Avodah Mailing List

Volume 17 : Number 007

Friday, April 7 2006

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2006 19:10:53 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
A mitzvah like matzah, vs a mitzvah like maror

On Mon, Apr 03, 2006 at 08:10:45PM +0000, R Elazar M. Teitz wrote:
: RAK was in Israel shortly before the 1953 elections for the Knesset.
: It was reported in the press at the time that he said it was a chiyuv
: to vote (for Agudah, of course), and that when asked if it was a chiyuv
: like eating matzah on Pesach, he responded, "No, like eating marror."

If I may hijack this quip of RAK's as an excuse to share a vort on
the Haggadah. (I'm sure you wouldn't have any otherwise. <g>)

Rabban Gamliel requires we mention and explain three things. Pesach,
Matzah uMaror.

Pesach -- zevach pesach hu
Matzah -- lo hispiq betziqam
Maror -- vayimararu eschayeihem.

Pesach is one's relationship with the Borei.
Matzah is a lesson in zerizus, in anvah (lecham oni) in limud Torah (lechem
she'onim alava), one's internal self.
Maror is experiencing another's pain, bein adam lachaveiro.

In short and reordered: Torah, Avodah, Gemillus Chassadim
(or: Daas, Rachamim, Tif'eres <g>)

My (tenuous) connection/excuse? According to this, RAK would have been
saying (if I really thought any of this was in his mind) that voting
is not a mitzvah bein adam lenafsho, but rather a mitzvah bein adam


Micha Berger             Rescue me from the desire to win every
micha@aishdas.org        argument and to always be right.
http://www.aishdas.org              - Rav Nachman of Breslav
Fax: (270) 514-1507      	     Likutei Tefilos 94:964

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2006 20:13:31 -0400
From: "Joshua Meisner" <jmeisner@gmail.com>
Re: Minimal Seder

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
> Here's a similar but more common question. Many of us have people at
> the seider table who do not understand Hebrew. What items must one make
> sure are also said in English?

I've long wondered about the opposite question, also - at a seder where
many don't understand Hebrew, what items must one say in Hebrew? Or are,
at the very least, preferable to say in Hebrew?

 - Joshua

Go to top.

Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2006 04:13:48
From: "Dr. Josh Backon" <backon@vms.huji.ac.il>
Re: Minimal Seder

See: Nishmat Avraham ORACH CHAYIM 477 s"k 1 who goes into quite detail
on the minimal Seder (for doctors on duty) [Hilchot Tzava from Kibbutz
Shaalavim, p. 271 uses it for soldiers on guard duty]. Briefly:

1) kiddush
2) saying Avadim Hayinu (which is D'oraita chiyuv of Sippur Yetziat
3) Rabban Gamliel haya omer
4) Bracha "asher go'alnu"
5) drink 2nd Kos
6) Netillat Yadayim
7) Hamotzi + Al Achilat Matza (eating 2 kzaytim kdei achilat pras)
  [for mitzvat matza AND for the Afikoman]
If there's more time:
1) marror + another kzait of matza l'shem afikoman
If there's even more time:
1)recites the rest of the hagaddah



Go to top.

Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2006 15:24:18 -0400
From: Jacob Farkas <jfarkas@compufar.com>
Corn - Is it Qitniyos?

There was a post on Areivim about quinoa not being treated as Qitniyos, 
and R' Micha Berger raised an interesting question as to why corn and 
peanuts were able to make the Qitniyos list as they are clearly new 
world crops.

See Igros Moshe OH 3:63 where RMF discusses peanuts and Qitniyos.

His Sevara (As I understand it -jf) is that originally Qitniyos had many 
reasons, and Minhagim were based on those reasons. So the Minhag 
transferred from "original intent of Qitniyos" to a "very specific 
Qitniyos list" and that this Minhag, one which some (Beis Yosef IIRC) 
even called "Minhag Shtus" is all we have.

IOW, it's not that we can't eat products that could be turned into 
flour, or resemble grain, but the minhag was not to eat rice, legumes, 
etc. When potatoes became available, there could have been a reason, 
academically, to include them in Qitniyos based on the reasons for 
Qitniyos, but that wasn't done, for whatever reason, so there is no 
extant Minhag to abstain from potatoes.

Based on that sevara, if for whatever reason the minhag stuck to abstain 
from maize [corn], than that minhag is yodua and mefursom, and we can't 
change it without breaking custom, even though it wasn't on the original 
list. Minhag can be binding, even if it appears that it was , provided 
it doesn't violate

His point is that we don't need to add to that list and use the original 
intent of Qitniyos to Asser more stuff, and hence peanuts which have no 
such mesorah are OK, even if it may have fit original criteria, as we 
are not obligated to grant it Qitniyos status.

This is a remarkable Hiddush, but gives a clear understanding in the 
Minhag of Qitniyos, that the Minhag is memetic in nature rather than a 
textual issur based on a set of reasons.

Jacob Farkas

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2006 21:00:34 -0400
From: Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@juno.com>
Re: 3 kedusha questons

On Apr 6, 2006, at 17:21 +0200GMT, R' David Bannett wrote:
> IMHO, the spread of this custom of late among Ashkenazim can be blamed on
> the establishment of the state of Israel. With Ashkenazim and Sefaradim
> being roughly 50 - 50, it is common to have mixed minyanim and sefaradic
> body-language customs are copied by the ashkenazim. These include things
> like finger-pointing during hagbaha (mehadrin-machmirim use the pinky
> and then kiss it), left-right bowing in kaddish (different from the five
> forward bowings), and turning or bowing for zeh el zeh v'amar. I've also
> seen hand raising by Ashkenazim at poteach et yadekha ... (still rare
> as of Nissan '66).

We can add to that a style of covering the eyes for _Shema`_ where the
fingers pinch towards the bridge of the nose.

Although I don't turn/bow for _zeh el zeh_ (and only bow forwards while
retreating for _`oseh shalom_), I did pick up the hand-spreading /
raising for _poteahh et yadekha_ from minhag Aram Soba.

I originally followed the Artscroll directions of tapping the _shel yad_
and _shel rosh_, and only did the hand-spreading at Minhha or other
tefillinless times, but eventually started doing it at all times when it
became more awkward to touch my arm tefillin (under sleeves and all that).

When/where are these five forwards bowings for Kaddish?

-Stephen 'Steg' Belsky

Go to top.

Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2006 11:47:12 +0200
From: Minden <phminden@arcor.de>
Re: 3 kedusha questons

<dbnet@zahav.net.il> wrote:
> And while on the subject, the time may have come for another round on
> Avodah of to whom one multi-bows when stepping back at end of shmoneh
> esrei and more important to whom are we whispering when asking to
> answer Amen? After deciding about these, we can then start on the end
> of kaddish. I know to whom we are requesting the Amen, but... And why
> does Sa'adia Gaon talk of giving shalom left and right, but not forward?

And is left of God your left or your right? Is it standing in line with,
or opposite of you?

And wasn't the original thought that ten people learn mishnayes in order
to learn, and one says kaddesh, instead of today's one person mumbling
a mishne in order that ten people can say kaddish each to himself?

And why don't more urban Yekkes hop? (My guess: a lack of decorum was
felt during the 19th century.)

And why do people hop at Boruch and Yimlouch, instead of a slight
nod? (My guess: the wording "three times" was mistakenly applied to the
three responses.)

And how has the Rambem's kaddesh derabbonen crept into minneg Ashkenez?

And why do people say more than twice the appropriate number of
kaddeishem, even though it's a very recent minneg, and ein leharbes
bekaddeishem shellou letzourech? (My guess: because it was misunderstood
as a prayer for the dead, and "letzourech" was misunderstood to mean
"whenever someone feels like it".)

And why is it mainly Yekkes that say the interspersions, despite their
kabbalistic origin? (My guess: Because it's written!)

I have other questions still, but I have to "shake" the flat for
Pesach. :-) (Anyone still know the expression?)


Go to top.

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 13:11:23 +0300
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doniels@gmail.com>
Re: 3 kedusha questons

From: "D&E-H Bannett" <dbnet@zahav.net.il>
> These include things like finger-pointing during hagbaha
> (mehadrin-machmirim use the pinky and then kiss it)

Sadly, many aren't aware of the actual halocho (OC 134:2) that one should
see the writing, BOW and say V'sos Hatorah. (No mention of pointing in
the SA, MB or Oruch HS.)

Few are those that know to bow, for reasons unknown.

- Danny

Go to top.

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 16:03:23 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: 3 kedusha questons

On Thu, Apr 06, 2006 at 09:00:34PM -0400, Steg Belsky wrote:
: We can add to that a style of covering the eyes for _Shema`_ where the 
: fingers pinch towards the bridge of the nose.

Just to share a variant, also borrowed from a Sepharadi qehillah:

Pinching motion between pinky and bent thumb, three fingers up on
forehead. The middle fingers make a shin (Ashkenazi shin, technically),
the thumb -- a dalet, and the pinky -- a yud. Particularly when not
wearing tefillin, which place sheim Shakkai in their own way.

My feeling is: If it works for your kavanah, why not? If it's just an
empty rite, why bother?

(BTW, the idea that the regular pinch is borrowed from Sepharadim raises an
interesting personal problem. I clearly remember my grandfather covering
his eyes that way. Did he borrow it, or was it one of the few Sepharadi
minhagim that survived my family's relocation to Suvalk and from there
to Brooklyun?)


Micha Berger             A person lives with himself for seventy years,
micha@aishdas.org        and after it is all over, he still does not
http://www.aishdas.org   know himself.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter

Go to top.

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 16:22:10 +0200
From: "D&E-H Bannett" <dbnet@zahav.net.il>
Re:Dutch Jews waiting one hour

Re: <<<"Spanish and Portuguese...kehilla was established by the
descendants of anusim who escaped from Spain and Portugal, and imported
Sefardi rabbanim from Turkey to teach them. Its minhagim are mostly
standard Sefardi, with some variations ..seems reasonable to assume that
it would follow standard Sefardi pesak on this too, and wait 6 hours.>>>

Just a side remark:

The only written source I know for waiting three hours is from a Sefaradi
Rav, R' David Pardo, who lived in Italy in the 1700's and later in life
was a rosh yeshiva in Yerushalayim.

How does this fit in with your "standard Sefardi pesak ...6 hours"?


Go to top.

Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2006 22:36:49 -0400
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Re: Bracha on Pizza (was: Mezonot Bread)

On Thu, 06 Apr 2006 13:11:36 -0400 Jacob Farkas <jfarkas@compufar.com>
<<It is pretty clear that the Minhag ha'Olam is to make Mezonos on Pizza
[If you doubt this for even a minute, go to any Kosher Pizza store
and observe]>>

This is not a minhag that has any standing in halacha. It's also simply
not true to the extent you imply.


Go to top.

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 14:14:55 -0400
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com>
RE: Mezonot Bread

I wrote the following earlier in the day but mistakenly sent it to

As I sadly sit at Ben Gurion Airport for the trip back to the US,
I thought the chevra might find the insert from the Weiss cuisine (OU
and Rabbi Binyomin Gruber Dayen of Muncie certified) {no comment on the
taste of the alleged meat that was included :-)

"There is a dispute among Poskim concerning the proper Bruche(sic)
for this roll. Please consult your own rav)

I tried calling my Rav (not sure why they don't capitalize) but for
some reason my cellphone didn't work over the Atlantic. I chose to make
Hamotzei since I was taught this was the position of virtually all Poskim.

Am i missing something? The insert included info on Weiss' mission so
I assume they could have put a bit more detail if they felt it was needed.

But now I'm even more confused-on the trip back (this time the hashgacha
is OU, Jerusalem Edah Charedit) I read "The rolls are Halachically
"Pas Kisnin" and their brocho is "mezonot"

Some interesting differences in spelling and terminology - the rolls
were diferent-this pm's were oblong!(neither had any taste)

[Ad kan misdirected post. -mi]

R'HS was in West Orange last night so I asked him about the contradictory
notes - he said that the OU position is clear - hamotzi is required. They
used to be makpid not to give hashgacha on anything that said mezonot roll
but at some point became less so.

Joel Rich

Go to top.

Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2006 14:48:47 -0400
From: Jacob Farkas <jfarkas@compufar.com>
Mitzvas Shechitah

On Tue, Apr 04, 2006 at 09:10:06AM +0300, Eli Turkel wrote:
>: The difference is that we don't consider chullin shechita something
>: spiritual....

R' Micha Berger wrote:
> Are you distinguishing between a mitzvah chiyuvis (qadshim) and a mitzvah
> machseres (shechitas chullin)? While get is an asei that is clearly a
> necessary evil, I'm not sure if shechitah is.

> The argument that it is would be based on the idea that Noach was given
> a heter to eat meat altogether. If this is a concession, then it's a
> necessaril evil. If this is a reward for saving them in the mabul,
> perhaps not. (And see below)

Shehitah (for the consumption of Basar Hulin) is most definitely a
Mitzvah Kiyumis, as there is no Mitzvah to eat Basar Hulin more than
there is to eat an apple (I'm not looking to discuss whether Basar Hulin
on Yom Tov is a Mitzva). The Kessef Mishnah [Rambam Hilkhos Shehitah 1:1]
is M'dayek this way in the Rambam's words "Mitzvas Aseh Sheyish'hot mi
Sheyirtzeh Le'ekhol Basar..." that the Rambam was specific to include
the words "mi Sheyirtzeh" to show that this Mitzvah is not one that
one is obligated to perform, like T'fillin, Tzitzis, etc. rather it is
contingent on one's desire to eat meat.

Rosh in Kesuvos 7b when discussing Birkhas Hasanim asks why it is phrased
in the negative context, Tzivanu al ha'arayos v'Asar lanu, which is never
found elsewhere, and he asks why it is different from Shehitah, where
the B'rakha is Al Hashehitah and not Assur lanu Eiver min Hahai v'Hittir
lanu es HaShahut? This would not be much of a question if Shehitah is
a Mitzvah in its own right without its Hekhser for eating meat.

See Taz [YD 1:7 SQ 17] who explains the rationale for allowing a mute to
be a Shohet, L'khathilah, provided that another person says the B'rakha
in his place. He explains that that the B'rakha is not for the act of
slaughtering, D'ha Ein hiyuv lesh'hita im eino rotzeh le'ekhol, rather,
the Ikkar Kavanah is to give praise that HQBH forbade us from eating
without Shehitah, and so this B'rakha could be made by anyone.

Jacob Farkas

Go to top.

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 12:16:46 +0200
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>

> So I think much of what drives the deOraisa of yerushah is Hashem's
> desire for each sheivet to have a distinct derekh avodah, and each beis
> av to have its own subspecie. Without that, there is little rationale
> for choosing one gender over the other, and Chazal found ways to avoid
> doing so.

R Herzog (about 1949) tried to establish a takanah giving equal rights
to sons and daughters for yerushah. He could not get it passed within
the chief rabbinate council because the others felt it violated the
spirit if halakhah even if technically valid

Eli Turkel

Go to top.

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 12:28:48 +0200
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>

>: The difference is that we don't consider chullin shechita something
>: spiritual....

> Are you distinguishing between a mitzvah chiyuvis (qadshim) and a mitzvah
> machseres (shechitas chullin)? While get is an asei that is clearly a
> necessary evil, I'm not sure if shechitah is.

I am partially distinguishing between mitzvot that are supposed to
be uplifting and those necessary for external reasons. There is some
overlap between this and mitzvot chiyuviot and kiyumiot. The Torah did
not want us to eat live animals or even those that were neveilah and so
commanded shechita. There is certainly no mitzva to eat shechitat chullin
(except for possibly shabbat/yomtov for other reasons). The only real
requirement to eat meat is korban Pesach.

However, whenever there is a mitzva to eat meat it is because this
gives simchah and this overrides the "problems" of killing the animal.
I would find it hard to accept that someone claims that the actual
shechita accomplishes something useful rather than it being the best of
other alternatives.

It reminds me of the famous gemara of "psik reisha velo yamut".
The person would prefer to cut off the animal's head to play with but
doesnt want to kill the animal. However, this is impossible. Hence,
in a theoretical world we would like to eat animal food without killing
the animal - in the real world this is not possible. Hoever, the purpose
of eating meat is not to kill the animal. This is a necessary evil.

kol tuv
Eli Turkel

Go to top.

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 14:09:03 +0200
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
"Leshono Habo'o Beyerushalayim"?

Cant answer that one. I do know that the Brisker Rav objected to Anyone
know of the earliest mention of "Leshono Habo'o Beyerushalayim Habenuyah"
as having no basis

Eli Turkel

Go to top.

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 14:26:50 +0200
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
minority opinions

>1. In the current JO there is an article by R' Reisman. In his first
>footnote (pg. 22) he lays out the mareh makomos that a minority opinion
>that is not followed becomes irrelevant.  >>

I have recently seen several teshuvot of ROY in which he combines
various minority opinions that no one follows to give a heter.

Not quite similar he also combines the Ramah and minority opinions to
give a heter again R. Karo.
ROY seems to consider a combination of minority opinions that are not
followed as an example of sfek sfeka which leads to a heter.

Eli Turkel

Go to top.

Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2006 07:53:42 -0500
From: Lisa Liel <lisa@starways.net>
Re: jewish identification

On Thu, 6 Apr 2006 19:39:15 -0400, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
>: Except that the Pnei Moshe on that same page explains that what the
>: Gemara is saying is that Hamedata was the son of Agag, and the umpteenth
>: g'g'g'grandfather of Haman, rather than his father. So it argues pretty
>: strongly, again, in line with everything else our mesorah says about
>: Haman, that he was, indeed, a descendent of Agag.

>Do Chazal actually say anywhere that he was a desendent of Agag?

Bavli Megillah 13a. "D'lo katlei Shaul l'Agag, d'ityaled minei Haman".
Simple pshat: Haman was a descendent of Agag.

>Peshuto shel miqra is that he either descended from Agag or came from
>the land of Agag -- which was actually a region in Persia (might still
>be, for all I know).

I've yet to see a source for that being the case. I think it's
a hypothesis someone came up with, that perhaps there was a place in
Persia called Agag, and perhaps Agagi means someone from Agag, but I
don't think it's actually based on there being such a place. If you
have evidence to the contrary, I'd love to see it.

>The Septuagint makes him a Macedonian -- haAgagi
>is rendered "o Makedon",

The Septuagint says a lot of things that run counter to what Chazal say.
Hoschander suggests that the Alexandrian translater of Esther used
"Macedonian" as a generic term for an enemy of the Jews. But we're not
medayek in the words of the LXX.

>to the best of my transliteration. Maybe
>they thought "meiMuchan" instead of Memuchan and "muchan le'oneshim"
>[Megillah 12b] as a derashah?

>Everyone assumes haAgagi refers to Agag. It allows poetic parallelism
>with the Ish Yemini. But I didn't know there was an actual maqor for
>it outside of Josephus Ant xi 6:5. So, I just figured it was a Josephus
>that caught on for the derashah usability, not a ma'amar Chazal.

That TES Judaic Bookshelf CD I bought was a great investment. I wouldn't
have found it otherwise.

>Which is why the Da'at Miqra seemed plausible to me.
>I could be wrong, but I wasn't gratituitously questioning Chazal. If it's
>not a phantom Chazal, I'm perfectly willing to change positiongs. But
>for now, I could see either side.

I wasn't suggesting that it was gratuitous on your part. But we differ
on our approach to the Daat Mikra. Anything in the Daat Mikra that
goes against even a general assumption of Torah Jews requires serious
iyyun, in my view. They are far too eager to adopt any view that has
a scholarly consensus, without any concern at all about what Chazal may
say on the issue.


Go to top.


[ Distributed to the Avodah mailing list, digested version.                   ]
[ To post: mail to avodah@aishdas.org                                         ]
[ For back issues: mail "get avodah-digest vXX.nYYY" to majordomo@aishdas.org ]
[ or, the archive can be found at http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/              ]
[ For general requests: mail the word "help" to majordomo@aishdas.org         ]

< Previous Next >