Avodah Mailing List

Volume 16 : Number 001

Wednesday, October 5 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2005 11:59:56 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Fish and Meat

On Thu, Sep 29, 2005 at 01:18:46AM -0400, Moshe Y. Gluck wrote:
: We all know that one may not eat at a table with meat and milk on it. We
: also all know that chamira sakanta mei'isura. We also know that eating
: fish and meat together is a sakana...

Actually, the saqanah is cooking them together. For kashrus, eating basar
bechalav is a primary issur. But separating meat and fish into separate
courses is already a step removed. Not having them on the same table
would be one step removed for basar bechalav, but two for fish and meat.


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Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2005 13:15:11 -0400
From: <myb@yeshivanet.com>
Re: Fish and Meat

R' Gershon Dubin wrote:
On Thu, 29 Sep 2005 01:18:46 -0400 "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mslatfatf@access4less.net>
>> If so, why do people eat at tables that have fish and meat together?
>> Just about every Kiddush seems to have herring and cholent.>>

> As I recall, there is no sakana if they are not cooked together (as in,
> dagim she'alu bike'ara shel basar).

This idea that the sakana is only if cooked together, is mentioned in
Pischei Teshuva YD 87 s"k 9 regarding fish and milk. But I don't recall
ever seeing that this applies to fish and meat as well.

The heter of dagim she'alu bik'arah is because it's only a b'liah,
see Ta"Z YD 95 s"k 3.

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Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2005 10:08:56 -0700 (PDT)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: torah lo ba'shamayin he

Shaya Potter <spotter@cs.columbia.edu> wrote:
> Yet, we find instances where sages consulted angels regarding the proper
> halachic decision. 

The famous story of Tanur Achnai demonstrates the issue quite well.
Ein Mashgichin B'Bas Kol. And it is quite correct that to say that when
the Torah was given to man at Mount Sinai that it was given with a ste
of rules to follow and that once given... Lo BaShamayim He, one cannot
seek heavenly methods to determine Psak. One must instead follow the
rules mandated to us to decide matters of Psak such as Acharei Rabbim
L'Hatos as was the case by Tanur Acnai. So, even if thee is a heavenly
voice... a Bas Kol... telling us what God meanat, it doesn't matter. We
follow the rules and follow the Rov in matters of Halachic dispute.

The question arises as to why we follow the Bas Kol WRT Paskining like
Beis Hilel over Beis Shamai. Doesn't that go against the directive of Lo
Basahmayim He? The answer is that when there are no applicable rules to
determine what a Psak should be and there are aguments to support either
side of an issue, we can and indeed do listen to a heavenly voice.


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Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2005 14:05:58 -0400
From: <myb@yeshivanet.com>
Re: Shu"t Min Hashamayim

R' Zev Sero wrote: 
<<<AFAIK, Shu"t Min Hashamayim is *not* "followed", i.e. regarded as
a source for final psak, precisely because "lo bashamayim hi". It's an
important sefer, and is indeed quoted in halachic discussion, but only
as a source for information and arguments that can help earthly poskim
to decide the halacha.>>>

In Shu"t Yabia Omer 1:41-42 there are 2 lengthy Teshuvos where he
quotes kedarko numerous poskim who discuss this issue, and concludes
that it can't be relied upon for a psak halachah. Notwithstanding,
Reb OY extensively quotes throughout his teshuvos from other poskim who
relied upon Shu"t Min Hashomayim, and quotes as well directly, mainly
as corroboration.

In YA 7 EH 2:8 ROY quotes something very interesting from R' Dovid
Pardo in Sifrei D'bei Rav, that whatever R' Yaakov wrote in Shu"t Min
Hashomayim, he first was extensively mevarer the subject, and after
reaching a conclusion he would ask min hashomayim if he was right,
so that he should be assured that he paskend correctly. Then if the
answer was different than his original conclusion, he wouldn't rely on
the answer min hashomayim, but he would go back and review the subject
to see where he went wrong.

- Avigdor Feldstein

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Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2005 13:35:36 -0400
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Re: Fish and Meat

On Sun, 2 Oct 2005 11:59:56 -0400 Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
writes: <<Actually, the saqanah is cooking them together. For kashrus, eating
basar bechalav is a primary issur>>

Miderabanan.  Mid'Oraisa only if they were cooked together.


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Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2005 13:28:32 -0400
From: <myb@yeshivanet.com>
Fw: torah lo ba'shamayin he

From: myb@yeshivanet.com 
Sent: Sunday, October 02, 2005 3:06 AM
Subject: Re: torah lo ba'shamayin he

R' Shaya Potter Wrote:
<<<Yet, we find instances where sages consulted angels regarding
the proper halachic decision. R' Yaakov of Marvege, a 12th century
Tosafist, did so regularly, and composed the work She'eilot Uteshuvot
Min Hashamayim ("Responsa from Heaven"). Indeed, this work is quoted by
poskim and followed! How is this consistent with the rule: "It is not
in the Heavens."

R' Chaim Yosef David Azulai z"l ("Chida"; 1724-1806) explains that
the Heavens may be consulted when the gemara has discussed a question
and left it unanswered. In such a case, there is no way that we can be
expected to resolve the matter using our own intellectual abilities.
(Shem Hagedolim: Erech R' Yaakov Hechassid)>>>

This is the second terutz of the Chidah, which he answers as an "ee nami".

The Chidah is first mevarer in length that this din "tora lo bashomayim
he", and the Rambam's psak that a novi who is oker an halacha due to
what he heard from hashem is a navi sheker, is shanui b'machlokes, and
a host of Rishonim, and as it appears including this R' Yaakov Hachasid,

This is probably the main terutz, because there are some shailos that
aren't in the vein of what the Chida suggests in the second terutz,
i.e. when the gemara discussed a question and left it unanswered

<<<does anyone know anything about the sefer in the middle paragraph?>>>

The sefer SHutT Min Hashomayim is in print. But being a small sefer,
it's usually printed together with other quantitatively small Rishonim,
therefore you probably never noticed it.

 - Avigdor Feldstein

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Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2005 22:58:50 +0200
From: Yisrael Medad <yisrael.medad@gmail.com>
RJBS & Amalek: Two Additional "Fall Shorts"

My curiosity is fueled by two other sources I located n the Internet,
both stop short of going where Rav JBS goes, that is, identifying Arabs
as Amalek if they behave in a manner consistent with desiring and acting
to eradicate the Jews per se rather than any specific border dispute or
other matter.

1) Edah's Rabbi Saul Berman wrote this which I think is a bit off the
mark as well as not mentioning the section on the Arabs:
    "In the early 1900s, Rabbi Hayim Soloveitchik of Brisk argued that,
    according to Maimonides, there was a possibility of contemporary
    war against Amalek - such as a national attempt to exterminate the
    Jewish people. His grandson, Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, used this
    position in the early 1940s to contend that the Allied war against
    Nazi Germany could be understood in Jewish law as a war against
    Amalek. Rabbi Soloveitchik, of blessed memory, insisted, however,
    that the war against this new "figurative Amalek" was not subject
    to the same liberties vis-a-vis individual civilian vulnerability
    as was the war against original Amalek. Rather, the usual moral
    constraints applicable even to a war of self-defense, would apply
    in this war as well."

2) and this commentary from Rabbi Richard G. Lampert, Sydney, New South
Wales, Australia:
    "During the nineteen forties, Rabbi Soloveitchik was asked if the Nazis
    were the incarnation of Amalek. It was a serious question, for surely there
    has never been any group in history that 'merited' the name of Amalek as
    much as the Nazis did. When the question was asked, during the nineteen
    forties, Rabbi Soloveitchik knew already that most of his family in Europe
    had been murdered. He knew already that the yeshivot and the way of life
    that he revered above all else had been destroyed. He knew full well how
    much brutality the Nazis had shown against his people and against his
    civilization. And yet the most that he could bring himself to say was: 'they
    are behaving like Amalek, but there is no one who can be labeled as Amalek
    since the time of the Torah.' If he could not say that, even then, even
    about the Nazis, then we must surely be careful not to give in to the almost
    irresistible temptation to call our enemies Amalek today."

Yisrael Medad

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Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2005 21:37:56 -0400
From: Gil Student <gil.student@gmail.com>
Re: torah lo ba'shamayin he

See this post: http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol06/v06n120.shtml#09

Gil Student,          Yashar Books

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Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2005 21:30:34 -0400
From: Gil Student <gil.student@gmail.com>
Re: Halakhah and emotions

>While on his way to shul one morning this week, RZLampel told me that
>the difficulty that lead me to the wrong conclusion is addressed in
>Or Yisrael.

RD Eidensohn already directed you to Or Yisrael ch. 30. I found R.
Hillel Goldberg's discussion in his Israel Salanter book (pp. 342-345)
somewhat helpful in understanding how R. Yisrael is not disagreeing with
the Rambam but interpreting him. Don't ask me to say it over.

Gil Student,          Yashar Books
Subscribe to "Sefer Ha-Hayim - Books for Life" Newsletter:
news, ideas, insights and special offers from Yashar Books

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Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2005 21:59:41 -0400
From: "Ari Meir Brodsky" <ari.brodsky@utoronto.ca>
Rare Calendrical Event Coming Up

Dear Friends,

This week, we will experience a very rare calendrical event, one that
has not happened since 78 years ago, and may never recur as long as our
fixed Jewish calendar is in existence. It is known as דחיית בטו-תקפט,
"Dechiyyat BeTU-TaKPaT". What's that, you ask? Let me explain:

In general, Rosh HaShana falls on the day of the molad (traditional mean
lunar conjunction) of Tishrei, except for several situations in which
adjustments are made to the Jewish calendar. (The calendar is adjusted by
varying the lengths of Marcheshvan and Kislev of the previous year.) The
two most frequently applied adjustments are:
1) "Molad zaken": If the molad falls after noon (midday) on a particular
day, Rosh HaShana cannot be set for that day, but must be delayed.
2) "La ADU Rosh": The first day of Rosh HaShana cannot fall on Sunday,
Wednesday, or Friday, so that if the molad falls on one of those weekdays,
Rosh HaShana must be delayed.

The molad for Tishrei 5766 occurs on Monday morning, October 3, 2005,
at 10:48 a.m. and 12 chalakim (=40 seconds), Jerusalem Mean Local
Time. So why is the first day of Rosh HaShana 5766 on Tuesday, rather
than Monday? Based on the two rules above, Rosh HaShana shouldn't have
to be delayed from the day of the molad, since the molad occurs before
noon on Monday, which is a legal day of the week for Rosh HaShana. We
need to look a little further to resolve this mystery.

Last year, the molad for Tishrei 5765 occurred just after noon on Tuesday.
This was late enough that both of the frequent adjustment rules were
applied: Rosh HaShana 5765 could not be set for Tuesday, based on "molad
zaken". But Rosh HaShana could not be on Wednesday either, by "La ADU
Rosh". So Rosh HaShana 5765 was delayed to Thursday, 2 days after the
day of the molad. In order for Rosh HaShana 5766 to be on Monday, the
day of the molad, the year 5765 would have to be 382 days long. But
the Jewish calendar is designed with only a certain number of possible
year lengths, and 382 is not one of them. Recall that 5765 was a Jewish
leap year, consisting of 13 months. A leap year cannot be shorter than
383 days. If Rosh HaShana of a leap year, such as 5765, is on Thursday,
then Rosh HaShana of the following year (5766) cannot be fewer than 383
days later, on Tuesday, even if the molad is early enough on Monday for
Rosh HaShana to be on Monday otherwise.

This special adjustment is known as "dechiyyat BeTU-TaKPaT". It applies
only to Rosh HaShana immediately following a leap year, if the molad is
on Monday morning at 15 hours 589 chalakim (= Monday 9:32 a.m. and 13
chalakim) or later, hence the name "BeTU-TaKPaT" (בטו תקפט) representing
2-15-589. The reason for this strange cut-off is that if the molad is
at this time or later, then the molad at the beginning of the previous
year, 13 months earlier, would have been on Tuesday at noon or later,
causing the 2-day deferral of Rosh HaShana to Thursday, as we have
described. This would cause the year to be too short, unless we postpone
Rosh HaShana to Tuesday at the end of the year.

How often does this happen? BeTU-TaKPaT occurs very rarely, only in 0.54%
of years, or approximately once every 186 years on average! This is the
rarest of the adjustment rules of the Jewish calendar. I would suggest
that it is the most infrequent single well-defined event intrinsic to
the Jewish calendar, although I acknowledge that "well-defined event" is
not as precise as it should be. (Suggestions for improvement are welcome.)

Here is a complete list of all occurrences of dechiyyat BeTU-TaKPaT
according to the rules of the fixed calendar, from the time of Hillel
II (who seems to have established the rules of the fixed calendar)
until the year 6000 (Jewish year number first, then civil year number in
parentheses): 4179 (418), 4257 (496), 4504 (743), 4602 (841), 4849 (1088),
5096 (1335), 5194 (1433), 5441 (1680), 5519 (1758), 5688 (1927), 5766
(2005). Notice that Tishrei 5766 will be the last time before the year
6000 that dechiyyat BeTU-TaKPaT occurs! The next occurrence according to
the fixed calendar rules would be 247 years from now, in the year 6013

The theoretically possible interval lengths between occurrences of
BeTU-TaKPaT are 78, 98, 169, 247, and 345 years. However, the interval of
345 years has not occurred since the introduction of our fixed calendar
system, and would first be scheduled only from 6605 (2844) until 6950

This description is adapted from section W of my essay describing
the calendrically exciting features of the (now-ending) year 5765,
called "How Is This Year Different from All Other Years", available at:
http://individual.utoronto.ca/aribrodsky/ The main classical halakhic
source for the adjustments to the Jewish calendar, including BeTU-TaKPaT,
is chapter 7 of Rambam (Maimonides), Hilkhot Kiddush HaChodesh. I also
acknowledge contributions from some of the world's experts on the Jewish
calendar: Mr. Yaaqov Loewinger (author of "Al HaSheminit"), "Shearim
LaLuah HaIvry" by Rahamim Sar-Shalom, Prof. Nachum Dershowitz of Tel
Aviv University (author of "Calendrical Calculations"), and Mr. Remy
Landau (author of website "Hebrew Calendar Science and Myths").

Some people have asked me if I would write an essay outlining the
calendrically exciting features of 5766. I don't have time to write a
whole essay about it, and also there aren't as many fascinating events in
5766 as there were in 5765. Here are some very brief highlights of 5766:

1) The year-type is גכה (gimel-kaf-hei), meaning that Rosh HaShana is on
Tuesday (gimel), the year is "kesidrah", meaning that the months alternate
in length throughout the year (in particular, Cheshvan has 29 days and
Kislev has 30 days), and the first day of Pesach will be on Thursday
(hei). The year is a non-leap year, consisting of 12 months. This
year-type occurs 6.2% of all years, on average.
2) Dechiyyat BeTU-TaKPaT at the beginning of 5766, as explained
3) For Jews living in Canada, there are no three consecutive working
days in October 2005, due to the arrangement of the Tishrei holidays
and the fact that Thanksgiving falls during the same week as Yom Kippur.
4) We read from 3 sifrei Torah on Shabbat-Rosh Chodesh-Chanukka. The
regular parasha that day is Mikketz, which is quite long as well.
5) There are only 6 days of Chanukka in 2005. Figure out how that's
possible. (Note also that in the year 1948 there was no Shabbat Chanukka.)
6) 5766 is the 9th year of the 19-year Jewish calendar cycle. Until the
end of Shevat 5766 (February 2006), we are within the "late-year" period,
when all Jewish calendar dates and holidays fall later in the solar year
(i.e. relative to the civil calendar) than they do in all other years
of the 19-year cycle. (For explanation of this point, see section Q of
my essay about 5765 linked above).
7) February 2006 does not contain the first day of any Jewish month.
8) All possible "double parashiyyot" are combined during 5766. As well,
Parashat Vayyeilekh will be read on two Shabbat mornings during the
year -- on the first Shabbat of the year (5 Tishrei / October 8, 2005)
and on the last Shabbat of the year (23 Elul / September 16, 2006).
9) Yom HaAtzmaut is actually celebrated on 5 Iyyar, for a change.
10) There will be a discrepancy in Torah readings between Israel and
the Diaspora, for several weeks after Shavuot, due to the second day of
Shavuot falling on Shabbat.
11) Last but not least, my sister Sara will be married to Noah Farkas,
on the evening of 4 Kislev, December 4, the night Diaspora Jews begin
praying for rain. That certainly makes for an exciting year!

Wishing everyone a Shana Tova, Ketiva VaChatima Tova, may you be written
and sealed for a happy, healthy year 5766.

-Ari Brodsky

P.S. Feel free to forward or print this message in its entirety.
Ari M. Brodsky

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Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 14:39:00 GMT
From: "Gershon Dubin" <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Two R"H Questions

1. When did Beis Din begin to take "Lo ADU Rosh" into account for kevias

2. Assuming that R"H was often one day, especially before RYBZ, was the
kerias haTorah what we now read the first day or the second day?


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Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 13:31:59 -0400
From: <myb@yeshivanet.com>
Re: Bnos Lot

R' Mordechai Cohen wrote:
> Avigdor Feldstein writes that the gemarah in Horiyos 10b uses them as an
> example of tzadikim yeilchu bom..

> of course you are correct, and this is what I was saying. unfortunately
> you repunctuated (and thus misunderstood) my comments. i wrote... m'guneh
> or m'chuar yes, but not asur. i meant... this act is m'guneh/m'chuar,
> but this act is not asur midinah. this is explicitly stated by the ramban
> that i quoted, ayain sham.

What the Ramban writes is that this act was m'chuar "in the eyes of that
generation", and was never done before. Not m'chuar in the eyes of HKBH,
as the Ramban calls them "tznuos".

If what they had done is mutar al pi din, AND they did it leshem shomayim
how in the world can it be called m'chuar?

 - Avigdor Feldstein

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Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 09:46:59 -0400
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
RE: Shemona Perakim

>> It should also be remembered that it is pshat in the Shmona prakim,
>> as well as elsewhere, that the rambam viewed most of hilchot arayot
>> (whether this also applied to MZ can be debated, but I think is also true)
>> as hukkim - comparable to not eating hazir - which is why the gmara could
>> describe amoraim who suffered temptation of arayot (and overcame them)
>> - because there is nothing intrinsically wrong about arayot except that
>> hashem forbade them, while hilchot mamonot is (according to the rambam)
>> something that no good person should be tempted to transgress...

> Please note that Rambam does NOT here accept the distinction between
> "hukkim" and "mishpatim." He say that this distinction is held by 
> those who have succumbed to the "illness of the Kalam."

WADR to Rav Carmy, whose knowledge of rambam does exceed mine, one diyuk

It is true, as Rav Carmy points out, that the rambam does not accept
the idea of mitzvot sichliyot - mitzvot which reason commands (part of
the whole issue of natural law) - as formulated in saadya.

However, he does accept the notion of mitzvot mefursamot - those which
are well known and accepted by all moral people. Furthermore, he says
that chachamim call those mitzvot which are not mefursamot hukkim.
Therefore, he seems to accept the distinction between hukkim and
mishpatim - even though the basis of the distinction is not the commonly
stated one of rational versus nonrational mitzvot. His statement about
those who "succumbed to the "illness of the kalam" applies to those
who make the distinction between sichliyot and shemaiyot - not those
who distinguish between hukim and mishpatim.

I never argued that the rambam viewed hilchot mamonot as rational (or
sichliyot), and arayot as nonrational - but rather, that he viewed hilkhot
arayot as a hok The main implication for being classified as a hok is
that a ta'ava for transgressing a hok is not viewed as a deficiency in
the individual - while a ta'ava for transgressing one of the mefursamot
reflects a defect in the individual. I would argue that this gradation
should reflect how we treat those who succumb to their ta'ava.

Meir Shinnar 

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Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 13:12:33 -0400
From: carmy@ymail.yu.edu
RE: Shemona Perakim

Meir Shinnar writes:
> However, he does accept the notion of mitzvot mefursamot - those which
> are well known and accepted by all moral people... His statement about
> those who "succumbed to the "illness of the kalam" applies to those
> who make the distinction between sichliyot and shemaiyot - not those
> who distinguish between hukim and mishpatim.

This is correct as far as it goes. Mefursamot is not the same as our
"rational." I have a more complicated view about what the Rambam does
mean in Shemona Perakim but it's not in print. (A similar position may be
discerned in the writings of my teacher R Walter Wurzburger zt"l. ve-ein
kan makom l'haarikh)

> I never argued that the rambam viewed hilchot mamonot as rational (or
> sichliyot), and arayot as nonrational - but rather, that he viewed hilkhot
> arayot as a hok The main implication for being classified as a hok is
> that a ta'ava for transgressing a hok is not viewed as a deficiency in
> the individual - while a ta'ava for transgressing one of the mefursamot
> reflects a defect in the individual. I would argue that this gradation
> should reflect how we treat those who succumb to their ta'ava.

Precisely. And that's why I stressed that my observation about Rambam's
taamei ha-mitzvot does not affect Meir's argument about the morality
of desire.

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Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 21:11:35 -0400
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: statistics

On October 2, 2005 Eli Turkel wrote:
> According to those shitot that every human (at least) is governed
> strictly by his mitzvot vs sins how does one account for the use od
> statistics to measure the influence of almost everything on mortality
> rates. This implies that smoking/eating too much and all sort of other
> habits decreases ones expected life span independent of mitzvot.

And smoking/eating too much is a neutral activity? The Rambam talks
at length about proper eating habits. If one chooses to ignore common
sense and destroy his body with inappropriate eating/smoking habits,
it is a sin. V'nishmartem meod l'nafshoseichem. The punishment for this
type of sin is that one becomes a "statistic". This idea is encapsulated
in the maamar Chazal "hakol beeday shamayim chutz meyzinin u'pachim".

Gmar Chasima Tova
Simcha Coffer

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