
Esreh. The upshot from this, however, is that students and unmarried
and other women, if they are living peaceful and unharried lives, are
obligated in Shemoneh Esreh twice daily, Shachrit and Mincha. On the
question of Arvit, see Bnei Banim vol, 2, no. 19.

-- Yehuda-Herzl Henkin

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Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2001 21:50:08 EST
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
Re: women davening

> Fahrkert!  If tefillah is only derabbanan then one can easily say "hem amru 
> vehem amru."

No. "VhaMG"A kitzer b'zeh, d'vaday l'haRambam ken hu, aval l'Rashi v'Tos.
[and Ramban] chayavos b'chol hatefilos k'anashim..." - Aruch haShulchan
106,5-7, see also PM"G and machtzis hashekel there.

The reason: the Mishna tells us that woman are chayavos in
tefillah. Acc. to the MG"A's pshat in the Rambam the Mishna is telling
us women have a chiyuv in tefilah *d'oraysa* - the chiddush being even
though there is a takanas chachamim of tefilah 3 times a day, km"l this
doesn't effect women because they were never included in that takanah
m'derabbanan. (or the derabbanan is zman gerama). However, acc. to all
other Rishonim the Mishna must be talking about tefilah *derabbanan*
(as they hold there is no chiyuv d'oraysa at all) and km"l that zman
gerama is not a ptur for tefillah - but the chiyuv derabbanan must be
the same as that for men.

I wrote the din of kiddush as a chumra (and BTW: its Chaim Brown,
not Chaim M) because if you hold that there is a real chiuv tefilah
(not like the MG"A) then women can eat before davening just the way
a man can. It is nice to know so many people are aware of this din! -
I just noted it because I know people who are not aware.

-Chaim Brown

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Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2001 13:23:01 +0000
From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk>
Re: women davening

Chaim Brown wrote:
>> Just to clarify why many think it implausible-
>> 1) It is only aliba the Rambam that it can work, and most Rishonim (Ramban, 
>> Rashi, Tos.) are against the rambam.

In message , Gil.Student@citicorp.com writes
>Fahrkert!  If tefillah is only derabbanan then one can easily say "hem amru 
>vehem amru."

But then you are contradicting the mishna (Brochas 20a-b) and gemorra
(20b) itself which states that women are chayav in tefillah despite that
fact that you might have a hava mina that they are not as it is a
mitzvas oseh shezman grama.


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Date: Sun, 07 Jan 2001 01:47:43
From: "" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
Shabbos: maculine or feminine?

Just goes to show what happens when I post without the QQ in front of me.
There is not one, but several exx. of Shabbos in humash being feminine (all
transliteration in Sefaradi, not Ashkenaz): shabbat hi laShem (Lev. 23:3),
v'shamru.. es haShabbat..ot hi (Ex. 31:16), vhayta shabbat haaretz (Lev.
25:6), sheva' shabbatot (Lev. 23:15), and a couple of others. There are two
clear exx. of shabbat being used as masculine, both from the haftoro we read
on Friday: kol shomer Shabbat mehall'lo (Is. 56), but the normal usage is
feminine. In musaf it clearly is used as feminine: tikkanta shabbat, ratzita
qorb'noTEHA and on and on. In shaharis, the paragraph "v'lo n'tatto...l'goyei
ha'aratzot," which immediately follows "vshamru," picks up on the last
phrase: uvayyom hash'vi'i shavat..v'lo n'tatto, just like later: uvash'vi'i
ratzita BO. In those cases, the antecedent is yom, which is masculine.
But the conclusion is not changed: except for those exx. in Yesha'ya,
Shabbos in the TeNaKh is feminine, and as far as I can see always in the

Seth Mandel

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Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2001 18:24:11 -0800 (PST)
From: Gil Student <gil_student@yahoo.com>
Children and Non-kosher Animals

A little while back on Areivim someone mentioned a Chabad custom not to
let children have toys related to non-kosher animals.

I'm not sure if anyone pointed this out yet, but a possible makor could
be where the Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Choshen Mishpat, hilchos shemiras guf
venefesh, 12), when discussing the power of speech, says (from a Shela"h)
that a parent should not scare a child by, for example, saying that a
non-kosher animal will take the child away. The reason given is that
there are "mazikim" with the same names as non-kosher animals who can
injure the child either physically or spiritually.

More surprising than this being quoted in the Rav's Shulchan Aruch is
that the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (33:14) paskens that way.

Even more surprising is that R. Yehoshua Yishayahu Neuwirth (of Shemiras
Shabbos Kehilchasah fame) paskens that way in his small book Chinuch
HaBanim LeMitzvos VeDinei Katan (se'if 56).

Gil Student

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Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2001 06:46:59 -0500
From: "Noah S. Rothstein" <noahrothstein@mindspring.com>
Assur to Live w/out Greenery- Yerushalmi ?

I just saw the following sig. in the Usenet newsgroup sci.bio.botany:
>"It is forbidden to live in a town which has no greenery." Jerusalem Talmud,
>Kiddushin 4:12.

Any comments and elaboration on this? Are the small amount of trees
and parks in many NYC neighborhoods sufficient ?

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Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2001 20:32:28 +0200
From: "Amihai & Tamara Bannett" <atban@inter.net.il>
Ibn Ezra and Shabbat

>> (That said, there is poem about Shabbos attributed to Ibn Ezra that is
>> much more troubling.)

> Which one and why?

Maybe he was talking about the story the IE wrote, about the dream he
had, that he got a letter from The Shabbat, calling on him to act
against people who claim shabbat starts at sunrise sat. morning (see
rashbam bereshit perek 2).


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