Avodah Mailing List

Volume 07 : Number 075

Wednesday, July 18 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 09:14:10 -0400
From: David Riceman <dr@insight.att.com>
Re: hester panim

yidubitsky@JTSA.EDU wrote:
> I have been asked for sources (from Talmud through modern mahshavah [e.g.
> REED, R Hutner etc]) for the concept, even definition, of "hester panim"...

Try Deut. 31:17-18, the regular midrashim (and check Hyman), and Seforno ad.

David Riceman

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Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 13:36:15 -0000
From: "Seth Mandel" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
Re: Chiriqs; the long and short of it

My apologies to the hevra if this is rehashing old material. I have been
back and forth traveling and wrote this a few days ago (I think).

Seth Mandel: <I trust I have succeeded in spreading confusion where
there was none, and people will think twice before inviting me into an
innocent exchange in the future!>

R. Akiva Miller: <Sorry to disappoint you, but you have brought (just
barely :-) enough clarity to this issue that I am tempted to consider it
closed.> Curses, foiled again! (said while twirling my handlebar mustache
[what, I don't have one? How did that happen?].)

R. Mechy Frankel: <[I] can't even be entirely certain that I disagree --
but, since it's more fun, I'll give it a shot under that assumption.>
VWS (very well said).

RMF: <But where I found R. Seth confusing is his implication (if I have
not misinterpreted) that all ashkenazi chiriqs are pronounced the same,
and that realization is an "ih" as in the two chiriqs in <kha-mee-shihm>
which according to r. Seth is the american mispronunciation <for the
Hebrew hamisshim> -- to borrow r Seth's transliteration system here. I
believe this is incorrect. Rather, while the pronunciation of the so
called long and short chiriq is indeed the same, that realization is
davkoh as an ee.>

Poor misunderstood me.

I never meant to say that the realization is "ih." "khameeshihm" is
indeed the American mispronunciation of the word (why do you say only
according to me? Do you not hear that as well?). But I never meant that
the word should be pronounced "kha-mih -- shihm."

I claim that the Hebrew "i" is neither the American ee nor the American
ih, but in some middling position. I do agree with you that American ee
is closer to the hiriq than American ih, but it is not the same. How can
it be, when in my previous post I went to great lengths to obfuscate
the issue by referring to the fact that all American long vowels are
diphthongs, which hiriq surely is not. American ee is a long vowel,
and those careful observers among the hevra will note that English (not
just American) ee ends with a -- y -- glide at the end. In British and
Aussie it is more pronounced, but it is there in the States as well. I
would say that the evidence from the rishonim points that the hiriq was
pronounced like the Spanish or Italian -- i-.

RMF: <But the story does not end there. in standard practice today
the chiriq is indeed pronounced "ih" per R. Seth's prescription in
one specific situation -- and that is when it points a letter in a
closed syllable with explicit sh'voh noch -- e.g. PIN'chos, GID'ros,
MISH'kon. In those cases one observes the common practice that a chiriq
is indeed generally pronounced "ih," i.e. precisely like a sh'voh noh
(ashkenazis also having in practice abandoned most of the distinction
between an ultra-short (chatuf) vowel and a short vowel).>

I heartily concur that this is an error. It is the same phenomenon as the
khameeshihm or seemakhtihm that I mentioned. In closed syllables (i.e.
pronounced closed, even thought as R. Mechy correctly says those that
should be open, like Pih'hos) Americans use the short -- ih, in open they
use the –ee. This is not right, but neither is using ee all the time,
even if it is closer.

<I also do not know when such a ubiquitous elision loses its status as a
"mistake" and assumes normative status as one of the traditional communal
realizations of hebrew, but I do not believe that it can be said to have
happened yet with the chiriq.>

I do not know either. But a modern mistake is a mistake if it has no
source in tradition. And this is my position: that since the American
Ashkenaz pronunciation came from Europe, and since nobody in Europe
used the English –ee nor the English -- ih, they are both incorrect
realizations of the hiriq.

<Else the universal opprobrium>

Opprobrium among baalei batim is not a good indicator. In most shuls,
baaleibatim shower someone who takes more than 2 minutes for shmone
esreh with opprobrium, when just saying all the words distinctly takes
close to 4 minutes, depending on the individual.

<One simply doesn't know, and R. Seth's categorical assertion of their
equality is, imnsho, unsupportable.>

I think the discussion among the baalei masorah of the seven vowels and
the effects of the ga'ya on them is pretty good proof. Only seven, no
more, with a ga'ya identified as serving to lengthen and put stress. As
well as the very telling fact that R. Sa'adya does not identify Hebrew
vowels with the long and short Arabic vowels. He had the means to
distinguish between a hiriq gadol and a hiriq qatan: Arabic has a long
-- i -- and a short -- i-, neither of which resemble the English. So
R. Sa'adya could have identified the distinction between a hiriq gadol
and hiriq qatan -- IF he felt there were one.


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Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 14:05:08 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Malei veChaseir

To revive a really old thread, I suggested a while back that perhaps
"anan lo beki'in becheseiros umlei'os" refered to a lack of beki'us
about how to darshen them, and not necessarily the spelling itself.

And RRW suggested that even though the spelling changed, halachically
the current spelling is the kosher one -- regardless of history and how
we got the current text.

However, I learned over Shabbos that R' Moshe Shternbuch uses this
idea to explain why we need not reread from a kosher sefer Torah
after finding a pesul in the first one.  (And a pesul that shows that
the sefer never was kosher; e.g. a missing letter.) What's the point
of rereading the aliyos froma 2nd scroll, since we're not even sure of
maliei vichaseir and therefore that any of our sefrei Torah are really
kosher anyway?


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.
Fax: (413) 403-9905             - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

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Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 13:34:58 -0400
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: Head Coverings

On 13 Jul 01, at 9:52, Shoshana L. Boublil wrote:
> At a simcha many years ago, I saw a group of Sephardi women wearing a
> sheitl with a small hat over it.  I had heard her mentioning that she
> followed Rav Ovadia's psika, 
> ...so I went over and asked her where she got the heter to wear
> a sheitl with a hat (that did not at all cover the sheitl).  She
> answered: Rav Ovadia!!!  As I knew this wasn't true -- I kept quiet.

To be melamed z'chus:
A small hat may be considered a "kalsa" (as the term is used in Ksubos
72a-b) halachically.  A kalsa works in a semi-private place (m'chatzer
l'chatzer derech mavui) but in a r'shus harabim.  A wedding hall may be
considered like a semi-private place.

A second limud z'chus:
If the small hat covers the majority of the head, then according to some
poskim (I believe that R. Ahron Soloveitchik was mentioned by RHM) it counts
as a valid headcovering.  Even if one generally doesn't accept this shitah,
one possibly might be m'tzaref it with the use of a sheitel, which is
accepted by some as a valid headcovering.

Kol tuv,

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Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 00:06:52 +0300
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@zahav.net.il>
Re: Head Coverings

> A small hat may be considered a "kalsa" (as the term is used in Ksubos
> 72a-b) halachically.  A kalsa works in a semi-private place (m'chatzer
> l'chatzer derech mavui) but in a r'shus harabim.  A wedding hall may be
> considered like a semi-private place.

That wasn't the issue.  The issue was what did Rav Ovadia Poseik:  and
he doesn't allow Sheitels in any way, shape or form.  He considers it
no different from a woman's hair.  Now in order to get the wedding
hall, she had to walk in a street  (or more, travel in buses etc.) --
so the issue is mute.  This is how these women go to shul and outside
during the week as well.


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Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 14:12:13 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
More on lishmah...

We've discussed the comparison made between an aveirah lishmah and a
mitzvah shelo lishmah. However, most of us worked with the assumption
that this was lishevach.

However, in Berachos 17a the gemara says that better off not to be
created than to do mitzvos shelo lishmah. If THIS is what an aveirah
lishmah is being compared to, no surprise!

It also explains the Gra's shitah that "mitoch shelo lishmah bah
lishmah" only applies when one is trying to work toward lishmah.
Without at least having that 2ndary goal, the gemara in berachos


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.
Fax: (413) 403-9905             - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

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Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 14:14:41 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Sfas Emes (Zechuso Tagein Aleinu), Parshas Pinchos, 5631

I thought this would be of interest. -mi

Dr. Nathaniel Leff

The SE starts by quoting the Parsha's first Medrash Rabba. The text
there tells us that HaShem stated that Pinchas received his reward -- for
stopping the outburst of Aveira (sin) and the ensuing plague -- 'Bedin'.

The word 'Bedin' has (at least) two connotations. One meaning is: he
has earned this reward. Another meaning is: Pinchos stepped forward to
distinction by exercising the attribute of din. What is 'din'? Strict
justice, in contrast to the attribute of Chessed (loving kindness,
compassion, a willingness to forgo strict justice.)

Coming in the context of Pinchas, a Kohein, both senses of the word
'Bedin' come as a major surprise. First, the attribute of Aharon --
who was the prototype of the the Kohein's persona -- was CHESSED. In
this attribute, Aharon differed from Moshe Rabeinu. In sharp contrast
to his brother, Moshe Rabbeinu personified the attribute of din --
strict justice! The dichotomy includes another key feature. A chessed
person is likely to relate to HaShem via Ahava (love). By contrast,
a person who goes through life with a perspective of din is more likely
to relate to HaShem with Yir'ah (awe and or fear).

Similarly, the idea of EARNING the role of Kohein also comes as
surprise. For, quoting the Sefer Tanya (!), the SE notes that Hashem
gave the Kehuna -- the priesthood -- to Aharon as a Matana (as a gift);
i.e. as a Chessed! Thus, HaShem actually tells Aharon (BeMidbar, 8,
7) that his Kehuna is 'Avodas Matana' (ArtScroll: ' a service that is a
gift'!) And a (true) gift is defined as something that comes gratuitously,
NOT as a quid pro quo -- NOT 'earned'.

The SE has brought to our attention two surprises. That is, he has shown
us two major questions that lurk behind the seemingly innocuous phrase
that begins with: 'bedin'. At this point, the SE leaves us with these
unanswered questions; and he moves on to an entirely new line of thought.

When the Torah tells us of Pinchos' act of Kana'us (Zealotry), it mentions
(BeMidbar, 25,7) that 'VaYakam MiToch Ha'Edah'. That is, Pinchos 'stood
up from AMIDST the people. Likewise, when HaShem recounts Pinchos' deed
(BeMidbar 25,11), He specifies ' BeKan'o Es Kin'asi BE'SOCHAM'. That is,
Pinchos did what he did 'in the midst of Bnai Yisroel'. What is going
on here? The SE explains.

A person who does an act of Zealotry may do so as a loner, an outsider, a
marginal person. Similarly, a Zealot may be trying to fill a well-defined
social role -- the role of Zealot -- and thus to stand out from the Hamon
Am (the masses). Or, he she may act zealously in an effort to 'steig'
-- to grow in his her Avoda (Service of HaShem). The SE tells us that
such self-regarding behavior is not true Kana'us -- i.e, is not Kana'us
for HaShem. That is why the Torah emphasizes the fact that Pinchos did
what he did 'BeSocham' -- in the midst of Bnai Yisroel.

The Torah is trying to help us recognize the nature of true Zealotry. In
this particular act of Kana'us, it was especially important that 'one
of the people' -- a regular, ordinary person -- rather than a designated
zealot (either self-designated or socially-designated) do the Kana'us.

The SE proceeds to elaborate on this feature ('BeSocham') of the
episode. When the Avoda in the Mishkan (the Tabernacle) was inaugurated,
Aharon and his sons were appointed to be Kohanim. However, Aharon's
grandchildren (e.g., Pinchos) were not automatically included in the
circle of Kohanin. This exclusion from automatic succession seems
puzzling. But, in fact, it was only after Pinchos did what he did that
he was named as a Kohein.

Why was Pinchos excluded for the 39 years between the inauguration of
the Mishkan and the time when he was appointed? The SE tells us that
this exclusion inclusion feature was so mandated in order that when
Pinchos 'stood up' to do his act of Kana'us, it was crucial that he do
so 'BeSocham' -- in their midst -- as a regular, an ordinary citizen
(rather than one of the self-regarding 'Zealots' mentioned above.)

But!!! Think of Pinchos' puzzlement and self-doubt during those
39 years! As he eventually learned, there was a reason for his
exclusion. There were only two problems. Pinchos had no assurance that
eventually, he would be included as a Kohein. Also, it took a very long
time until he learned what the reason was.

At this point, the SE returns to the earlier discussion; specifically,
to the two unanswered questions that he brought to our attention.'. (To
refresh your memory, one question involved the apparent inconsistency
between statements that speak of the Kehuna (the priesthood) as being
earned and statements that speak of it as being being awarded as a
Matana.. The second question focused on the apparent inconsistency in
expectations concerning a Kohein. Which attribute should we expect him
to personify -- Chessed Ahava or Din Yir'ah?

How does the SE deal with these issues? First, he notes that in point
of fact, the Kehuna could be awarded either as an unmerited gift OR
earned. The SE cites Shem, the son of No'ach, as a case in which the
Kehuna was granted as a matana (Note: Chazal -- and the SE -- are working
with the tradition that identifies the Malki -- Tzedek mentioned in
Bereishis 14, 18 as Shem.). Continuing, the SE cites Avraham Avinu as a
case in which the Kehuna was earned. In other words, HaShem does not run
(this aspect of) the world in an 'either or' framework. More generally,
the SE shows usr that at a higher level of abstraction, the dichotomy
between Ahava Chessed and Yir'a Din is a false dichotomy. Thus, Pinchos
was motivated by Ahava for HaShem; and that love enabled him to mete
out din to the people who had misbehaved with Shikses. Likewise, the SE
tells us that Avraham Avinu -- who is usually viewed as the prototype
of Ahava -- reached that attribute by starting with Yir'a. Similarly,
the SE notes that Pinchos' act of Din enabled him to attain a higher
level of Chessed and Ahava.

Ultimately the attributes of Ahava Chessed and Yir'a Din come
together. The name of our spiritual center, Yerushalayim, shows that
fusion in its full glory. Thus, Avraham Avinu gave that city a name
derived from the word Yir'a (BeReishis, 22, 14). And to complete the
confusing picture, Shem -- a person not known for his exemplary acts of
Chessed -- gave the city (BeReishis, 14, 18) a name, Shalem, that evokes
HaShem's Chessed in making the world whole, without blemish.

A take-home lesson? The SE is telling us something that we knew already;
namely, that we live in a complex, confusing world,. What he is adding
is a focus on the paradoxes and apparent inconsistencies that litter
this world. Apparently, he feels that we should be aware of unanswered
(and perhaps unanswerable) questions; and, nevertheless continue living
and learning Torah. After all, that is what he -- the SE -- did.

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Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 12:33:10 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Administrivia: We're back!

After major technical problems, AishDas.org appears to be fully back on

However, there were many lost emails.

So, I have to ask the chevrah to please resend anything that seems to have
fallen into the great bit bucket.

Thank you, and I'm sorry for the inconvenience,

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Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 12:36:10 -0400
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: Head Coverings

From: Akiva Atwood [mailto:atwood@netvision.net.il] (on Areivim)
> Doesn't covering the top of the head fulfill "Daas Moshe", the Torah
> requirement?

> Covering all of the hair is "Daas Yehudit" (DY) -- and while DY is the
> accepted practice today, since covering a sheitel would be a 
> chumra we might be able to accept Daas Moshe in this case.

You don't have rely on the argument that covering a sheitel is a chumrah
(in any case, we are discussing this l'shitas ROY, who believes that
covering a sheitel is required). You can argue simply that DY is
explained by Rashi K'subos 72a-- "she'nahagu b'nos yisrael, af al gav
d'lo ksiva." The implication of this Rashi is that if the minhag of b'nos
yisrael changes, DY changes along with it, whether l'chumra or l'kula.
Consequently, if all b'nos yisrael are wearing a wig covered by a small
hat, DY requires nothing more.

In fact, you could make the same argument WRT to sheitels themselves, even
if not covered by a small hat:
(1) ROY argues in one of his tshuvos that sheitels should be forbidden
because the Yerushalmi (which is parallel to the Bavli K'subos 72a which
deals with Rav Yochanan's statement that kalsa ein ba m'shum p'roa rosh)
says that "kapaltin" ein ba mishum yotza v'rosha parua; the Yerushlami
establishes this as permissible only in a chatzer but not in a mavui.
Kapaltin is translated as a wig by the Arukh ("capillitium" in lashon Romi
(Latin); technically that means "little hairs;" it is possible that it
means a wig, but according to my father, Dr. Louis Feldman, there is no
evidence in Latin literature one way or the other). It seems reasonable
to presume that kapaltin has the same din as kalsa does in the Bavli.
Kalsa is considered to be an incomplete hair covering which works to
fulfill Daas Moshe but not DY. Therefore, ROY should concede that a
sheitel works to fulfill Daas Moshe but not DY.

(2) Because frum women in today's society wear only a wig in public,
one could argue that this fulfills DY today even if it didn't at the
time of the gemara, because the minhag of b'nos yisrael has changed.

Kol tuv,

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Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 17:05:57 +0200
From: "Rena" <free@actcom.co.il>
Which comes first - truth or peace?

Some time ago, there was a discussion on the list about which came first,
truth or peace. I held that truth must come first and another person
disagreed with me. Many times I know what I have learned, but forget
just who agrees with me :-)

Well, it seems that I am in good company. The following are two excerpts
-- one from Rav Ya'akov Menken of project Genesis, and the second by
Rav Frand of Baltimore, both discussing this week's parsha:

The Medrash Rabba [Genesis 8:5] says in the name of Rabbi Seemon
that when G-d wanted to create man, the attending angels divided into
groups to argue the matter. "Kindness and truth encountered each other;
righteousness and peace kissed each other" [Psalms 85:11]. Kindness said
"create him, for he will perform acts of kindness." Truth said "do not
create him, for he is entirely lies." Righteousness said "create him,
for he will do righteous acts." And Peace said "do not create him, for
he is full of argument." What did G-d do? He took Truth and cast him to
the ground.

The Kotzker Rebbe, famed for his sharp comments, asks the following
question: what about Peace? Fine, the majority was now in favor, but
nonetheless is there not a lack of Peace? So he answered: without Truth,
Peace is trivial to achieve.

If we don't care about truth, it's easy to have peace - as Rav Hirsch
explained it, the false peace of those who don't care enough to stand and
defend that which is right and good. Only when we are unafraid to take
sides where appropriate, do we build a peace which is lasting and good.

However, there appears to be a contradiction to this Chazal from the very
same parsha in Bereishis. G-d divided between the Light and the Darkness,
and the pasuk [verse] there immediately comments, "And the L-rd saw that
it was good" [Genesis 1:18].

Rav Shlomo Breuer resolves this contradiction with a beautiful insight:
He quotes the verse "...Truth and Peace you shall love" [Zechariah
8:19]. We must love Peace. However, there is something that comes before
Peace... and that is Truth. As much as we emphasize the importance of
Shalom [peace], in the final analysis Shalom is important up to a certain
point -- and that is the point of Emes [truth]. A person should not make
Shalom if making Shalom is going to compromise the Emes, by causing him
to throw out principles and values that he knows to be Emes.

The Mishnah [Uktzin 3:12] states "G-d did not find any vessel to hold
Blessing, other than the vessel of Peace". Shalom is the receptacle; it
is the vessel that holds everything; but a person sometimes has to look
and ask himself, "what am I left holding?" If I compromise everything in
the name of Shalom, then what is this vessel of Shalom left holding? It
is holding nothing. Yes, Peace, but remember the sequence of the verse:
Truth and (then) Peace you shall love.

Now we can understand the difference between the Separation between
"the waters and the waters" (the Rakiah) and the Separation between
"Light and Darkness". In the case of the Rakiah, there was no real
difference between the waters above and the waters below. The division
was merely for the sake of division. While the division was necessary
for the welfare of the world, inherently it had no purpose. Therefore,
the verse does not say "Ki Tov". However, separation between the Light
and the Darkness -- between something that represents good and something
that represents bad; between something that is right and something that
is wrong -- that is a division about which we can indeed say "Ki Tov".

Pinchas did not seek out compromise with Zimri and Kozbi in the name of
Peace. Pinchas knew that there is a point at which a person must draw the
line and say "here, and no further!" That is an example of "between Light
and Darkness".


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Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 21:15:20 -0400
From: "Gil Student" <gil_student@hotmail.com>
Which comes first - truth or peace?

Rena wrote (from R. Yaakov Menken):
>The Kotzker Rebbe, famed for his sharp comments,
>asks the following question: what about Peace? ...

I don't know whether the Kotzker said this or not (does anyone?), but R. 
Tzadok says this in his Pri Tzadik on parshas Yisro (vayichan sham).

Gil Student

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Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 14:21:48 -0400
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Which comes first - truth or peace?

From: "Gil Student" <gil_student@hotmail.com>
> I don't know whether the Kotzker said this or not (does anyone?),

I also heard it as being a Kotzker vort on the midrash that Emes was
opposed to the creation of Adam because he would be kulo sheker and
Shalom was opposed because he would be kulo meriva. The midrash says
HKB"H threw Emes down; the Kotzker asked why Emes and not Shalom, and
answered that without Emes, Shalom is no problem.


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Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 10:54:05 -0700
From: Eric Simon <erics@radix.net>
Which comes first - truth or peace? -- but chesed before both of them

From: "Rena" <free@actcom.co.il>
>Some time ago, there was a discussion on the list about which came first,
>truth or peace. ...

I believe that part of our disagreement was that "chesed" comes before
"emes".  I still hold by that position (in part, also supported by a dvar
torah by Rav Frand!)

-- Eric

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Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 15:06:04 -0700
From: Eric Simon <erics@radix.net>
Vsen Tal Umatar

If I understand correctly:

On mljewish:
>I wonder whether anyone can tell me why we start saying Vsen Tal Umatar
>on Dec 5 each year.I am aware of the Gemoroh in Taanis 10a that it
>represents 60 days after Tekufas Tishri,but what is the significance of
>the 60 days and why from Tekufas Tishri and not say from Succos?

Let me answer one of your questions, but first, let me add some others.

Isn't Tekufas Tishri the equinox? Isn't the equinox approximately Sept
23? In which case 60 days after is November 22? Why Dec 6th then:

From a YHE shiur: "Halakha generally conducts its calendar system
according to a combination of the lunar and solar cycles. The Jewish leap
year accounts for the excess days of the solar year. In some areas of
Jewish law, however, we take into account the solar year exclusively. The
halakhic expression of the solar year is the beginning of the four
seasons, referred to as: "tekufat Nissan" (the vernal equinox); "tekufat
Tamuz" (the summer solstice); "tekufat Tishrei" (the autumnal equinox);
and "tekufat Tevet" (the winter solstice)."

The tekufas needed to be caluculated so as to decide when to add a leap
month, which was important, of course, so that Pesach would never occur
during the winter.

Again, from the YHE shiur:

Chazal disputed the precise length of the solar year, and needless to
say, this argument affects the determination of the beginning of each
season. The Rambam (Hilkhot Kiddush Ha-chodesh 9:1) summarizes the debate
as follows:

   Regarding the solar year, some Sages in Israel maintain that it spans
   365 and one-quarter days, while others claim that [the partial day]
   is less than a quarter of a day. A similar argument exists among the
   Greek and Persian scholars.

In rabbinic jargon, the first opinion appears under the appellation
"Shemuel's tekufa," while the latter view is referred to as "Rav Ada's
tekufa." Shemuel's calculation corresponds directly to the Julian system.

Calendar mavens no doubt know that the Julian calendar "lost" three days
every 400 years, and that for centuries we've been using the "Gregorian"
calendar which corrects for this.

And so: if I understand it correctly, although the autumn equinox is on
Sept 23, halacha uses the Julian calendar. And so, according to halacha,
the autumn equinox is, according to _our_ Gregorian calendars, Oct 16
(as there is now a 13-day separation between the Julian and Gregorian

And so, we say Vsen Tal Umatar 60 days later, which is December 5.

(And, if we're still in this existence in the year 2100, we will say
it on December 6, as the year 2100 CE is when the Julian and Gregorian
calendars will begin to be 14 days apart).

If I understand this correctly.

_My_ big question: why does halacha still apparently use the Julian calendar?

-- Eric

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Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 14:34:44 -0400
From: "Zilberberg, David" <ZilbeDa@ffhsj.com>
R' Broyde on Cloning

<<Double Trouble Cloning in Jewish Law.url>>  

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Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 20:15:26 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
stem cell controversy

Is anyone aware of any halachik opinions or discussion of this current


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Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 18:13:09 -0400
From: "yosef stern" <avrahamyaakov@hotmail.com>
Rambam on Christianity

Regarding all the discussion on the Rambam Sheeta on Christianity the
problem is that the popular Rambam (from Vilna) has been censored and
therefore missing quite abit on what the Rambam acctually wrote on
Christianity. When you see what he wrote in the uncensored edition the
Pilpulim are superfluous:

Hilchos A"Z 9:4 "The Noitzrim (christians) are Oivdei Avoda Zora"

Hilchos Teshuva 3:8 "3 are considered Kofrim.....And he who says 'The
Creator exchanged 1 mitzvah for another, and this (original) Torah is
Botul, even though it came from HaShem.' For examle the Noitzrim....."

Hilchos Maacholos Hoasuros 11:7 "However, The Noitzrim they are idol

kol tuv
yosef stern

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Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 09:56:58 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Emes . .

On Wed, Jul 18, 2001 at 09:46:51AM -0700, Eric Simon wrote to Areivim:
: 1.  Rabbi Frand asserts that it is significant that, in Torah, "chesed"
: always comes before "emes" whenever the two appear together.

Actually, I believe he quoted RMF. In either case, I heard from a nephew
who asked him directly that R' Moshe justified his lax attitude in giving out
te'odot ishur to aniyim on the grounds that emes preceeds chessed in the
13 Middos.

: 2.  Shmiras HaLashon requires that we avoid "emes" for the sake of others
: at times, right?

Actually, REED (and I think the CC, but I don't even vaguely recall my
makor) defines "emes" so that it means "that which ought to be said",
not "truth".

I have not thought through what this does to the phrase "ta'abaso emes"
from the piyut.


Micha Berger                     Life is complex.
micha@aishdas.org                    Decisions are complex.
http://www.aishdas.org                   The Torah is complex.
Fax: (413) 403-9905                          - R' Binyamin Hecht

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Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 20:13:26 +0300
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
Re: Emes . .

On 18 Jul 2001, at 9:56, Micha Berger wrote:
> Actually, I believe he quoted RMF. In either case, I heard from a nephew
> who asked him directly that R' Moshe justified his lax attitude in giving out
> te'odot ishur to aniyim on the grounds that emes preceeds chessed in the
> 13 Middos.

I think you meant Chessed preceeds Emes.

-- Carl

[Yes, thanks. -mi]

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Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 13:40:19 -0400
From: Saul Guberman <saulguberman@juno.com>
Re: Vsen Tal Umatar

On Tue, 17 Jul 2001 15:06:04 -0700 Eric Simon <erics@radix.net> writes:
> _My_ big question: why does halacha still apparently use the Julian 
> calendar?

The Gregorian calendar came into use somewhere in the 1500's.  The Jewish
calendar was codified by Rav Nachson Goan in the 1100's.  

My calendar question is, What allowed us to change from a numbered month
system to a Non Jewish naming system?  The Ramban gives an interesting
answer in parshat Bo, about remembering yeziat Bavel and yeziat Mitzraim.

I still don't see how that allowed us to change the system.

Check out these web sites for good information on calendars.

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