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Volume 17 : Number 001

Thursday, March 30 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 13:36:48 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: amaleik

Micha Berger wrote:
> On a different note, despite RJF's suggestion here on Avodah, Sha'ul
> haMelekh's problem with the mitzvah was not its incomprehensibility. But
> rather, that he lacked the belief in himself to stand up to the will
> of the masses. See Shemu'el haNevi's rebuke at Shemu'el I 15:1

There is a very fascinating and radical explanation provided by Rav
Tzadok in his discussion of Purim found in the Pri Tzadik.

He asserts that Shaul's reluctance to kill was because he was well aware
that Amalek's descendants would be frum talmidei chachomim - and the
foundation of the Oral Law. Esther was also aware of this and that is
why she dealt with Haman through inviting him to banquets - instead of
simply denouncing him. She was hoping that he would do tshuva.

Attaching a pdf version this chiddush is found on pages 2 & 3 [See
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/faxes/priTzaqiqPurim.pdf> -mi]

Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 13:54:18 -0500
From: "Aryeh Stein" <aesrusk@gmail.com>
RE: machine matzohs: Reasons for...

> Because the lisha is not done by hand and therefore there is less
> chashash of chimutz. According to those who adhere to the chumra of
> eating only machine matzos, the heat from one's hands contributes
> towards accelerating the process of chimutz.

Other reasons why some prefer to only use machine matzos is because of
the uniformity of the matzos, i.e., there are never any problems with
matzoh kefulah, matzoh nefucha (which, in addition to problems of chometz
can lead to problems of borer on shabbos), and obviate any need to worry
about gebrokts.

A few years ago I bought a small kuntres of R' Moshe Heineman's motzei
shabbos shiurim given at NIRC. According to the kuntres, R' Heineman
believes that hand matzos are better than machine matzos for purposes
of "lishmah" and that machine matzos are better than hand matzos for
purposes of chometz. Accordingly, R' Heineman uses hand matzos on the
seder nights for motzi-matzah, but otherwise only uses machine matzos
for the rest of pesach.


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Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 09:41:50 -0500
From: Jacob Farkas <jfarkas@compufar.com>
Re: Ze'aqah v Tze'aqah

R' Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
>> Ze'aqah is a more primal scream of pain than tze'aqah. As RYBS notes,
>> "vayitz'aq" and the like are used to introduce a quote. A ze'aqah is
>> when the pain gets so bad that words fail you.

R' Zev Sero wrote:
> How does this work in Tehillim 107, where they are used twice each?
> People who get lost in the desert, and sailors in a storm, use tze'aqah,
> while prisoners and sick people use ze'aqah.

Radak in T'Hilim 107:13 discusses this and says that Ze'aqah and Tz'aqah
are interchangeable.

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Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 10:24:29 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Ze'aqah v Tze'aqah

On Tue, Mar 28, 2006 at 09:41:50AM -0500, Jacob Farkas wrote:
: Radak in T'Hilim 107:13 discusses this and says that Ze'aqah and Tz'aqah
: are interchangeable.

Well, you can see RYBS inneveinig, and perhaps someone can explain what I
    - Shi'urim leZeicher Abba Mori II pp 215-216

A friend told me the topic is also in:
    - "Redemption, Prayer, Talmud Torah", Tradition 1976, pp 67-68
    - Ish haHalakhah: Galui veNistar, "Ra'ayonos al haTefillah" pp 245-246
According to my source for those mar'eh meqomos, in speeches RYBS drew
from Or haChaim on Shemos 2:23.


Micha Berger             "'When Adar enters, we increase our joy'
micha@aishdas.org         'Joy is nothing but Torah.'
http://www.aishdas.org    'And whoever does more, he is praiseworthy.'"
Fax: (270) 514-1507                     - Rav Dovid Lifshitz zt"l

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Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 14:49:27 EST
From: RallisW@aol.com
Chazak ....?

Upon the completion of a Chumosh of the Torah [i.e. B'Rayshis, Shemos,
etc.] the proper response is to say "Chazak V'Nischazak!" not "Chazak,
Chazak, V'Nischazayk!".

The former is a partial quote from Shmuel II 10:12 "Chazak V'Nischazak
B'Ad Amaynu Uv'Ad Oray Elokaynu VaHashem Ya-aseh Hatov B'Aynov."

What is the reason that many shuls say the later?

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Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 01:54:26 +0200
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net>
Yerusha (was torah and morality)

From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
> That comes to the second point. Many of us find technical ways to avoid
> the "morality" of the Torah. As one private example (but only one such
> example) I have arranged to a halachically valid will that splits my
> property between all my children including the girls (there is no bechor
> since the eldest is a girl). Though halachically valid is certainly goes
> against the spirit of the Torah. Nevertheless, on a personal basis I
> could not see leaving money only to the sons.
> Nevertheless the spirit of the Torah seems to be that the inheritance
> goes to the sons and the wife gets the ketubah.

We've discussed many times that the Torah/Halacha talks many times to
the general case, and not to the individual case -- so it is in this case.

1st, after 120 the wife does not only get the Ketuba. She is entitled to
Mezonot, including residence, from the estate for as long as she lives/as
long as she remains single. In many cases, this would not leave much for
the sons to inherit (after setting aside the funds necessary to support
the mother in the manner she was accustomed, for the rest of her life).
BTW, she is entitled to these funds as long as she doesn't claim the
sum mentioned in the ketuba.

2nd, it was assumed that the daughters actually received their share of
the father's property when they married (Nedunya/marriage expenses).
Also, in the case of minor daughters, they are financed (fed clothed
etc.) by the estate until they marry, and money for their Nedunya has
to be set aside as well.

Only after setting aside the funds mentioned above for the wife and the
funds mentioned here for the daughters -- do the sons inherit (whatever
is left.....).

3rd, as noted in the question of Bnot Tzelofchad, most of the estate
in the Torah time was land, our present form of property and financial
situation is very different. Land had to remain within the tribe, so it
couldn't be passed on to the daughters who could very well marry outside
the tribe, and could theoretically grant the land to another tribe.

So, I cannot conclude as Prof. Turkel has that the spirit of the Torah
is that the inheritance goes to the sons, rather that the Torah made
sure that the women of the family were not left desitute, and on public
welfare, and only if there were additional funds available, only then
did the sons of the family inherit what was left.

BTW, nowadays, unless you are a millionaire or don't have daughters, the
chances are that in the above cases, the sons wouldn't inherit a thing.

Shoshana L. Boublil

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Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 20:24:31 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Anavah (modesty), Happiness, and Purim

I wrote:
> He could have asked the urim v'tumim but he was
> obviously too embarrassed to approach the Kohen Gadol) 

A list member pointed out to me that this is incorrect. Shaul *did*
ask the urim v'tumim. The embarrassment came into play vis-a-vis Shaul
not mentioning his attempt to Shmuel when he raised his spirit from the
dead because he was embarrassed to mention the urim v'tumim attempt to
Shmuel in view of what he had done to Nov.

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 02:27:21 GMT
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Nusach for Bitul Chametz

In every place I've seen, the Bitul Chametz ends with either "v'lehevay
k'afra d'ara" (and it will be like the dust of the earth) or "v'lehevay
hefker k'afra d'ara" (and it will be ownerless like the dust of the

Has anyone ever heard of a nusach which adds a vav, so that it reads
"v'lehevay hefker U-k'afra d'ara" (and it will be ownerless AND like
the dust of the earth)?

It is quite possible that I never actually heard of this, but only
imagined it, since I cannot find any mention of this in my hagados or
my notes. But it is gnawing at me, so I figured I'd ask.

The logic behind adding the vav is as follows: Tosafos holds that bitul
means to make the chametz ownerless, but Rashi disagrees, and says that
bitul is to mentally convert the chametz into non-chametz, by considering
it (and treating it) as worthless garbage, or more specifically, as
dust. The nusach of "hefker k'afra d'ara" may have been intended to cover
both sides of this machlokes, but that's not how it sounds to me; "hefker
k'afra d'ara" merely describes the concept of hefker more graphically
(not unlike the recently-discussed "musafim k'hilchasam"), but does
*not* really include Rashi's concept of bitul, because the chametz is
still chametz, albeit as *ownerless* as dust. But by adding the vav,
he is declaring the chametz to be both ownerless *and* dust.

Anyone ever hear anything like this?

Akiva Miller

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Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 01:07:19 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Re: Beracha Acharona

From: Gershon Dubin <>
> The halacha is that we don't make a beracha me'ein shalosh after kiddush
> at the Seder. The reason given by the Mishna Berura is that we say birchas
> hamazon on the second kos, and this takes care of the first as well.

> The SA Harav 473:10 adds:
>  've'od sheniftar biv'rocho achrono sheyevorech achar kos revii'

>>What about the significant time span between the kosos?

See the same SAH.

Also SAH 474: 1 & 3

Meanwhile I see in MYT that the Nimukei Orach Chaim [by the Munkatcher
Rav] writes that the Heichal Habrocho [Komarno] minhag was to make a
brocho achrono immediately after kiddush - because saying the haggada
and divrei Torah took longer than 72 minutes - and the brocho achrono
following the 4th kos is can no longer be counted. But the MR explains
our minhag.


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Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 12:10:19 +0200
From: Minden <phminden@arcor.de>
Re: Nusach for Bitul Chametz

kennethgmiller@juno.com wrote:
> In every place I've seen, the Bitul Chametz ends with either "v'lehevay
> k'afra d'ara" (and it will be like the dust of the earth) or "v'lehevay
> hefker k'afra d'ara" (and it will be ownerless like the dust of the
> earth).
> Has anyone ever heard of a nusach which adds a vav, so that it reads
> "v'lehevay hefker U-k'afra d'ara" (and it will be ownerless AND like
> the dust of the earth)?

I'm afraid one can't limit the understanding of phrases with and without
ve- to an actual addition of something or lack of such, resp.
In Biblical Hebrew, (and) Biblical Aramaic, (and) later Hebrew and
later Aramaic, there are syndetic as well as asyndetic phrases which
doesn't make a difference in pshat meaning.Then you have appositions
and hendiadyses. In English, the neutral standard is to join only the
last two of parallel words with a "and", but Hebrew sprachgefuehl is
different in that.

ELPh Minden

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Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 16:25:03 +0200
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
tanakh begovah anayim

A bibliography of the attitudes toward persolaities in Tanach
see <http://www.atid.org/resources/tanakhdebates.asp>

Eli Turkel

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Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 10:16:47 +0200
From: "David Eisen" <davide@arnon.co.il>
The Hazon Ish and Voting in the Israeli Elections (was Pitka Tava on Areivim)

R. Shalom Berger wrote:
> Unfortunately, the Israeli elections do not bring out a sense of kedusha
> any longer. I recommend that everyone read this excerpt from the diary
> of Shimon Leib Alpert on the occasion of his voting in the first Israeli
> election. Shimon Leib would have found your pun most appropriate.

On the heels of R. Dr. Shalom Berger's post with a link to an entry from
the diary of a Yerushalmi of the Yishuv HaYashan, R. Shimon Leib Alpert,
that recorded in vivid and deeply religious language his excitement of
voting in the first Israeli elections in 1949, I wish to inquire into
the validity of the following "pask halacha" that was attributed to the
Hazon Ish:

Last week in Ramat Bet Shemesh, the Yahadut HaTorah party organized a
political rally that was attended by R. Zev Leff, R. MK Yaakov Litzman
and R. Mendel Weinbach, the Founding Rosh Yeshiva of Ohr Sameah in
Yerushalayim. R. Weinbach explained that one *must* vote in the upcoming
elections with a profound sense of enthusiasm and illustrated this by
noting that the Hazon Ish had paskened that one should vote before one
davens Shaharit in the morning. The reason for this peculiar ruling was
lest a person forget to vote as that same person would certainly not
forget to daven!

Had I not heard this ruling from such a reliable source*, I would have
chalked it up as an urban legend. Given that the Hazon Ish was niftar in
5713, I assume that this ruling was with respect to the 1949 elections
that Shimon Leib Alpert was writing about.

Can anyone verify this psak halacha attributed to the Hazon Ish, which
IMHO is counterintuitive to what the halacha should be?

B'Nisan Nigalu, ub'Nisan Atidin Lehigael, beqarov mamash!

Hodesh Tov,
David Eisen

* As a postscript, I should note that I had posted this question to
RSB on the morning of the elections; later that day I bumped into RSB
at the Bet Knesset in Alon Shvut where I was visiting friends. We took
the opportunity to ask this question to HaRav Baruch Gigi, one of the
Rashei Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion. He responded that he never heard
this story and seriously questioned the underlying halachic basis of
this ruling. When I responded that it was from a reliable source, a
Rosh Yeshiva, he wryly smiled with a twinkle in his eye and said "one
should not blindly accept statements of Roshei Yeshiva - as they, too,
may say shtuyot from time to time!"


Rabbi Shalom Z. Berger, Ed.D.
The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora
School of Education
Bar-Ilan University

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Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 05:34:58 -0500
From: "david guttmann" <david.guttman@verizon.net>
Sechel Hapoel

I am trying to work out the concept of Sechel Hapoel in Rambam in
modern terms. I suspect that it hinges on a proper understanding of the
mind-body problem. I have read Popper, Yeshayahu Leibowitz on the subject
but came away with quite a lot of confusion. The mind grasps an idea -
the idea or concept is "out there" before the mind has grasped it and
after. Another person can grasp the same concept and idea. The concept
may contain changes but those are part of its essence and therefore
do not constitute in potential and in actu. See Moreh 2:18, 2:14 #5,
and 3:10 for a practical application. If someone among the chaveirim
has done research on the sechel hapoel I would appreciate pointers to
readings to help understand it.

David Guttmann
If you agree that Knowing is Believing, join me in the search for
Knowledge at http://yediah.blogspot.com/

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Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 17:32:33 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Sechel Hapoel

On Thu, Mar 30, 2006 at 05:34:58AM -0500, david guttmann wrote:
: I am trying to work out the concept of Sechel Hapoel in Rambam in
: modern terms. I suspect that it hinges on a proper understanding of the
: mind-body problem. I have read Popper, Yeshayahu Leibowitz on the subject
: but came away with quite a lot of confusion...

I think you should try Aristotle and his "Active Intellect".

In Aristotle's ontology, existance consists of the potential (ko'ach;
dynamis) and the actual (po'al; entelechy). The actual is more perfect
and more complete. Everything is actual and potential that is, except
One -- the Ultimate Cause, Who contains no imperfection and therefore
must be pure Actuality.

Amongst physical objects, matter (chomer; hyle) is the embodiment of
potentiality which becomes actuallized when one gives it form (tzurah;
morph), and in the essence of the object vs its accidents (the things
that happen to be true of it, but do not define it). Among living things,
the body is the potential, the soul its form, and within the soul, the
essence and its faulties and personality (its accidents). And finally,
the passive intellect is the ability to think, and the active intellect
which is actually thinking.

Since G-d is pure Actuality, He is Active Intellect without passive
intellect, thought, without a "something" doing the thinking. Man,
OTOH, is both -- a mind that thinks.

The concept also comes up in the Kuzari, first in the philosopher's
position in (1:1):
    The Cause and the caused are, as thou seest, intimately connected
    with one another, their coherence being as eternal as the Prime
    Cause and having no beginning. Every individual on earth has his
    completing causes; consequently an individual with perfect causes
    becomes perfect, and another with imperfect causes remains imperfect,
    as the negro who is able to receive nothing more than the human shape
    and speech in its least developed form. The philosopher, however,
    who is equipped with the highest capacity, receives through it the
    advantages of disposition, intelligence and active power, so that
    he wants nothing to make him perfect. Now these perfections exist
    but in abstraction, and require instruction and training to become
    practical, and in order that this capacity, with all its completeness
    or deficiencies and endless grades, may become visible. In the perfect
    person a light of divine nature, called Active Intellect, is with him,
    and its Passive intellect is so closely connected therewith that both
    are but one. The person [of such perfection] thus observes that he
    is the Active Intellect himself, and that there is no difference
    between them. His organs -- I mean the limbs of such a person --
    only serve for the most perfect purposes, in the most appropriate
    time, and in the best condition, as if they were the organs of the
    Active Intellect, but not of the material and passive Intellect,
    which used them at an earlier period, sometimes well, but more often
    improperly. The Active Intellect, however, is always successful. This
    degree is the last and most longed for goal for the perfect man whose
    soul, after having been purified, has grasped the inward truths of
    all branches of science, has thus become equal to an angel, and has
    found a place on the nethermost step of seraphic beings. This is the
    degree of the Active Intellect, viz. that angel whose degree is below
    the angel who is connected with the sphere of the moon. There are
    spiritual forces, detached from matter, but eternal like the Prime
    Cause and never threatened by decay. Thus the soul of the perfect
    man and that Intellect become One, without concern for the decay of
    his body or his organs, because he becomes united to the other. His
    soul is cheerful while he is alive, because it enjoys the company
    of Hermes, Asclepios, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle; nay, he and
    they, as well as everyone who shares their degree, and the Active
    Intellect, are one thing. This is what is called allusively and
    approximately Pleasure of God. Endeavour to reach it, and the true
    knowledge of things, in order that thy intellect may become active,
    but not passive. Keep just ways as regards character and actions,
    because this will help thee to effect truth, to gain instruction,
    and to become similar to this Active Intellect. The consequence
    of this will be contentment, humility, meekness, and every other
    praiseworthy inclination, accompanied by the veneration of the Prime
    Cause, not in order to receive favour from it, or to divert its
    wrath, but solely to become like the Active Intellect in finding the
    truth, in describing everything in a fitting manner, and in rightly
    recognizing its basis. These are the characteristics of the [Active]
    Intellect. If thou hast reached such disposition of belief, be not
    concerned about the forms of thy humility or religion or worship,
    or the word or language or actions thou employest. Thou mayest even
    choose a religion in the way of humility, worship, and benediction,
    for the management of thy temperament, thy house and [the people of
    thy] country, if they agree to it. Or fashion thy religion according
    to the laws of reason set up by philosophers, and strive after purity
    of soul. In fine, seek purity of heart in which way thou are able,
    provided thou hast acquired the sum total of knowledge in its real
    essence; then thou wilt reach thy goal, viz. the union with this
    Spiritual, or rather Active Intellect. Maybe he will communicate
    with thee or teach thee the knowledge of what is hidden through true
    dreams and positive visions.

Which I'm only quoting to shed light on this statement by the Chaveir
(par 87):
    The people did not receive these ten commandments from single
    individuals, nor from a prophet, but from God, only they did
    not possess the strength of Moses to bear the grandeur of the
    scene. Henceforth the people believed that Moses held direct
    communication with God, that his words were not creations of his own
    mind, that prophecy did not (as philosophers assume) burst forth in
    a pure soul, become united with the Active Intellect (also termed
    Holy Spirit or Gabriel), and be then inspired. They did not believe
    Moses had seen a vision in sleep, or that some one had spoken with
    him between sleeping and waking, so that he only heard the words in
    fancy, but not with his ears, that he saw a phantom, and afterwards
    pretended that God had spoken with him. Before such an impressive
    scene all ideas of jugglery vanished. The divine allocution was
    followed by the divine writing. For he wrote these Ten Words on two
    tablets of precious stone, and handed them to Moses. The people saw
    the divine writing, as they had heard the divine words. Moses made an
    ark by God's command, and built the Tent over it. It remained among
    the Israelites as long as prophecy lasted, i.e. about nine hundred
    years, until the people became disobedient. Then the ark was hidden,
    and Nebuchadnezzar conquered and drove the Israelites into exile.

Intellect also plays a role in Aristotilian physics, but I think this
post is long enough... Search for "intellect impetus" in the archive.


Micha Berger             Take time,
micha@aishdas.org        be exact,
http://www.aishdas.org   unclutter the mind.
Fax: (270) 514-1507            - Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv, Alter of Kelm

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Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 17:49:51 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Sheva Berachos

Anyone have any idea what a newlywed couple would do at the seder re:
sheva berachos, taking into account ein osin mitzvos chavilos chavilos,
nir'eh kemosif al hakosos, etc.?


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