Avodah Mailing List

Volume 09 : Number 066

Thursday, July 25 2002

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 11:33:03 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Re: displaying affection

In a message dated 7/22/02 11:21:50am EDT, azz@lsr.nei.nih.gov writes:
> The Ramah (OC 98:1) writes that it is prohibited to kiss one's young
> children in shul so as to establish in one's heart that one's strongest
> love (especially in shul) should be reserved for God. He is quoting
> Shoot Binyamin Zeev (163)... Rav Shalom Messas in Shut Shemesh
> u'Magen defends the custom and argues that the Ramah emphasized "one's
> small children" because it is specifically for them that one feels a
> deep affection and therefore they should not be kissed in shul.

Interesting that it appears there(dealing with kavana) and not in
151(kavod for bet knesset). Any thoughts?

Also the binyamin zev quoted there just says children, not small
children.I wonder if that is the basis for R' Messas approach?


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Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 11:54:30 -0400
From: arnold.lustiger@exxonmobil.com
Rabbi Kessin's Speech

I believe that Rabbi Kessin's CCHF speech was unique, perhaps
in a disturbing way. In today's environment of suicide bombing and
anti-semitism, there is a profound desire to understand the source of our
profound tzarot, to understand "what we are doing wrong". Without a navi
to reprove us, all we can really do is generate informed hypotheses. Rabbi
Kessin presented the case that our present day tzarot stem from lashon
hara, based on his reading of history in light of kabbalah. The message
may be compelling, but is one allowed to be so definitive in the lack
of present day nevua? The speech was introduced on the video with many
haskamot from gedolim, so perhaps my concern is misplaced.

Arnie Lustiger

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Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 11:41:21 -0400
From: David Riceman <dr@insight.att.com>
Re: Houses in Chu"l

> I seem to recall learning once that halacha is against building a
> permanent living structure in chu"l. Can anyone corroborate that with a
> more substantial source than "recall learning once"?

The Shlah (at the end of masseches sukkah) says that one should not (I
think he means it as a middas chassidus rather than an actual prohibition)
purchase a house in Chu"l which has more room than one needs right now.
I mentioned this to my wife when we were house-hunting several years ago;
and she responded that need expands to fill available space.

David Riceman

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Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 12:11:57 -0400
From: Stuart Klagsbrun <sklagsbrun@agtnet.com>
RE: Rabbi Kessin's Speech

From: arnold.lustiger@exxonmobil.com
> Rabbi Kessin presented the case that our present day tzarot stem from
> lashon hara, based on his reading of history in light of kabbalah. The
> message may be compelling, but is one allowed to be so definitive in
> the lack of present day nevua? The speech was introduced on the video
> with many haskamot from gedolim, so perhaps my concern is misplaced.

does his speech still include a heavy dose of moshiach ben yosaif
suffering for us and waiting for us to return in teshuva?

Arnie Lustiger

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Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 13:32:54 -0400
From: "Gil Student" <gil_student@hotmail.com>
Re: displaying affection

Ari Zivotofsky wrote:
> Rav Ovadia Yosef (Yechave Da'at 4:12) extends this to kissing anyone
> else, such as the oleh after he finishes his aliyah. The only exception
> he makes is to kiss the hand of someone that you are required to honor
> such as the hand of a rav or father.

The She'arim Metzuyanim BaHalachah on Avodah Zarah 17a also extends this to
kissing anyone else based on the story there of Ulla who kissed his sister
specifically after he left shul.  Based on Rashi there, it would seem that
there is no exception for a father.

Gil Student

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Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 22:02:25 -0400
From: Arie Folger <afolger@ymail.yu.edu>
Re: Who *wrote* the mishnah?

>:> Judging from the number of machlokesin between beis Shammai and beis
>:> Hillel that survived for generations (there were still Shammutim a
>:> generation before Rebbe, if not his generation as well), I don't think
>:> Sanhedrin worked that way. At least not after the fall of the lishkas
>:> hagazis.

Arie Folger wrote:
>: Please elaborate. Do you mean that Sanhedrin did not legislate away
>: disagreements, or that they did not legislate away *all* disagreements?

> I don't know how its authority changed, just that there is strong
> indication it did.
> Let's look at the timing. The exile from the LhG was 40 years before
> the churban. Hillel and Shammai were of the last generation before that
> exile. Probably no coincidence that they were also the last of the zugos.
> When their students need a machloqes resolved, they didn't go to the
> Sanhedrin. They themselves hold a vote in the upstairs room of Chananiah
> ben Chizqiyah ben Gurion's mansion. (This was before the ben Gurion
> family lost their wealth in the war for Y'laim.) At that time, Beis
> Shammai had the majority, and halachah kemosam on the things they voted.

My understanding was not that the students were arguing. Stam students
wouldn't have that authority. My understanding was that the students of
Hillel and Shammai were in the Sanhedrin, and as members would retire from
the Sanhedrin (probably usually when passing away, although illness and
"personal and familial reasons" may have existed already in those days)
and new ones would be appointed, the balance would usually be in favour
of Hillel's psakim. The one time when there was a vote at the home of
Chananiah ben Chizqiyah ben Gurion must have been a special event (I don't
remember whether it was because they came to visit RCBCBG because the
latter was sick or whatever), and they held the Sanhedrin's session there
rather than in the lishkat hagazit, which is probably fine as they were
not dealing with dinei nefashot anyway. Thus, this story proves nothing.

> In general, we follow the bas qol that halachah keBeis Hillel. Except,
> as Tosafos point out ad loc, we learn from the story of the tanur shel
> achna'i that we don't pasqen according to benos qol. (Is that the proper
> plural?) Tosafos answer that here the bas qol "merely" confirms what the
> halachah would be even in its absence, since BH was the greater in number.

> Again, it's not resolved by the Sanhedrin's vote. But rather, the majority
> of the ba'alei pelugta.

We have too little historical detail here to make such inferences, IMHO.

> : Good point. May be Rebbi *was* refering to Mishnah, or may be to Beraita,
> : or may be even when they had a written Mishnah it was still considered
> : better to know them by heart, as it is an index to TSBP. FYI, the Agudah
> : still promotes that through siyum mishnayot, where a large number of
> : boys compete showing who can memorize more mishnayot.
> My argument stands as long as "mishnah" refers to halachah pesuqah,
> not the whole thought process leading to the pesaq. The kind of material
> found in the mishnayos Rebbe compiled. As opposed to your claim that it
> means "more than just the text".

Except I consider that Mishnah is not halakhah psukah, as there is too much 
information missing from the Mishnah to be able to use it as even a kitzur.

Arie Folger

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Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 17:18:42 -0400
From: "Stein, Aryeh" <AStein@wtplaw.com>
FW: kavana

>>>R' Chaim Meir Hager z"l (the Vizhnitzer Rebbe; died 1972) offers the
following suggestions for improving the quality of our prayers:>>>>

One eitzah to improve kavana during shemonah esrei is: if one's mind has
a tendency to wander, daven from a siddur *quickly*, not slowly. This is
counter-intuitive to many of us who grew up thinking that the longer the
shemonah esrei, the better. While this obviously can be true, for those of
us with wandering minds, it is better to daven quickly.


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Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 22:52:06 -0400
From: Arie Folger <afolger@ymail.yu.edu>
Re: Milk and Fish together--prohibited?

Reb Ari Z. Zivotofsky wrote:
>  Dr. Fred Rosner (Tradition, 35:2(Summer 2001), p.
> 42 is in error when he writes "Very few people, if any, nowadays follow
> this recommendation."

I am not sure. I am half Sephardi, and never heard this from my Morocan
relatives. The only people I know of that are careful about that are
'Hassiedim. Undoubtedly, some of the Israeli Sephardim are makpid. Ma
be even many, but I haven't met them, in France, which is an important
yishuv of S.

Also, you mention that Ramo considers the account in BY re fish+milk being
sakanah a printing error. I am not sure about the printing part. It seemed
pretty clear to me that he meant that rabby Yosef Qaro himself made the
error, and indeed, the pun, in hilkhot bassar be'halav, was intended.

Arie Folger

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Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 19:28:23 EDT
From: HaLeviY@aol.com
recitation of piyyutim

Does anyone know either of a sefer or articles that deal with the history
of the recitation (or lack thereof) of piyyutim in Ashkenazi circles?


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Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 20:20:37 -0400
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
houses in chu"l

<<Tzavo'as R' Yehuda he'Chasid includes a stricture against building a
house where no house has ever been built before.>>

There is a teshuvos Chasam Sofer addressing the question; I don't recall
the location or the answer (I saw it about 30 years ago!) but maybe
someone could find it with a BarIlan.


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Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 11:03:25 -0400
From: "Gil Student" <gil_student@hotmail.com>
Re: Who *wrote* the mishnah?

Regarding the machlokes Beis Shammai/Beis Hillel, the 18 davar, and
the Sanhedrin, I highly recommend reading R' Reuven Margoliyos' Yesod
HaMishnah Va'Arichasah ch. 1.

Gil Student

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Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 15:14:15 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
Review of Torah journal - Mevakshei Torah - Iyar 5762

I am a sometime subscriber to an interesting Torah journal "Mevakshei
Torah" published by R' Sholom Eliezer Rotter (son of R' Aharon Yeshaye --
mechaber of Shaarei Aharon on Rashi, v'od).

Lately it seems to have special 'theme' issues with the 2 I just received
(together) -- Iyar and Tammuz 5762 -- being on 'Chuppah veKiddushin'.

I have made a few quick notes as I browsed through the Iyar issue --
hopefully they will be of interest to some on Avodah. (I haven't yet
had a chance to look at the Tammuz issue which is on the same theme --
as were a few earlier issues.)

These current issues are dedicated to Rav Schach z'l (and repeat a quote
from his tzavo'eh on the cover). It also features a full-page condolence
notice which includes about 12 lines (!) of 'titles' and honorifics for
RS -- even one which I thought was usually reserved for Chassidic Rebbes
-- "K'vod Kedushas Adoneinu Moreinu veRabeinu". And then -- in another
imitation of chassidim, who -- cholileh -- never mention their Rebbes'
name -- mentions RS only as "Baal Avi Ezri".

(Famous story of the Gerer rebbe -- the Lev Simcha -- who took over
the mantle at the age of 80. [He used to claim that the only other
Jewish leader to do so at this age was Moshe Rabeinu...] He was, until
then known by all as "Reb Bunim". In the early days of his 'melucheh',
the gabai inadvertantly addressed him as 'Reb Bunim' and immediately
realising his faux pas,
 'um' and 'aahrred' and tried to get out of the embarrassing mess.
The rebbe responded with "Zog shnell Boruch Shem K'vod Malchusoy...")

An ad for the latest [10th] version of the Bar Ilan Torah CD -- now
including 321 Shut seforim and an index of 18,000 topics in 400 Torah
journals -- price 2400 shekel (in 10 easy payments).
For an extra 400 shekel you get the entire Encyclopaedia Talmudis.

It includes a hesped by the editor on Rav Schach, RS's minhogim
when being mesdader kiddushin, the 3rd chelek of horo'os on chuppah
vekidushin from RSZ Auerbach (the first 2 -- were in earlier editions)
and many other features and tshuvos on related topics -- including one
about writing psukim as well as using Ksav Ashuris on invitations and
if they require genizeh.

(It quotes Tshuvos Ksav Sofer [EH22], saying that a hazmono to a
Simchas Mitzva is also a Dvar Mitzvah and therefore invitations in
KA are permitted -- "v'chein nohag haChS. OTOH, I have a photocopy of
the invitation sent by the KS for the wedding of his son Rav Shimon --
later Erlauer rov -- [held on Alef d'RCh Ador sheini 5630] which is a
very plain and definitely non-KA type. In fact it is quite amazing to
see the 'tzenius' and modesty of this G-dol Hador in the invitation. He
simply signs himself as 'Avrohom Shmuel Binyomin BH"G MHRM"S ZT"L'.
Not a word about being Rov and RY of that Ir v'em beyisroel -- Pressburg
and not even clearly stating who his father was!
To be honest, when I first saw this invitation, I was convinced -- by
the low-key tones in the nusach -- that this was some 'zivvug sheini'
or similar problematic case where the chasuna was not to be publicised
to too many people.
[Lemaaseh, RSS did marry 3 times -- but this was the 1st.]
However, when I looked up (the excellent biographical sefer) "Chut
Hameshulosh" (by another son of the KS, Rav Shlomo -- rav of Beregszaz)
-- there is a whole chapter about this chasene and the unbelievable 'kvod
melochim' given to the KS whilst journeying to the venue in Kleinverdein
-- with hundreds of Yidden waiting him at every train station -- 'besupim
BTW -- for those into such matters -- interesting wording "..Kol Koreh
leMA"K bikrioh shel chiboh "Lehisareiv" besimchoseinu beyom hamugbal
lechasunas b'neinu...")

Back to MT journal. There are many 'Maaseh Rav's' -- from gedolim of
today and recent generations, including one from the Chazon Ish saying
that there is no chashash of bitul Torah when helping someone research
a shidduch. Rav Schach agreeing -- indeed praising someone for marrying
a frum giyores -- saying in it preferable to a shidduch where there are
s'feikos on the parents TH.

Rav Schach's advice that after satisfactory 'birurim ' and info for
a shidduch -- 3 meetings (dates) are sufficient. After engagement the
choson/kallah should only meet once every 3-4 weeks and the the wedding
should be planned ASAP.

Rav Elyashiv's strong views against the kallah baking cakes and sending
them to the choson in Yeshiva. The minhag of going to the cemetery and
inviting departed parents to the simcha. Minhag (old) Ashkenaz to make
a seuda similar to a Sholom Zochor -- Friday night before the wedding.

A nice vort from the Avudraham:
Yom Tov and weekdays the Shmono Esre nusach is the same for all 3 tefilos.
So what is the reason that on Shabbos we have 4 different versions for
tefilos SE?

He answers that Shabbos is called "kallah" and HKBH a "choson". Therefore
Friday evening we say Ato Kidashto -- al shem Kiddushin that the Choson
gives the Kallah. Then Yismach Moshe -- refers to Simchas Choson veKallah.
Mussaf is al shem Tosfos Ksubeh (and also al shem the korbonos 'k'ein
Seudas Mitzva", with Ato Echod -- al shem -- Yichud of choson/kallah...

[An off topic (and there are a few of those) -- showing that although he
is a fully fledged 2nd generation [gevoreneh] Litvak -- the editor has not
completely abandoned his Hungarian yichus -- he brings that in 1947 as an
illegal boat laden with Hungarian 'charedim' was approaching EY, someone
went to the CI to be mispallel for their safe arrival. The CI replied:
"Hungarian Jews are coming? A ship with Maharsho is coming!! Hungarian
Jews learn Maharsho and avadai HSYB will help them arrive besholom."

At another time the CI -- upon hearing about the aliya of Hungarian Jews
-- said" "Ch'valles (waves) fun Yiras Shomayim zenen ongekumen...!"]

B'shem the CS (and Rav Schach) that a Choson b'yom chuposo has the
ko'ach of a tzadik hador with his tefiloh. RSZA often asked chasanim to
be mispallel for him and gave them his name "Shlomo Zalmen ben Tzivyah".

The daughter of the Tzemach Tzedek went into her father on the day of
her wedding for his brocho after which he asked her to 'bentch' him. She
did so and added: "Al tehi birchas kallah hedyot b'einecho..."

In addition to not meeting or talking by telephone, Rav Elyashiv bans
choson/kallah sending letters to each other -- the week prior to the

On a topic we have previously discussed -- it talks about the brocho
of parents to the choson/kallah and brings the Peileh Yoetz who writes
that one should go to his parents every Friday evening to be bentched --
as their brocho is 'kroyvoh lehiskayem' -- as they give their blessings
'b'leiv sholem' -- 'kerachem ov al bonim'. And he brings a midrash that
all of the 'toyvoh umamlocho' that Eisov's descendants have is because
he was machshiv Yitzchok's brocho when he said 'Borcheinu gam oni ovi"
and 'Vayitsak tse'oko gedolo umoro".

Also on an earlier thread -- no solution to the mystery of the source
for the brocho for girls '...Kesoroh Rivkah, Rochel veLeah".

Minhag of RSZA -- that for his first child -- he and his rebetzen
were 'unterfirers' but for his 2nd -- the unterfeerer was his married
son and DIL -- and for the 3rd -- his 2nd son and DIL etc -- v'chein
leholoh! RSZA's children claim it is a minhag Yerusholayim.

 From Rav Gedalya Shorr z'l -- a reason why a 'vort' is so called... taken
from the posuk "MeHashem yotzo haDOVOR..."

I highly recommend subscribing to this journal -- which is always
interesting and relevant. 5 issues per year. 60 shekel in EY and
$50 in ChuL [by airmail]. Address Rabbi Rotter, 10 Harav Blau Street,
[kenisah 5], Jerusalem. Tel: 02-5817 917.

Shlomo B Abeles

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Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 21:30:37 +0200
From: "Mishpachat Freedenberg" <free@actcom.co.il>
RE: Rabbi Kessin's Speech

>> Rabbi Kessin presented the case that our present day tzarot stem from
>> lashon hara, based on his reading of history in light of kabbalah.  The 
>> message may be compelling, but is one allowed to be so definitive in 
>> the lack of present day nevua? The speech was introduced on the video

>> with many haskamot from gedolim, so perhaps my concern is misplaced.

> does his speech still include a heavy dose of moshiach ben yosaif
> suffering for us and waiting for us to return in teshuva?

What does one thing have to do with the other?

By the way, I am very wary of people stating that it is aveira A or B
that ALL of our current tzarot come from. Now, I am sure that our tzarot
come from all aveiros that klal Yisrael is doing, but it is very hard
to hold that we know which aveira that is causing which tzara. We don't
have tzaraas from LH any more, so Hashem is not giving us such blatant
hints as we used to be privileged to get.

I believe that in Kol Ha Tor by the GR"A he teaches that Moshiach ben
Yosef will come first and almost be killed and then Moshiach ben David
will come. I don't recall the GR"A holding that Moshiach ben Yosef
is sitting at the gates to Yerushalayim yet suffering and wrapping
and re-wrapping his bandages quite yet. From where does the idea that
Moshiach ben Yosef is already here come?


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Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2002 02:16:16 +0200
From: "Daniel Eidensohn" <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Machlokes resolution and Sanhedrin

Regarding the question raised as to how could there be an unresolved
machlokes while there was Sanhedrin I have found two suggestions.

1) Most of the debates recorded in the gemora refer to the period when
in fact there was no Sanhedrin. The Ramban notes in Sefer HaMitzvos
(Positive #153) that when the Sanhedrin left the Beis Hamikdash not only
was there no more judging of capital cases - but there was no longer
a Sanhedrin. This is not a daas yichid as explained by Marganisa Tova
(Shoresh I) that the Rambam would also agree that Lo Sasur as source of
rabbinic authority only applied to the Sanhedrin in the Beis HaMikdash
and afterwards it was only an asmachta as the gemora in Berachos(19b)
states and gemora (Shabbos 23a) implies. Kuzari (3:39) notes that we
only say a beracha on Megilla and Chanukah, eiruvin, netilas yadayim
"who has commanded us" because they were decreed by the Sanhedrin that
functioned when the Temple was functioning "HAD OUR TRADITIONAL CUSTOMS
NOR WOULD THEY REQUIRE A BLESSING... See also Rav Elchonon Wasserman
(Divrei Sofrim 2:1) who also indicates that the command of lo sasur was
only an asmachta after Sanhedrin left the Temple. A clear indication
of this lack of authority can be seen in the gemora Kesubos(49b-50a)
in the discussion of Takanos Usha where the gemora asks whether such
takanos such as child support, education, and limiting tzedakah to
a fifth are actually halacha. If they were the decrees of a genuine
Sanhedrin then the only reason that they would not be halacha is if
they were never accepted or if a greater beis din rejected them -
neither option is suggested by the gemora. Thus the actual authority
of the halacha discussed in the gemora is apparently not from a genuine
Sanhedrin but as the Rambam states in the introduction to Mishna Torah
and the Kesef Mishna states in Chapter two of Mamrim is result of the
acceptance of klall Yisroel (or as the Chazon Ish states because Chazal
were acknowledged as superior to subsequent generations).[Or they were
created by Anshei Knesses HaGedolah according to Doros HaRishonim]. Thus
Sanhedrin did not resolve disputes post churban because there wasn't any
Sanhedrin. Instead there were rulings by various gatherings of chachomim
some of which were called Sanhedrin as the gemora in Rosh HaShanna (31a)
indicates that there were ten exiles of Sanhedrin. This virtual Sanhedrin
continues today where the Rema (Choshen Mishpat 2:1) rules that decrees
of community leaders are like that of those made by Beis Din HaGadol (see
also Rashba ascribed to Ramban #280). A similar phenomenon is found with
the virtual authority of semicha when none in fact exists (Rivash #228)
or that it is only rabbinic (Nesivos HaMishpat Choshen Mishpat 1:1).

2) An alternative explanation found in Chikrei Lev (Y. D. 1:88 page 444-)
accepts that in fact Sanhedrin existed after the Churban. He says that
unresolved debates resulted from not being able to kill zakein mamre. In
other words without the ability of Sanhedrin to kill or at least to
threaten to kill dissenting individuals there was no way to assure
acceptance of the majority position of the court. He notes, however, that
Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel represent a problem to this proposal since
in fact Sanhedrin still had the ability to execute at that time. He cites
the Meiri (Sanhedrin 88b) that Zakein Mamre only applies to a single
individual disputing the rulings of the 71 judges of Sanhedrin. If
there is even a single judge who agrees with him then he can't have
the din of zakein mamre and thus can not be executed for dissent. Thus
Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel could not be resolved by threat of capital
punishment since there were too many dissenters. He asserts that the
Ramban aggrees with the Meiri. Thus only the realistic threat of death
or actual execution will get talmidei chachomim to consistently abandon
positions they feel are valid and not simply the view of the majority.

Thus according to both approaches post churban Sanhedrin could not force
resolution of disputes simple on the basis of its authority as Sanhedrin
- but could encourage acceptance by other means such as persuasion,
loyalty of students or use of social sanctions as we find today.

                        Daniel Eidensohn

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