Avodah Mailing List

Volume 09 : Number 032

Saturday, May 18 2002

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 10:10:57 EDT
From: Phyllostac@aol.com
Tikkun Leil Shavuos - learn all about it !

'Meinyono diyoma' - An excellent and fascinating (kidarko bakodesh),
in depth, (94 pages [!], composed of various sections) discussion of
the custom of 'tikkun [not surprisingly, the word tikkun in the name,
tips one off that Kabbalistic angles / aspects are part of this minhog]
leil Shavuos' can be seen in the new volume ( # 3) of 'Shorshei Minhag
Ashkenaz' by Rav Binyomin Shlomo Hamburger shlit"a.

Highly recommended, even if I may not follow his derech in this matter
at this time.

A few points about his piece to whet the appetite of readers -

IIRC, He recommends saying it bachabura, with special traditional
niggun(im), etc., as was done in the past. He seems to say that this
derech was lost in many places, but persisted (at least longer) in
Ashkenaz ('Yekke') circles. He laments the decline of the minhog.

Also (I don't recall if he says this exactly - perhaps not), referring
to any learning programs / lectures in Shuls, etc., on Shavuos night
by the term 'tikkun leil Shavuos' may be somewhat questionable. Perhaps
the term should only be applied to recitation of the printed tikkun.


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Date: Wed, 15 May 2002 23:18:47 -0400
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
Waiting to daven maariv on Shavuos

I noticed that the commentaries to SA 494 have two different ways of
saying that we wait to daven:
1. Taz and others: we wait to daven Maariv so that we'll have seven
complete weeks (no mention of nightfall).
2. Magen Avraham and others: we wait to say kiddush *until nightfall*
so that we'll have 7 complete weeks.

Are these the same shittah--i.e., the Taz is telling you to wait to daven
until shortly before nightfall, so that you'll make kiddush at nightfall?
Or are these two different shittos, and the Taz is telling you to wait to
daven until nightfall (with the idea being that you are mekabel kedushas
hayom in Shmoneh Esrei)?

What is the general minhag?

I take it that there is no minhag to wait on the second night (even
though one could argue sfeikah d'yoma) since one did not count Omer the
night before.

Kol tuv,

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Date: Wed, 15 May 2002 23:43:46 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Arev times Four

I posed a query:
Why is the word for sweetness or pleasantness the same as
for guarantor and the same as for mixture and the same as for
evening? (Ayin-Reish-Veis). There are partial connections that swirl
through my mind, but I feel there is something very significant going
on here...

Some early answers have come in:

>sharing=sweetness; I'm not alone anymore. Guarantor helps me burden the 
>debt, mixture is the shoresh of it all, and evening is mixture of day and nite.

>The word Arev or erev means evening or the dark hidden side of life. The 
>guarantor is the one hidden from the transaction yet is sometimes 
>obligated and the concept of pleasantness that we often refer to is one 
>hidden from open reality and requires delving into the hidden intricacies 
>of the torah to find.

>I remember seeing somewhere that the word for sweetness is the idea that 
>the mixture blends the parts in such as way as to be pleasing:  ketores, a 
>musical piece, etc.

>Erev for evening, per Hirsch, is the time when images blend into one another.

>A guarantor is one who "mixes in".

>What is the unifying principle here?

My inclination, at this point, is towards the following approach, based
to a significant extent on the thoughts above:

Ayin-Reish means awake, or aroused (might be a contraction of Ayin Ro'eh
- the definition of wakefulness). Interesting that it is the antithesis
of Evil or Friend (Reish-Ayin) - this requires some analysis.

Be that as it may, the Ayin-Reish-Beis combo seems to tack on "Beis" as
in the prefix "In". In a mixture, the two substances are "awake" within
the concoction (if not, one is battel and it is no longer a ta'aroves).

When something is pleasant or sweet, there is a sense of awakening or
arousal in the experience.

A guarantor is mixed in, and is an "aroused' partner in the relationship.

Erev, in contradistinction to Lyla, is a time of mixture (thus the
Rogatchover that Bein ha'Shemashos is not a safek in din but a safek
b'etzem) - elements of both light and dark are awake in that time frame.

Now, to correlate to inyana d'yoma - to Shavuos - all these elements
should be awake in the brocho-phrase "V'ha'arev nah es divrei Toroscha

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Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 07:54:08 +0300
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Re: Fwd: Arev times Four

On 15 May 2002 at 21:25, Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer 
> Why is the word for sweetness or pleasantness the same as for
> guarantor and the same as for mixture and the same as for evening?
> (Ayin-Reish-Veis). There are partial connections that swirl through my
> mind, but I feel there is something very significant going on here...

Just a guess. I would say that the true form is the one that means
mixture and the other three are all mixtures of something.

Evening is a mixture of day and night. A guarantor mixes his own achrayus
with that of the borrower. And sweetness almost always has to be mixed
because if it only has one ingredient it is either too sweet (you wouldn't
eat straight sugar) or will start to grate on you (think in terms of
"kolech arev;" you would eventually tire of hearing one person sing
alone with no accompaniment).


-- Carl

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much.

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Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 13:26:01 GMT
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>

What is the source of a woman's chiyuv of kiddush hayom for Yom Tov?


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Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 07:54:11 +0300
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Re: Wearing tzitzis outside one's clothes

On 16 May 2002 at 1:49, Micha Berger wrote:
>:> It's a mitzvah machsheres, not chiyuv (to use R' Dovid Lifshitz's
>:> terminology). So, unless a single man happens to buy a four cornered
>:> garment, why would he have to be yotzei?

>: There's a difference between saying you're not chayav and saying you 
>: cannot peform the mitzva...

> Who said he can't do the mitzvah?

> The mitzvah is that if he buys a 4 cornered garment, he needs to put
> tzitzis on it before wearing it. He can do that if it ever comes up.

But we b'davka go and buy a four-cornered garment in order to be 
m'kayem the mitzva. If you say that you cannot be yotzei with 
anything less than a tallis gadol and our minhag is not to allow 
unmarried men to wear a tallis gadol, then how is a bachur to be 
yotzei the mitzva? You're saying "ain hachi nami, he can't." But do 
those rishonim actually say that? Or are they from the schools that 
advocate bochrim wearing taleisim? 

> What those rishonim are saying is that the minhag of tallis katan is
> not a kiyum hamitzvah, it's a "string around the finger" to remember
> "lo sosuru". So, there is noone who is even trying to do the mitzvah
> all day every day.

Kind of like being m'kayem mitzvos in chu"l, huh? :-) 

-- Carl

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Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 11:57:18 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Wearing tzitzis outside one's clothes

On Thu, May 16, 2002 at 07:54:11AM +0300, Carl and Adina Sherer wrote:
:> The mitzvah is that if he buys a 4 cornered garment, he needs to put
:> tzitzis on it before wearing it. He can do that if it ever comes up.

: But we b'davka go and buy a four-cornered garment in order to be 
: m'kayem the mitzva...

According to those rishonim, we don't! If you say that the single guy
isn't yotzei, neither is the married one. Which means the minhag isn't
about making opportunities for qiyum hamitzvah. It's about inventing
an "ur'isem oso" of our own.

The question isn't on the size of his tallis qatan, but the lack of his
tallis gadol.


Micha Berger                 Today is the 49th day, which is
micha@aishdas.org            7 weeks in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org       Malchus sheb'Malchus: What is the ultimate
Fax: (413) 403-9905                                goal of perfect unity?

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Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 08:35:11 -0400
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Re: tzitzis

In Avodah V9 #30, MBerger wrote:
> Wearing tzitzis out fits that model of minhag. Even if it's a relatively
> new idea.

Or (to repeat a privately-expressed thought) a very old idea that was
lost with the golus (and the different modes of dress in different parts
of the world outside E'Y').

All the best from
Michael Poppers

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Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 12:17:40 +0300
From: "Danny Schoemann" <dannys@atomica.com>
Hallel on Rosh Chodesh

According to my father:

I think the clue is in the brocho of kiddush levono "Ateress Tifferess
leamusei voten, hoasidim lehischachesh kmoso".

Just as the moon is hidden, as a fetus in the womb and in the future
will be born to full life so we in our goluss will be reborn at the geulo.

In the certainty of this future salvation we say Hallel.

- Danny
	Don't forget Eruv Tavshilin.

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Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 10:36:04 -0400
From: Sholom Simon <sholom@aishdas.org>
Night before day, or after day?

>I recently started a thread called "Night before day, or after day?",
>which ran in Avodah vol 9, nos. 24-29. In that thread I asked if for
>sources to an idea I heard that although nowadays our calendar switches
>dates in the evening, until Matan Torah, our calendar counted days as
>changing in the morning.

>R' Shalom Simon and R' Gil Student say that even since creation, the
>day starts at night.

FWIW, what I said, more specifically, was that Chazal seemed to understand
it as such, or else why bother asking the question, on Berachos 26a, of
whether one can make up mincha with a teshlumin at ma'ariv.

-- Sholom

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Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 03:16:26 +0300
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Re: Waiting to daven maariv on Shavuos

On 15 May 2002 at 23:18, Feldman, Mark wrote:
> I take it that there is no minhag to wait on the second night (even
> though one could argue sfeikah d'yoma) since one did not count Omer
> the night before.

Actually the Yeshiva in Passaic did wait on the second night, although
they didn't wait quite as long for Maariv (IIRC they waited 72 minutes
the first night and 55 the second). But there was always singing and
dancing after Maariv the second night (except in years like this year
where the second night was Shabbos) on the theory that the veiber needed
time to prepare the meal anyway.

-- Carl

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much.

Go to top.

Date: Sat, 18 May 2002 21:50:44 -0400
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
Re: Waiting to daven maariv on Shavuos

RCS wrote:
> Actually the Yeshiva in Passaic did wait on the second night, 
> although they didn't wait quite as long for Maariv (IIRC they waited 
> 72 minutes the first night and 55 the second)

I don't see the sevarah for waiting so long on the first night.  The idea of
temimos connects to sefiras ha'omer, which we pasken is drabbanan.  If so,
we should wait the more mekil shittah for tzeis (similar to when we break
fasts for drabbanan fasts).

Kol tuv,

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Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 11:14:24 -0400
From: "David Glasner" <dglasner@ftc.gov>
Dor Revi'i on Zioinism (part II): Addendum - quote from Hatam Sofer

For those interested here is the text of the Hatam Sofer's teshuvah
on the status of belief in the Messiah as a basic tenet of faith:

But it is impossible for me to believe that our redemption should be one 
of the fundamental tenets of the faith and that should the foundation 
fall the entire wall, Heaven forbid, would fall, and that we should say if, 
Heaven forbid, our sins would cause that He would drive us out forever,
as R. Akiva holds in connection with the Ten Tribes that they were 
exiled forever.  Would we for this reason be allowed to throw off the 
yoke of the kingdom of heaven from upon us or to change the fringe of
a ˇyod' even of a Rabbinic enactment.  Heaven forbid that we would not
serve the Eternal to eat the fruit of the land and enjoy its goodness to 
do Your will, the G-d of my desires.  And at any rate and in every 
respect we are the servants of the Eternal.  He may do with us as He
wills and desires.  And this is not a fundamental tenet and not a 
foundation upon which to build a structure.  However, since it is a 
fundamental tenet to believe in the Torah and the Prophets and it is 
speaks there of our final redemption, in poroshat Nitzavim and poroshat 
ha'azinu, as the Ramban explains there, and much of this is the words 
of the prophets, one who quarrels with this redemption denies the belief 
in the Torah and the prophets.

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Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 11:44:25 -0400
From: "David Glasner" <dglasner@ftc.gov>
Dor Revi'i on Zionism (part III)

                 ZIONISM IN THE LIGHT OF FAITH (cont.)

III. 	The Influence of Zionism on the Faith

	With everything that we have said until here, we have still 
not dispelled the suspicions of the Hareidim about the resurrection of a 
national awareness and about revival of a national life in the land of 
Israel.  The fear is great and not without foundation and is therefore 
worthy of a serious discussion from the halakhic stanpoint.  I approach 
this inquiry with a prayer for Heavenly assistance that He will help me to 
prove the righteousness of the matters to those Hareidim whose hearts 
are open to understanding and to thoughtful discussion.
	No one is unaware of the greatness of the commandment of 
settling the land of Israel, for whose upkeep the greatest of the heros 
dedicated their best thoughts and deeds and for the sake of which they 
permitted the writing of a bill of sale on the Sabbath.  Nor has it been 
hidden from anyone's eyes that this Sabbath, this the most important of 
the commandment of our holy Torah, can only be observed in the 
Diaspora by pushing aside the private economic concerns of the 
individual, and it is therefore violated by many for the sake of survival 
and sustenance.  It is not so in the land of Israel within which the 
Sabbath day is securely designated as an official day of rest.  
	Nevertheless, the Hareidim see in the renewal of the national 
life in Israel a danger to the traditional religion.  First, because the 
direction and active leadership are in the hands of people who are not 
reliable from a religious standpoint, in the hands of those who do not 
recognize the fundamental religious tenets and how are not prepared to 
be guided in their actions by religious considerations.  Second, because it 
is impossible to imagine a renewed political order on its economic and 
social institutions in a manner suitable to the renewed settlement of the 
land of Israel on the basis of religion and tradition.
	Indeed, there is another fear that worries the Hareidim and 
arouses their doubts about the rebirth of Israel in the land of Israel.  It is 
well known that in the course of two thousand years of exile it was only 
the involvement in and the study of the Torah that preserved Israel.  
All that time while the ghetto was separating the Jews from the world 
of business and culture, the fields of art and science, craftsmanship 
and agriculture, it was natural that the Jews would devote themselves 
with all their intellectual talent, to the study of Torah.  Concentration 
on the Torah was the sole ideal of the people.  The honor, glory and 
favor of the town were directed toward the Torah scholar, and to a 
lesser degree, toward an ignorant person who supported a Torah 
scholar with his own wealth.  However, even after the walls of the 
ghetto were brought down and all fields of activity were opened to the 
eyes of the Jews, the people thought it proper to confine their youth 
within in the four walls of the "heder" and the house of study, because 
every other activity, which is profane and not specifically Jewish, would 
distance one from Judaism.  Whoever turned his back on the house of 
study * whatever his talent in any other field might be * was absolutely 
or partly lost to the Jewish people and was not entitled to the glory of a 
Jewish person.  Only one who studied the Torah was thought to be a 
specifically Jewish person, and even this study was only on condition 
that it was undertaken for the sake of Heaven, without any special 
objective and not in a scientific or philosophical manner.  For the sake of 
an elevated safeguard on the religious spirit of study, scriptural and 
linguistic study were pushed aside into the corner.  Matters reached the 
point that many rabbis had only a weak idea concerning the history of 
their nation and could not write a single line on paper without committing 
gross errors.  Instead of following the dictate (at five years begin the 
study of the Scriptures, at ten the study of the Mishnah, and at fifteen 
the study of the Talmud) of the Tanna in Pirkei Avot (5:21), which implies 
that the first five years of study should be reserved for the study of the 
Holy Scriptures, to gaining mastery over the language and to breathing 
in the spirit of the prophets, and according to which a child should only 
be inducted at the age of ten into the hall of study of the Mishnaic 
literature, and at the age of fifteen to the higher study of the Talmud, 
a doctrine was created that makes a mockery of all the rules of 
pedagogy and twists the minds of the best spiritual powers, here in the 
Diaspora they saw the need to skip the rungs of the ladder and to force 
the child into the child at age of six into the house of the Talmud.  
Against this doctrine, or more correctly, against this absence of 
doctrine, warnings were issued by the holy Shelah, R. Ya'akov Emden, 
and by other great scholars.  Nevertheless, the doctrine became deeply 
rooted and it rules today in the Hareidi world.  
	They now are discussing the revival of the national life in the 
land of Israel.  In that land, work in all fields of human activity will merit 
their proper valuation, and there the study of Torah will cease to be the 
only field in which it will be possible to work for the sake of Judaism.  The 
physician, the engineer, the chemist, the farmer and the artist * all 
these will perform Jewish work that will bring upon itself honor and glory.  
Will none of those young people who have sat until now on the benches 
of the heder and the house of study, without doctrine or purpose, not 
be drawn into these fields?  And will none of them turn to new fields by 
which to serve their people with their full physical and intellectual 
capabilities?  What will happen to the Torah?  What then will happen to 
those houses of study, hallowed to this day?  And will any of those few 
that will continue to be eager to study Torah continue to study in the 
customary manner?  Will any of the nation that has renewed itself in the 
land of Israel, the generation that will speak classical Hebrew, recognize 
those Torah scholars, those Yiddish-speaking yeshiva instructors who 
don't speak the language of their people as spiritual leaders?  Will any of 
the new Jews listen to their incomprehensible speeches and lectures?  
And if the Jewish circles will be forced to change the manner of 
instruction in the schools and yeshivot, will the change not damage the 
religious spirit that has thus far governed these institutions?  And will this 
spirit not be transformed into a spirit of research, science and haskalah?  
These thoughts are what frighten the Hareidim and they are precisely 
what has changed them into absolute opponents of the aspirations of a 
tortured people to gain for itself the natural right to live, as it wills, 
in its homeland. 
	In response to these fears, it is my wish to explain my position.  
There are two responses.  First, do we Hareidim, who have, to our 
misfortune, become a minority in the Jewish people, and especially weak 
in intellectual and material powers, really think that through our passive 
opposition, or through our Agudah groups, which underscore with 
abundant clarity our incapacity for the necessary work, we will be able 
to disturb or to frustrate the work of the powerful World Zionist 
Congress, that goes from strength to strength?  That organization that 
appeared twenty three years ago (1897) and that took hold like a flame 
on the face of the land in every place where the heart of a Jew beats; it 
fashioned a world platform for the Jewish people that drew the attention 
of the heads of governments to the Jewish question and, even before 
the war began the effort on behalf of the land of Israel whose fruits it is 
harvesting today.  That organization that was capable of appearing 
before the League of Nations as the lawful representative of world 
Jewry and succeeded in turning the state of war to the advantage of the 
holy and just cause of its people that the peace conference unanimously 
recognized the land of Israel as the Jewish national home under the 
protection of Great Britain.  Do those Hareidim really believe that they 
will be able, through the veto power and through the organizational 
power of the Agudah that seems to lack any program, to hold back the 
movement to build the land of Israel which the Zionist organization 
supports with superior and ample means without the support and even 
against the will of the Hareidim?  And if they believe this, do they also 
believe that in opposition to the flowering of the new Judaism in the 
land of Israel they will be able to survive here in the Diaspora within the 
framework of their policy of opposition?
	Or perhaps they believe that their doctrine of self-separation 
and dissociation from the new enthusiastic Judaism that is in the land of 
Israel they will be able to merit those achievements that they achieved 
in Hungary and Germany against the Neologs?  If so, they do not 
understand the situation at all, because while in the struggle with the 
Neologs, who had assimilationist tendencies and whose objective was 
foreign to Judaism, they had an easy contest.  But here they will have 
an encounter with organized Judaism full of enthusiasm that sees 
Judaism in its image and aspires to gather under the wings of Judaism 
those who have fallen or who have fallen partially.  Against the 
influence of these the Hareidim will not be able to guard their children 
even here in the Diaspora.
	And as to the manner in which Talmud will be studied in the 
land of Israel, a reduction in the number of those who study Talmud 
need arouse no fears, for the present situation is not healthy and is in 
the category of a deplorable necessity.  The healthy and the natural 
doctrine is the following which was mentioned by the Mishnah in Avot, 
that we cited above and is implied by the Midrash in Midrash Rabbah at 
the beginning of Leviticus (chapter 2):
	"Is Ephraim a beloved son unto me?" (Jeremiah 31:19): 
Israel stand as precious to me.  In the normal course of the world a 
thousand people begin the study of the Scriputre, and one hundred 
complete this course study.  These hundred begin the study of the 
Mishnah, and ten complete this course of study.   These ten begin the 
study of Talmud and one completes this course of study.  This is the one 
about whom it is written (Ecclesiastes 7:28): "One man out of a 
thousand have I found."
	What a golden fruit would this doctrine yield in the land of 
Israel.  The entire people, more or less, would be involved in the study 
of the Holy Scriptures, and a not inconsiderable portion would also be 
engaged in the study of the oral torah that is organized in the Mishnah, 
while the students who distinguish themselves in the study of Mishnah 
would be selected to devote themselves to the study of Talmud.  From 
these would emerge true Torah scholars and giants of Torah, similar to 
those whom we knew in the bright era of Israel.  Even without this, the 
situation in the land of Israel would be more healthy and more natural if 
only a small portion of the people will turn to Torah studies at the 
highest level, that is Talmudic study.  It would be healthy and natural if 
higher Talmudic studies would be reserved to a small portion of the 
people, in the manner in which the tribe of Levi, which constituted eight 
percent of the people and did not participate in the ownership of the 
land and whose assignment and profession was to be the spiritual 
leaders of the nation, was sanctified and separated from the people to 
devote themselves to the study of Torah at the highest level.  In 
contrast the other tribes, which constituted 92 percent of the people 
took part in various mundane occupations and were only free on the 
Sabbath and Holy Days to provide their souls with spiritual and moral 
	And so is it told in the Midrash [Hebrew translator's note: To 
my sorrow I am unable to find its source.  See Bialik-Ravnitzki, Sepher 
Agadah, Tel Aviv 5715, p. 381; Sepher Shabbat, p. 28.]
	When Israel was in the desert, before they entered the land 
of Israel, the Torah said to the Holy One Blessed Be He: "A man under 
his vine and a man under his fig tree."  What will become of me?"  For in 
the desert the entire people devoted themselves to the study of Torah, 
because they had no other worries.  The Holy One Blessed Be He 
replied to the Torah: "I have another partner that I will give you, which 
is the Sabbath day, for Israel are idle from work and enter to the 
houses of worship and the houses of study and devote themselves to 
the study of Torah.  
                The working man fills the Sabbath day with Torah study.
	Work in the land of Israel ennobles and refines, because it 
raises the level of happiness of the people and advances the prosperity 
of the homeland.  It is therefore altruistic and it is as obligatory as 
prayer and the study of Torah in the Disapora.  This idea is powerfully 
expressed in Midrash Rabbah (poroshat Ki Tavo)
	When Moshe saw that the Holy Temple was destined to be 
destroyed and the first fruits were destined to be interrupted, he 
arose and decreed for Israel that they should pray three times each 
	The commandment of the first fruits, in addition to its 
religious meaning, also had an important purpose, to encourage the 
nation that tills its land to a more intensive and improved cultivation of 
their crops.  This was like a religious exhibition.  And the Mishnah in 
tractate of Bikurim tells us with what ceremony of multitudes and 
musical accompaniment the first fruits were brought up to Jerusalem.  
And all the artisans, before whom those carrying the first fruits 
passed, stood before them while remaining idle from their own work as 
a sign of respect to the carriers of the first fruits, even though they 
were not obligated to stand in the presence of a Torah scholar.  To 
such an extent was agricultural work esteemed.  Recognition of the 
simple farmer, whose diligent attention to his land serves not only 
himself and his family,but the whole nation, elevates and refines his 
Jewish consciousness and in such measure that he did not have to 
come to the house of study except on the Sabbath and on Holy Days.  
However, when Moses our teacher foresaw with the eyes of his spirit 
the image of the Jew of the Diaspora who would have only the 
egoistic goal of his own personal well-being in view and whose heart 
and mind, detached from his land and unsure of his sustenance, would 
be directed only to his own selfish interest at the expense of others, 
Moses was obliged to provide him with a moral safeguard by sending 
him three times a day to the house of worship so that he would not be 
overwhelmed by the routine of egoistic work.
	Our Sages of later generations also warned against study of 
the Torah exclusively and exalted the idea of work, as we have studied 
in Pirqei Avot (2:2): 
	The study of Torah is appropriate together with pursuit of a 
livelihood, for the combination of the two together causes sin to be 
forgotten, and any Torah which is not accompanied by work is destined 
to be nullified and will cause sin.
                And we also learn (Qidushin 29a):
	Whoever does not teach his son a trade is like one who 
teaches him robbery
                Our Sages also taught us (Berakhot 8a):
	One who derives benefit from his own effort is greater than 
one who fears heaven.
	The various commentators endeavor to interpret an explicit 
and clear saying in a different way from its plain meaning.  Their efforts 
were unnecessary, for the fear of heaven associated with an easy life 
is very far from being powerful enough to resist sin and evil inclination 
and sin and does not protect against evil character traits, while the 
expenditure of energy distracts a person from his weakness and his evil 
inclination and brings upon the worker a noble spirit, so that jealously 
and hatred, suspicion and oppression are almost unknown to him.  
                 This lesson we may learn from the sin and fall of Adam.  At 
the commandment of the Almighty, blessed be He, Adam was prohibited 
at pain of death from deriving any benefit from the Tree of Knowledge.  
He was, of course, one who feared Heaven, but he was idle in the 
Garden of Eden.  And he was unable to withstand the test, eating the 
fruit of the tree from which was commanded not to eat.  And he said 
(Genesis 3:12):
	The woman that You gave to me.  She gave me from the fruit 
of the tree.  And I ate.  
                The Midrash adds:
	The woman that you gave me brought me to this that I ate 
from the tree and I am not at all sure that I will not eat any more.
	When the Holy One Blessed Be He saw that fear of heaven, 
which, without doubt, was one of Adam's traits, did not save him from 
sin, He gave Adam another means by which to avoid sin:  hard work.  
For G-d said to him (Genesis 3:19): "with the sweat of your brow shall 
you eat bread."  The saying that one who derives benefit from his own 
effort is greater than one who fears Heaven is therefore exceedingly 
correct, for one who works is better protected from sin than one who 
fears heaven but is idle, for the latter is more easily caught by the 
tests of sin, and especially in the matter of dealing honestly in business.  
See the Midrash on Proverbs
	"Better is the bread of desolation in which there is peace" 
(Proverbs 17:1).  This is the land of Israel, for even if a man eats bread 
and salt every day but lives within the land of Israel, he is certain to 
enter the world to come.  "Than a house full of the sacrifices of strife."  
This is the land outside Israel, which is full of iniquity and robbery.
	These words say more than a complete book.  They illustrate 
the difference between the Jew of the Diaspora and the Jew of the 
land of Israel.  Only a method of instruction such as this will succeed in 
forming the exceptional people that will be worthy of the description:   
a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.  See the Palestinian Talmud 
(Sanhedrin 6:5):
	It is written (Jeremiah 29:1): "more than the elders of the 
Diaspora."  A small group that is in the land of Israel is more dear to me 
than the great Sanhedrin outside the land of Israel.
	And concerning the public administration and how to 
administer it according to the Torah, it would be an idle task as yet to 
enter into this topic too deeply.  It is clear that the holy Torah cannot 
put insurmountable obstacles in our way, so that we should be unable 
to live our national life in our land and that we should be required to 
remain in the Diaspora.  There can be no doubt that had Israel 
remained in its homeland for the course of two thousand years, it 
would not have been capable of being closed off from the 
advancements in all areas of life.  As a wise and understanding nation, 
the people of Israel would have been required to light the path before 
the nations in these fields, too.  We can be sure that if we return now, 
after two thousand years of exile, to live our national lives in our 
homeland, that the Holy One Blessed Be He will give, and from the 
midst of the people there will arise, leaders worthy of their great 
assignment who will know how to reconcile life with the laws of the 
Torah in the manner in which the Rambam posited in his commentary 
on the Mishnah at the beginning of Sanhedrin.
	And it appears to me that when there will be an agreement 
among all the scholars to advance one man from the academy upon 
them, and they will place him at their head, provided, as we have 
mentioned, that this takes place in the land of Israel, then the 
academy will be established for this man and he will be ordained.  He 
will then be able to ordain whomever he wants to.  For if you will say 
otherwise, it is impossible that the Sanhedrin will never be extant, 
because it is necessary that each member of the Sanhedrin be 
ordained and the Holy One Blessed Be He promised that they would 
return as it is written (Isaiah 1:26): "And I shall return your judges as 
at first and your counselors as in the beginning.  And then it will be 
called unto you a city of justice."  And without doubt this will occur 
when the Blessed Creator will prepare the hearts of the people and 
their merits will be multiplied and their longing will be for the name of 
the Blessed One and the Torah and their wisdom will become great 
before the coming of the Messiah, as this is explained in many 
verses in the Scripture.  
	If we faithfully attach ourselves to these holy and 
prophetic words of the Rambam, why should we not march in 
formation toward the task of settling and taking possession of the 
Holy Land, trusting in the Divine promise "I shall return you judges 
as at first and your counselors as in the beginning," which, according 
to the Rambam, is destined to occur before the arrival of the Messiah?
	What has been said until now is about the trend of thinking 
of the union of Hareidim who have joined the World Zionist Congress 
under the name of Mizrahi and who already have the power to vote 
for not inconsiderable achievements.  So they have secured 
agreement that cultural institutions infused with the spirit of the 
Torah will be supported at the expense of the general organization.  
And how much more would have been possible had all the Hareidim in 
their multitudes united under the banner of the Mizrahi?
	However, it is my wish further to dispel the worries of the 
Hareidim from another viewpoint on the second issue.

David Glasner

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Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 11:17:06 -0400
From: Sholom Simon <sholom@aishdas.org>
a z'man matan Torosainu thought

>Micha's request for timely divrai Torah had me thinking along these
>lines (any implied criticism is directed internally and not at y'all):
>based on a famous Talmudic dispute re the actual day of Matan Torah,
>and considering its not being associated with the Chag in the Torah,

Another quick thought (heard from R Dov Lipman) -- if one accepts that
Matan Torah, al pi Chazal (al pi Shulchan Arukh), was on Sivan 7, then what
are we celebrating Sivan 6 for?

Tosafos notes Matan Torah _was_ going to be 6 Sivan, but Moshe Rabbeinu on
his own, held it up a day (Shabbos 87a, the three things Moshe Rabbeinu did
on his own with HKBH's approval: "he added one day of his own understanding
[i.e., added a day to the "three days" of waiting before matan torah], he
separated himself from his wife, and he broke the Luchos.")

In other words, Moshe made the first psak based on Torah!  The first
instance of "lo bashamayim hi."  So, in a sense, we celebrate G-d's not
giving the Torah on the sixth, because that was the first time that man's
decision, based on Torah precepts, had an effect on this world.  Thus, on
the sixth, it became _our_ Torah, and not the Torah shel shamayim.

This aligns with "chag haShavuos hazeh, z'man matan _toraseinu_" -- not
HaShem's Torah, but _our_ Torah.  Why do we celebrate the "physical" on
Shavuos?  (Note Pesachim 68b, Chazal's debate on whether, on a chag, how
one should divide his time between eating and drinking vs studying, but all
agree that on Shavuos we celebrate the physical).  

Torah is for _us_, for _our_ world, for _us_ to elevate the physical.  


|   Sholom Simon     | sholom@aishdas.org               |
| proud daddy to Joshua Ari  4/18/93 - 27 Nissan 5753   |
|        and Eliana Rebekah  3/12/95 - 11 Adar-2 5755   |

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