Avodah Mailing List

Volume 16 : Number 107

Monday, January 30 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 06:45:45 -0500
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
Re: Shiras hayam

Fri, 27 Jan 2006 "SBA"" <areivim@sba2.com> posted:
> If it 'Shir' indeed meand lyrics or poetry, then the common translation
> calling it Song of Songs is lechoreh wrong...

The English word "song," especially in earlier times, also meant a poem
not necessarily with music.

Zvi Lampel

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Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 09:37:29 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: the Torah's response to sex offenders

"Dr. Josh Backon" <backon@vms.huji.ac.il> wrote:
> First of all, the requirement to marry the girl is only if she is a NAARAH
> (aged 12+ 1 day up to 12 years and 6 months). 

That makes me feel much better. I guess if my 12 year old daughter gets
raped, I can sleep well knowing my Shidduch responsibilites to her have
been taken care of.


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Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 20:17:30
From: "Dr. Josh Backon" <backon@vms.huji.ac.il>
Re: the Torah's response to sex offenders

At 09:37 AM 1/29/2006 -0800, Harry Maryles wrote:
>That makes me feel much better. I guess if my 12 year old daughter
>gets raped, I can sleep well knowing my Shidduch responsibilites to
>her have been taken care of.

The father and the girl have the right to refuse the oysvorf from
marrying her [see Aruch haShulchan EH 177 #1].


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Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 10:29:14 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: the Torah's response to sex offenders

"Dr. Josh Backon" <backon@vms.huji.ac.il> wrote:
> The father and the girl have the right to refuse the oysvorf from
> marrying her [see Aruch haShulchan EH 177 #1].

I realize that but the very idea that anyone would even consider such
an option seems ridculous to me. Yet the Torah sets it up as one.


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Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 18:36:19 -0500
From: "Cantor Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
The Torah's response to sex offenders

HM wrote:
> Certainly the Maaseh with Dinah and Schem brought out more than just a
> fine in how her brothers treated it. They mass murdered the entire town.
> So it can't just be that attitudes about rape were looked at differently.

That would be a great argument except that you're overlooking one major
difference. The low life of Sh'chem were not Jewish.

The approach to rape is troubling. For instance, regarding damages,
Rashi says that there is no damages for loss of virginity because she
has pleasure at the same time. I would be curious how others react to
that statement.

What I also find interesting is that regarding the relatively minor
punishment for rape being justified by saying that HKBH will deal with it,
why then, with other sins does the Torah prescribe chayav misa e.g. being
m'chalel Shabbos. Would you think that carrying something on Shabbos
is worse than raping a 13 year old girl? [I know I'm opening up a can
of worms by asking that question, but perhaps there is someone who,
although may not agree in theory, would agree in practice].

R. Wolberg

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Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 11:34:40 EST
From: YFel912928@aol.com
Niftar on Shabbos (L"a)

Does anyone know anything about the supposed chashivus of having died on 

    -- Yaakov Feldman

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Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 19:14:40 +0100
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Re: Pas Akum

RHW wrote:
> Rabbi Edilitz in one of his supermarket tours said B'shas Hadchak one
> can rely of French baguettes if it has corn meal on the bottom and no
> pattern on the bottom. He said those breads are baked directly on the
> hearth and not in pan and thus have no problem of pan grease, I don't
> know if that is still accurate.

This is accurate, except that in France many people consider that a
lekhat'hilah. However, to the untrained eye, these signs are hard to
detect. Even those breads have a pattern, just a different one. Let
me explain:

Some breads are baked directly on the oven wall or floor, such a
traditional lafa (a.k.a. pita esh tanur), hand knead matzah, etc. However,
most Western types of bread are baked on something that can be removed
from the oven. That something can be a common baking tray, for "bulging"
bread (my terminology), such as rye bread, most challah, in fact most
breads that are available sliced.

However, some breads have specific shapes and those breads dare not
turn out fatter than expected. Thus, English bread, which is a kind of
bar that, when sliced, produces square slices or squares with a rounded
top, is baked in a kind of cake tray. French bread should have its long,
flute-like appearance, and cannot be allowed to rise indiscriminately,
for then the French would become fat and have no more space for cheese
and wine. Thus, French bread needs to be put in a shape, too.

Now bread that is put in a shape has the annoying habit of rising, just
like all other breads do (we'll excuse matzah and other flat breads
from this rule). However, as they grow up confined to their shape,
these breads have the additional annoying habit of becoming stuck in
whatever thing they baked in the oven. Since bakers tend to prefer not
giving away their expensice pans for the price of a bread, they'd like the
breads to become unstuck. Hence, fat is generally called for. THEREFORE:
breads that have obviously been baked in a shape always need a hekhsher
any other 'hazakot notwithstanding.

[up until now I am talking from experience, from here on, experience is
mixed with conjecture and internet research]

French bread, however, isn't as precisely shaped as English bread,
and doesn't need to be baked in a shape. Instead, it is sometimes
is left to rest for close to an hour in a shape and then put on
a regular baking tray, perhaps even using baking paper to keep
the trays clean. Thus, there is an option of baking the bread in
a shape and greasing that shape to allow for removal of the bread
afterwards (I believe that the shape used is similar to this one:
<http://shop.bakerscatalogue.com/items/Triple_Baguette_Pan.html>), or
the bread can be shaped and then baked outside its shape. In that case,
shaping may have been done using a cloth covered with flower or some
other contraption.

There may also exist alternative approaches, but with the above you
will understand the essential difference between allowable baguette
and baguette that cannot be consider kosher. The first kind is called
a baguette non-moul?Še (I hope that this time, Avodah won't mangle
the accents), while the second, non-kosher kind is called baguette
moul?Še. Since it is a normal thing for French people to desire one kind
or the other, you can simply walk into a bakery and ask for a baguette
non-moul?Še. It is, of course, better to know how to distinguish than
to rely on the mesiach lefi tumo statement of the salesman ("this is
the non-moul?Še we have").

Kol tuv,
Arie Folger

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Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 22:53:40 +0200
From: "Akiva Blum" <ydamyb@actcom.net.il>
Re: Everyone on same level

"Chana Luntz" chana@kolsassoon.org.uk wrote:
>> I do think that people should keep in mind that how RSZA conducted
>> himself was not followed universally by others. I know, for a fact,
>> that Rav Avigdor Miller, ZT"L, never ate anything outside of his home
>> except for some herring and matzo that he ate on Shabbos in his shul
>> for Seudah Shlishis.  Rav Manis Mandel of the Yeshiva of Brooklyn
>> also does not eat anywhere except in his own home. There are others,
>> I am sure.

> It is probably also worth being aware, however, that the reason why
> these people did not or do not eat anywhere except their own home may
> well have nothing to do with kashrus concerns...

> This conduct has more to do with the problematic nature of having hana'ah
> from others - 

Shulchan Oruch Choshen Mishpot siman 8 seif 4:
    A dayan may not degrade himself and act lightly in front of them [the
    community], for since from when a person is appointed responsible
    over the community, it is ... forbidden for him to degrade himself
    in front of them, and kal vechomer to eat and drink in public..

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Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 19:24:55 +0100
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Re: Sending Food to Someone Sitting Shiva

> Now it is not clear to me whether Rav Moshe indeed was certain that this
> was a goyishe custom, or that the questioner had posited this as fact and
> he was just analysing the halacha assuming this as fact. However that
> assumption whereever it came from also astonished me, as I have never
> heard of goyim sending food to mourners. Wreaths yes, flowers yes,
> but food?

They don't (the Western ones). Instead, it is customary among European
non-Jews that the mourners invite their friends and relatives for a
[restaurant] meal after the funeral. According to one non-Jew I met,
that meal isn't necessarily mourning fare.

Arie Folger

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Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 22:53:40 +0200
From: "Akiva Blum" <ydamyb@actcom.net.il>
Re: women, mitzvot and sachar

"Shoshana L. Boublil" toramada@bezeqint.net wrote:
> In homes where women are the housewives, we now get into a whole list
> of actions, non of which have any element of mitzva. The opposite --
> any element of mitzva connected to them, belongs to the male!
> Getting the kids up for school, breakfast, health checks, clothing
> checks etc. The basic mitzvot involved are Chinuch for the adult and
> the kids are learning a host of various mitzvot as they go (berachot,
> health care etc.). This applies also to when the kids come home from
> school and again, in many homes it is the mother's job to take care of
> them, teach them, educate them etc.

Unless I have completely misunderstood this post, I am simply amazed!

Have you never heard of chesed?
Is there any greater chesed that a person can do for someone else than
bring him into the world and raise him?
My children only have a belief in the RSEO because my wife has planted
it there. They believe in Hashem, they know he runs the world, they
can daven to Him, etc., etc. all because my wife has given them those
fundamentals. That certainly doesn't come through me. Is there any
greater chesed possible??

A woman is involved in chesed from the moment she wakes up (is woken up)
until the moment she wakes up the next morning. And you think there's
no schar!!

I would feel privileged to stand in line behind you in the next world. (I
shall of course be hoping to stand behind my wife.)

Akiva B.

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Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 16:16:40 EST
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com

> I'm pretty sure there's a geamra that says something along the lines
> that any community rabbi who everyone loves, isn't doing his job.
> Anyone remember where it is....

Yerushalmi, end of Peah.

M. Levin

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Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 11:25:02 -0600
From: Ken Bloom <kbloom@gmail.com>
Kuzari's proof

In v16n106, Micha Berger wrote:
> It is impossible that the Kuzari intended to give a philosophical
> argument. After all, this is after I par 13, where he writes:
>     The Rabbi: That which you describe is religion based on speculation
>     and system, the research of thought, but open to many doubts...
> And he later writes about Aristotle and the other Greek philosophers:
> "There is an excuse for the Philosophers. Being Grecians, science and
> religion did not come to them as inheritances." (par 63)

We've been discussing the "Kuzari's proof" on
soc.culture.jewish.moderated, and as I commented there, it doesn't seem
that the famed "Kuzari's proof" adds up to a proof.

The source for what I find is Kuzari 1:83-85, which in R. Yechezkel
Sarne's rearranged edition can be found midway through the "the first
gate - faith" under the heading "Mofet yetziat mitzrayim" (Metsudah's
translation: "Proof of the Exodus from Egypt").

To summarize (because this is about 3 pages long), the Kuzari begins
by saying:
> Six hundred thousand male Jews between the ages of 20 and 60 lived as
> slaves in Egypt.

He continues, by describing the miracles involved in the 10 plagues and
the crossing of the Sea of Reeds.

He states:
> It is a well-known episode. This is certainly a revelation of Divine
> Power, and the commandments associated with it must therefore be
> accepted. There can be no doubt about these events, nor can it be
> suspected that they were the results of witchcraft, trickery, or
> fantasy. ... Only the stubborn obstinacy of heresy could cause one to
> deny the historicity of these events.

> Afterwards, when they came to the desert, a place in which nothing
> grew, G-d provided them daily with food (manna, heavenly bread)
> except on the Sabbath.

Chronologically, all of the events the Kuzari describes here take place
before the revelation at Mount Sinai.

And none of this amounts to the much heralded proof. The revalation at
Har Sinai is not mentioned, and neither is the chain of transmission
from the 600,000 witnesses to us, both essential elements in the proof.

This passage that I have quoted here appears more to be an example of
how when we left Egypt, we experienced the miracles, and believed in
God and in the Torah that he gave on the basis faith built up by our
own experiences.

Is this the source in the Kuzari for the famed "Kuzari's proof", or
should I be looking elsewhere?

 -Ken Bloom

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Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 16:21:20 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Pascal's Wager

On January 29, 2006, S Belsky wrote:
> leads to is accepting -- or faking -- whichever belief system has *the
> worst afterlife for infidels*.

> It's not a choice between Atheism and Judaism; it's a choice between
> Atheism, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Shinto, Taoism, Baalism, Nuwaubu
> and every other religion, philosophy, and belief-system that has ever
> existed. And once you get into the realm of religions that posit eternal
> torment for disbelievers, how are you going to compute which is the 'best
> deal', the worst one to adopt and therefore assumedly save yourself from.

Interesting. This is precisely what the Kuzri states. He says that the
reason the Torah doesn't discuss olam habba in open terms is because we
are not interested in competing with other religions. No matter what we
say about OH, someone will come up with a better afterlife as the NT
and the Koran actually attempt to do. The Kuzri was a rationalist who
advanced his arguments in a logical fashion. He felt that the Torah
should be related to in the same fashion; hence his many Scholastic
(RMB) type arguments in support of the Torah.

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 16:29:36 EST
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
Re: Emunah, Perakim and the Mabul

My problem with a local Mabul is that the possuk says it covered the
harim hagevohim. But if it the waters got that high, why DIDN'T they
cover the whole world? And it's very hard to say that harim hagevohim
means large hills - aside from the fact that that's definitely not the
mashma'us, the Zagros Mts. are not far away so it would be pretty strange
to call much smaller hills "harim gevohim". Also, Ararat is understood to
be the land of Urartu in what is now Armenia / E Turkey (if I remember
correctly, Urartu is actually the Latinized version of the word Ararat -
maybe I saw this in The Living Torah? don't remember) and that area is
very mountainous. Can anyone come up with a way to answer this objection?

I saw a suggestion someplace that the mediterranean basin was dry and the
flood resulted from the opening of the Gibraltar strait with consequent
flooding. This would explain the high mountains, which would be the banks
of the Mediterranean. Perhaps such a flood even overflowed to result in
a local flood, perhaps as far as the mountains of Ararat.

M. Levin

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Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 02:01:44 GMT
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: women, mitzvot and sachar

R"n Chana Luntz asked:
> ... while people tend to think of mitzvos shehazeman grama as
> being tangential to a woman's role in life, getting married and
> having children come pretty close to a lot of people's definition
> of the tafkid of a woman. So why is it optional? Why would it seem
> that the halacha seems to say, -- well it is a nice to have (and
> sure you get schar for it) but if you want to you can walk away,
> no taynas? Why is that the fundamentals of women's lives are not
> actually determined by the dictates of the halacha, in the way
> men's are? Why does the halacha not seem to recognise this concept
> of tafkid in the most basic way?

The best answer I've been able to come up with for this is that the p'tur
of a woman is a mere technicality, in that the Torah cannot (or will not)
command a person to enter a sakanas nefashos situation. She can opt in,
but cannot be obligated.

We recognize that this is a mere technicality, in contrast to the p'tur
of Zman Graman, which (however you want to explain it) is related to
the basic essence of being a woman. Therefore, since the L'Maaseh is
only a medical technicality, the L'Halacha and the Hashkafa applies to
women as if they wee indeed mechuyavos.

Call it Cognitive Dissonance, but it's the best I've been able to come
up with. Anyone else?

Akiva Miller

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Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 02:17:28 GMT
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: Shiras hayam

R' SBA asked:
> No one has commented re Shir Hashirim. If 'Shir' indeed means
> lyrics or poetry, then the common translation calling it Song
> of Songs is lechoreh wrong...

When I was at Ohr Somayach (around 1978-9), Rav Mendel Weinbach explained
the pasuk "kisvu lechem es haShirah hazos." He said that the difference
between prose and shir is that the ikar of prose is found in the
words themselves, and that the ikar of a shir is what is "between the
lines". One who takes a shir at face value is taking the tafel instead
of the ikar.

(Unfortunately, I cannot recall for certain that he used the word
"poetry", or simply translated "shir" as "song". I have recollections of
a comment that "song equals poetry plus music", but I may have invented
that myself.)

For the purposes of this thread, it is clear to me that it is foolish
to call the Torah a "song" as that word is used in English today. But
there are all sorts of forms of poetry. It is not unusual for a person
to say something so beautiful that others will comment, "That was pure
poetry." So what's wrong with saying that Lashon Hakodesh has a single
word for both concepts, and thus translating that pasuk as "...write
this poem..."?

Akiva Miller

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Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 21:40:54 +1100
From: Joe Slater <avodah@slatermold.com>
Re: the Torah's response to sex offenders

Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org> wrote:
>> AFAIK, the woman doesn't have to accept the proposal. 

> Can anyone imagine what the chances of such a mariage succeeding are?
> But more importantly what kind of a punishment is it for the rapist to
> force him to marry the object of his rape? Which victim would ever say
> yes to such a Shiduch? 

Rapes such as these are identified by the fact that the participants
were not married and that the intercourse took place in a secluded
place. Many of them were undoubtedly consensual, and I don't think a
subsequent marriage would necessarily have been compromised. When the
intercourse was nonconsensual (i.e., when what we would call rape had
actually occurred) it's possible that the girl might agree to marriage
anyway. Many rapes take place between people who know each other; it's
not inconceivable that we're talking about two people who would have
married each other anyway.

Consider a case where a young male has an illicit friendship with
a girl, and for one reason or another he goes too far. In a classic
Mid-Eastern society the girl would have been greatly injured and her
family shamed. Her best outcome would probably be to marry the young
man. This isn't what her family (including the girl) might have wanted,
but the idea is to make a bad situation better. It probably worked out
well in a significant number of cases: young men mature and this one
may turn into a decent person.


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Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 23:16:53 +1100
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
daughter of Rashi wore tefillin

A request

----- Original Message ----- 
> Hey, can you toss this one out into Areivimland?
> I am looking for a ma'amar makom for the 'fact' that the daughter of Rashi 
> wore tefillin every day.
> No one I have asked can find a trace of it in the rishonim.

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Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006 00:45:54 +1100
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
basher who sham?

From: "Rich, Joel" <> [to Areivim -mi]
> Which brings me back to a chakira that comes up frequently (at least
> in my mind:-) - can later information/events ever lmafrea inform on the
> schar or onesh of one's deeds or is that solely determined by the status
> basher who sham?

First, thanks for  leading me to agreat subject line..
Next a repost of this vort from the CC may answer your question.

the gemara Erchin 10b [that on RH]
"Sifrei Chaim vesifrei meisim pesuchim lefonov".

The CC asks, bishloma, Sifrei Chaim, are open, to record the past year's
mitzvos and aveiros and to work out reward or punishment, but what is
the purpose of having 'Sifrei Meisim' open?
They are all dead and gone and no longer do mitzvos or aveiros?

The CC explains, that there are actually 2 types of mitzvos.
The personal one [eg Shabbos, Sukka, Tefillin etc] for which one earns a
reward - and often even a great reward, but it is a 'oncer '- ie, when
you do the mitzvah you are rewarded for it - but it has no 'follow-on'

OTOH, there are other mitzvos, for which  a person can receive continuing
sechar - as time goes on - even well after his has passed on from this

He gives a moshol of someone who welcomes an orphan into his home and
gives him/her a chinuch of Torah and mitzvos and later this orphan
himself establishes a bayis neeman beyisroel, the adoptive parents will
then reap the rewards for the 2nd and further generations - even if they
are no longer be'almo hodein.

And the CC adds, should that orphan - or one of his offspring - one day
become a RY and have talmidim [and talmidei talmidim], the rewards will
keep on multiplying.
The CC says that just like the Rambam gets s'char every time someone
learns from his seforim - even today, so will the adoptive parents
continue to be rewarded.

And that is why the sifei meisim have to be updated every RH, to ensure
that all the merit of their mitzvos which accumulated over the year are
credited to their account.

And, says the CC, it works exactly the same the other way. If someone
writes or publishes sifrei minus etc, for which of course he receives
an onesh, every time someone reads it - even years after his passing
- he will have additional 'debits' posted in his 'book' for further


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