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Volume 10 : Number 023

Wednesday, October 9 2002

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 09:59:34 +0200
From: "Mishpachat Freedenberg" <free@actcom.co.il>
RE: air conitioning, kvius, and tzaar

>> but it is a bit sad that your joy of being in the sukka is dependent 
>> on everything being "perfect". There is so much to be joyful about 
>> while sitting in the sukkah, no matter the heat of the day.

> The Rama says that someone who is mitztaer and nonetheless sits in the
> sukkah is a fool (IIRC he uses the word hedyot, slightly different in
> meaning but similar in force).

Are you saying that a joyful person does not feel tzaar?

I am saying that there are ways to avoid the situation of being mitztaer
over certain things. It would seem to me to be far better to find a way
to solve a problem before it crops up than to just allow it to happen
and then say, "oh, well, I don't really have to sit here if I find it
a bit unpleasant".

>> A sukkah is NOT supposed to be "Effective Housing". It is supposed to

>> be a temporary hut, rather flimsy and not too tall [but not too short] 
>> the reasons we go "out into the sukkah" is to remind ourselves that 
>> the walls of our home that seem so sturdy are but an illusion, as it 
> is really Hashem who shelters us... 

> So why is there a ptur of mitztaer?

Because there are some situations that we cannot help by advance planning,
such as being rainstormed on. Well, I suppose one could say that you could
live in EY where it doesn't generally rain on Sukkot, but it has rained
here once in a great while on Sukkot also. The one year that it did rain
and force people inside [and it *really* poured, not just sprinkled] we
were reminded that if one is sitting in the sukka and is forced out due to
rain, it is like the servant who brings his master a cup of water and the
master throws it back in his face; in other words, that the Master does
not want your service and he finds fault with you for some reason. Since
Sukkot is the zman simchateinu, if being in the sukkah causes us to be
very unhappy we are allowed to leave it, but we should do everything in
our power to avoid this situation by proper advance planning.

>> Again, the sukkah is supposed to be breezy and a bit flimsy

> I would love to see a halachic source saying this.  Is sturdiness a
> psul in sukka?

Of course it isn't. However, the materials that are traditionally used
to build a sukka are breezy and flimsy. The mishna even discusses bundles
of twigs as kosher walls [but not kosher schach].

>> I am quite sure that homes were always more comfortable than sukkot
>> during the last thousand or so years ....   Sukkah is a mitzva that is
>> perfectly suited to the
>> climate in Eretz Yisrael, with its hot days and beautiful, cool nights.

> These two sentences seem to contradict each other. Perhaps you could
> explain further.

You were saying that maybe houses were not as comfortable as sukkot
and I am saying that I am pretty sure that this is not so. However,
the easiest place and most comfortable place to live in the "great
outdoors" at this time of year is EY. In other words, if you have
to build a temporary, flimsy structure to live outside in, the most
comfortable and logical place to build it is in EY. However, homes in
EY are still more comfortable than sukkot here, as I have never worried
that a spirited child will knock down the walls of my home the way that
I must be concerned about the wooden panels of my sukka. Hopefully that
is a clearer explanation.


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Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 20:57:44 GMT
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
Re: Chol HaMoed Sukkos Eating bread in an airplane

R' Carl Sherer wrote: <<< Moreover, maybe the mitzva of Succa has the
bila rule - kol ha'rauy l'bila ain bila m'akeves. If I have a Succa
available but I choose to drink water and eat dates and not eat in a
Succa that's okay, but to put myself in a position where a Succa is not
available where there is no reason to put myself in that position is wrong
(Rav Lichtenstein) or assur (Rav Moshe).>>>

I'm not sure what he meant. I see two possibilities:

(1) If I have a Succa available but I choose to drink water and eat
dates and not eat in a Succa that's okay, but to go where a Succa is
not available and there's no reason to go there is wrong/assur, EVEN if
I plan to eat only water and dates.

(2) If I have a Succa available but I choose to drink water and eat
dates and not eat in a Succa that's okay, but to go where a Succa is
not available and there's no reason to go there is wrong/assur, if I am
planning on relying on Holchei Drachim to have a Seudas Keva. BUT if I
plan to drink water and eat dates it is okay.

If he meant #2, then he and I think alike. But most posters seem to
think that both Ravs Lichtenstein and Feinstein are against day trips,
even if planning on eating only water and dates.

I have written before that I consider the writings of Ravs Lichtenstein
and Feinstein to be vague on that point, and so I will not argue against
reading them that way. HOWEVER, if one is going to invoke the concept
of tzitzis, and and give people a big mussar about how they should be
trying to actively seek out the mitzvah of sukkah, then that would also
apply to one who is at home.

In short, I cannot imagine, by any stretch of the imagination, how the
"b'ila rule" makes it <<< okay>>> to eat dates in the house when the sukka
is only steps away, for a person who comes down against eating dates on
a day trip. Either it is always okay to eat dates outside the sukkah,
or it is justified only for Holchei Drachim. I see no middle ground.

Akiva Miller

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Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 18:14:04 -0400
From: Chaim G Steinmetz <cgsteinmetz@juno.com>
kiddush on leyl Simchas Torah

From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
>> See SSKH vol 2 pp 178-9 (n. 72) who says that this works even Friday
>> night and that one should not make another kiddush when one gets home
>> to eat a bread meal.

From: "reuven koss" <kmr5@zahav.net.il>
> I understood from him after looking up all the SSKH's  "ayin sham" that it
> his chiddush that one should not be mekadaish again but there are others who
> say one should be mekadaish again(including RMF). So it is probably best to
> ask one's LOR.

In SA Horav (273:7) it is clear that he does not have to make kiddush
again - therefore not a "chiddush" of the SSK (besides being simple
pshat in the MB).

Chaim G. Steinmetz

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Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 20:04:12 GMT
From: perzvi@juno.com
not klapping during selach lanu

the mekor for this is the Sh'lah HaKodesh (so a Breslov friend of mine
says) and it is mentioned in both Sefer HaMinhagim Chabad and Hayom Yom
(the latter was printed while the Rebbe Rayatz was still Rebbe which
suggests a source in Chabad going back at least that far).

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 17:54:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Psak and Smicha

From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>
> One can, perhaps, define pesak based on what one is not allowed to do in
> front of one's rebbe.  See YD 242:7-10.

Which just makes another turn around the circle, and justifies women
making psak. Why? Because heter horaah allows such to be done in front
of one's rebbe, no? And horaah is just what the Pitchei Tshuvah allows:

: The Pitchei Tshuvah HM 7:4 says, in part, "... and it is written in the 
: book BR"Y [what? I can't find my otzar roshei teivot -jjb] chapter 12 
: that even though a woman is psulah from judging, in any case a wise woman
: can give teaching [lehorot horaah - the lower level rabbinic ordination]
: and thus it is explained from the Tosafot that one difference was that
: Devorah taught laws to them at any rate"  He also has another reference
: to "a wise woman who is fit to give horaah" from the Sefer haChinuch 
: 158 [misprint, should be 152].  [from a post by me to SCJM in 1997]

Micha OTOH has an idea that horaah != psak, that one is binding and the
other is a one-shot response (based on that thread on SCJM). I don't
see it, if only by the example of Igros Moshe: he wrote them as one-shot
psak, for the most part, and said so in his introduction, but they have
been taken as binding precedents. Thus, communal acceptance rather than
intrinsic authoritativeness of the author, is what makes a psak binding.

       Jonathan Baker     |  Marches-wan, marches-two,
       jjbaker@panix.com  |  March the months all through and through
                Web page <http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker>

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Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 11:41:48 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Ta'amei haMitvos

Some general thoughts on the subject from R' Ezra Bick's first email
to <yhe-undhalakha@etzion.org.il>.


-- Forwarded message from Yeshivat Har Etzion Office <office@etzion.org.il> -- 
To: yhe-undhalakha@etzion.org.il
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 12:29:33 +0200
Subject: UNDHALAKHA -- 01: Introduction


by Rav Ezra Bick


The plan of this course is to examine each week another area of halakha,
and attempt to understand its meaning and significance. But first, as an
introduction, I wish to discuss the nature of halakha as a legal system in
general, and why it is so central to Judaism.

Halakha is law. The heart of Judaism, what distinguishes it from other faiths,
is that it primarily is a system of law, of obligations and prescriptions,
a directive how to act, rather than a system of faith, beliefs, and
experiences. This is not to say that Judaism is not a faith. One of our
objectives in the course is to examine the beliefs and experiences that are
inherent in Judaism. But the pattern of Jewish life is defined by halakha,
by actions that are prescribed or proscribed, and only within that framework
can the inner meaning of the Jewish experience be found. In countless places
in the Torah, the Jews are told that their mission is to keep the laws of
God. This was so obvious to Chazal (the Talmudic Sages -- the acronym means
"The Sages, may their memory be blessed") that they found it strange,
at least at first glance, that there are portions of the Torah that are
non-legal. Consider the following:

"R. Yitzchak said: The Torah should have begun only from 'This month is
for you....' (Exodus 12), which is the first commandment the Jews were
commanded. Why then did it begin with creation? (cited by Rashi, Genesis 1:1).

(The answer to this question, of course, posits that there are important
things in the Torah other than laws, but I am pointing out the assumption
inherent in the question). One might say that Judaism is not primarily a
religion, in the modern sense, but rather a law. I think that this is a bit
misleading, but it is undoubtedly true that, for instance, a comparison of
Christianity and Judaism limited to the beliefs professed by both would miss
the most important point of all. To those who are not observant of Jewish law,
this point may not be obvious; to those who are, it is at times so obvious
that they are wont to miss its significance.

There are three points that I would like to examine about Jewish law.

A. Law is concerned with actions, with practice, rather than with emotions
or beliefs. It defines the outer life of man rather than dealing directly
with the inner experience. Obviously, this has the possibility of becoming
dry and lifeless, mere rote and obedience. Throughout Jewish history,
the tension between the outer practice of the law and the inner spiritual
experience of Judaism has occupied the attention of Jewish thinkers, at times
resulting in great controversies or even schism. It is undoubtedly true that
dedication to the law can come at the expense of inner experience. We shall
try to show throughout the course why this need not be true, but the question
remains why Judaism insists on the law as the basis for man's relationship
with God. I would like to suggest three considerations.

a. Inner experiences are amorphous, transitory, and unrooted. The relationship
of the inner experience to the law may be compared to that of the flame to
the candle. People undoubtedly have feelings, but if they aren't rooted
in life-experiences, they lack reality. Tomorrow, we are not always sure
that the great feelings of yesterday really took place, or whether they were
genuine. On the other hand, feelings which are rooted in life, which arise out
of basic patterns of experience, are permanent facts, sharing in the reality
of the outer world which forms their basis. This is similar to the difference
between the love between a long-married couple, who have shared experiences,
and have lived out their commitments, whose lives together are formed by
their mutual obligations (including those that are not always comfortable
at the time), and that of two love- struck teenagers. The first may seem to
be less fiery, perhaps less impressive, but is undoubtedly deeper and to a
great extent more real, precisely because the feelings arise from patterns
of experience and not the reverse.

b. Inner experiences, because they are personal, are individual. They lack
universality. In that sense, we might say that the inner experience reflects
truly the state of man, while the law reflects the presence of God. Which
brings me to one of the most important points which we will be discussing
throughout the course. Modern western society places enormous emphasis on
"expressing oneself." Some modern versions of religion assume as well that the
purpose of religious actions is to give expression to one's inner feelings,
state, emotions. Imposition of an objective, universal law is therefore seen
almost by definition as false, as forcing man into modes of expression that
are foreign, or untrue, to him. The purpose of halakha, however, is not
merely to allow man to express himself as he is, but to raise man to what
he should be, to what he can be. What can man be? The answer of Judaism is
"tzelem Elokim", the image of God. Man was created in the image of God. What
this expression means is that the defining plan of man -- the image, the set of
technical specifications -- is nothing else, nothing less, than God. Man is,
by definition, one who strives to be like God, to reach for the infinite.
Objectively, man is always less, always something finite, like any other
natural object. But the word by which man was created was not "Let there be
an intelligent biped," not "Let there be a hairless toolmaker," but "Let
Us make man in Our image." In other words, man exists in order to be more
than he is, in order to transcend himself. "Be yourself" is not the motto
of Judaism, because if you are only yourself, you aren't really yourself
at all, you aren't a tzelem Elokim any more. "Be like God" is the motto,
"walk in His ways," "cleave unto Him." One is true to oneself when one is
reaching out to be more than oneself. For this there must be an objective
element, rooted in God, in the Image, held out to man to bring into his
own experience. One who relied only on his own inner feelings and gave them
expression might be fulfilling his present state, but would be forfeiting
his future. The midrash (Bereishit Rabba 100,1) states: "'Know that HaShem
is God, He has made us and we are His' (Psalms 100,3). R. Acha said: He has
made us and to Him we perfect our souls." Know that you were made by God;
hence you can, and must, perfect yourselves with Him as your goal.

[A word of explanation how this midrash works. The verse in Psalms reads
"ve-lo anachnu", which I translated as "we are His." The possessive in
Hebrew -- "His" -- is literally "to Him"; hence the midrashic explanation
"we are to Him," "we perfect ourselves to Him." There is a deeper level of
meaning here, though. "Ve-lo" can be read as "to him," which is the accepted
masoretic reading of the word ("lo" spelled with a 'vav'), or as "and not"
("lo" spelled with an 'aleph'), which is the masoretic written spelling of the
word. There are many places in Tanakh where a word is written one way but read
another, according to the tradition of written and pronounced reading. This
alternative version of the verse reads "He has made us and not ourselves." The
exegesis of the midrash is in fact based on this dual reading. We are created
by God and not by ourselves -- we do not define our own existence; hence,
we must perfect ourselves towards Him, rather than expressing ourselves as
we are in the present. Man lives in a state of obligation, not to an external
alien power, but to his Creator, to his own infinite potential.]

c. Finally, because inner experiences are personal and individual, they
are not shared by the community. Even a cursory examination of Judaism
indicates the enormous importance of the faith-community, the people of
Israel, the national unit. The law forms the basis of the covenant, the
"brit," between Godand the Jewish people, and hence forms the basis for the
existence of the Jews as a people. In a famous phrase coined by Rav Sa'adia
Gaon, "The Jews are a people by virtue of the Torah." The shared experience
of halakha, of Jewish living, is a crucial element in the experience of
Judaism of each individual, binding individual Jews together in a community
of mutual responsibility. There exists a natural tension between the direct
individual relationship with God and membership in the faith- community,
where the unit of relationship is the people. We shall have opportunity
to examine this tension in the future. Indeed, modern western culture
places such an emphasis on individual worth that it has often obliterated
the value of group membership and national identity. Jews, the ultimate
"cosmopolitans," have been at the forefront of these trends. It is impossible,
though, to construe the Torah as speaking only to the individual. At the
very beginning of Jewish halakhic history, at Mount Sinai, God declares,
"And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation," and this
formulation is reflected throughout the Torah. The framework of uniformity,
even as individual distinctions manifest themselves within it, is essential
to creating not merely fine individuals, but also a holy congregation.

B. The word "mitzva" is colloquially translated as "good deed." Literally,
the word means "commandment," and the difference is crucial. Mitzvot are
obligatory, compelling, imperatives. This is, of course, what scares many
when considering the world of mitzvot. All of us wish to engage in good
deeds, whenever it is convenient, but dread the feeling of obligation, of
subjugation, which a law asserts. (The relationship of freedom to obligation
will be a theme we will discuss at length in the future). For instance,
someone may decide that smoking is not a good thing, and he will make the
effort to give it up. But if he is going through a particularly difficult and
tense day, he will perhaps light up, and not feel that he has "broken" his
prior decision. In halakhic terms, he doesn't feel that smoking is "assur"
(prohibited), even though it is a "bad thing." If he would refuse to smoke
under all circumstances, we begin to detect a "religious" aspect to his
conduct. I know some people who object to the Israeli presence on the West
Bank. They think it is a "bad thing." That is a political decision. I know
a few people who have not stepped foot over the green line in 28 years. If
I invite them to a "simcha," they have no choice but to decline. That is a
"religious" behavior pattern. They have created an "issur," a prohibition,
and given it the character of law.

The obligation inherent in law derives from its source in a higher
authority. If I decide to quit smoking, I have legislated for myself, and
do not feel absolutely bound to it. I don't have to answer to a higher
authority. If I break my decision, I am exercising the same right I did
when I made the original decision. Halakha, on the other hand (and law in
general, at least for some theorists), is rooted in the recognition that its
authority is greater than that of the individual. Anarchism as a respectable
philosophy claims that the worth of the individual can recognize no higher
authority than itself. In a secular liberal political world, it is not easy
to argue with this claim, and I leave it to political philosophers to debate
its merits. The recognition that God legislates for Man, and that man is
created in the image of God, assumes that the laws are binding on a level
that has greater authority than the individual.

Why should a lover of freedom agree to be subject to another authority? The
Jewish answer is simple. God is not an alien authority, who subjugates man
for His needs. Tzelem Elokim, the "image of God," means that Elokim is a
higher authority, but what He wants is your own potential and needs and
not His. Victor Frankl once put it this way. An airplane is an airplane
even when it's on the ground, but it is not really an airplane except when
it is flying. The airplane flies, not when its components are working, but
when they are working according to a plan, following instructions. Only by
accepting that authority can man find the meaning of the instructions for
himself, as part of his potential nature.

C. Finally, there is one element of halakha as a system of law that may
appear strange even by comparison to secular laws. Laws require exact
definitions. Good deeds may perhaps be defined by whether a good feeling
ensues, but laws, as we see in law books, require exact definitions. Since
we do not always take our laws that seriously, we tend not to pay attention
to these definitions in practice. For instance, if it is against the law to
drive over the white line on the street corner, we understand that the line
has to be drawn in a particular spot, but would be amazed if a policeman
would cite us for going over the line by a mere 5 cm. Legally though, one
side of that line is permitted, and one side is prohibited. In halakha,
exact definitions are as binding as the laws themselves. One minute before
the start of Shabbat is weekday; one second after sunset is Shabbat, and
everything is prohibited. If one is commanded to eat matza on Pesach,
then one has to know exactly how much is the minimum needed to fulfill
the obligation. In real life, it is often impossible to achieve such exact
definitions. Life has rough edges. The law is ideal, and attempts to impart
that ideal clarity to imperfect existence.

This too reflects the divine origin of the law. The law represents the ideal,
not as an unattainable source of inspiration, but as the mission of man to
impress God's will on reality, to bring the imperfect world up to perfect
standards. Each individual act is made to conform to exact standards, and
in so doing, brings the soul, the inner infinite depth of man, closer to
God, to its ideal image and potential. We can control the definition of an
action, and so impart to our inner selves the pull of infinity. Since, as
we explained above, it is the outer action which roots the inner experience
and not the inner experience which causes the action, the action must share
in the transcendent nature of God, of exactitude and authority, in order to
be the crucible of the soul.

We invite, even expect, the participation of the students in discussions
with the instructor between lectures. Comments and questions may be sent to:

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 12:34:35 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Psak and Smicha

On Tue, Oct 08, 2002 at 05:54:06PM -0400, Jonathan Baker wrote:
: Micha OTOH has an idea that horaah != psak, that one is binding and the
: other is a one-shot response (based on that thread on SCJM)...

I'm now leaning to a variant that's closer to R' Henken's: hora'ah
involves extrapolation, pesaq application. I described hora'ah based
on the fact that it extrapolates to create new precedents that are
then applied.


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Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 22:59:42 EDT
From: Phyllostac@aol.com
hediot and idiot

Recently at a minyan I was attending over Sukkos, there was a discussion
in which the inyan of 'kol hapotur midovor vioseihu nikra hediot' came
up WRT to Sukkah.

When the inyan was brought up by one of the mispallelim, a youngster
was questioning / resisting his point(s).

The older one was saying (IIRC) that if one is potur and does something
he is called a hediot - IOW Chaza"l put him down strongly - hediot here
being interpreted as being something like a fool, possibly with tinges of
am ha'aretz and rosho added - or some might say 'an idiot'. The younger
one didn't seem to think such a thing would be that bad, even if wrong.

A thought came to me, and, playing 'devil's advocate', I said - if so
- how do you explain the term 'kohein hediot' (In that term hediot is
just taken to mean an 'ordinary kohen', as opposed to a kohen godol,
sans derogatory connotation of 'fool') ?

Then another thought came to me......If one thinks into it, hediot
and idiot seem to be very similar linguistically. Try this exercise -
(esp. with Israeli pronunciation) - pronounce both words slowly,
enunciating all syllables.......

So my question is, are hediot and idiot related ? If so, is any adjustment
in our understanding of the word hediot in Torah warranted ?


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Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 12:01:17 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: hediot and idiot

On Tue, Oct 08, 2002 at 10:59:42PM -0400, Phyllostac@aol.com wrote:
: So my question is, are hediot and idiot related ? If so, is any adjustment
: in our understanding of the word hediot in Torah warranted ?

Both come from the Greek "idiotes", meaning one of low station, ignorant,

However, just because two words come from the same source, doesn't mean
they have the same connotation in both languages.


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Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 20:12:13 EDT
From: RaphaelIsaacs@aol.com
Re: not klapping during selach lanu

In a message dated 10/8/02 11:50:30 PM !!!First Boot!!!, perzvi@juno.com writes:
> the mekor for this is the Sh'lah HaKodesh (so a Breslov friend of mine
> says) and it is mentioned in both Sefer HaMinhagim Chabad and Hayom Yom
> (the latter was printed while the Rebbe Rayatz was still Rebbe which
> suggests a source in Chabad going back at least that far).

I don't think it's in HaYom Yom.
It is in Likutei Sichos in one of the sichos from Yud Shvat, compiled
from various things said during the week of shiva.

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Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 12:05:43 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
reflections on the eighth month

From: "David Glasner" <DGLASNER@ftc.gov>
Subject: reflections on the eighth month

> .. I would like to pose the following questions. .. at what point in
> history did people begin to drop the first two letters of the name of
> the eighth month

Reading the Taamei Haminhogim [p 362] one gets the impression - punkt
farkert - that the first 2 letters were added later...

> ....(which happen to have nothing to do with the absence of holidays in the
> eighth month or with any invidious comparison to the previous month)?

Well...in some drushim that is exactly what is being said...

> Second, how long after people began dropping the first two letters
> of the name of the eighth month did people start offering those bogus
> rationalizations for dropping the first two letters of the name of the
> eighth month?

Farvos 'bogus'?? (Do you consider ALL drush bogus?)

(And BTW farvos all this 'eighth month' business?
What's wrong with Chevan and Marcheshvan?)

> ... Sixth, what are the implications for the integrity of other oral
> traditions if one as simple as the name of the eigth month has been
> corrupted?

Maybe it was always so - that it was known by both names?

Then I read this
and I see many of your concerns are addressed.


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Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 00:47:34 EDT
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: Chol HaMoed Sukkos Eating bread in an airplane

In a message dated 10/3/2002 1:49:07pm EDT, sherer@actcom.co.il writes:
> Well, Chazal feared the mitzva of Hoshanos being 
> forgotten so much that they rigged our calendar so that Hoshana Rabba 
> can never come out on Shabbos. So there's definitely a concept there 
> of trying to fulfill a timely mitzva at its proper time, whether it's 
> a chiyuv or only a kiyum, even if you have to go out of your way to 
> fulfill it. 

hmmm.  But they did NOT force RH or Sukkos I to not be on Shabbos. What 
happened to the d'oraisso's of Shofar and Lulav?

Kol Tuv - Best Regards
Richard Wolpoe

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Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 11:48:34 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Chol HaMoed Sukkos Eating bread in an airplane

On Wed, Oct 09, 2002 at 12:47:34AM -0400, RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com wrote:
: hmmm.  But they did NOT force RH or Sukkos I to not be on Shabbos. What 
: happened to the d'oraisso's of Shofar and Lulav?

They had already made days on which one does this mitzvah deRabbanan.
There is no parallel for hoshanos.


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Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 00:59:50 EDT
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: Hoshanos

In a message dated 10/7/2002 9:40:09am EDT, micha@aishdas.org writes:
> I mistakenly assumed that anything I saw practiced in the shul in
> Machane Yehudah with the Gra's name on it was minhag haGra. REMT
> found this was a minhag Y'laim that came from Sepharadi sources,
> and in fact the TA Gra's shul does do Hoshanos later.

Yasher Koach

IMHO - many minhaggim that are deemed erroneous and have been overruled
as a result are in fact only mis-understood.

Siyyum Oseh HAShalom comes to mind. But there are others.

It was popular to believe that early minchah on Tisha b'av was promulgated
by those desireing to break their fast early.


Early Mincha is a method of avoiding procrastinating Mitvas Tfillin by
donning them as soon as the chiyyuv takes place.

AISI, the problem with mimetics is often not the mimetics themselves,
but the short-sightedness of the Observers.

If pepole applied a bit of lamdus to Minhaggim, they might realize that
there is often a genuine svara. See Aruch Hashulchan re" sukkah on
Shmini Atzeres for another example

Kol Tuv - Best Regards
Richard Wolpoe

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Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 12:26:31 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Violating the will of the majority

On Wed, Oct 09, 2002 at 12:33:37AM -0400, RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com wrote:
: A minhag has to be analyzed.  
: So does a text
: My issue is that textualists tend to default to seeing a text as correct and 
: a minhag as flawed, when I would argue the opposite default is often a better 
: assumption.   See Tosafos for countless examples

You've lost sight of the definition of textualism. That formal evaluation
comparing minhag to text is textual -- even if it decides is favor of
the minhag!

:> For example, in this very case, why aren't you in favor of restoring the
:> older text? How is the switch from "oseh hashalom" to "hamvareich es amo
:> Yisrael bashalom" legitimate, but not any of the changes since Baer's
:> or Heidenheim's siddurim went to press? Wasn't the older switch also
:> someone doing what was textually right rather than what everyone else
:> did?

: I don't get this point.  The swithc was based upon a faulty premise that the 
: Oseh Hashalom was MERELY a textual error transcribed from Oseh Hashalom 
: Bimromoav that some alleged Sofer moved to the siyym of the brachah.  
: However, the fact is that this siyyum is actaully older.  It could STILL be a 
: taus sofer to confuse the 2, but that was not the point made by those who 
: asserted the error. 

I'm talking about the FIRST switch, the one that fossilized daily use
of "oseh hashalom". Why aren't you claiming supremacy of the minhag that
pre-existed /that/ transition?

:> shenishbe'u). If I hold that change X is inside the process, but change
:> Y is not by the process, then any conclusions reached because of Y,
:> and conclusions reached because of those conclusions, and so on, are
:> outside the pale.

: So according to those who hold of Chalav Yisrael mamash and require
: kashering dishes/pots/ans from Chalav Hacompanies- then many people WE
: consider Observant are in fact eating "treif"?

If they think those who pasqened in favor of ChC did so because they
used something other than the traditional halachic process -- yes,
they'd be right to consider what they're eating to be treif. Otherwise,
"eilu va'eilu". The best you can say is "treif for me".

:> (BTW, C does NOT believe it's doing the same thing the amora'im or rishonim
:> did. They believe they're intentionally restoring fluidity that in the
:> past was provided by ignorance and accident. Breaking a process in
:> order to restore a feature that the process itself attenuates.)

: I don't know this to be a fact. 

Take this off line with our guest C rabbi. I got it from numerous usenet
posts of his. (Except for the last sentence, that's my assessment.)

: Perhaps that is true of the C process, but it is NOT true of CI {Catholic 
: Israel} as a concept....

How can you distinguish the two? Someone C would include C in his
definition of CI. Which means that his version of "CI" gave its endorsement
to the C process. Which in turn he can point to to justify his incusion
of C in CI, since they follow a CI endorsed definition of halachah!

This is the whole problem with the circularity. Nothing in particular
need be true of CI.

: > That's why a constitutional law, a set of laws about how laws may be
: > made and which attempted laws would be minhagei ta'us, breaks out of
: > the CI circulatity.
: I would love to see you come up with this Constitutional System.
: I don't see your claims as being any less circular.  You claim a 
: constituional system, but you have not produced any constitution! 

I can define red by saying "the sensation of seeing light of a particular
range of frequencies". Would you question that too because I don't know
what that range is?

But here's some known rules:
	those listed in pereq 2 meiHil' Mamrim
	azlinan basar ruba
	nisqatnu hadoros
	halachah kibasra'i
	minhag Yisra'el kedin (yes, even that is a formal rule)
	al tifrosh min hatzibur
	avoiding tarta desasrei (which minhag can't without knowing that the
	    tarta are based on the same question)
	rules about which of the above get priority when they conflict

I'm saying that a minhag established in violation of these and rules I
don't personally know, or know details of, are beta'us. People who embrace
a different set of rules for producing religious law aren't within CI,
so the rules of following tzibbur, rov, minhag Yisra'el (and whatever
else) don't include them.

2nd order complication: the rules themselves are dinim, and subject to
machloqes and change. So one has to take that to into one's evaluation
of the resulting pesaq and of the process utilized by another

Which is how I would address your question:
: Can you show me those rules?  Did Tosafos, Rambma, Gra, play by the same 
: rules of psak?

Yes -- they played by the same rules, if one takes that 2nd order thing
that the rules are recursive.

: Indeed the above switches are precisely what C's claim. That Gra Besht et.
: al. made changes w/o regard to precedent. Ein hachi nami. That is how
: C's claim that precedent is not binding.

Ah, but I'm saying the Gra followed the process, C intentionally invented
a new one. Which means: changed the rules in a manner not allowed by those
very same rules.

Disregarding precedent (guzma, BTW) is only a single point in common.

One could point to the Maharil and say he was C-like for under-regarding
the rules by which one pasqens. It's equally absurd.

: There are 2 ways to make Halachah binding
: 1) Canonize a text
: 2) Rely upon Precedent and Tradition

: Which do you do?  Neither!  As far as I'm concerned this is non-Halachic

3) Have a process that builds from precedent, tradition, and text. Such a
   process, being a set of conscious rules, is *textual* even if not in

I'm glad you think it's non-halachic. Pity

: If you want poskim that primarily follow #2 then I'll list some for you
: 1) Tosafos
: 2) Beis Yosef
: 3) Rema
: 4) Aruch Hashulchan

: Plus I can show you many sefarim based upon Minhaggim alone
: Maharil
: Noheig Ketzon Yosef
: Yosif Ometz
: etc.


None ONLY follow #2 with no exception. The difference is a machloqes in
how one gives priority to rules about tzibbur, not in whether the final
arbiter is a formal set of rules or watching what the people do.

Vehara'ayah -- they all wrote TEXTS! (You cite them.)


Micha Berger                 "The most prevalent illness of our generation is
micha@aishdas.org            excessive anxiety....  Emunah decreases anxiety:
http://www.aishdas.org       'The Almighty is my source of salvation;  I will
Fax: (413) 403-9905          trust and not be afraid.'" (Isa 12) -Shalhevesya

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