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Volume 06 : Number 160

Monday, March 19 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001 22:05:09 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Voss IZ Der Chilluk #4: MC vol. 1 p. 52

At "shalashudis" R' Chaim Davis suggested the following chiluk:
Talmud Torah accomplishes something positive. Bitul chameitz is siluk

RCD suggested that perhaps if you hold that bitul is midin neder (rather
than hefker, in either flavor), it does accomplish something positive.
But that's not the mechabeir's problem.

Also, while it sounds like we're talking about asei vs lav, we're not;
this chiluk is about the constructive nature of the chalos.

The difference between this teirutz and the one RCB attributed to R'
Shimon's derech:
> 6) R' Shimon/Telz - by T"T it is the machshava itself which is the kiyum.
> By bittul, the machshava is just a means of causing siluk reshus; it is
> the siluk reshus which is the cause of the kiyum of the mitzva. 
is that RCB stresses the chiluk between machshvah being the direct vs
indirect causes of the kiyum. RCD, OTOH, was stressing the difference
between constructive vs not.

The subject of asei vs lav came up on the train, speaking to R' Chaim
Markowitz. Bitul chameitz is a lav hanitak la'asei, no? Talmud Torah
is a straight chiyuv. Bitul chameitz's asei aspect is actually somewhat
rare -- it is conditional on need (if you don't have chameitz, then you
wouldn't do bitul) without being a matir. (Shechitah is a textbook

Also, RCB wrote:
> 3) Telz - T"T is a mitzva chiyuvis which there is no way out of; bittul
> chametz is avoidable if there is no chametz around; it is a kiyum mitzva,
> but not a miztva chiyuvis (and yes, I know the invention of that chiluk
> is attributed to the Rav (RYBS), but I think it can pass for a R' Chaim
> Telzer answer).

FWIW, I remember R' Dovid Lifhsitz hk"m invoking the notion of kiyum vs
machshir vs chiyuv. So, you're not off that far by invoking this idea
in Telzer territory.


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

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Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 03:05:32 +0000
From: y.blau@att.net
Rav Moshe Feinstein story

[RYB refers to a story from the Yated's 15 yr retrospective on R' Moshe,
written by R' CB Kaganoff:
> One day, a frantic woman walked into Reb Moshe's home. She 
> explained that she had been separated from her husband during 
> the Holocaust and had later heard that he had been killed in the 
> concentration camps. A prominent rav in Europe had given her 
> permission to remarry, and she had rebuilt her life in South 
> America.   

> Now, 20 years later, she learned that her first husband was 
> actually still alive, living in Eretz Yisroel! The rav who had allowed 
> her to remarry had passed away many years before, and the 
> woman was beside herself. What was she supposed to do?  

> Reb Moshe, frowning with concentration, asked her to repeat the 
> story. After hearing her out a second time, he asked to hear the 
> story yet again. Tension filled the room, and the other people 
> present couldn't help wondering what Reb Moshe felt he could 
> accomplish by having the story repeated time and time again.  

> Finally, Reb Moshe leaned forward and exclaimed, "It can't be! I 
> knew that rav. He was a gaon and a tzaddik. I have permitted 
> thousands of agunos to remarry and such a tragedy has never 
> happened. How can it have happened to this tzaddik? It's 
> impossible!"  

> The other people in the room were shocked. The woman burst into 
> tears. Between sobs, she admitted that she had fabricated the 
> story; in truth, she had never received any p'sak from the rav, but 
> she knew that he had permitted many agunos to remarry and that 
> he had passed away shortly after the war. She had been convinced 
> that her first husband was dead and never thought she would find 
> herself in such a predicament.  

> Reb Moshe, however, saw through her story. Halacha was a life 
> force to him. A rav who had made a p'sak would never be permitted 
> to make a mistake. It just could not be.  

[A discussion of this story appeared on Areivim. -mi]

The story reported in the name of Rav Moshe Feinstein has a parallel
with a radically different conclusion told about Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank.
Rabbi Rakefet gave me a signed statement by a rabbi present authenticating
the account. A religious woman, a survivor of the holcaust, was given a
heter to remarry based on testimony that her husband had been murdered
and had children from the second marriage. Walking in Bnei Brak she saw
her first husband clearly alive.

Rav Frank utilized a suggestion of the Maharsham based on a Tosphos in
Gittin 33a (d"h v'afkinhu) to save the children from mamzerut and permit
her to remain married to her second husband.

Yosef Blau

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Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001 22:02:54 -0500
From: "Gil Student" <gil_student@hotmail.com>
Ba'al Nefesh

About two months ago, there was discussion about what constitutes a ba'al 
nefesh.  I came across the following mareh mekomos.

Rashi in Pesachim 40a (sv ba'al nefesh) writes "chasid."  On the side, it 
says that other sefarim have the nusach in Rashi of "A fearer of heaven who 
trembles over his soul."  In Chullin (6a sv ba'al nefesh atah), Rashi writes 
"a kosher person."

Rabbeinu Chananel writes there, "A person who distances himself from sin and 
is very careful with himself."

Gil Student

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Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 12:53:01 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Tying one's shoes -- din or minhag?

On Fri, Mar 16, 2001 at 11:34:36AM -0500, C1A1Brown@aol.com wrote:
: We discussed on avodah the categories of takanos/chashashos/gezeiros/
: minhagim etc. a few times and what the nafka minos are. 

While we're categorizing things, I'd like to raise a question to the
general chevrah that some of us were kicking around off line.

Does the S"A 2:4 on how to put on and tie one's shoes in the morning
describe a din or a minhag Yisrael. I argued the latter, based on
a vaguely remembered article in Gesher.

And, if it's a din diRabbanan, in which of the 613+7 is its shoresh?

One of our chaveirim noted that the Be'eir haGolah gives the makor
as Shabbos 61a, while that vague memory said it came from the Zohar.
(And related to chessed vs gevurah.) The language in the gemara is
ambiguous. OT1H, it refers to R' Yochanan not holding like the mishnah
as 'iy nami shemia lei ukasavar ein *halachah* ki'osah mishnah" (stess
mine, of course). OTOH, R' Nachman bar Yitzchak says a yarei Shamayim
would be yotzei both, and we find that R' Kahanah wasn't makpid about
it. Both lishonos that would imply minhag.

I also mentioned in passing that the manner in which we perform neigl
vassr and washing before hamotzi are also minhagim, not dinim. This
too comes up in the same gemara (with the same ambiguity, therefore)
but only the order -- not the number of times, whether one does one
and then the other or switches back and forth, etc...


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, 17 Mar 2001 21:52:29 -0500
From: "Gil Student" <gil_student@hotmail.com>
Water on Pesach

The question of chametz and tap water seems to come up every year, so I
thought I would translate what the She'arim Metzuyanim Bahalachah says
about it.

She'arim Metzuyanim Bahalacha on Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, 117:4

"City water, which comes through pipes to houses, whose administrators
mix in additives to clean it, and there are those who worry that these
additives are made from chametz -- one should never the less say that
it is permissible. Even though the Taz (OC 442:8) and the Magen Avraham
(442:15) wrote that it is permissible to derive benefit from chametz that
has become inedible for a dog , implying that it is forbidden to eat it,
never the less the Chok Ya'akov (442:19) wrote that if it becomes mixed
with something else it is neutralized (batel), even in a simple majority,
since one has no intent for it. The Chazon Ish (116:8) wrote similarly
regarding medicine that in a mixture there is no prohibition at all.
In our case also where the additives are mixed with water and one has
no intention for them through which we would say that he gives them
importance, there is no concern."

Gil Student

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Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 08:24:34 +0200
From: "S. Goldstein" <goldstin@netvision.net.il>
Brisk minimalization

The Gra on birkas TT is a big chiddush from the word, 'vhagisa'.
Even though some Rishonim discuss why bittul has no bracha, the Gra
is not m'shubad to the question. We don't find a bracha on bittul,
therefore there is no such bracha. The question of why didn't Chazal
institute a bracha is not a question inside the minimal halachic universe.
Rather it is a question from outside the halachic circle. Hence one need
not search for an answer. Note this has not been true of all previous
'vos iz...' questions.

Shlomo Goldstein

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