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Volume 09 : Number 039

Sunday, May 26 2002

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 07:58:54 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
More on Posai'ach es yodecho u'masbi'a l'chol chai ratzon

 From one correspondent concerning the parallel between Tehillim 104 and 145:
>The parallel is obvious.  You can't really "doubt" the parallel.  I think it
>falls under the category of "hamikra mefaresh es atzmo."

>Both prakim are written in the continuous tense, 104 is also continuous.

From the parallel you would assume "ratzon" to be parallel to "tov."  I'd
>want to look up in Tanach the word ratzon to see whether there are other
>places in which they seem to parallel each other, or ratzon takes on the
>meaning of "ha-nirtzah, that which is wanted or desirable; something
>subjectively good."  My hunch is that ratzon here means "that which is
>subjectively good." or what the person wants.

>Now the context in 145 does definitely mold the meaning even if the psukim
>are congruous to 104.  In 104 the context is a discussion of creatures,
>animals - they may not have what we define as a ratzon, a subjective good.
>Whatever is good for them, they are created to think of as good.  Whereas
>man has the ability to have a ratzon for something which is not objectively
>tov.  Perek 145 is speaking, at least in that section, about human beings.
>Therefore it makes sense to speak of Hashem providing them according to
>their ratzon.  Now, this posuk has to say something different from "retzon
>yerei'av ya'aseh."  Anyway I see no evidence that this posuk is speaking
>about anything other than the ordinary person.

 From another correspondent, very similar to the MME vol. 1 p. 17, ayain
sham. This, in turn, is very similar, if I understand correctly, to what
Rav Schwab is said to have said as pshat in pasuk:

>i suggest reading ratzon as "desire" for what we desire(!) most in life
>is that very desire for life.

>In Izhbitz (Kotz-Lublin chassidut) and Reb Zadok, the notion of Ratzon
>in Biblical hebrew is articulated as "t'shuka" this inner heart desire
>for clarity (behirus) ....

>"He who satisfies His living creatures with ratzon"

>could thus mean the most precious gift possible, the gift of desire,
>the desire to make sense of one's life and the world and the suffering
>that comes along with it...

An interesting pshat, that the correspondent states is his intent in saying 
the pasuk:

>>I would think: sarsehu v'darshehu; i.e. "masbia ratzon" l'chol chai, meaning
>>hashem is the satisfier (masbia ratzon). no?

Which leads to the question, when there is a pasuk or phrase that requires 
kavvanah, can one pick and choose one's interpretation of that kavannah - I 
think yes.

As posted on Avodah, the Rokei'ach seems in line with the Malbim:
>Just in case it wasn't mentioned, the Rokeach Teitches it that HKB"H is Zan
>Chol Chai Birtzono.
>Yitzchok Zirkind

From [MB on] Avodah as well:
>     I've discussed two shitos, so let me spell out each:

>RSS: We are praising him for giving us desirability, by which we could get
>our material nourishment.

>RAYK: ... for giving us our fill of desires -- so that we can have goals
>and meaning to work toward in our lives.

>The one who says that it's thanks for giving us desires (RAYK) does
>not take this to be about material nourishment. And the one who does
>understand it to be about material nourishment (RSS) takes "ratzon" to
>be desirability (for which RSS finds other examples); not our own desires.

I was castigated privately by a correspondent for not citing the peirushim
of the standard Meforshim. I would say that is not hard for anyone to do
on their own, I am not here to give a shiur, but to advance my theory,
in line with the Malbim and the Rokei'ach, that Ratzon refer to Ratzon

Another correspondent chided me for not looking at the Kesser Shem Tov
(the Besht) which I then did - the Besht does not discuss this pasuk
but rather "Retzon yerei'av ya'aseh" vs. "Karov Hashem l'chol kor'av"
- and I see that in a shiur I gave on the topic before seeing the KST
inside, I was B"H mechavein to what he says - explaining the issue on
the basis of the Gemara of "Ganav a'pum machtarta Rachmana karya."

I saw yesterday that both the Meshech Chochmo Vayikra (beginning of
Bechukosai) and a work named the Dove Sifsei Yeshorim brought down in
Bi'urei ha'Mekkuballim b'Nigleh say that the pasuk praises Hashem for
creating Teva(!), in which each individual satiates himself based on
the ratzon he deploys in his quest via his own hishtadlus - seems quite
anti-Desslerian, but a nice pshat.

Kol Tuv,
ygb@aishdas.org      http://www.aishdas.org/rygb

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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 14:27:41 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Posai'ach es yodecho u'masbi'a l'chol chai ratzon

On Wed, May 22, 2002 at 03:39:29PM -0400, Yzkd@aol.com wrote:
: Just in case it wasn't mentioned, the Rokeach Teitches it that HKB"H is Zan 
: Chol Chai Birtzono.

As you don't give an exact mar'eh maqom, I'll trouble you to answer: Does
he explain why then David haMelech doesn't end the pasuq 'beratzon[o]'?


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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 14:16:17 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>

I thought I asked this question to Avodah already, but I can't find
it now that I thought of an answer.

A recurring shoresh in this week's parashios is /ns'/.

The title word of the one we're leining in chu"l: Naso. Not lifqod
or lispor. Note the levi'im are given tafqidim, but counting them
isn't lifqod.

The entire shevi'i of that parashah: the nesi'im.

In Beha'alosechah, "vayhi bineso'ah ha'aron".

So, I wondered why.

Central to RYBS's thought is the dialectic between the nosei, the carrier,
man-as-subject, and the nisa, the carried, man-as-object. This dialectic
finds resolution in teshuvah, in which man is both nosei and nisah,
the subject and the object of the verb, when he recreates himself. As R'
Arnie Lustiger summarizes it, the nosei blows the shofar to call out to
the nissa. Crying for him to wake up from this object-ness. It also finds
resolution in the Halachic man, who partners with G-d to both receive
(as object) and create (as subject) the TSBP.

I would like to suggest the theme that I noticed was the importance of
being a nation of nos'im.

Lifqod is to count objects. As in parashas Pequdei.

Here we are told that we are to count each levi and make him a nosei.
Not defined by his duty, but an active player who brings himself to
his job.

Similarly the nesi'im. Each brings the same gift, but as the Ramban
tells us each gift was unique because each nasi put himself into it;
each had his own kavanos.

I would further suggest that the role of the nesi'im is in the hif'il
nature of the word's conjugation: they cause others to be nosei. Much as
"hipil pur", also in the hif'il, tells us that Haman caused the lots
to fall. Not addressing whether or not Haman fell (perhaps because he
didn't, yet).

The job of a nasi is to bring out the nosei nature of the people in
his charge, to cause them to be active carriers of their duties.

Vayehi bineso'ah ha'aron -- but nosei aron es nose'av (Sotah 35a).
The aron allows the unity of nisa and nosei, the wholeness of man.


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: Fri, 24 May 2002 14:57:10 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Vague thoughts on Chap. 2 of the Moreh

On Wed, May 22, 2002 at 10:32:32AM -0400, David Riceman wrote:
: I don't have the text here, but if I recall correctly the distinction the
: Rambam is making is between Aristotelian truth and Nietzschean truth, i.e.
: what is really so vs. what can I maintain to best achieve my goals.

I saw it VERY differently.

Before the cheit, Adam and Chava were logical beings, but not axiological
ones. They had no desire for either good or evil. They logically concluded
they ought to be good, and were limited only by their ability to determine
what good was.

After the cheit, they were saddled with to yitzros, and decisions also
involved internal drives that they (and we) now have to choose amongst.

Not that truth changed, but that goals were introduced between man and
his hunt for truth.


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: Fri, 24 May 2002 15:03:55 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Q(u)ibbling about Tehillim

On Wed, May 22, 2002 at 03:09:19AM +0300, Daniel M Wells wrote:
: Asperin is an efficacy for many who have a headache, but it does not
: neccessarily cure all headaches.

: The same goes with tehillim. We have an ancient tradition that at times
: of great need, either personal or communal that Tehillim recital does
: interceed with the Almighty and thus is a efficacy...

We do? We have a tradition that at times of great need, say tehillim.
Is there a tradition that it is said as intecession?

Rather I would say that need creates a good emotional environment to
approach G-d. Any intercenssionary effect is the same as any other
teshuvah step. Normal sechar va'onesh

As for that effect, which I am not /entirely/ denying, I would give
a different mashal.

Newton stated a rule that an object in motion tends to stay in motion
(unless acted upon by an outside force). The law of conservation of

Aristotle didn't give this rule. He thought that objects are given
impetus, which runs out and the object goes to rest.

Newton's theory is emes, however Aristotle's better matches observation.


Because in our normal interactions, there always is an outside force:
friction (including air drag). Not until we got into space could the
underlying principle be demonstrated without adding in other effects.

Similarly, one could argue that sechar va'onesh is given behai alma,
at least to some extent. However, since there always are other factors,
one can not consistantly percieve the rule. This is only one vector
among many.


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: Fri, 24 May 2002 11:51:54 -0400
From: "Gil Student" <gil_student@hotmail.com>
Ikkarei Emunah on the Text of the Torah

I'm moving this to Avodah, if Micha permits. [I do, but I took the
liberty of changing the subject line to be more appropriate as well. -mi]

Moshe Feldman wrote:
>No one has answered the questions I posed yesterday, so I will pose them
>again (slightly differently):
>1. Is Ikkar #8 halachically binding in the same way that Hil Teshuvah (which
>directly based on Sanhed. 99a) is?

I believe it is and have never seen an halahcic authority say otherwise.

>What is the makor for the Rambam's formulation in Ikkar #8--is it perhaps a
>convenient formulation for the masses but not as rigorous as a more
>convoluted formulation would allow?

Sanhedrin 99a - "Even if one says, 'The entire Torah is from Heaven
except for one verse that HKBH did not say but Moshe said on his own'
this is 'Because he has despised the word of the Lord.'"

Note how the passuk ends (Bamidbar 15:31) "Because he has despised the
word of the Lord, and has broken His commandment, that person shall be
completely cut off; his guilt shall be upon him."

One can quibble about what it means to say that Moshe mipi atzmo amaro.
Perhaps the Documentary Hypothesis is not kefirah because it denies that
Moshe wrote anything. After all, if the Torah was written in the time
of Yoshiyahu then certainly Moshe did not say it on his own.

This is IMHO a ridiculous reading of the gemara, although I have seen
it used to justify the DH. It seems to me that the gemara is clear that
anyone who says that a verse (and Rambam extends this to a word) in our
Torah was not said by G-d is someone who "despises the word of the Lord".

>2. What would happen if in some generation there would confusion as to the
>spelling of a certain word in the torah; would all the people be considered
>to have denied the 8th ikkar?  What about the discrepancy between Ashkenazim
>and Sefardim as to the spelling of "dakah" with an aleph or a hey?

Individual letters are not mentioned by the gemara and are actually, in 
limited case, assumed by Chazal to be in doubt (yeseiros and chaseiros).

Gil Student

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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 11:55:04 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: kilalei ba'alei 'hayim

In a message dated 5/23/02 7:59:32pm EDT, BACKON@vms.HUJI.AC.IL writes:
> What R. Zirkind mentioned about featherless chickens (YD 59:2), the
> Rema there explicit that if this is due to too much fat, the chicken' is
> kosher. The Aruch haShulchan 59 # 8 curiously mentions that the Isthenis
> shouldn't eat the chicken ! ...

I had all this in mind, as in general the Mareh Mokoms that I give is
Bgeder Ten Lchochom Vyechkam Od, just a few pointers:

1) Since Bal Tishaktzu is a Halacha in S"A Y"D and the Ramoh permits
one has to say that since we all eat chickens without the feathers hence
at the point of eating there is no Baal Tishaktzu (like in the case of
swallowing a whole fish), of course someone who would be disgusted by
it would have an issue hence "Istenis", however WRT this chicken, if
the majority would be disgusted by it's looks it would become an issue
of Baal Tishaktzu which becomes Ossur for all and we say Botla Datoi,
but since this is just due to cosmetics if one could not tell (where
skinned etc.) it should be permitted.

2) See the Klei Nosim Al Asar that it is not limited to falling off
because of fat and according to the Radvaz due to fat is worse and yet
it is kosher, also from the Loshon it is obvious that a featherless fowl
is not a problem by itself, rather the issue is it's cause, if natural
shouldn't be a problem.

3) the point of whether generic change would impinge on the issue of
"Kabalah" as we don't eat fowl without a tradition (the Shaloh did not
allow turkeys ), (this is addition to the issue already mentioned of what
constitutes a Min), however if all the generic therapy does is shutting
off a gene, all this is Lichora not an issue,

Gut Shabbos, v'Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 12:12:09 -0400
From: Stuart Klagsbrun <sklagsbrun@agtnet.com>
RE: birth control

From:	RaphaelIsaacs@aol.com [SMTP:RaphaelIsaacs@aol.com]
> HOWEVER, it is a davar yadua in the Orthodox world, to any woman or man
> in Amreica who has asked a shaila, that Rabbanim (and I don't mean MO,
> I mean the poskim of the Moetzes variety) REGULARLY allow various methods
> of Birth Control, including the pill, the diaphragm and spermicidal jelly
> for a variety of reasons that fall short of the pikuach nefesh standard.

IIRC, even by the IM the litmus test was sakonah, not pikuach nephesh.

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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 12:38:54 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Posai'ach es yodecho u'masbi'a l'chol chai ratzon

In a message dated 5/24/02 12:08:56pm EDT, micha@aishdas.org writes:
>: Just in case it wasn't mentioned, the Rokeach Teitches it that HKB"H is Zan 
>: Chol Chai Birtzono.

> As you don't give an exact mar'eh maqom, I'll trouble you to answer: Does
> he explain why then David haMelech doesn't end the pasuq 'beratzon[o]'?

The Rokeach on Tfila goes in the order of the Tfilos, and this is found in 
his Pirush of Ashrei, he does not answer that question (at least I didn't 
undersatand one out of his words).

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 12:36:58 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Naso

To add that Noso in addition to counting (and caryying) also menas
to uplift (Bamidbar 16:3), See Shmos Rabba begining of Ki Sisa, see
Targum/Rashi there, also Rashi Breishis 29:1.

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 20:46:09 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Q(u)ibbling about Tehillim

Sometimes you wonder how many of these rabbanim lurk here. The convergance
of topics is amazingly frequent.


5762 - # 33
Rabbi Benjamin Hecht

Sifri, Naso 144 states that God declares "and I will bless you"[1] at the
conclusion of the discussion of the Priestly blessing [2] to clarify that
it is ultimately God alone, and not the Kohanim, that blesses the Jewish
People.[3] Similarly Rabbi Akiva declares, in T.B. Yoma 85b, that it is
God alone that cleanses the Jewish People -- that provides atonement for
the Jewish People4 -- and not Yom Kippur5 or the sacrificial order. Yet
if God is the sole source of forgiveness, what is the very need for Yom
Kippur or atonement sacrifices? If God is the sole source of blessings,
what is the need for the Priestly blessing?

For many, the very idea of brachot, blessings,[6] and tephilla, prayer,
is problematic. If God is All-Powerful and All-Knowing, what exactly
can a blessing or a prayer accomplish? Since God already has all the
information and His decisions are faultless, how can prayer affect the
Divine decision?[7] The only possible answer is that the brachot or
tephillot themselves change the facts and, therefore, necessitate a new
response from God. Effectively, the world that exists before the Priestly
blessing -- which yielded one decision by God -- no longer exists. What
exists now is a world that contains this Priestly blessing and individuals
who were recipients of this blessing. This new world situation calls
for a reconsideration, in a favourable light, of God's original decision.

Brachot and tephillot are, thus, not just requests for mercy or favour
but actually are deemed to change reality. When we pray for someone who is
ill, we are not simply asking from God to heal the individual. By praying,
we are changing the situation. We are declaring that the Divine decision
that resulted in this illness was based on certain facts. These facts
have now changed. There is now an individual requesting mercy -- through
prayer.[8] This is a new fact that must now be considered by God with
the hopeful result that it will result in a new decision of good health.

Yet, how does this work? Why should this new fact effect the overall
situation and lead to the potential for a new decision? The mystic would
answer that that there are unseen forces that exist in the universe that
are affected by human acts, specifically mitzvot. The Priestly blessing,
brachot and tephillot in general -- in fact all mitzvot -- are positive
forces within the olam hanistar, the hidden spiritual world, that in
turn effects the reality that our senses perceive. Just as a medicine
may cure an illness -- actually change the situation -- a blessing may
cure the hidden spiritual problem that is causing the illness.

Rabbi Akiva's statement, as understood by the mystic, is that, while there
is indeed a lack when certain mitzvot cannot be performed, ultimately God
can intervene and override the mystical forces. But the question still
surfaces: why do you need such mystical forces in the first place? To
the mystic, the answer may lie in the very fact that such forces present
a different reality. Connection to this spiritual reality is perceived
to reflect a powerful commitment to God, as a believer responds to
the world inherently differently than a non-believer. In accepting the
significance of the Priestly blessing and acting in desire of it, one
accepts the significance of this act. One thereby declares an acceptance
of a participant God. But can this act still not be bypassed? In a
certain way, Rabbi Akiva still declares the action ultimately irrelevant.

A different model would tie God's involvement in life to the individual
not hidden mystical forces. If a bracha changes the reality, it is
because it changes those actually participating in the bracha and that
change in turn affects the reality. Within this perspective, it is not
the act alone that affects the situation but the effect upon the person
that changes the situation. The Priestly blessing -- both for the Kohanim
and for those they are blessing -- should cause some change in the people
-- in thought or emotion. This is the change that God is now asked to
consider in a re-contemplation of the original decision.[9]

Within this perspective, Rabbi Akiva's statement can now be understood
in a different light. Of course, the loss of the Temple is a loss. The
mitzvot performed within the Temple could have a great effect upon those
who participated and those who watched. We are lacking these mitzvot;
we are lacking these stimuli for personal growth. But they are not
irreplaceable. Ultimately our focus must be upon God and the demand to
meet His standards.


1) Bamidbar 6:27.
2) Further on the mitzvah upon the Kohanim to bless the Jewish People,
see Sefer HaChinuch 378.
3) See, however, Malbim, Bamidbar 6:27 which reflects variant opinions
in regard to this concept. See, also, T.B. Chullin 49a.
4) See Maharsha amongst others.
5) See HaRif in the Ein Yaakov. There are those that contend that Rabbi
Akiva specifically made this statement in response to the theological
attacks of the early Christians upon the Jewish populace. The Christians
would challenge that without the Temple, and the sacrificial service
therein, there was no hope for atonement unless one adopted the Christian
faith. Rabbi Akiva answered with this declaration that it is God Who
forgives and the lack of a Temple -- or, in fact, any external factor --
cannot and does not detract from God's Ability to grant atonement.
6) Obviously we are referring to blessings upon people, not brachot that
are said in preparation to performing mitzvot, eating or the like.
7) In requesting mercy, for example, from another human being, one is
effectively asking the person in power to change -- to change his/her
emotions or his/her internal response to the situation. Alternatively,
in support of the call for mercy, one may present new information about
the matter or the person that demands a new consideration of the facts
and the decision. Both these possible explanations of mercy are not
conceivable in relation to God.
8) It should be noted that in the Talmud, the word rachamim (or a
derivative term) is often used for prayer.
9) To illustrate the distinction between these two models, consider
the call to check mezuzot. when people have misfortune To the mystic,
a proper or improper mezuzah affects the olam hanistar thus the call for
investigation. The focus is clearly on the mezuzah. Within the second model,
the individual is the focus. Cheshban hanefesh, personal reflection on self,
is the priority. Proponents of this model may, therefore, actually discourage
individuals from checking mezuzot as this may redirect people from focusing on
"checking themselves."


"...for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the
nations, who shall hear all these statutes, and say, surely this great
nation is a wise and understanding people." (Devarim 4:6)

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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 13:25:29 -0400
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Re: Posai'ach es yodecho u'masbi'a l'chol chai ratzon

In Avodah V9 #37, YZirkind replied:
> Just in case it wasn't mentioned, the Rokeach Teitches it that HKB"H
> is Zan Chol Chai Birtzono.

I have no problem with that p'shat ;-)...but the question remains
what precisely is [the definition of] His Ratzon? As Micha noted,
I explained it in terms of "chain," but not in terms of gashmius (and
see the beginning of Vayikra 1).

All the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ

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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 13:40:22 -0400
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Re: Tikkun Leil Shavuos - learn all about it !

In Avodah V9 #32, Mordechai writes re 'Shorshei Minhag Ashkenaz' Vol. III:
> 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' [TlS] may be somewhat questionable.

> Perhaps the term should only be applied to recitation of the printed tikkun.

Especially if "tikkun" implies an authoritative, n'sakain version. As the
saider of my TlS goes through all of TaNaCh and ShaS (with quotes from
the beginning and end of each sedrah and perek), I certainly do hope it
was once done b'chaburah uv'nigunim, because we're trying to evoke the
atmosphere of "vayichan sham Yisrael" (i.e. everyone together), not to
mention it's not the sort of thing one would do biychidus within an hour
or two.

All the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ

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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 20:54:33 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Tikkun Leil Shavuos - learn all about it !

On Fri, May 24, 2002 at 01:40:22PM -0400, MPoppers@kayescholer.com wrote:
: Especially if "tikkun" implies an authoritative, n'sakain version...

I thought tikkun leil Shavu'os was about repairing the night of
Shavu'os, probably (although now I'm progressivelly further out on a
limb by combining medrash and qabbalah) from the kelipos created by our
oversleeping at the actual event.

And nothing to do with takkanos (which repair other things).


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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 13:59:20 -0400
From: "Gil Student" <gil_student@hotmail.com>
Re: birth control

>True, I have noticed the lack of written teshuvos permitting birth control.

See the Birth Control in Jewish Law by R. David M. Feldman. He is
just as encyclopedic as (if not more than) his son whose name has been
popping up on Areivim lately. Granted, the book is a few decades old.
But just about anything that had been written on the topic by around
1970 is mentioned in the book.

Gil Student

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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 14:16:23 -0400
From: Arie Folger <afolger@ymail.yu.edu>
Re: kilaei ba'alei 'hayim

RJB wrote: << Since this new stock of chicken was created by gene therapy
rather than by having 2 chickens copulate, I can't see any issur here.>>

Was it? I understood gene therapy had nothing to do with it. The AP
article was short on technical details, and I thought this was an old
fashinioned hybrid, alas through artificial insemination. Please post
some documentation I may have missed WRT the method.

Reb'n GA asked: <<How does one determine a min halachically?>>

By figuring out the name of the min. Thus, horses and donkeys are separate
species, halakhikally, as are apples and pears, while in other cases,
less related species could be one min. This is mentioned at least
explicitly in SA hil. kilaei ilan (forgot siman, no SA at office).

RGA: <<A Rav ruled that a bird breeding friend of mine could not breed
these birds with one another nor with thoroughbred canaries even though
no direct handling is employed.>>

?? I thought that this prohibition is only when making the animals work,
not when they are freely roaming (in their cage - is that the problem?)

Arie Folger

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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 14:17:11 -0400
From: Chaim G Steinmetz <cgsteinmetz@juno.com>
Waiting to daven maariv on Shavuos

See Hamek Dovor (netziv) Emor 23:21 who feels (based on the posuk)
that there in no din of Tosfos YT on Shovuos. See also Meshech Chochmoh on
that posuk.

In the earlier sources of this din, only kiddush is mentioned (Shu"t
Masaas Binyomin, S'hlo, Pri Chodosh). VAKML.

Chaim G. Steinmetz

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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 13:05:09 -0700 (MST)
From: Daniel Israel <daniel@pluto.ame.arizona.edu>
Re: z"l vs a"h

Joel Rich wrote:
>I was recently told by 2 Rabbis that z"l is traditionally used for men and 
>a"h for women.

Gil Student
> What about the popular phrases David HaMelech alav hashalom (DHA"H) and  
> Moshe Rabbeinu alav hashalom (MRA"H)?

I don't have any source for this but I assumed that z"l refers to our
actual memories of the person, and as we don't have actual memories of
people from earlier doros, so a"h is more appropriate.

Daniel M. Israel
<daniel@cfd.ame.arizona.edu>		1130 North Mountain Ave.
Dept. of Aerospace & Mechanical		The University of Arizona
  Engineering				Tucson, AZ  85711

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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 17:44:06 -0400
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: birth control

With regard to using birth control when a man has fulfilled pru urvu
and his family is facing financial difficulties:

I would like to thank Rav Yehuda Herzl Henkin for pointing me to
his Tshuva in Bnei Banim 2:38. Micha has kindly put it on line at
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/faxes/birthControl.pdf> (you can skip the
second paragraph, which deals with a different issue). My response is
based on that tshuva (but I have added my own thoughts) and I recommend
that you read the tshuvah in full as it discusses the subject in greater
length. I also recommend the discussion in Rav Ellenson "Ish v'Ishto"
pp. 44-53.

1. Essentially the issue is the hagdarah of the rabbinic mitzvah of
"l'erev al tanach yadecha" (see Yevamos 62b, quoting Rav Yehoshua that
because of this, one who fulfilled pru urvu and whose wife has passed away
should marry another wife so that he can have more children): (1) Rashi
there says that it's "k'tzas mitzvah;" Ramban in Milchamos says "mitzvah
drabanan hee k'minhag derech eretz" and consequently one who doesn't do
it is not called an avaryan; (2) Rambam (Ishus 15:16) implies that this
is a mitzvah drabbanan like other drabbanans, and actually cites his own
reason for the mitzvah--whoever adds another Jewish life is like one who
has built the world. Rav Henkin shows how the Rambam is a daas yachid.
(Rav Ellenson suggests that even Rambam agrees with Ramban, as Rambam
paskens that one who has fulfilled pru urvu may marry a barren woman;
BTW, it's not that common in our day that an older man whose wife passes
away marries davka a young wife!!)

If the mitzvah is really a minhag derech eretz or a mitzvah d'rabbanan
k'tzas, it makes sense that one should not have sacrifice his financial
well-being to fulfill it. As I recall, even for a mitzvas aseh d'oraisa,
one need not spend more than 20% of his property, kal v'chomer here.
In the tshuvah, Rav Henkin specifically permitted using birth control
in a situation where a family had 9 children and if they had more, they
would have financial difficulties (also, the husband was nervous about
having an unhealthy child).

BTW, if it's derech eretz, then R Seth Mandel's point makes sense: If
you're not supposed to have children during times of famine because of
derech eretz, even if the point is that you are supposed to share the
tzaar of others, this may still show that it's derech eretz not to have
children you cannot afford. (Reminiscent of "hanheg bahem minhag derech
eretz"--to work in addition to learning.)

2. A second idea is that one may use birth control to put space between
children after one has fulfilled pru urvu. See Birkei Yosef (Even haEzer
1:2) who says that pru urvu requires constant trying, while l'erev al
tanach yadecha doesn't require that, only that you do not abandon having
children entirely. Rav Yosef Eliyahu Henkin (grandfather of RYHH, who
in the tshuva calls him "mori zekeini") apparently allowed 4 to 5 years
between children (among other reasons, for the sake of proper chinuch
of the child. (Sorry, that's not in the tshuvah I faxed, just in the
miluim in the back.)

From: Carl and Adina Sherer [mailto:sherer@actcom.co.il]
> If that's the case, why not say that you have to make that accounting 
> l'chatchila and not take a job in a low paying field? By your logic, 
> what justification is there for someone taking a job as a teacher or 
> a social worker? No. Jews aren't expected to do accountings like 
> that. Parnassa is fixed from Rosh HaShanna to Rosh HaShanna (except 
> what you spend on Shabbos and Yom Tov)....

That's Rav Dessler's shitah. The Rambam would say that there is a direct
relationship between your hishtadlus and the result, just that you need
Hashem's blessing (im Hashem lo yivneh ir, shav amlu bonav bo). So if
you know that your salary is $XX,000 and each child costs $X,000 for
each child's education, clothes etc (at a low standard of living, meat
only for Shabbos, etc.), you shouldn't undertake financial obligations
which b'drech hateva you can't afford.

> > [Me:] While parnassa is mazal, and determined on Rosh Hashana, aren't there
> > gemaras which say that much of this mazal is decreed from the time the
> > person is born?  

> [Carl:] I think those relate to general mazal (and whom you marry) and not to 
> parnassa from year to year. 

See Moed Katan 28a: Rava said that banai, chayai and mezonai...b'mazla
talya milsa.

[Carl, talking about my comparison between affording having more children and
affording to make aliyah:] 
> But there are a couple of major differences there. Making aliya is
> (according to most poskim) a mitzva kiyumis and not a chiyuv. Pru u'rvu is
> a chiyuv. And while you're mekayem the mitzva with a son and a daughter
> or with two sons, there's still an issur of hotzoas zera l'batala, which
> is the reason (AIUI) why you have to get a heter for birth control in the
> first place. Not to mention "ba'erev al tanach yadecha" as noted above.

We are talking about one who has fulfilled pru urvu. According Ramban
that l'erev al tanach yadecha is derech eretz, that would seem to be
less important than a mitzvah kiyumis.

As to hotzoas zera lvatalah: that is only an issue if you try to do birth
control in a way which interferes with the zera entering the uterus (BTW,
even there, it's a machlokes--see R. David Feldman's book). If you use
the pill, there is definitely no HZL. See Igros Moshe EhE 4:72 os 2.

Reb Carl also wrote about the fact that some families had 10 children
in Europe. That is no r'aya as then the Pill (the most kosher form of
birth control) did not exist then.

Kol tuv,

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