Avodah Mailing List
Volume 08 : Number 045
Sunday, November 11 2001
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2001 11:45:41 +0200
From: "Shlomoh Taitelbaum" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Along the lines of my last post, where does the minhag of some people
to say "A gutten erev Shabbos" come from?
Go to top.
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2001 12:04:47 -0500
From: Micha Berger <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: gimmickiet
On Fri, Nov 09, 2001 at 11:45:41AM +0200, Shlomoh Taitelbaum wrote:
: Along the lines of my last post, where does the minhag of some people
: to say "A gutten erev Shabbos" come from?
The fear that saying "a gutten Shabbos" after pelag could mean he
was meqabeil Shabbos.
Go to top.
Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 11:19:23 -0500
From: Mendel Singer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Techeiles
Previously in our story....(about whether the Radzyner accept murex
trunculus (MT) dye as kosher)....
Reb Micha wrote:
> From Sefunei Temunei Chol [the Radziner addresses what he calls the 2nd
> taanah] (translation from
> ....long quotation here........
> Therefore the second objection is rejected and with G-d's help will be
> further clarified with the rejection of the third objection.
> The Radziner argues that any underwater invertebrate which makes a dye
> that fits the description of techeiles is kosher.
I then wrote:
>Actually, this is not the Radzyner's position. This is what Baruch
>Sterman wrote in his response to my article, and from this one section
>alone it appears to be the correct understanding of the Radzyner's
>BUT...he says that he will clarify this position in a specific section
>ahead. There he says that the statements of Chazal must be satisifed,
>but if they are all satisfied and the dye meets the requirements then it
>is definitely kosher. He holds to his position that Chazal's descriptions
>must be accurate and clearly met by a candidate species.
Reb Micha then quoted from Sefunei Temunei Chol from that later section
and claimed that this supported his original premise. I will not quote
an excerpt from that quote which, I believe proved my point:
Secondly even without testing at all it appears in my limited
knowledge clear that if we were able to attain the Hillazon to dye
with its blood the Techelet and....
This is the key part.....
there would be found in this Techelet all the signs and treasures
that the Sages of blessed memory have given us regarding that
Hillazon that they spoke of, then again, we not be at all doubtful
that certainly this is the very same Hillazon the sages of blessed
memory had intended.
We see that the Radzyner held that the simanim of chazal MUST be met,
but if they were all met, and the dye met its requirements then it is
kosher even if it was not the species originally used. Note that his
next words show the importance he attached to the descrptions in Menachos:
And the sage of blessed
memory gave us signs regarding this Hillazon in Tractate Menachot
44. Our Rabbis taught: The Hillazon resembles the sea in its color
(its essence ie. its blood) and in shape resembles a fish etc. And
it seems clear that our sages gave us clear signs regarding the
Hillazon for in their wisdom they saw that because of our exiles
and the great expense in attaining it that it was almost certain
that we would forget which is the correct Hillazon. Therefore they
drew a clear picture for us and gave us all the sure signs of its
identification so we would know how to search for it with G-d's
help. You should know that Rambam (may his memory be a blessing)
in Mishnah Torah copied this Braitha - And it is a known thing that
Rambam does not bring in Aggadic material unless it has relevance
to the law. So we must certainly say that it is a law that we can
depend on the reliability of these signs that this is the Hillazon
whose blood is kosher fit for dyeing the Techelet.
We see that the Radzyner does NOT hold that any underwater invertebrate
which makes a dye that fits the description of techeiles is kosher.
He holds that the Chazal's description of the species, especially from
Menachos, must be met as well. That does not preclude someone else from
not attaching the same importance to the descriptions of Chazal (which
I may address again in the future). However, we see that the Radzyner
held that the descriptions in Menachos are of paramount importance.
He held that these simanim were chosen for the purpose of identifying the
chilazon. Therefore, he would only accept dye from a species that could
clearly meet these criteria, with the criteria understood in such a way
as to identify the chilazon fairly uniquely. As such, he would clearly
NOT accept murex trunculus. If one were to understand the importance of
the descriptions in Menachos differently, then one might make an argument
for murex trunculus meeting these criteria. However, the arguments to
suggest how MT meets these descriptions require them to be understood in
ways that do not distinguish the chilazon from almost any other mollusk.
Simply put, if you hold that Chazal's descriptive statements about the
chilazon in Menachos were chosen for the purpose of identifying the
chilazon, then murex trunculus fails to meet these criteria. Thus,
the Radzyner would not accept MT. Those who do not attach the same
significance to these descriptive statements have license to interpret
the statements more broadly and can argue that MT is consistent with
I had previously written:
:>: Why would someone choose to use murex trunculus derived indigo blue as
:>: a fake techeiles instead of plant indigo blue?
R Micha responded:
>But it was used in significant quantities for /something/. My response
>to your actual objection (when put forth by RSMandel) was to retreat
>from my original argument. Instead I would suggest that there must have
>been significant motive for people to produce a dye even though it was
>both illegal and difficult.
Yes, murex trunculus was used for dyeing in ancient times. There is
no argument here. The argument is what it was used for. The secular
world all accepts that murex trunculus was used to dye purple (actually,
blue-purple as it does naturally without radiation to remove Br). Yes,
it was used in significant quantities. The "murex trunculus as chilazon"
camp wants to say it was used to dye blue. The rest of the world says
it was used to dye purple. Even Irving Ziderman who did so much to
try to prove MT is the chilazon couldn't accept that it was used to
dye blue. Because of this, and the chemical tests, he instead chose to
believe that techeiles is really blue-purple and said it was the natural
blue-purple of MT. I still assert that there is no evidence that MT
was ever used by the goyim to dye blue. I don't see this as a proof
against MT. I merely say that the archeology is not a proof *for* MT.
If true techeiles dyeing was only done by Jews, and only used for the
mitzvah, then we shouldn't expect to find archeology to support it
(it could happen, but we shouldn't *expect* to find it).
As for murex dyeing, it was illegal at times, but the rules changed from
emporer to emporer. Even when it was illegal, there were often many
levels of officials who could wear it (and harlots, for some reason).
However, even when it was illegal, it was still done under government
authorization for governmental use and often for export.
[In a 2nd email. -mi]
R Shlomoh Taitelbaum wrote:
>I don't know if you have to qualify your statement like that. The fact is
>the Radzyner clearly stated (as you quoted him and I believe elsewhere in
>his sefarim) that any chilazon that can produce tekheles is kosher.
See my previous post where I show that the Radzyner held otherwise.
R Shlomoh again...
>But this I do know: the direction of his arguments were heading
>toward murex -- or more exactly, whatever it was that the royalty of ancient
>days used for dyeing. From the Sefunei T'munei Khol:
long quote (see below), and then R Shlomoh writes:
>He goes into more detail in his P'thil T'kheles, saying how t'kheles
>was mentioned in the ancient classics and was found in Egypt on the
>mummies etc. (but only this work is available on the web in English
>transltion). But even from this example it *seems* that what he was
>after was we know to be murex.
I wouldn't say that "what he was after was we know to be murex". I see
2 main points:
1. The Radzyner writes that the "blood of the Hillazon was also used by
the nations of the world, for the Techelet dye of their Royal apparel, for
Royalty and Ministers, thus the netting of the Hillazon did occasionally
occur". There is no reason to assume he is talking about murex. Since he
is speaking of techeiles, he is speaking of blue. The only known blue
dyeing of Royal apparel in history is indigo. There is lots of evidence
to support that indigo dyeing was done, and done for royalty. You might
speculate that murex indigo dyeing was done, but that is speculation.
We know that royalty often used blue. We know that plant indigo dyeing
for blue was known in these areas (abundance of secular records for this).
I find it rather hard to believe that murex indigo was used to dye blue
for all this royal dyeing, from the times of Mordechai to the times of
the Ramban, and somehow this has escaped all the secular records. Yes,
I know that *now* people who are wearing murex techeiles want to say
that Pliny did mean blue, but nobody outside of murex techeiles wearers
give this any credence, and I think I have shown earlier that this is
a very weak speculation. I personally believe that the word techeiles
can mean the color designation, and does not always mean ritually fit
techeiles. With this understanding, it is easy to reconcile secular and
Torah sources. I have a hard time accepting the Radzyner's statement
here that Royal blue dyeing was done for all history with dye from the
chilazon (regardless what species that is) and not from plant indigo.
The Radzyner's argument that the Ramban could have gotten techeiles in
Israel means that it was available to Jews. Decrees against wearing blue
were in certain European countries, but not everywhere, and I thought
it would have been OK in Arab countries. If it was available in Israel,
but expensive and too dangerous to wear in Europe, wouldn't some sefardic
Jews have gotten it? To me it seems that the Ramban is not speaking of
actual ritually fit techeiles, just as many believe that the Ramban held
that the Kohen Gadol's techeiles did not have to be from the chilazon.
2. Mummies - most Egyptian blue dyeing was a metallic dye known as
Egyptian Blue. Blue dyeing in fabric from the Pharoahs has been tested
and it is indigo. One can speculate that it is murex indigo and that the
tests canno tell the difference, but that would require one to believe
that Egyptians used murex for dyeing blue many centuries before they
used it to dye purple. In fact, this would make us believe that for
centuries purple murex dyeing was gaining popularity while Egypt dyed
only blue with murex. Certainly if they could dye blue with murex, they
could have dyed purple. Can't imagine why, despite having the knowledge,
it would take them 1000 years to decide to use the purple dye.
P.S. Here is the full quote I referred to before:
"And in the Eastern countries it became forbidden for anyone except
Royal Nobility as it is written (Esther 8) "And Mordecai went forth
from the presence of the King in Royal apparel, Techelet and white,
etc." And perhaps Techelet was also forbidden to be placed in Tzitzith,
as the lower officials were apt to make additions and be vigilant in
all things. Later on I found corroboration to this in Nachmonides'
commentary on the Torah (Exodus 28:3) and yet it seems that although
after the destruction of the Temple, Techelet was available to only the
treasured individuals of the generations during the time of the Tanaim
and Amoraim, and also in the time of the Geonim, as was indicated, and
the author of the Holy Sefer Hakaneh Hakadosh seems to have also been
acquainted with the Hillazon and had acquired it, being that he gave
distinguishing features as will be explained with the help of G-d, when
we explicate on the distinguishing features of the Hillazon. However it
seems that at the end of the days of the Geonim that it had completely
ceased and was not to be found even among the singled out individuals
of the generation as appears from Maimonides of blessed memory, from
his commentary on the Mishna, and from his Responsum (number 43) that
he did not have Techelet because prior to this, since the time of the
Destruction, even if the Israelites would become greatly impoverished, and
the multitude of Israel was not able to afford to fulfill the Mitzvah of
Techelet, nevertheless, the distinguished individuals of the generation
were able to obtain the blood of the Hillazon for the Techelet. Since
the blood of the Hillazon was also used by the nations of the world, for
the Techelet dye of their Royal apparel, for Royalty and Ministers, thus
the netting of the Hillazon did occasionally occur. And although it was
expensive, nonetheless, it was possible for the distinguished ones of the
generation to acquire the Techelet for the sake of the Mitzvah. Because
at that time there were Israelites to be found in the Land of Israel,
and on the beaches of the Mediterranean where the Hillazon was caught,
as will be explained. And afterwards, at the end of the period of the
Geonim when the yoke of the exile of the Ishmaelites became heavier
upon the Jews, and they were driven from exile to exile, also from the
vicinity of the Mediterranean Sea and the Land of Israel as is explained
in Nachmonides' epistle, where he of blessed memory, writes that he found
the Land of Israel in desolation, with very few Jews living there. And
also those left there who were living on the shores of the sea were not
expert. And Techelet is only accepted from an expert. And there were
many decrees and forced conversions at that time. Add to this also the
fact that the nations no longer needed to track the Hillazon for the
Techelet dye, because they had begun to use other species to extract
the Techelet colored dye. And since that period the Mitzvah of Techelet
ceased to be fulfilled. And even among the distinguished ones they were
not able to acquire the blood of the Hillazon for the Techelet. "
Go to top.
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2001 13:21:46 -0500
From: Micha Berger <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Techeiles
On Fri, Nov 09, 2001 at 11:19:23AM -0500, Mendel Singer wrote:
: This is the key part [from Sefunei Temunei Chol].....
: there would be found in this Techelet all the signs and treasures
: that the Sages of blessed memory have given us regarding that
: Hillazon that they spoke of, then again, we not be at all doubtful
: that certainly this is the very same Hillazon the sages of blessed
: memory had intended.
: We see that the Radzyner held that the simanim of chazal MUST be met,
: but if they were all met, and the dye met its requirements then it is
: kosher even if it was not the species originally used...
The response to the third objection is that one can either:
1- rely on the test for the dye, or
2- rely on the description of the chilazon.
We can do neither, as we lack the test and can only make guesses based
on the description. However, as the section concludes
And we must say that Hillazon that does not have these signs, the
blood used for that we can learn dyeing does not retain its original
beauty and it fades away.
By the rule of contrapositive, if we find a dye from a maybe-chilazon
which we know will not lose its beauty and will not fade away, then we
know that this maybe-chilazon is the real McKoy. Even if our knowledge
of its non-fading is not via the test.
To understand STC otherwise would lead to a setirah between this section
and the previous. Or, to put it another way, since you do understand
his response to the third objection otherwise, how do you understand the
2nd section. Merely saying that this is the impression is gives without
explaining why that impression is false does not help me.
: We see that the Radzyner does NOT hold that any underwater invertebrate
: which makes a dye that fits the description of techeiles is kosher.
Again, I disagree. He is saying that there is only one such dye --
therefore any underwater invertebrate that makes such a dye is the
chilazon, and matches the simanim. If it seems not to, well then, we
need to understand the simanim.
I did not mean to imply he told us to ignore the simanim. Just that they
and the nature of the dye uniquely identify the same species (or family
thereof). It is not possible to meet the dye criterion without the
species criterion or visa versa.
: >But it was used in significant quantities for /something/. My response
: >to your actual objection (when put forth by RSMandel) was to retreat
: >from my original argument. Instead I would suggest that there must have
: >been significant motive for people to produce a dye even though it was
: >both illegal and difficult.
: Yes, murex trunculus was used for dyeing in ancient times. There is
: no argument here. The argument is what it was used for. The secular
: world all accepts that murex trunculus was used to dye purple...
Again, it was ILLEGAL and DIFFICULT to do so. So why were they?
I was suggesting that the presence of large quantities of a source of
dye that could only be made legally for a small customer base implies a
lot of people who want the dye enough to break the law. It is consitent
with there being a din diOraisa to use it.
I do not see this point addressed in your reply. If you insist that the
illegal use of the dye was purple, you are left wondering why people
wanted this particular purple dye so badly.
BTW, it is not only the murex people who believe the source of techeiles
and royal purple are identical. As RST points out, the Radziner did as
well -- but he thought they were both the cuttlefish.
I agree also that the alleged proofs that are brandied about that murex
was used for dying blue are pretty weak. But pointing out the weakness
of one argument does not disprove its conclusion.
: 1. The Radzyner writes that the "blood of the Hillazon was also used by
: the nations of the world, for the Techelet dye of their Royal apparel, for
: Royalty and Ministers, thus the netting of the Hillazon did occasionally
: occur". There is no reason to assume he is talking about murex. Since he
: is speaking of techeiles, he is speaking of blue....
Of the items in question, we are most sure of what royal purple was.
The Radziner identifies royal purple with techeiles. Apparantly he did not
know that royal purple was the murex. So this left him with two unknowns
that are equal, and he had to deduce to what they were both equal to.
Since we currently know that the royal purple is from murex, it is being
suggested that the Radziners argument proves that the chilazon is the
murex as well. (And thus the assumption about what he would say.)
Micha Berger For a mitzvah is a lamp,
firstname.lastname@example.org And the Torah, its light.
http://www.aishdas.org - based on Mishlei 6:2
Fax: (413) 403-9905
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Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2001 13:44:11 EST
Subject: Re: Shape of the Earth
In a message dated 11/8/2001 2:08:44pm EST, email@example.com writes:
> there is a Yerushalmi (again I'd have
> to check exactly where) that supposedly says clearly not like Rabbeinu
> Tam (as per shkia).
I've always wondered "What If?"
What if RT lived in Vilna and the Gra in France? Would their respective
locations have impacted their respective perceptions of Shkia/Tzeis etc.?
Shalom and Regards
Moderator - TorahInsight@yahoogroups.com
"Knowledge without Insight is like a horse in a library" - Vernon Howard
Go to top.
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 00:23:08 +0200
From: Eli Linas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Shape of the Earth
In his excellent work, "Mysteries of the Creation," Rabbi Dovid Brown,
z"l, notes several sources showing that Chazzal knew the world was
round: Yerushalmi Avoda Zara 3:1, Bereishis Rabbah 63:14, BaMidbar
Rabbah 13:14 and 17, Esther Rabbah 1:7, Tosfos Avoda Zara 41a, and a
very moforash Zohar (Vayikra 10a) which states: "The whole world is
a revolving globe. Some of the earth's inhabitants are above and some
below. The races indigenous to the various climes differ in appearance
due to the differing environments of their native lands. When one part
of the world is in sunlight the other part is in darkness. There is
an inhabited latitude where daylight sometimes prevails for almost the
entire twenty-four hours."
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Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 18:58:14 -0600
From: "Amihai & Tamara Bannett" <email@example.com>
Subject: Dec 4th or 5th or 6th?
When is the correct day to start asking for rain (V'ten tal umatar)?
The Halacha is that in Chu"l, one should start asking for rain on 60
days after "Tekufat Tishrei". The "Tekufah" is the fall equinox (the
day that night and day are equal). The Tekufah is calculated by the
Amora Shmuel, who uses the Julian calendar, which assumes (wrongly)
that a solar year is 365 days and 6 hours (a quarter). Later, it was
found, that the solar year is about 11 minutes shorter. Therefore to
fix the past, they skipped 10 days, from October 4th to October 15th,
1582. (BTW, there were demonstrations by people complaining "Why are
you taking 10 days from our lives!"). for the future they decided to
take away 3 leap years (those are years in which an extra day is added
in February) every 400 years. Therefore, every year which is the first
year in a century is NOT a leap year, unless the century itself could
be divided equally by 4. That is why in the years 1700,1800,1900,
2100,2200,2300,2500 etc. there is an extra day of difference between
the Julian and the Gregorian (that's the of the new one) calendar,
and between the calendar we use today to the "Tekufah".
Tekufat Tishrei falls on September 24th, according to the Julian calendar,
which is October 7th on most years.
Now, the question is how do we do we calculate the 60 days. The Baer
Heitev and the Mishna Berurah say that we count the first day, and
the 60th day starts in the evening of the 59th day. Therefore they say
there is always a 2 day difference between the day of the Tekufah to the
begining of asking for rain. For example, if the Tekufah is on Sunday,
we will start asking for rain on Tuesday night. Every four years, the
Tekufah falls at the night following Oct. 7th, and that is already on
the next day according to the Jewish calendar, and the 60 day count
will start a day later. But the Bet Yosef (on the tur OH 117), quotes
the Abudraham, saying that the day for asking the rain is either November
22nd or 23rd. That is according to the Julian calendar, and it corresponds
with the 5th or 6th of December. Therefore it seems to me that this is
a Machloket, how to count these 60 days.
Ayen od Bsefer Shearim Laluach HaIvri by Rachamim Sar Shalom, who says
that the 60th day is the 5th or 6th of December.
Your input is welcomed.
Go to top.
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 21:37:48 EST
Subject: Herzl zt"l, NY Times, and limud zchut vs dilatoria
WIth regard to RSBA's recent post on Herzl z"tl, I would like to cite
the following midrash , which I think is relevant as formulating a shitta
which is relevant to many of the recent disputes on avoda/areivim.
In Shir Hashirim rabba perek1, on the pasuk al tiruni she'ani
sheharhoret, it says rabbi abahu and resh lakish were going to the country
of kesarin. Rabbi Abahu said to rab shimon bar lakish for what did we
enter a land of of heruf and gidduf. Resh lakish descended from his
donkey, took sand and put it in his (R Abahu's ) mouth. He asked him
why and he answered that the kadosh baruch hu does not like those who
speak evil (dilatoria) on Israel.
Note that the issue is not the truth of what Abahu says, merely that
criticism of Israel (and even though it was apparently said in private)
was inappropriate. This is in spite of the severity of the avera being
discussed. This view is at the heart of many of the recent mahloket.
With regard to RSBA's comments on Herzl zecher zaddik livracha who is
responsible for saving millions, a public mecha'a is required (shtika
kehoda'a damya), although kvodo shel Herzl z"tl bimkomo munach. However,
avoda/areivim is not the proper place to rehash the Zionist/antiZionist
polemic. Still, regardless of how one views Herzl and the Zionists,
the continuous public referral to them as minim/kofrim/hazerfressen etc
is problematic on the basis of this midrash - it is not the truth of
the statement (something that we can debate endlessly without result)
but the fact that it is dilatoria on Israel. One can argue for one's
position without invective, and the invective itself makes one's position
This is also relevant to the discussion about the NY Times article,
and perhaps as well to the ikkarim debate. RYGB has suggested that the
debate centered on whether we are willing to accept the moral complexity
of human actions. WADR, I think that the debate is focusing on a very
different issue. In the debate he cited between R Zadok Hacohen and RAS,
I would agree with RYGB and Rav Zadok Hacohen about the complexity of
human actions, and that the same action may have elements of good and
That, however, is not the issue. The kadosh baruch hu has his own
heshbonot, and he will fully and accurately judge the actions of the
women involved in shmira, and determine whether there were any problems
with their actions, such as their dress
The problem is not the kadosh baruch hu's heshbonot, but our heshbonot.
The problem is that when faced with an article describing a kiddush
hashem, clearly viewed so by the writer and so viewed by all the posters,
the focus was raised on a potentially problematic issue - the photo.
Now, several have tried to defend that the photo did not necessarily
document halachic violations. However, that is a side issue. The issue
is why should we focus on any negative aspects.
Avoda was not involved in a practical halachic discussion, where sometimes
it may be necessary to label one a kofer. The discussions here have no
practical import - we are not the women's mara d'atra, and we were not
discussing whether the zniut standards are appropriate for us.
In this purely theoretical discussion, what was clear that many,
faced with an act of kiddush hashem, focused on potential problems.
It is that mindset that is problematic - if it is problematic to call
real meharfin and megadfin that, how much more so is it problematic to
focus on potential problems in this case, where everyone agreed about
the actual kiddush hashem.
It is this attitude, of focusing on the mud rather the mitzva, which I
I think others too) find extremely problematic, unfortunately very
prevalent and therefore reflective of a deep defect in our educational
system and the morality it inculacates.
This attitude compromises our morality and avodat hashem far more than
the picture does. It strikes at the very heart of the notion of being
melamed zchut. It is not we deny the moral complexity of human actions,
but that we have a moral and halachic imperative to focus on the positive
aspects, which we need good reason to override.
Instead, many focus on finding fault, and we need, in the words of the
midrash, to put sand into their mouths.
We should instead focus on our own faults and improving our own avodat
hashem rather than criticizing others. (according to the midrash, it would
seem that criticizing dilatorim maybe the only permissible criticism..)
Go to top.
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 12:11:13 -0500
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Herzl zt"l, NY Times, and limud zchut vs dilatoria
At 09:37 PM 11/10/01 -0500, Chidekel@aol.com wrote:
>With regard to RSBA's recent post on Herzl z"tl, I would like to cite
>the following midrash...
>With regard to RSBA's comments on Herzl zecher zaddik livracha who is
>responsible for saving millions, a public mecha'a is required (shtika
>kehoda'a damya), although kvodo shel Herzl z"tl bimkomo munach. However,
>avoda/areivim is not the proper place to rehash the Zionist/antiZionist
>polemic. Still, regardless of how one views Herzl and the Zionists,
>the continuous public referral to them as minim/kofrim/hazerfressen etc
>is problematic on the basis of this midrash...
I am deeply affronted by Dr. Shinnar's use of "zt"l" on Herzl. Initially,
on baistefila, I contemplated making all embellishments such as shlita
and zt"l off limits because of the potential to provoke controversy. In
the end we left it just discouraged, a policy Micha has continued. never,
however, in my wildest dreams, did I imagine the term "tzaddik" bandied
about like this.
I disagree with the rest of Dr. Shinnar's post as well (no shock there,
of course), but this is, frankly, way over the top.
[From a 2nd email. -mi]
I am still staggered.
The same tortured logic that can mock generations of tzaddikim and
tziddkaniyos and put Herzl in the same category is that which can place
Baruch Goldstein in the category of a Kadosh, who died al kiddush Hashem.
Further, that logic may be applied to Hitler ymsh"v - what tremendous
zechuyos he has (chas me'l'hazkir!), having been mezakkeh 6,000,000 Jews
to die al kiddush Hashem.
Need I go further?
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Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 14:24:16 EST
Subject: Re: Avodah V8 #44
In a message dated 11/9/2001 8:09:14am CST, email@example.com writes:
> So does it come about that people leave their family minhaggim and take on
> minhaggim of Gdolim, Poskim, or Rabbanim?
Because most family minhaggim are rooted geographically in Ashkenazic
community dynamics that no longer exist. These dynamics developed
subtly over centuries. Hitler killed them off. They've been replaced by
such modern pan-geographic phenomena of Da'as Torah, Bnai Brakism, and
pick-your-favorite Gdolim. Minhag is now often a political statement,
or the product of political processes. Some of these processes are,
plainly put, radical. Indeed, one might argue that contemporary Orthodox
"fervency" is by its very terms radical. This isn't to suggest that such
fervency is religiously wrong. But it sure isn't truly Right.
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Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 11:39:46 -0500
From: "Stein, Aryeh E." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Vort re: Davening Nine Hours a Day
R' Asher Weiss (Av Beis Din in Yerushalayim and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva
Chasam Sofer) spoke in Baltimore this Shabbos. He mentioned that
he was once with his rebbi, the Klausenberger Rebbe ("KR"), when the
KR came across a Chida that stated that the Avos learnt Torah for 15
hours every day. The KR became angry upon reading this; he exclaimed:
"15 hours a day: that's 'gornisht!' A regular yeshiva bochur learns
that much each day!"
R' Weiss was able to placate the KR by mentioning that the Chasidim
Rishonim devoted 3 hours per day to each tefilah, and we have to assume
that each of the Avos davened Shacharis, Mincha and Maariv (even though
each one was mesaken l'doros one tefilah, each one certainly davened
all three tefilos.) Thus, the Avos could only learn for 15 hours a day,
since they spent the other 9 hours davening!
Q - when did they sleep or have time to perform other mitzvos?
This is answered by another Chida which states that the Avos learnt
while they were sleeping/in their dreams.
Q - If so, then perhaps that they learnt more than 15 hours?
A - since they spent 9 hours each day davening, and they certainly
needed their sleep, the fifteen hours of learning necessarily includes
the time that they slept.
R' Weiss quipped that he is aware of some yeshiva bochurim who rely on
the above Chida (that the Avos learnt while they slept) and, instead of
getting up an hour before shacharis to prepare for davening, they count
the last hour of sleep as their prep time.
(BTW, R' Weiss is a tremendous magid shiur, and if he is visiting other
cities in the US, I encourage anyone who can to attend. I believe
he visiting the US on behalf of Arachim, a kiruv organization in Eretz
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Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 19:39:58 +0000
From: "Saul Weinreb" <email@example.com>
The gemara in bava kama 93b is mashma that kala ilan will not fade, in
contrast with the gemara in menachos that is mashma that with the chemical
tests kala ilan will fade whereas true techeiles will not. This seems to
support the murex = chilazon theory as both indigo (kala ilan) and murex
derived techeiles are chemically identical. One might explain however,
that the gemara in BK means that although it may fade, it will never lose
its color completely hence it is a permanent shinui. whereas the gemara
in menachos only means that with these tests the kala ilan will lose some
color whereas the real techeiles will remain just as pure no matter what.
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Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 19:12:58 -0500
From: Micha Berger <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Micha's post on techeiles
On Thu, Nov 08, 2001 at 02:54:55PM -0500, Mendel Singer wrote:
: As for the dye, I will elaborate, G-d willing in the future, but the
: statement that techeiles is the color of indigo is incorrect. Yes, indigo
: could imitate techeiles. However, depending on the dipping technique,
: indigo can make a vast array of blues (I once saw in a book a matrix
: of blues from indigo dyeing).
I already posted about this. Color is determined by three independant
variables. For dying, the three axis used are: hue, saturation and
luminosity. Hue is basically where on the spectrum it looks like it is,
saturation is the intensity of the color (0 saturation means grey scale),
and luminosity is its brightness. (If you have a PC, you can play with
these values in a color selection box. E.g. off "Display" in the control
panel; select "Appearance", choose a color, and go to "Other..." Just
make sure not to accidentally save any unwanted changes.)
Choosing a dye and substance to be dyed specifies a given hue. However,
the saturation and intenstity are functions of how much dye is used.
So, the darkness (be that a term for sat. or lum.) can only be used to
rule out a dye that won't be absorbed by the wool in sufficient quantity.
But the hue of the dye is not variable. Indigo is a compound, not a
mixture. The active chemical has a particular hue.
Micha Berger A cheerful disposition is an inestimable treasure.
email@example.com It preserves health, promotes convalescence,
http://www.aishdas.org and helps us cope with adversity.
Fax: (413) 403-9905 - R' SR Hirsch, "From the Wisdom of Mishlei"
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