Avodah Mailing List

Volume 07 : Number 028

Wednesday, April 25 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 15:35:10 +0200
From: Eli Turkel <Eli.Turkel@kvab.be>
yom tov sheni

> If the Shach ZTL were alive and well I would ask him to elaborate upon the
> following scenarios: ...
> 2) YT Sheini Shel Rosh Hashanah in EY.  If I can find an unpublished
> manuscript from the Kalir era showing that only one day of YT was observed
> in EY for RH, can we revise that practice?

Why be theoretical. It is clear from the Baal Hamaor that in fact they
did keep only one day until the talmidei haRif came and changed it.

Eli Turkel

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 15:29:58 -0400
From: "David Glasner" <DGLASNER@ftc.gov>
Re: R. Akiva Glasner on Yom Ha-Atzmaut

To the Avodah List, on Rosh Hodesh Iyar, I offer this slightly abrdiged
translation of the t'shuvah that my grandfather, R. Akiva Glasner,
son and successor of the Dor Revi'i, ab'd dk'k dk'b, wrote five months
before his passing in Tishri 5717. May his memory be blessed. The Hebrew
text was published posthumously in the journal Hadorom 5738. The
complete translation will be posted shortly on the Dor Revi'i website.

The Celebration of Yom HaAtzmaut in the State of Israel and the Diaspora

From the day her founding, the State of Israel has been the focus of
Jewish thought, both in the State itself and in the Diaspora. This
focus has become even more intense as the tensions have increased on
the borders of the State and the danger of war has loomed over her. In
the days that have passed -- Yom Ha-Zikaron and Yom Ha-Atzmaut --
yearnings and longings have overwhelmed my heart and I also felt within
me a corresponding inner turmoil and disquiet because on the fifth day
of Iyar the opportunity to join in a public prayer in the synagogue to
offer praise and thanksgiving with feeling and passion was not given to
me. I have therefore been aroused to seize my pen and to take a stand
before the general public to proclaim my own humble opinion and my own
halakhhic and religious viewpoint.

The question of the celebration of Yom ha-Atzmaut and the victory in
the War of Independence has engaged wide sections of religious Jewry
in Israel and in the Diaspora. It is a question that has been on the
agenda since the law creating Yom ha-Atzmaut was enacted by the Knesset.
The Rabbis and students of the Torah, in particular, have dealt with
this question. The question in brief is: Is there an obligation to
celebrate Yom ha-Atzmaut as the Chief-Rabbinate of the State of Israel has
decided through the recitation of Hallel, and other public prayers. Over
the years, different opinions and various viewpoints have been heard,
mostly according to the different factions that comprise religious Jewry
(mahaneh ha-hareidim). There are those that agree and those that oppose
and they have been unable to reach a consensus despite the efforts of
the Chief Rabbinate to establish a clear halakhah that will have force
and authority throughout Israel and the Diaspora.

Especially in this year when the security of the borders of Israel are
so threatened, when the threat that hovers over nation of Israel, both
in the State and in the Diaspora, is the most powerful and most dreadful
since the Declaration of Independence, there was a great moral value in
uniting the positions concerning this question for internal as well as
for external reasons. But instead we are witness to division and discord,
all under the veil of a "disagreement for the sake of Heaven."

I shall now go to the field of halakhah and the decisors; I shall gather
sheaves from the sources in the Talmud and the codes, and I shall try
to clarify the law and the halakhah. I ask from the Eternal that I not
stumble or deviate, G-d forbid, from the trodden path that has been paved
by our holy ancestors and sages from generation to generation. And this
is what I have conceived with the aid of my Rock and my Redeemer.

The first source for the obligation to commemorate a miracle that was
performed for us, to offer thanks and praise for the deliverance and
for the mighty acts is explicit in the Torah. The first miracle that was
bestowed upon Israel after we became a nation and arose as a people on the
stage of history was the Exodus from Egypt and the splitting of the Red
Sea, which are interrelated and occurred in immediate succession. An
eternal remembrance of the miracle of the Exodus from Egypt was
established in the Torah in poroshat Bo as a positive commandment (Exodus
13:3): "Remember this day, in which ye went out from Egypt." In his Book
of the Commandments, the Rambam counts this among the 613 commandments.
In his Mishneh Torah (Hametz u-Matzah 7:1) he writes:

    It is a biblically mandated positive commandment to recount the
miracles and wonders that were performed for our ancestors in Egypt
on the night of the fifteenth of Nisan as it is written "Remember
this day, in which ye went out from Egypt" just as it says "Remember
the Sabbath." And from where do we know that it is required to recount
the miracles on the night of the fifteenth? For it says (Exodus 13:8):
"And thou shalt tell thy son in that day, saying, This is done because
of that which the Eternal did unto me when I came forth from Egypt."

In my hiddushim I have explained the words of the Rambam at length,
but there is not enough space to elaborate here. It is clear that the
commandment to recount the miracles that were performed on the night of
the fifteenth of Nisan is biblically mandated among the 613 commandments.

To commemorate the splitting of the Red Sea, the Torah established the
seventh day of Pesach as a Yom Tov. I will quote here what the S˘forno
wrote in his commentary in Deuteronomy (16:8):

    And on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly. Israel were
held back to the service of blessed G-d and they sang to Him a song
of praise on the seventh day of the festival of matzot. That day was
therefore sanctified, and work may not be performed. For otherwise the
day would not have been sanctified at all as is the case in the festival
of sukkot whose seventh day is not a solemn assembly

Here is proof that the Torah established a memorial for the miracle of
the splitting of the Red Sea by establishing a special festival on the
day on which the miracle occurred.

Now one might ask why Israel recited a song of praise only for the miracle
of the splitting of the Red Sea, but not on the prior and greater miracle
of the Exodus from Egypt that we are Biblically required to commemorate on
the night of the fifteenth of Nisan and rabbinically required to recall
each day and each night. But this in fact is not really a difficulty,
because the Torah certainly established the night of the fifteenth of
Nisan as an eternal festival as it is written (Exodus 12:14): "And this
day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall celebrate it a feast to
the Eternal throughout your generations; ye shall celebrate it a feast,
an ordinance forever. But the Israelites themselves said nothing at the
time, because right after midnight they were driven out of Egypt (see
Berakhot 9a), "and could not tarry, neither had they made for themselves
any provisions" (Exodus 12:39). So they certainly had no time to sing
a song of praise. And the Scripture concludes (Exodus 12:42): "It is a
night of observation unto the Eternal." The Ramban comments on this:

    As if to say it is sanctified to His name as an eternal observance
for the Children of Israel that they should observe by performing a
service before Him, by eating the pesah, recounting the miracles, and
giving praise and thanksgiving.

What we conclude from this is that we are obligated to establish for
eternal commemoration the day on which a miracle was performed. This is
what the Men of the Great Assembly did. They instituted the recitation of
Hallel on the night of Pesah as it is written in Isaiah 30:29: "Ye shall
have a song As in the night when a feast is hallowed; And gladness of
heart, as when one goeth with the pipe To come into the mountain of the
Lord, to the Rock of Israel" which refers to the defeat of Sennacharib
which occurred on the night of Pesah. (See Eruvin 10b.) It was also
established that Hallel should be recited when the korban pesah was
sacrificed and when it was eaten as explained in Pesahim (5:5 and 9:3,
and 95b and 117)

    The rabbis taught: Who recited this Hallel? Moshe and Israel
when they stood at the sea. R. Joshua said: Yehoshua and Israel recited
it when the kings of Canaan stood against them. R. Eliezer ha-Modai said:
Devorah and Barak recited it when Sisra stood against them. R. Elazar
ben Azariah said: Hizkiah and his associates recited it when Senacherib
stood against them. R. Akiva said: Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah recited
it when Nebuchadnezar the wicked stood against them. R. Yossi ha-Galili
said: Mordekhai and Esther recited it when Haman the wicked stood against
them. And the Sages said the prophets among them instituted that Israel
should recite Hallel on every occasion and in every time of distress that
may not befall Israel. And when they are saved, they recited Hallel for
their salvation.

And on Hanukah they instituted eight days of praise and thanksgiving. The
Beit Yoseiph asked a famous question why the Sages instituted a festival
of eight days when there was no miracle on the first day, inasmuch as
there was enough oil to burn for one day, so that the miracle began only
on the second day. The answer of the Beit Yoseiph is well known, however
the Pri Hadash at the beginning of Hilkhot Hanukah provided enlightenment
with a different answer based on the explanation of the Rambam at the
beginning of Hilkhot Hanukah that the victory over the Greeks was on the
twenty-fifth of Kislev and they did not light the menorah in the Temple
until that night which was already the twenty-sixth of Kislev. Thus,
it would appear that if we were merely commemorating the miracle of the
menorah in the Temple we should light the first candle on the night of
the twenty-sixth. But one question answers the other, for we certainly
do not light the menorah on the night of the twenty-fifth to commemorate
the miracle of the menorah, but, as the Rambam wrote, to commemorate the
miracle of the victory that occurred on the twenty-fifth. We light the
menorah on the other seven days to commemorate the miracle of the menorah.

Now for many years I have been troubled why the Men of the Great
Assembly instituted four cups on the night of Pesah representing the
four expressions of salvation (but in the Talmud Yerushalmi, R. Levi
links them to the four exiles). In the Talmud (Pesahim 118) we find the
following beraita, according to the text of the Rashbam (which is the
basis for the halakhah)

    The rabbis taught: One concludes the Hallel over the fourth cup
of wine and one recites the Great Hallel, these are the words of
R. Tarphon.

However, the text of Rabbeinu Hananeil is "the fifth cup." The Rosh also
has this text, but he questions it. In the Shulhan Arukh the halakhah
is codified according to the text of the Rashbam, and the practice both
in Eretz Yisrael and in the Diaspora follows this codification. It
is, however, customary to pour a fifth cup which we call the cup of
Elijah. The source of the custom is presumably the Scripture in poroshat
va-eira (Exodus 6:6-7) which immediately after the four expressions of
redemption "v˘hotzeiti, v˘hitzalti, v˘lakahti, v˘ga˘alti" closes with a
fifth expression of redemption (Exodus 6:8) "v˘heiveiti (And I will bring
you into the land, concerning which I did swear to give it to Avraham,
to Yitzhak, and to Ya˘akov; and I will give it to you for an heritage:
I am the Eternal.) If so, a fifth cup is necessary and we should say
the Great Hallel specifically over that cup to commemorate the entry
into the Promised Land when the Jordan river was crossed through the
parting of its waters and the fulfillment of the oath of the Holy One
Blessed Be He to Avraham our father, which is a clear proof to the text
of Rabbeinu Hananeil and the Rosh.

In chapters four, six, and seven of the book of Joshua and in the Talmud
Kiddushin 38 it is explained that they crossed the Jordan on the tenth
day of Nissan corresponding to the tenth day of Nissan on which the
pascal lamb was taken in Egypt. And they ate the produce of the land on
the day after bringing the Pesah, i.e., on the 15th of Nissan. (See the
Tosafot in Kiddushin 37b concerning the dispute between the Ibn Ezra
and the Rabbeinu Tam.) They reached the border of the first city that
they conquered, Jericho, and it is written in Joshua 5:9

    And the Lord said unto Joshua. "This day have I rolled away the
reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of that place was
called Gilgal unto this day.

That was the first stopping point after crossing the Jordan and the
journey to conquer the land. And I ask and I query: How is it possible
that concerning the most important event in the course of the first
redemption about which the Holy One Blessed Be He said: "This day have I
rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you" -- an expression that we
never encounter in connection with Exodus or the splitting of the Red Sea
or the drowning of Egypt in the Red Sea -- no festival was established
in special commemoration of this luminous day? Is this not exceedingly
strange and impossible to understand?

Now most of the commentators interpret the verse "This day have I rolled
away the reproach of Egypt from off you" as a reference to the Israelites
having been uncircumcised like the Egyptians. But this, according to
my small understanding, is a forced interpretation. For why would the
expression "the reproach of Egypt" signify that they were not circumcised?
Were not all the other nations also uncircumcised? And it was only
while they were in the desert for forty years that the Israelites did
not perform circumcision, because as the Talmud (Yevamot 72) explains,
the north wind did not cease to blow for them. However, the words of
the Ralbag appear to me to be correct:

    Perhaps we could say further that the meaning of this was that
the reproach of Egypt that they had said "For evil did He bring them
forth, to slay them in the mountains and to consume them from the face
of the earth," not to bring them into the Promised Land. So when they
were delayed for forty years in the desert, this became a reproach to
them. However, He is now notifying them that by performing the commandment
of circumcision it is as if they had just inherited the land, thereby
removing this reproach from upon them.

This is the better and more correct and more reasonable interpretation. I
therefore say that the text of the Rabbeinu Hananeil and the Rosh is the
true interpretation and that we do in fact pour a fifth cup to commemorate
the arrival into the Promised Land and its conquest which was determined
on the day of Pesah. This can be seen from the fourth chapter of the
book of Joshua concerning the commandment to set up twelve stones as a
memorial to the miracle of the splitting of the Jordan:

    that this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask
in time to come saying: What mean ye by these stones [like the question
of the sons on Pesah what is this service unto you] then ye shall say
unto them: Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark
of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over the Jordan, the waters
of the Jordan were cut off; and these stones shall be for a memorial
unto the children of Israel forever.

This is problematic because the stones must by the laws of nature sooner
or later be eroded and consumed. So how could the Scripture use the
expression "a memorial forever" about these stones? One must therefore
say that what is meant is that there should be some oral remembrance
and that it should be a fixed ordinance in Israel for all generations to
recall by praise and thanksgiving the miraculous event of the splitting
of the Jordan. This is the meaning of "a memorial unto the children of
Israel forever."

The upshot of all this is that there is a Biblical obligation to make some
memorial for a miracle. (Now it seems from the Talmud (Megilah 7) that the
establishment of Purim as a festival was agreed to only reluctantly by the
Sages after they found Biblical support for doing so in the verse "Write
this as a remembrance in the book." But this is problematic, because why
should Purim have been different from Hanukah and the other days that
were recorded in Megilat Ta˘anit before its suspension. (See Rosh Hashanah
18-19 at length.) Since as one of the salvaged remnants, I have access to
just a few books, I have not the opportunity to elaborate.) But I rely on
the words of my holy ancestor the Hatam Sofer in his responsa O˘H 163,
191, 193, and on his famous final responsum to Orah Hayim. And it is
truly the Shekhinah speaking through the holy voice of the Hatam Sofer,
may his merit protect us and all Israel. He ruled definitively that:

    A. There is a Biblical obligation to make some commemoration of
    a miracle that happened to us and to the community similar to the
    salvation from slavery to freedom and from death to life as I have
    written. See Megilah 14a.

    B. The manner and content of the commemoration, e.g., the reading
    of the Megilah, exchanging gifts, and kindling Hanukah lights,
    is left to the discretion of the Rabbis. But some commemoration,
    at a minimum a prohibition against fasting and eulogizing the dead,
    is surely of Biblical origin.

    C. Both an individual and a community may establish a day of
    celebration for themselves. Not only is it permitted, but it is an
    absolute obligation to commemorate the day upon which a miracle was
    performed as is explained in Eruvin 41 in the beraita of R. Eliezer
    b. Tzadok.

And the Hatam Sofer closes with the following words:

    We conclude that the community has the power to establish a
day of celebration for themselves and their offspring as an immutable
ordinance, and many communities in Israel as well as many of the greatest
individuals have done so on the day on which a miracle occurred.

This is the ruling of Moshe, the master of all the children of the
Diaspora, our teacher the Hatam Sofer. And who would raise his hand to
dispute him, G-d forbid, in this matter?

And now let us come to the main point of our discussion, which is whether
the miracle of the War of Independence and the founding of the State of
Israel can be classified among the great miracles that have been performed
in the history of Israel. I ask in wonderment: Can it be that one who
believes with a perfect faith "that the Creator Blessed Be His Name is
the Creator and Ruler of all creatures, and that He alone made, makes,
and will make all that is made"; can it be that one who believes with
a perfect belief in what R. Hanina said (Hulin 7b) "no one bruises his
finger from below unless it is decreed upon him from above"...; can it
be that one who believes with a perfect faith in the verse from Moses˘s
song "the L-rd is a man of war, the L-rd is His name" which, according
to the Midrash, teaches us, "if Israel requires it, G-d makes war in
their behalf. Woe unto the nations of the world for what they will hear
with their own ears for the One who said ˇlet the world come into being˘
is destined to make war on them;" can it be that one who believes in the
Torah of Moses in which it is written, "He set the borders of the peoples
according to the number of the children of Israel (see Rabbeinu Bahya on
the Torah: "This verse explains that Israel is not subject to the control
of the stars and constellations, but is above them, and no other nation
merited to be so elevated."); can it be that one who believes in all these
things (which are surely the foundation of the Torah and faith and anyone
who stands on the foundation of the written and oral Torah must certainly
believe in all these principles of faith which have been transmitted to
us from generation to generation and on which rests the entire house of
Israel) would dare to say that the victory in the War of Independence
and the founding of the State was just a happenstance in the history
of the people of Israel, the product of men, devoid of the will of the
Creator Blessed Be His Name Who made all that which is made, devoid of
the will and approval of Divine Providence, and that it occurred without
the aid of the Rock of Israel and his Redeemer? Is it possible that even
a shadow of a doubt could enter the mind of one who considers himself
as and calls himself by the name yarei v˘hareid li-d˘var ha-Sheim and
who believes he has the merit and the right to be included among those
who are in the camp of the G-d-fearing, that this wondrous victory and
the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel openly manifested
to all the salvation of G-d Keeper of Israel Who promised us in His holy
Torah: "And yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies,
I will not reject them, neither will I abhor them to destroy them utterly
to break my covenant with them"? And is it possible that one who is not
stricken blind should deny the fact that the War of Independence was a war
of the few against the many -- 600,000 residents of the Land of Israel,
armed only with a perfect faith and a subline courage and a love of the
homeland, against more than 40 million Arabs. And thanks only to this
and to the unending kindness of G-d above and His ceaseless mercy did
we merit the crown of victory. Is this not like the miracle of Hanukah
for which -- according to the Rambam -- the kindling of the light on the
night of the 25th of Kislev was established for generations? Only one
stricken blind or one who willingly twists the truth could deny that
a great miracle occurred there in Israel in the year 5707-08. And for
such a miracle it is forbidden to make a commemorative holiday? There is
no cure for what ails someone with this opinion. Nor is there need to
elaborate further on this point. Anyone with a clear mind and a devout
heart who watches the unfolding of events with open eyes and who is truly
and completely a yarei v˘hareid li-d˘var ha-Sheim must admit that the
victory of Tzava Haganah L˘Yisrael in the War of Independence was the
finger of G-d. And all the proofs in the world would not help one who,
with a crooked and perverse heart, shuts his eyes in order not to see,
for all the winds in the world could not move him from his position.

After all this discussion, I say that there is no judge who need be
ashamed to rule that all the inhabitants of Israel, which was the field
of battle, and who were all in mortal danger, for if, G-d forbid, the
Arabs had triumphed there might not, G-d forbid, have been any survivors,
are most obviously under a Biblical obligation to make some commemoration
of this miracle.

Nevertheless, there might be some space for the opponents in the Diaspora
to argue that residents of the Diaspora who were not in any immediate
danger during the War of Independence are under no such Biblical
obligation to commemorate a miracle that was performed in the Land of
Israel. However, if one considers this question from a higher point of
view, he will come to the conclusion that the status and condition of
all the children of the Diaspora depended on the outcome of the War of
Independence. If the Arabs, G-d forbid, had triumphed, and the founding of
the State of Israel had been nullified, this event would have led to and
caused physical and moral suffering for all the children of the Diaspora,
and would have fanned the flames of anti-Semitism among various nations.
Instead, the crown of victory in the War of Independence in Israel
shined its brilliant light over all the Jews in the Diaspora. The name
"Jew" which during the Holocaust sank to the depths until we were like
refuse, disgrace, humiliation, and ridicule during the course of that
awful tragedy, was elevated triumph and glory. Instead of the yellow
Star of David that we wore as a sign of degradation and disgrace in the
eyes of the nations, we carried proudly and boldly the name "Jew" and
we merited that the name "Jew" should become a source of pride, honor,
and glory. All the rights that we possess in the enlightened countries
were similarly endangered, and who knows what our situation in the
Diaspora would be today had it not been for the victory in the War of
Independence in Israel? Does not the great miracle that was performed
there in Israel also obligate us, the children of the Diaspora, to thank
to praise, to laud to glorify, and to extol the One Who performed these
miracles for us? It would seem in my eyes to be superfluous to elaborate
any more about this matter which seems clear and simple to one who has
eyes to see and who wants to see. And thanks be to G-d.

We now come to the question what should be the framework of the religious
celebration of Yom Ha-Atzmaut and Yom Ha-Zikaron. Now according to the
holy opinion of the Hatam Sofer in the above responsa, we would discharge
our Biblical obligation through a prohibition of fasting and eulogizing
the dead on Yom Ha-Atzmaut, exactly as is the case on the 14th and 15th of
Adar I on which it is prohibited to fast or eulogize the dead(see Megilah
14). But we still have a broad field for Rabbinic enactments to fill
out the framework of the prohibition against fasting and eulogizing the
dead through a public prayer of celebration the recitation of the Hallel
and the eating of a holiday meal, all according to the what is decided
by the higher authorities according to their judgment of da˘at torah.
[I ask: Is it possible to entertain the thought that we would violate
the prohibition of taking the name of the Eternal in VAIN if we recited
the Hallel with a blessing in order to give praise and thanksgiving to
the Rock of Israel and his Redeemer in a time of trouble.]

Now the recitation of Hallel on Rosh Hodesh, in particular with
a blessing, and in public is a settled halakhah. Yet from a simple
reading of the sugya in the Talmud it appears that we do not say Hallel
at all. See Erakhin 10a and Ta˘anit 28 and the Tosafot and the Rosh
there. And the Mehaber himself in Orah Hayim 122 brings the opinion of
the Rambam and the custom of Eretz Yisrael not to recite a blessing either
before or after Hallel. Go out and see that in all the communities of the
Diaspora whether anyone has ever questioned saying Hallel with a blessing
on Rosh Hodesh, which has no basis in, and on the contrary, appears to be
contrary to the conclusion of, the Talmud. And the recitation of Hallel
on Rosh Hodesh, as is the universal custom, was instituted because the
renewal of the moon symbolizes the renewal of the kingdom of the House
of David which should be fulfilled speedily in our days amen. And Hallel
symbolizes the renewal of the kingdom in the verse (Psalms 118:22) because
the stone that the builders despised has become the cornerstone when the
Messiah the son of David, King of Israel, will come, which is why we say
in the blessing of the new moon "that they are destined to be renewed
like it." And we recite Hallel and praise on the future (see my essay
on Shabbat Shirah in Ikvei ha-Tzon). Can there then be any further doubt
that there is an obligation to say Hallel (with or without a blessing) on
the fifth of Iyar on which the founding of the State was declared? There
is no judge, in my humble opinion, who need be ashamed to say so.

And I pray to the Eternal that from on high He should bring about a new
spirit in our midst so that then we should all admit that the miraculous
victory in the War of Independence was indeed from the Eternal. And then
the day of the fifth of Iyar will be great and highly valued in the
eyes of all sections of religious Jews without difference and without
exception on that day about which the prophet Amos prophesied (Amos
11:14): "on that day I shall raise up the fallen tabernacle of David."

    O G-d, do not keep silence; do not hold Thy peace or be still, O
    For lo, Thy enemies are in tumult; those who hate Thee have
    raised their heads.
    They lay crafty plans against Thy people; they consult together
    against Thy protected ones.
They say, "Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name
    of Israel be remembered no more!"
    Yea, they conspire with one accord; against Thee they make a
    the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites,
Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of
Assyria also has joined them; they are the strong arm of the
    children of Lot. Selah.
Do to them as Thou didst to Midian, as to Sisera and Jabin at the
    river Kishon,
who were destroyed at En-dor, who became dung for the ground.
Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like
    Zebah and Zalmunna,
who said, "Let us take possession for ourselves of the pastures
    of G-d."
O my G-d, make them like whirling dust, like chaff before the
As fire consumes the forest, as the flame sets the mountains
so do Thou pursue them with Thy tempest and terrify them
    with Thy hurricane!
Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Thy name,
    O L-rd.
Let them be put to shame and dismayed for ever; let them
    perish in disgrace.

This paryer is heard from the voice of the Jewish nation in Israel and
the Diaspora. This supplication ascends to the heaven of heavens to the
throne of glory. The prayer of Israel will not return barren. It will
be heard. And the words of the Sages (Sanhedrin 106b) will be fulfilled
in our days and before our eyes.

    Woe unto him who lives against G-d. R. Shimon ben Lakish
said. Woe unto any nation that will be found at the time when the Holy
One Blessed Be He brings redemption to His people.

And Rashi wrote

    Woe unto any nation that will entertain the thought of holding
back Israel from being united with the Holy One Blessed Be He, for this
is dangerous, as if to say, woe unto him who holds back Israel when the
Holy One Blessed Be He is gathering them in.

Be strong and brave and trust in the Eternal and His salvation. Our
enemies will be clothed in disgrace and He will glorify us with the
crown of victory as in the days when we left Egypt and saw wonders. Amein.

In the Diaspora in the month of Iyar 5716
    Ze'ira d'min Havraya

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Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 15:44:13 +0200
From: Eli Turkel <Eli.Turkel@kvab.be>
shaagas aryeh

> There is an old story that goes back to the Gra that the Shaagas Aryeh
> became famous after he apologized to all of the Rishonim and Achararonim
> upon whom he asked very strong kashes.

It is well known that the Gra disagreed with Rishonim and certianly
Acharonim. How could say that he could do it but not the shaagas Aryeh?

Eli Turkel

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Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 15:42:20 +0200
From: Eli Turkel <Eli.Turkel@kvab.be>
Rambam and Yerushalmi

Gil wrote
>                           I don't know that it needs to be said that
> many of the mekoros for the Rambam are from the Yerushalmi or midrashim
> that were lost. R. Menachem Mendel Kasher wrote a book called HaRambam
> vehaMechilta deRashbi that shows this.

Someone else wrote a while ago that Ri Migash followed by Rambam always
paskened like the Bavli against the Yerushalmi.

How does that square with this?

Eli Turkel

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Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 11:34:21 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
The value of chumros

On Mon, Apr 23, 2001 at 01:16:58PM -0400, Feldman, Mark wrote:
: Related to what you mention is another cause of chumros: when yeshiva
: bochrim go through a sugya, they like to take some practical nafka mina with
: them into their real life. ...

This is a shift in topic. Until now we were discussing unhealthy sources
of chumrah. This is lishmah.

: Some chumrahs actually force you to review the sugyah each time you perform
: them; I view that as a plus.

I want to make a subtle distinction because I think it brings to light
an important issue.

You're describing the value of this kind of chumrah in terms of talmud
Torah, I would like to look at the effects of the mitzvah in question. The
mitzvah is now given a depth of machshavah. The person feels more involved
in the mitzvah because he understands the "why" for part of it, so we
are adding some measure hislahavus as well. The posessiveness of the
idea ("the way I understand the inyan") now extends itself to posessing
the ma'aseh.

On Mon, Apr 23, 2001 at 11:03:57PM -0400, Phyllostac@aol.com wrote:
:>     I think it's a simple yeshiva thing. Not yeshivish, but the practive
:> in yeshivos in particular. Once one has enough aveilim that the value
:> of the extra kaddishin is greater than the value of being able to daven
:> at one's own speed, the hanhagah will evaporate.

: I believe the practice is not just (if at all) one of convenience. There
: is more to it than that....

I did not mean to imply this was an issue of convenience, but one of
kavannah. Different people have different amounts of kavanah for different
tefillos, and even shift in what takes longer from day to day. In some
ways, the context tefillah betzibbur can actually get in the way.

So I can understand why a yeshiva, where there is the greatest variation
in davening speeds, has motivation to minimize these issues where a
Shatz isn't needed.

I have one friend who goes to a side room for the Amidah, which he says so
slowly as to finish with or after chazaras haShatz. In a kollel minyan,
no less. He too is reacting to this contradiction -- but compramising
halachah to do so.

I do not know how to resolve the notion of a critical element of the
mitzvah getting in the way of what we think the mitzvah is. Perhaps it's
simply that the positives outweigh the negatives -- if we were doing
the positives right.

I was thinking that this idea was related to RMF's email at the top of
this post. Like my friend, this person is overturning something for
the sake of a hashkafic value. In the case of chumros, it's overturning
one pesak or one minhag for another. Not the mitzvah of tefillah
betzibbur vs that of avodah shebeleiv.

But in both cases, the same underlying question is involved: How much
halachic and pragmatic weight does one give aggadic values?


Micha Berger                 Come to the AishDas Yom Iyun on Avodas Hashem
micha@aishdas.org            Sunday,  April 29th 2001,  12:00 - 2:00pm  in
<http://www.aishdas.org>     Kew Gardens Hills, Queens NY!  For more info,
(973) 916-0287               see <http://www.aishdas.org/yomiyun.html>.

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Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 14:05:23 -0400
From: gil.student@citicorp.com
Re: Shabbos Elevators

RYGB wrote:
> My first: Does RSZA acquiesce to RLYH's chiddush that your weight's impact 
> upon the elevator system is equivalent to an actual ma'aseh?

I seem to recall seeing in a teshuvah of RSZA's that he agreed with this 
chiddush and brought a ra'ayah from riding on a wagon pulled by kilayim in which
one's weight causes one to violate the issur of kilayim.

Gil Student

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Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 13:44:05 -0400
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: The value of chumros

From: Micha Berger [mailto:micha@aishdas.org]
> : Some chumrahs actually force you to review the sugyah each 
> time you perform
> : them; I view that as a plus.
> I want to make a subtle distinction because I think it brings to light
> an important issue.
> You're describing the value of this kind of chumrah in terms of talmud
> Torah, I would like to look at the effects of the mitzvah in 
> question. The
> mitzvah is now given a depth of machshavah. The person feels 
> more involved
> in the mitzvah because he understands the "why" for part of it, so we
> are adding some measure hislahavus as well. The posessiveness of the
> idea ("the way I understand the inyan") now extends itself to 
> posessing
> the ma'aseh.

My first inclination was to write that this is easier done in halacha (e.g.,
to make kiddush again at home after having eaten from the shul kiddush) than
in machshava.  After mulling it over, it's actually not that uncommon.
E.g., a woman who believes sheitels are technically muttar, but doesn't wear
them because she feels that sheitels may partially negate the underlying
concept of kisui rosh, will probably think of those concepts every time she
goes to a simcha and she's the only one wearing a hat.

Kol tuv,

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Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 18:02:45 -0000
From: "Seth Mandel" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
Lack of Shatz and yeshivas

SM: <This is one of the minhogim that were adopted by virtually all

RSBA: <ALL European yeshivos!? Methinks not... Maybe in Lita - but I
haven't heard of this in Poland, Hungary, Galicia etc.>

Point well taken, I was being sloppy and referring to Litvish yeshivos.
This was not the custom in Pressburg.

As far as Galicia and Poilish yeshivos, they were quite a different
animal, AFAIK, more on the mold before Volozhin, where the local
Rov had talmidim. You will correct me, R. Shloyme, but what yeshiva
compared in its setup to Pressburg in the rest of Hungary, or Poilin,
or Galicia? Yeshivas Hakhmei Lublin was in existence, unfortunately,
for a very few years, and was set up consciously on the Litvish mold;
other Poilish "yeshivos" as the term in used nowadays, were like Lomzhe,
AFAIK: basically Litvish.

Weren't all the rest local yeshivas, set up around the rov/rebbe, and
having no independent existence?

Seth Mandel

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