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Volume 06 : Number 151

Thursday, March 8 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 01:47:12 +0200
From: "Mrs. Gila Atwood" <gatwood@netvision.net.il>
Re: Areivim V6 #513

From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
> How do we understand yisurim in a child?
> maybe I am - but I'm not R"L experiencing weakness in emunah).
> But when an adult R"L suffers we say that the suffering is being
> memareik his chatoim. When a child R"L dies early, we say that
> he was a gilgul of another neshama that had a tafkid to complete in
> this world which is limited in time. Those are fine, pat explanations....

Now I have a tremendous sense of pachad addressing this question but I
have learned something which might help with this issue. I was involved
in typing up a translation of the Sefer HaGilgulim, Rav Chaim Vital's
presentation of the Arizal's teachings on reincarnation. Any faults here
are mine and/or the translator's.

You are all probably familiar with the division of the soul into levels-
nefesh, ruach, neshamah, chaya and yechida. Here I'm just talking about
the nefesh elokis, not the nefesh behemis. The two lowest levels, the
nefesh and the ruach relate the the physical and emotional aspects of
the person respectively. ONLY these levels can become tarnished and
require tikun by gilgul, according to the Arizal.

Generally a person's averas are caused by physical taivas and emotional
cravings- thus bringing about a pegam on the soul. We can metaken for
that davka by physical suffering and emotional suffering of various sorts
as these will affect and amend the nefesh and ruach levels. You might
argue, ah, but what about corruption on an intellectual level which would
relate to the neshama? Ah, but where is the corruption really coming
from- a need for a sophisticated rationalization of lower cravings
and often subconscious emotional drives. They don't actually damage
the intellectual level permanently- i.e. from one gilgul to the next,
but they are symptomatic of pgam in at least one of the two lower levels.

Mrs. Gila Atwood.

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Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 10:16:14 -0500
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
RE: Hechsherim

[First, some backround material, culled from Areivim. -mi]

Gershon Dubin wrote to Areivim:
:         Now it's you who are exaggerating.  We all know that .001% tarfus
: is more than botel beshishim.

To which Micha Berger replied:
> To get off on a tangent:

> But it wasn't 0.001% tarfus. The question was:
>:> But the question is: do they have to make sure that there is not even
>:> a .001% chance of tarfus?

> Chance implies ruba deleisa likaman. In which case, there is no body of
> mutar with which to be bateil.

Similarly, R' Moshe Feldman commented:
} No.  I wrote .001% *chance* of tarfus.  I.e., if that chance materializes,
} it's 100% treif.  The issue is not botel b'shishim but kol d'parish m'rubah
} parish.

[Now for the post itself. -mi]

This is a topic that I am very much NOT boki in, and I am very aware of
how dangerous half a brain can be, but still, I'd like to suggest some
ideas, and then you can all show me how far off-base I am with this.

Namely: the halacha of "chad b'trei".

AIUI, Botel b'shishsim is a very different concept than kol d'parish.
Botel b'shishim has nothing to do with sfeikos of any kind. Every single
spoonful contains both kasher and treif, and the question is whether or
not the trief has lost its identity to the kasher. If its identity is
still nikar, then we cannot eat it, but if its identity has been lost,
then we may eat it.

That is basic concept of Bitul, as can be seen from various halachos such
as: (a) a beriya never lost its identity so it is not batel; (b) the end
product owes its life to the maamad so a maamad is certainly not batel;
(c) you can't taste the milk if it falls into a big pot of chicken soup,
but you can't deny that the volume of the soup has increased, so there
are some poskim who insist on removing a spoon's volume from the pot
before eating it.

Kol d'parish is a whole 'nother concept. I have a piece of food. It might
be 100% kosher. And it might be 100% treif. If have two Empire chicken
legs, and one Perdue chicken leg. (Legs don't have plumbas, or other
simanim that I know of. And let's say they're wrapped, so we don't argue
about the juice.) I can take any of the three and eat it simply because
it is *probably* kosher.

Each leg in this prototypical "chad b'trei" case has a 67% chance of
being kosher. But IIRC, "acharei rabim l'hatos" -- the halacha requires
only a simple majority. A thousand Empire legs get mixed in with 999
Perdue, and I can still pick any leg from the pile and eat it. Now, yes,
I realize that there are details and machloksim about -- for example --
whether I can eat all 1999, or maybe only 1000 of them, but everyone
agrees that I can certainly take one leg from the pile and eat it.

Some (I forget who) even say that if I avoid eating it because of the
49.9% chance that it is treif, because the Torah has declared it to be
NOT treif.

Ok, let's get back to the original question, which was about a piece of
food whose hechsher is *probably* okay, but I'm not 100% sure. And for
the purposes of this question, the word "hechsher" can refer either to a
symbol on a package in the supermarket, or to the say-so of a balabos who
invited me to eat in his home.

Either way, you can say that there is a big difference between that, and
my Empire/Perdue example above (assuming you trust Empire, of course).
Namely, that in the above case, we had 1000/1999 legs that were VADAI
kosher. But here, the entire metzius is under suspicion. Perhaps we can
get some guidance from a case which does not deal with metzius at all.

Imagine the Sanhedrin meeting to decide whether or not today is Rosh
Chodesh. Or whether or not a certain action is a melacha on Shabbos. Or
whether fat from a certain area is chelev or shuman. Whatever... Various
ideas are discussed, a vote is taken, and "acharei rabim l'hatos" - the
majority rules. Why is that? Is there connection between this sort of
majority rule, and "kol d'parish"?

I was taught that there is indeed a connection. When the court is in
session, "emes" is floating around somewhere, and cannot rest on a fixed
point. We are uncertain whether Truth lies here, or whether it lies over
there. So a vote is taken, and "kol d'parish, merubah parish" -- This
group has 36 votes, and that group has only 34 votes, so we pasken
l'doros, that the 36 had Truth on their side.

> But the question is: do they have to make sure that there is not even
> a .001% chance of tarfus? ... I wrote .001% *chance* of tarfus.  I.e., if
> that chance materializes, it's 100% treif.

I suppose the bottom line is: How did you come to determine that "there
is not even a .001% chance of tarfus?" If you have all the facts like
the Sanhedrin did, then even a 49% chance of tarfus can be ignored.

But what if you DON'T have all the facts. What if your situation is not
"parish". If there are ten butchers in town, only one of which is treif,
and you forgot which one you went into, then even the 10% chance is too

Food for thought.

Akiva Miller

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Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 09:47:49 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Thought for Purim

Apropos of the Areivim thread on preventing chilul Shabbos:

Chazal prohibited reading the megila on Shabbos in order to prevent its
being carried bireshus harabim. I once heard the observation made that
this shows the concern of Chazal for even the person "at risk" in this
scenario, namely an am ha'aretz who, although he possesses a megila,
simply cannot read it. For this, they prohibited all Jews through the
doros from reading the megila on Shabbos. Same for lulav and shofar,
amei ha'aretz who have the tashmish shel mitzva but don't know what to
do with it.

In the case of megila, the result is that the only time that all of Klal
Yisrael reads the megila on the sam e day is when Purim demukafin comes
out on Shabbos.

Thus, Chazal's concern for the am ha'aretz doing mitzvos resulted in a
greater expression of unity of Klal Yisrael.

Bevirchas ken tihyeh lanu

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Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 20:13:30 -0500
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: Rt, Mincha/Maariv

We recently had a discussion about davening Mincha after shkiah, and
I found some interesting material that I'd like to share. It is from
"Halachos for the Traveler", by Donneal Epstein, and published by
Feldheim. The following is quoted from pages 116-117 there:

> Rabbi Yisroel Belsky has ruled that in the New York area one may
> bidi'avad pray the Mincha service up to thirty-five minutes after
> shekiyah. This is based on the Mishnah Berurah (14),who writes that one
> may pray Minchah until a quarter-hour before nightfall. Rabbi Moshe
> Feinstein in Igros Moshe IV:62 held that nightfall is fifty minutes
> after shekiyah in the New York area. (50 minus 15 equals 35.) .... Rabbi
> David Feinstein has expressed to this author that bidi'avad one may
> recite Minchah until 58-1/2 minutes after shekiyah. ... See also Archos
> Rabbenu, vol. III, p. 225, where the Chazon Ish is quoted that even prior
> to shekiyah, if one will not have enough time to finish praying before
> shekiyah he should refrain from praying Minchah and instead recite the
> Shemoneh Esreh of Ma'ariv twice!

Akiva Miller

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Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 04:41:18 +0200
From: Menachem Burack <Mburack@emiltd.com>
Re: Purim seudah on Friday

What about a "ben prazim" that wants to hear megilla Thursday night in
Rav Zvi Pesach Frank in Mikoei Kodesh (I think siman 51) says that since the
"ben prazim" is chayav midivrei kabbala (neviim) and this year the mukaf
chomah is only chayav midivrei chochomim (the halacha for a mukaf chomah to
read on tes-vov is midivrei kabala but when Purim falls on Shabbos Chochmim
were mesaken to lein on Thursday) - therefore although both are reading on
Thursday the "ben prazim" has a stronger obligation and cannot be yotzeh by
a mukaf chomah.

Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2001 01:55:11 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Subject: Re: Purim seudah on Friday

On 5 Mar 01, at 10:46, Feldman, Mark wrote:
> From: Gil Student <gil_student@hotmail.com>
>>> How do you understand this. Does this mean one should start before chatzos
>>> or does it mean most of the seudah should be before chatzos.

>> There is a sign in the Agudah of Ave. L (Agudas Yisroel Bais Binyomin) that 
>> says to START the seudah by 12:07 pm.

> I agree with RGS.  I learned this MB in tandem with the MB dealing with erev
> shabbos meals in general (in hilchos shabbos) and think that the language
> supports this view.

Isn't there something about being oker the Shulchan when Shabbos starts,
making Kiddush and resuming the meal? IIRC there were two ways to make
Purim Seudah on Friday - one the way I just described and the other to
start before Chatzos and finish enough before Shabbos to be able to eat
the Shabbos meal without feeling like a davar acheir. It hasn't happened
here in the last couple of years, but when it comes out on Friday (happens
to us more often than to you), we usually start to eat before Chatzos.

By the way, you think you got halachic problems this year - you should
hear our issues:

1. Our Megilla reading is considered "she'lo b'zmano," which means my
wife has to find a way to hear Megilla in a minyan with the 19-month old
(normally I read for her at home - we're hoping the "women's readings"
will have a minyan this year).

2. There are three deos when to be Yotzei Mishloach Manos: Friday (Chazon
Ish), Shabbos (Maharam Chaviv IIRC) and Sunday (Mishna Brura). The velt
paskens like the MB but is chosesh for the others.

3. You're supposed to be marbeh b'seuda on Shabbos. How one measures
this ribbui seuda, I have not yet figured out. Maybe I'll tell my wife
we should have an extra cake for dessert :-) (This last happened seven
years ago and I don't remember what we did).

4. We say Al HaNisim only on Shabbos. We read vaYavo Amalek on Shabbos,
and we read the Haftorah for Parshas Zachor (AFAIK the only time you
read the same Haftorah two weeks in a row, except I think there might be
a m'an d'amar who holds that when Acharei Mos and Kdoshim are separate
you read HaLo k'Bnei Kushiyim on both).

5. Purim Seudah is on Sunday. Matanos la'Evyonim is on Friday.

6. I saw brought down that if a boy becomes Bar Mitzva on Shabbos he
has to read the Megilla on Shabbos. Why is this not a Shema Yaaveerenu
problem? I guess because there's no choice, since the alternative would
be to mevatel the mitzva altogether. It's good our calendar doesn't
allow the second day of Rosh HaShana to come on Shabbos or we could
theoretically have the same problem....

Did I leave anything out? 

- 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: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 08:37:59 -0500
From: David Riceman <dr@insight.att.com>
Re: How Far Are We Obligated to Use Technology for Precision in Halacha?

Akiva Atwood wrote:
> does food have to be
> 100% kosher without any possible doubt, or is chezkas kashrut enough?

> In either case, we have an obligation to ensure *to the best of our ability*
> the kashrut involved.

This is clearly false.  We don't, for example, check for all 18 possible
treifoth when we shecht, we only check for the one for which we don't
have a reliable chazaka.  Yet we do have the ability to check for all of

David Riceman

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Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 19:55:55 -0500
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: More Dateline Issues...

With the recent discussion about the Halachic Date Line, I thought I'd
like to offer some thoughts from a new sefer I recently picked up.

"Halachos for the Traveler", by Donneal Epstein, and published by
Feldheim, has a full ten-page chapter on Date Line issues. He quotes
the main opinions, and procedures for how to observe one day as Shabbos
MeIkar HaDin, and the other as Shabbos L'Chumra.

But what if you (or your LOR) can't decide which day is the Ikar? What
is you want to do both days l'chumra? On pages 20-22 he explains how to
do that. His procedure is very similar to the ideas recently posted by
R' Noah Rothstein, who encouraged me to offer it to the whole chevra,
so here goes:

(This example is for when your safek is whether Shabbos is Saturday
or Sunday. For a Friday-Saturday safek, just subtract one day.) -- Say
weekday davening both days. Mention Shabbos in Shema Kolenu on Saturday
(but not Sunday). No musaf either day. Wear tefilin without bracha on
both days. Kiddush of wine is said Saturday afternoon after Plag to
cover whichever day is correct. Lechem Mishneh at all 6 meals. First
meal should be on Friday between Plag and Shkia, because you're not
making Kiddush yet. Avoid all melacha, both d'oraisa and d'rabanan,
on both days. Havdala on Sunday night without candle or spices.

He doesn't give sources for every single detail, but seems to be based
in general on a sefer titled "Yisrael V'Hazmanim".

Akiva Miller

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Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 12:49:01 -0500
From: "Moskovitch, Tobias" <MoskovitchT@coned.com>
RE: Purim Seudah on Erev Shabbos

     In response to the question of the Purim seudah lasting into Shabbos, I
understand that by the Amshinover Rebbe it is done as the stated in the
Gemorrah "PORRES MAPPEH UMKADESH", in middle of the seudah. I also heard
that the Klausenburger Rebbe ZT"L did that once and that he always regretted
it. Generally he would start the suedah earlier and drink less than a
regulaer year so he could prepare for Shabbos. 

Tobias Moskovitch

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Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 12:39:22 -0500
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <Richard_Wolpoe@ibi.com>
RE: Rt, Mincha/Maariv

Akiva Miller:
> The following is quoted from pages 116-117 there:
>> Rabbi Yisroel Belsky has ruled that in the New York area one may
>> bidi'avad pray the Mincha service up to thirty-five minutes after
>> shekiyah....

FWIW the KSA 69:2 frames it thusly:
1) Lechatchila before Plag
2) Bei'avad or beshaa's hadechak until tzeis

the Piskeiy MB "sham" sk 3
1) Lechatchila until shkia
2) Bedi'avad and bish'as hadchak gadol 13.5 minutes after Shkiah

There is more about tnai and tefillah betzibbur considerations 

Good Purim
Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 13:01:12 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Yisurim in a Child

Three clarifications on my own post.

: Despite this, I think we need to rise to the challenge. Realizing that it's
: a case of lo alecha hamlachah ligmor, we can never really answer the question,
: HKBH is asking us the question by allowing suffering. We need to grapple
: with it, because in that we associate the pain with G-d, we use it to
: motivate our exploring our relationship with Him.

I consider the problem of "tzadik vira lo" to be similar to that of chok.
In both cases we are balked by the task of a finite mind trying to grasp
the Ideas of the Infinite. And yet by chok too, we darshen and try to learn
what we can, even though we know we can only find /an/ answer, not /the/

: We live these lives so as ... to change ourselves ...    Whatever we get
: too is part of the path my soul must travel for hatavah. Whatever we get
: in this world is whatever HKBH decides would maximize our potential in
: comparison to where we are now.

Here I was trying to say, and I don't know if I was sufficiently clear,
is that s'char va'onesh isn't the primary force behind what we get in
olam hazeh -- hatavah is. Sechar va'onesh may coincide with hatavah,
such as the yissurim that can break one away from cheit. In which case,
yes, it would be onesh as well, and the "account" would include that
fact. But that's not the driving concept.

I'm not sure if this idea is true on a national level. Certainly the
two tochachos as well as the second parashah of keri'as shema imply
otherwise. It may be possible to talk about Klal Yisrael earning
sechar, even if the individuals who get the sechar aren't the most
worth, but those for whom it would be the most tov. Vechein lehefech.
I'm not comfortable with this conclusion, but I don't see any other
way of understanding the pasukim.

It hit me on the train that I inadvertantly described the 4 banim later in
that post:

: Sometimes, that may mean nisyonos, having to realize some latent ability
: and excercise it. Which is how the Ramban understands the point of the
: akeidah; Avraham had to actualize that level of mesiras nefesh.

This is the chacham, who asks RYBS's question, what does this event
empower me to do? How am I supposed to react? Mah ha'eidos vihachukim...?

: Sometimes, r"l, it may mean having to be awoken from the rut one was in.

Clearly this is someone who is in a bad rut, a rasha. He is presented
with an incoherent world view. Ein adam meisim atzmo rasha and yet he
is facing yissurim. So he asks: Why me? He can either dump one side of
the inconsistancy by getting out of where he is, or he could remain a
rasha and ask "Mah ha'avodah hazos lachem?" What do you get out of it?
"Ein din vi'ein Dayan."

Yes there are yissurim shel ahavah, where it's not that the rut is a bad
one, just not as good as one is capable of. The person has a potential
for greater ahavah, greater closeness to HKBH, than what staying in his
current path will get him. Perhaps my terminology is poorly chosen, this
is closer to what I was calling "nisyonos" in the previous section.

: Sometimes one may recieve tov because HKBH wants to encourage the path
: we're currently following.

This is the tam. He behaves with temimus, but he isn't the chacham, ready
to handle the struggle of a nisayon.

:                            Sometimes because HKBH doesn't think we're up
: to the nisayon of doing without.

This is true of the she'eino yodei'ah lish'ol -- not only true of
the good he recieves, but also the evil. A SYL who is poor is one
who couldn't handle the nisyonos of being rich, the call on his time,
resisting greed, etc...

The real person is a mix of these four. Things in which we are chachamim,
HKBH reacts one way. Things about which we aren't yod'im lish'ol, He
will treat us another.


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, 8 Mar 2001 13:03:55 -0500
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
re: Rabbinic authority

R' Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> The authority for Halachah was vested in the Sanhedrin At the Churban,

Was it that late in history? Who had the authority before that? I thought
that the authority began with Moshe Rabenu and the Zekenim. The Zekenim,
as a group, were later referred to as the Anshei Knesses Hagedolah, and
as the Sanhedrin, but those name changes did not impact on the question
at hand. Or did it?

R' Wolpoe continued:
> R. Yochanan Ben Zakkai created the titles Rabbi and Rabban to create
> a brand new authority. Dr. Agus called this tutorial authority. Since
> I am your teacher, you are obligated to follow my psak.

R' Micha Berger commented:
: I think it fits quite well with the gemara in Sanhedrin recently cited
: here. A poseik acts midin shelichus for the last Sanhedrin.

Except that you must remember that whatever authority R' Yochanan ben
Zakkai might have created, it only went to his mushmachim, and to their
musmachim, and onwards. But our musmachim don't have that kind of

Which brings us back to R' Eli Turkel's original assertion that
} I do not recall any halacha that binds me to the decision of a
} rav. Today I have come to believe that the position of a rav is similar
} to a doctor

Akiva Miller

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Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 13:20:45 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Rabbinic authority

On Thu, Mar 08, 2001 at 01:03:55PM -0500, Kenneth G Miller wrote:
:: I think it fits quite well with the gemara in Sanhedrin recently cited
:: here. A poseik acts midin shelichus for the last Sanhedrin.

: Except that you must remember that whatever authority R' Yochanan ben
: Zakkai might have created, it only went to his mushmachim, and to their
: musmachim, and onwards. But our musmachim don't have that kind of
: semicha.

I didn't understand Agus as questioning the notion that semichah at that time
was miMoshe. Rather, that RYbZ created the word "rav" when he made poskim
the shelichim of the Sanhedrin at Yavneh. However, there were musmachim
who called themselves other things -- zekeinim, soferim, whatever -- before
then. And there could be shelichim, and therefore rabbanim (if we assume
the terms are identical) who don't have real semichah.

: Which brings us back to R' Eli Turkel's original assertion...

It was posed by R' Chaim Turkel, not R' Eli.


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, 8 Mar 2001 13:30:43 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Reporting to the IRS

On Mon, Mar 05, 2001 at 03:39:07PM -0500, Gershon Dubin wrote:
: 1. Filling out IRS forms....do you declare absolutely everything or do you
: hide things to get a tax rebate or pay less tax.

Isn't a tax that is applied fairly across the population (rather than one
created to oppress Jews in particular) the one thing all agree is under
dina dimalchusa dina? I would think that this is open-and-shut asur!


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Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 13:36:12 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Voss Iz Der Chilluk #3, MC vol. 1 p. 74: Initial Summary

On Mon, Mar 05, 2001 at 11:38:49PM -0600, Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer wrote:
: Hungarian (my favorite, you'll like it as well): By Kiddushin, the woman
: gives to a man, by MM, men give to men and women to women. By a woman
: to a man, the chashivus of the male over the female is an objective
: springboard (the Gemoro in Hori'os about who you save first), so you can
: assume sufficient hano'oh in his kabboloh to create kiddushin.

Does this mean that one needs both the objective definition of chashivus,
as well as a subjective element to raise this chashivus to the level of
shaveh p'rutah? Otherwise, every adam would be able to get married that
way. If so, then what does the springboard add for me? The ikkar is the

Also, what about having a kohein chashuv, or one's rav who is chashuv
recieve one's shalach manos? There two there is an objective difference
in chashivus as a spring-board.


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, 8 Mar 2001 13:37:49 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Purim seudah on Friday

On Tue, Mar 06, 2001 at 01:55:11AM +0200, Carl and Adina Sherer wrote:
: Isn't there something about being oker the Shulchan when Shabbos starts,
: making Kiddush and resuming the meal? ...

How about we do what we do for the seider, when the shulchan is supposed
to be removed and reintroduced -- appoint a ke'ara to serve as one's
shulchan. Is there a chiluk between the two se'udos?


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Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 13:41:53 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Fwd: RAV -11a: Torah and Humility Part 1

On Tue, Mar 06, 2001 at 06:15:13PM -0500, Zeliglaw@aol.com wrote:
: There is another doctrine of unity - achdut ha-ohev ve- ha-ahuv (the
: unity of the lover and the beloved).

The Rambam (Yesodei haTorah 2) writes that the mitzvah of ahavas Hashem
has its kiyum in talmud Torah. Ahavah is through da'as. And we already
noted the importance mekubalim put into the fact that da'as also refers
to marital relations.

I am therefore unsurprised to find this mention of "achdus ha'oheiv
viha'ahuv" a few days after raising the subject of "achdus hayodei'a


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Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 14:40:41 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Fwd: RAV -11: Torah and Humility Part 2

On Mon, Mar 05, 2001 at 04:36:53PM -0500, Zeliglaw@aol.com wrote:
: The fourth step is called "tzimtzum." The humble man must know how to
: recoil, to retreat; he must know the art of self-contraction, even
: when not required by the letter of the law.

This isn't the only place I saw RYBS refer to tzimtzum as a middah similar
to anivus. The following is from <http://www.613.org/rav/ravnotes2.html>,
unapproved notes taken by a Bostonian attendee of his shiurim. (This
unamed person apparantly wasn't too strong as Hebrew, it shows in some
of the transliterations.) The shiur is from motza'ei Shabbos 3-Feb-79.

In it RYBS connects the fire of the s'neh to Moshe's being anav mikol
adam to Moshe's appointment.


Also at the "Sneh" we have the same application. The first call was to
liberate or save the Jews. This could be done by the "Malach". But we
find directly the posek, "He (G-d) said "Do not draw nigh, remove the
shoes from your feet for the place where you stand is holy." To draw too
close to the "Shchina" of G-d could have been Moshe's death. Therefore,
G-d had to speak. Interestingly, the Torah tells us that the "Sneh" burned
but was not consumed. "HaSneh Aynenu Ukol". It should say, "Maduah HaSneh
Aynenu Ukol". (Why wasn't the bush consumed?" Instead, the words are,
"Maduah Lo Ivar HaSneh"? This was not just a unique event but a great
event as far as events are concerned. He attributed great significance to
this. Moshe already felt intuitively that something great was happening,
that which he waited for many years. If he were merely interested why
the bush was not consumed, he wouldn't be so intrigued. What he saw was
a fire in the middle (Mitoch) but did not spread to the periphery. This
is what is meant by "Lo Ivar HaSneh". What kind of a fire is it which
is limited to the center and doesn't spread to the periphery? It is
restricted only to the center.

Why did G-d do this? There are two separate miracles! In order to draw
Moshe, to catch his attention is "Maduah lo Ukol" -- why isn't it
consumed. The second is "Lo Ivar" -- why is the fire limited to the
center. Basically, it is the same answer. The "Sneh" didn't burn; it
retained its characteristic. The fire was limited to a center point. The
point is, why didn't the fire spread? This was a test of Moshe. If he
merely asked, "Lo Ukol", why isn't it consumed, he might not receive the
leadership. But, "Why doesn't it spread," shows his capability to be a
leader. "If I were looking for a diplomat, for an ambassador, I wouldn't
have chosen you. Ther are better qualified! But I am not looking for
a military marshal; I need a teacher. I need someone to take a people,
degraded by torture, by slavery, by humiliation and to elevate them. The
time alloted is short -- merely three months. They are degraded. Some
are informers. They didn't cry loudly enough! Only one man can do it. It
is Moshe despite "Kvad Peh" -- slowness of speech. Moshe understood
at once what G-d wanted. This represents the quality of "Yahudus" --
faith. Often G-d is far away but from the distance communicates with
man. When G-d told Moshe to build a "mishkan", Moshe was frightened. "Is
it possible that I shall build for a an abode of twenty foot square,
Master of the Universe?" Shlomo Hamelech asked the same question. The
founders of "Chabad" says that here we find Chassidus. G-d declares,
"If I want, the Heavens cannot contain Me. But "Im Rotze"-- if it is My
will, I descend from the transcendental world and compress Myself into
one cubic foot of the "Kaporos" -- the cover of the Ark. This is waht G-d
wants to teach Moshe. In the center of circle there is no dimension. G-d
can expand ad infinitum and if He wants, He occupies no space at all.

Basically, what does Torah want the Jew to do? We must imitate G-d. Why
is there slavery in the world? Because humans want power, to expand --
more space, more space. "Midas Hatzimtzum is how to occupy space. This
is humility. Moshe said, "Osuro Noh" -- let me turn aside and see the
great wonder. As G-d contracts let man contract. Let man demonstrate
humility, smallness -- let him contract, shrink. This was the Serpent's
wrong advice to Adam and Eve. "Expand like G-d!" What does G-d want? The
opposite. "Contract." Sometimes ambition is good but only if guided
by Divine law. In inter-human relationshiop absolute honesty is
required. Contract yourself; do not try to grab all you can.

In Chumash Devarim -- Sedra V'Zas HaBrocho, Chapter 33, line16, there is
Moshe's blessing to the tribe of Joseph, " Urtzon Shochni Sneh" (Him that
dwelt in the bush). G-d who first dwelt in the bush. This was the blessing
to Yosef, the most capable of the brothers, the greatest businessman and
innovator. "G-d should grant him that he never forgets "Midas Hatzimtzum"
-- humility. "Enjoy this world, be attractive, be successful, pass it
on to your generations, but remember -- G-d does not just reside int
he entire universe but in the "Sneh" -- the lowly bush. Try not only
to satisfy all desires but learn humility!" Thus with Moshe! G-d could
have spoken from thunder and lightning -- from the entire universe, but
it waas not so. It was from nothing. Yes, try to improve yourself but
always keep in mind the "Sneh". Now Moshe realized at once why the fire
didn't spread. Now he learned humility and this is how he was appointed!

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