Avodah Mailing List

Volume 09 : Number 018

Sunday, April 21 2002

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 19:18:17 +0200
From: Simi and David Peters <familyp2@netvision.net.il>
Yehuda Feliks

FWIW (and not that it invalidates his research on the flora and fauna of
E.Y.) Yehuda Feliks is not a rav and not (as far as I know) a shomer Torah
and mitzvot.

Simi Peters

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Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 15:19:08 -0400
From: Jordan Hirsch <trombaedu@earthlink.net>
Re: Oats and beans and barley grow

on 4/17/02 9:32 AM, Seth Mandel at sethm37@hotmail.com wrote:
> This actually is an old story.  Being always out-of-date, I do not know what
> recent research article is being referred to, but the inyan is not a recent
> discovery, nor were any more proofs needed.
> From a halakhic point of view, the Rambam in Kil;ayim I:1 translates
> shibbolet shu'al as "sunbul al-tha'lab, w'huwwa al-sha'iir al-bari" (lit. "
> 'fox grain,' i.e. wild barley")....
> To be sure, Rashi is equally definite...
> From a scholarly point of view, R. Yehudah Feliks spent years researching
> the flora and fauna mentioned in the Mishna and G'moro, and he had published
> several books about his results in the 70ís....

As I have pointed out, the research to which I referred was in fact the
Feliks book. R' Seth probably did not see the post where I remembered
the name. What is recent about this is that R' shachter has said that
he takes the Feliks work as compelling, especially regarding Matzas
mitzvah. I have heard anecdotally that r' shachter makes a "Ha'Adamah"
on Cheerios. (Also known as the breakfast of Gedolim)


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Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 15:33:27 -0400
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: Oat & spelt in 5 minim?

From: Gil Student [mailto:gil_student@hotmail.com]
> RHS says in shiur that there is a safek beracha on oats and 
> one should therefore not eat it.  When I was in yeshiva someonw checked with 
> his son who said that lema'aseh they eat Cheerios in their home.  I've never 
> heard of any other posek take this approach.

What I heard (either from RHS or a talmid muvhak of his) was that because
it's a safek bracha, one should eat it along with other mezonos and a
shehakol. So that could explain the presence of Cheerios in the house.
Also, Cheerios does contain some wheat, though my guess is that it is
used as a binder.

Kol tuv,

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Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 21:03:08 +0000
From: "Seth Mandel" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
Re: Oats and beans and barley grow

>As I have pointed out, the research to which I referred was in fact the
>Feliks book. R' Seth probably did not see the post where I remembered the

I indeed did not, and apologize for being matriach the olom.

>What is recent about this is that R' shachter has said that he takes
>the Feliks work as compelling, especially regarding Matzas mitzvah.

I personally would not have found Feliks completely compelling, were
it not for the Rambam. The Rambam's specific identification show that
people in the Middle East (as opposed to more northern France and Germany)
had a tradition for what shibbolet shu'al is, and it is not oats.

>I have
>heard anecdotally that r' shachter makes a  "Ha'Adamah" on Cheerios. (Also 
>known as the breakfast of Gedolim)

In our shul it is the breakfast of magbihim. Before giving out hagboho,
the gabbai asks whether the person has eaten his Cheerios. Which, of
course, puts the selectee in a quandry: should he say yes, he would be
violating eating before davening. Should he say no, he might not get
the kibbud, and we know that the magbiah is notel sakhar k'neged kullam.
What to do, what to do...

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Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 17:13:57 -0400
From: Arie Folger <afolger@ymail.yu.edu>
Re: Inyanei Aveilus

[RSB: - arie]
>> 2) We all know that there is a strong preference for kvurah to be within
>> 24 hours of misah....

Reb Stuart Klagsbrun wrote:
> 24 hours? IIRC the inyan is to bury as soon as possible, period.  

But after 24 hours, bar some xceptions, there is a laav of lo talin nivlato 
'al 'etz.


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Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 17:36:58 -0400
From: Arie Folger <afolger@ymail.yu.edu>
Re: Segulot & correction re: inyanei aveilut

On Wed, Apr 10, 2002 at 04:04:56PM -0400, Arie Folger wrote:
>: Either a segulah is a suspected causal relationship that is not well
>: understood...

RMB wrote:
> This too denies the objective existance of segulos.

True. In a world without black magic, a rational world, there is no place
for such segulot. The only thinkg you might, unconvincingly in many cases,
try, is to restate them as sa'har veonesh.

It may be helpful to add a road sign that says "beware, this road leads
to the magic kingdom".

[From a second email. -mi]

RDR wrote:
>  RAF seems to be reviewing Yoreh Deiah, perhaps he has some ideas.

Thank you for your generous statement. However, I am merel reviewing
parts of YD vol. 1. I will, BEH, post my notes thereon on the internet
quite soon, including a syllabus of sorts for certain sections of YD,
but that is a far, far cry from reviewing all of YD (most of which I
yet have to learn for the first time), including siman 172 (I believe)
which is what you are refering to.

My understanding is that kishuf acc. to Rambam is the supernatural
doesn't exist, period. Rambam's description of nes seems to imply that
they are part of tev'a and occur only when G'd wants them to. Modern ears
would most likely framed that in terms of a chaos theory of sorts. The
prohibition of kishuf applies to whatever a man CLAIMS as supernatural
powers, whether the man believes it or not. I don't have a Rambam at
hand, but IIRC, he states explicitly (probably in sefer hamitzvot) that
the Torah prohibited it lest the ba'al kishuf lead people astray to the
cult of his persona or his favorite AZ.

[Back to the first email, on a second subject. -mi]

Now a correction: I mentioned the laav of lo talin WRT linah of
24hrs. This is usually incorrect, as the laav kicks in with night fall
(at some point between shki'ah and tzeit hakokhavim).

Arie Folger

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Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 13:36:42 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Inyanei aveilus

Steve Brizel wrote:
> Jacob Ginsberg ZL, my father in law, was niftar this past Shabbos. I would
> like to dedicate this posy lzecher nishmaso and pose some questions and
> observations re dinei aveilus:

> 1) next year is a shnas mubar. How does that effect the 12 months?

We had this. My father-in-law was niftar Simchat Torah 2.5 years ago.
I was saying kaddish for him. My wife had been told not to say yizkor
for him during the first 12 months, on the grounds that yizkor is to
bring back the memory of the departed, and one can assume that one needs
no special reminders during the first year. So the schedule we had was:
kaddish 11 months, until 23 Av. 12th month ended 23 Elul, so quick like
a bunny my wife bought a bunch of new clothes before Rosh Hashanah,
and she said yizkor on Yom Kippur and Shmini Atzeret, being after the
12 months, even if before the yahrzeit. Then I led a bunch of services
and said kaddish on Simchat Torah.

To sum up, it's 11 and 12 months on the calendar, not 1 year, for saying
kaddish and observing aveilut. It's calendar date for yahrzeit, even
if that first yahrzeit is 13 months later.

   - jon baker    jjbaker@panix.com     <http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker> -

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Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 18:06:28 -0400
From: Arie Folger <afolger@ymail.yu.edu>
Re: Segulot

RDR wrote:
> But remember when you chided RAF for taking sides in the machloketh
> rishonim about the existence of sheidim. Aren't you doing the same
> thing by redefining sheidim in a way they didn't imagine?

?? I didn't feel chided, and I didn't take sides. I tried to make both
sides more explicit so that we don't mix up one side's definition with
the other's. It's an academic exercise to keep both sides in neat
categories; helpful when sorting out arguments such as yours'.

The one time I came close to taking sides was when I misread RambaN
as RambaM in one of your posts. (I was getting used to reading some of
'Avodah & 'Areivim on my new PDA, all while being rather tired since my
newborn Racheli wasn't really sleeping much at a time ;-)).

Arie Folger

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Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 10:28:25 -0400
From: David Riceman <dr@insight.att.com>
Re: segulot

I think I need to clarify something I wrote yesterday. Many postings ago,
when I classified some segulot as folk-beliefs, RMB suggested a chiluk
between folk segulos and glatt segulos (my terminology). For example,
RMB argued that belief in sheidim was a glatt segulah since it is rampant
in the gemara.

When I analyzed RMB's recent list of segulos, I meant to show that
two of them could not be glatt segulos:

David Riceman wrote:
>> I'm talking about things like the power of putting Seifer Razi'el
>> haMal'ach in a baby's crib.

> Doesn't the Rambam say that a person who does that (admittedly with
> a sefer from tanach, not sefer raziel) is a kofer "sheoseh divrei HKBH
> rofei haguf v'einam ela rofei hanefesh" (I'm citing by heart, so it may
> not be precise)?

And, while the Rambam may have thought a glatt segulah was silly,
I hardly think he would have labeled a practicer of one a kofer.

>> Kemei'os that are never read.

> The shulhan aruch (citing the Rambam) says they work as placebos.

And the author of the Shulhan Aruch was a formidable mekubbal. That he
bothered to classify kemeios thus when he need not have specified why
they work indicates that they are not glatt segulos.

David Riceman

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Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 00:23:39 -0400
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
Re: segulot

[Yes, this was originally sent to Areivim in error. Sorry for the
deja vu. -mi]

R' Micha Berger wrote <<< I'm talking about things like the power of
putting Seifer Razi'el haMal'ach in a baby's crib... Or reading Zohar
even if you don't know the words... Kemei'os that are never read. >>>

R' David Riceman wrote <<< Not everything unnatural is classified
as kishuf, but some things are. For the Rambam it's kishuf if it was
historically associated with idolatry (which might include water clocks,
though not water wheels). >>>

I once asked how to tell the difference between segulos which are mutar,
and kishuf which is assur. I didn't get much of an answer.

I am leaning very strongly to believe that the main difference is whether
the source is in kedusha or tumah. Call it "white magic" and "black magic"
if you like. Personally, I've never experienced either of these things,
but I would imagine that those who are proficient in them know how to
tell the difference.

For now, being associated with Avodah Zara is a pretty reliable indicator
of being assur kishuf, and being suggested by Chazal is a sure indicator
of mutar segulah.

On R' Micha Berger's example of <<< Kemei'os that are never read. >>>,
R' David Riceman answered that <<< The shulhan aruch (citing the Rambam)
says they work as placebos. >>>

This is a great example of how our knowledge of teva can change over
time, and what was once considered to be supernatural is later learned
to be a natural process. As I once said, disease was once considered to
be caused by sheidim, and now we know that they're just germs. So where
have the sheidim gone? I have very strong inclinations to believe that
sheidim are now into quantum physics: There are many things which the
physicists claim to be non-deterministic; they simply "happen" randomly
with no rhyme, reason, or schedule. I believe that these functions are
controlled by sheidim.

... until such time as the physicists come up with an explanation to show
that these apparently random happenings really do have a deterministic
pattern after all. And then the sheidim will pack their bags for greener

Akiva Miller

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Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 22:31:09 EDT
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
some heaaros on aveilus

Since the petirah of my father in law Jacob Ginsberg ZL, Hilchos Aveilus
has become one or thr inyanei dyoma around here. While it directly
impacts my wife, it indirectly effects all of us. I have a number of the
basic mareh mkomos to work from such as Masecta Moed Katan and the Toras
Haadam of the Ramban. I also have Shiurim of RYBS as well . The Aruch
HaShulchan is also quite good on dinei uminhagei aveilus. I used to have
R Lamm's book which is an excellent hashkafic work. What does the olam
here think of the ArtScroll version of Pnei Baruch? I have heard that the
Pnei Baruch is an excellent one colume work on dinei umanhagei aveilus.

RYBS always stressed that aveilus yeshana ( i.e. Churban) and aveilus
Chadasha ( i.e individual) were marked by their respective intensity
levels . IOW, aveilus on the Churban proceeds from the least intense to
the most intense levels of aveilus . In contrast, aveilus for a yachid
proceeds from the highest to the lowest levels of intensity. Chazal knew
that it was iompossible to be an avel in a high and intense state forever
because it was unhealthy and because this mitzva, like many others ,
was " alea blev." May HaShem spare us from any further tzaros on both
the individual and national levels.

Steve Brizel

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Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 21:52:34 -0400
From: "yosef stern" <avrahamyaakov@hotmail.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 21:52:34 -0400

Gershon Dubin writes:The Mishna says in Zavim, 1:5 ...Gad to Yerushalayim.
The meforshim explain that Gad is a shem avodah zara. If so, is this
not a violation of "lo yishama al picha"?

Actually, in the Gemarah (Sanhedrin 63:2) where the topic of Lo Yishomah
Al Picha is discussed asks this very question! and answers: that the
AZ by the name Gad is mentioned in a Possuk (Yeshaya 65:11, Ho-Orchim
Legad Shulchan), and as previously concluded by R. Yochanan that any AZ
mentioned in Torah one is permitted to say.

Good Shabbos
kol tuv
yosef stern

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Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 17:45:23 EDT
From: Phyllostac@aol.com
questions re famous domo ben nesinoh story

re the famous story related by Chaza"l about the nochri domoh ben nesinoh
from Ashqelon and the great length(s) he went to honor his father
(the story about the Rabbis needing to purchase a [rare presumably]
jewel[s] for the choshen for a great sum, but domoh didn't go ahead
with the transaction with them because the key to where the jewels were
was under the head of his sleeping father and he didn't want to disturb
[wake?] him.....)

I have wondered for some time -

Why couldn't the Jewish gem purchasing delegation wait (presumably not
long - presumably it was just a daytime nap - but even if it wasn't -
how long could it have lasted) until his father woke up and completed
the transaction then?

Some thoughts that came to me -

Perhaps (presumably?) there was someone else with such a gem (nearby?) who
was offering it with no waiting necessary (perhaps slightly inferior,
perhaps at a greater price, etc.) and the delegation chose to purchase
it from them, instead of waiting around and 'wasting time'. Perhaps they
were in a rush to get back to Yeshiva or so....?

Also - if someone (perhaps a fellow nochri) would call / have called domoh
a 'chosid [umos ho'olom] shotah, would they be / have been off the mark?

Can one argue that if his father knew about the episode, he would have
'ranked out' his son, saying something like, you stupid fool! We could
have made a mint and been comfortable for the rest of our lives - you
should have awakened me! are you crazy or something? Where did you pick
up that crazy 'frum' behavior? Did domoh (what kind of a name is that,
btw?) do 'the right thing'?

I wonder if domoh told his father what had happened after he woke up
and what his father's reaction was.

I wonder what type of man abu domoh was (and also more details re his
famous son).



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Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 10:59:47 +0200
From: shalom <rachelbe@netvision.net.il>
aveilut of sefirat haomer

Professor Daniel Sperber has an article on this in the first volume of his
Minhagei Yisrael.

Shalom Berger
Alon Shvut

>Is there a connection between aveilut of sefirat haomer and the gezeirot
>of tach v'tat?
>Where is this discussed?

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