Avodah Mailing List

Volume 18: Number 9

Thu, 31 Aug 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlam...@thejnet.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2006 22:50:11 -0400
[Avodah] Shape of Luchos

A short while ago there was portracted discussion in the English Yated about the legitimacy of the shape of the luchos as popularly depicted (each of the two curved at the top), given that Chazal describe them as cubical.

Some weeks ago I spent a Shabbos in the Yeshiva of Staten Island, whose Aron has a depiction with the curved tops. But I then noticed that going along the bottom of the luchos was a solid gold-colored curve. It occurred to me that perhaps it was really a corrupted depiction (ala the illustrations, limited by the available technology to typesetters, and highly corruptible regarding details, we find in Gemoras and other ancient texts) of an open book, the way one would draw it--two curves at the top and two at the bottom. Perhaps this depiction was never meant to be of the luchos in the first place, but of an open Chumash!

     ^ ! ^ <--- My futile attempt to illustrate with the even more limited technology 
                of email text writing.
     ^  ^ 

Zvi Lampel

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Message: 2
From: rabbirichwol...@aol.com
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2006 23:42:41 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Noshim daatan kalos

 Tshis sevra seeems to be supported by the issur of Yichud with one man and 2 women See Moe'd Ktan re: buring a kotton Daf 24.
 The Sevara there is advanced {I forget which Rishon} that nashim da'atan Kallos refers to the ease of seduction...
 IM kein that would mesh wit htestimony that women are easily swayed to change their mings or their version fo what they saw. 
    Kol Tuv
 -----Original Message-----
 From: aswang@netvision.net.il
 To: avodah@aishdas.org
 Cc: chana@kolsassoon.org.uk
 Sent: Fri, 28 Jul 2006 2:58 AM
 Subject: Re: Noshim daatan kalos
  The psul eidus is a gzeiras hakasuv , but it appears that an attempt

is being made to offer a possible reason behind it. It could be

argued that there actually may be a connection between the underlying

reason for Daatan Kalos in its usual context as mentioned by CL,

and the psul eidus (which by the way, both apply to a woman with

the highest degree of chezkas Kashrus and neemonus), although this

connection is remote.

Eidus requires genuine independent thinking on the part of the

individual eid, such that the one witness formulates his own

understanding totally independently of the other witness. He cannot

rely on the other eid to supplement certain missing facts or points

or interpretations, and he has to have the whole story on his own.

Daatan Kalos is a result of a tendancy to collaborate with others

in deciding what to do and what is right to do, and possibly what

is the truth.  Chazal believe that one of a woman's attributes is

that she can never totally isolate herself from interaction with

others and influence by others (usually a good trait, but not

always). Accordingly, she possibly would reach decisions or conclusions

in a collaberative manner, and although those conclusions may be

the same at the end as those she would have reached had she been

able to emotionally isolate herself and analyze the event independently,

she did not follow the rigid cognitive steps needed in order to be

an eid. Stated differently, the perception was that a woman's

tendency to incorporate other's ideas into her own may lead her to

be unable to distinguish between what is actually her version and

what she has incorporated from others. Although the woman is totally

neemenes and we have no reason to believe that she would incorporate

anything untrue into her testimony, since the testimony may have

resulted from a process of synthesis that is not consistent with

the rigid requirements of eidus, the eidus becomes technically


This explanation helps in answering why a woman is pasul according

to Rabbenu Tam who says that eidus can be sent biktav (and mipi

ksovom is only a problem where the eidim forgot the eidus) in which

situation there would seemingly be no breach of tznius.

Again, it is probably just simply a gzeiras hakasuv.


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Message: 3
From: rabbirichwol...@aol.com
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2006 23:50:03 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Music

  ein hachi nami
 The issue with the issur of music is usually construed within the context of dancing.
 Passively listening to serious music such as at a symphonic concert is AUI not a problem within the 3 weeks or Sefira 
 And listening to Requiem type music might even be desirable in the spirit of mekoonenos. See Mo'ed Kattan elu megalchin re: ein Onin ba'mo'ed implying that otehrwise onin and Mekonenim is done even with instruments... 
    Kol Tuv
 -----Original Message-----
 From: phminden@arcor.de
 To: avodah@aishdas.org
 Sent: Fri, 11 Aug 2006 7:16 AM
 Subject: Re: Music
  RabbiRichWolpoe wrote:

>> Why not? The minag/halacha for hundreds of years is not to listen

>> to music.

> What are the sources for this ancient Minhag?

> Maybe it's not quite so ancient?

I referred to the Worms minneg books and the Chavves Yoer's notes to

one of them, where no mention of a prohibition of music is to be found.

Lipman Phillip Minden

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Message: 4
From: rabbirichwol...@aol.com
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2006 23:44:27 -0400
Re: [Avodah] How do Achronim become Rishonim?

 Yes, but the Rambam was NOT one of those Sephardim inclined to be influence by kabbalah
 And FWI, the Beis Yoseph was only occasionally influenced by Zohar. {source Rav Mordechai Aderet} 
    Kol Tuv
 -----Original Message-----
 From: smash52@netvision.net.il
 To: avodah@aishdas.org
 Sent: Fri, 28 Jul 2006 4:58 AM
 Subject: Re: How do Achronim become Rishonim?
  RRWolpoe wrote:

> Rambam took the Bavli as numero Uno but also included Tosefta, Sifra

> Sifrei and TY in the mix.

> For many Ashkenazim the mix was MUCH broader. Ashkenazim included

> Midrashim {e.g. Midrash Rabba} Pesikta etc. as well, albeit these

> texts rarely had the same authority as the Bavli.

Rabbi Amir Mashiach recently gave a lecture in a local shul in which

he also pointed out that the Ashkenazi tradition was far more

inclined to give weight to midrashic sources that the Sephardic.

OTHO, he noted that the Sephardic tradition was far more inclined

to give halachic weight to kabbalic and philosophical concepts than

the Ashkenazic.

Saul Mashbaum

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Message: 5
From: "Moshe Feldman" <moshe.feld...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2006 17:03:25 +0300
[Avodah] Permissiibility of lying by Gush Katif refugees to

<<Is it permissible for Gush Katif evacuees to cheat the Disengagement
Administration (SELA) to increase the compensation that they receive? A
halakhic ruling published by one Gush Katif rabbi indicates that the answer
is unequivocally affirmative. "It is permissible for displaced individuals
to cheat clerks of the SELA authority or at least mislead them in order to
extract what is rightfully theirs," writes Rabbi Ya'akov Epstein of the
Torah and Land Institute, an evacuee of the Atzmona settlement in Gush
Katif. However, he qualifies this statement, "as long as the act is not
discovered and does not cause desecration of God's name." 

It is not entirely understandable how Epstein intended to prevent such
desecration, hilhul hashem, when he himself instead of passing on the ruling
by word of mouth published it in the Tzomet Institute's annual halakhic
journal Tehumin, a well-known publication in the religious Jewish world. The
ruling was even published under the perspicuous title "Deceptive Declaration
for the Purpose of Receiving Compensation." Apparently Rabbi Epstein took
the matter of hilhul hashem into his own hands. 

Ultra-Orthodox Jews who seek to deceive the state may rely on relatively
simple halakhic justification. They maintain that the rule of dina
demalchuta dina, the authority of the law of the land, which requires Jews
to obey civil law, is inapplicable in Israel, as opposed to the Diaspora. 

According to this logic, one is not required to obey the laws of the heretic
Jewish State. 

But the problem of Rabbi Epstein, a member of the national-religious camp,
is far more complex. He explicitly declares, "In the State of Israel,
despite the fact that a clerk is lying, working in opposition to orders, or
even accepting bribes, it is forbidden to deceive him," because "the capital
does not belong to the clerk." Moreover, he explains, "The State cannot
conduct itself in this fashion and if we permit this, even in extreme cases,
the affliction will spread to all government institutions and the entire
state will begin to be conducted by means of payoff and bribery." 

The case of Gush Katif is exceptional, he maintains, because "all matters
pertaining to compensation of displaced individuals are distorted. They are
not issues of dina demalchuta [the law of the land] but hamasnuta demalchuta
[the theft of the land]." He explains that even if one accepts the
assumption that it is permissible for a nation to evacuate residents, "it is
obligated to build them a bloc of settlement identical to that which
preceded the displacement." The nation, he writes "chose to first crush and
demolish Gush Katif, to grab everything from the residents and then to offer
them partial compensation." It failed to provide compensation for
destruction of community life, emotional trauma or loss of livelihood. 

Not everyone believes that Epstein's halakhic argument rests on a good

Yoske Ahituv, of the religious kibbutz movement's yeshiva, wrote a response
to Epstein's ruling, published in the movement's house organ, Amudim. "This
'halakhic' conclusion is scandalous, as far as I am concerned," he writes,
"and unfounded from a number of points of view." He particularly questions
the relatively insignificant halakhic source that Epstein relies on to
support his conclusions. Ahituv also takes issue with "the damage to image
generated by Rabbi Epstein's article, which taints all those displaced from
Gush Katif and even causes potential financial damage resulting from
excessive strictness on the part of SELA administration clerks who suspect
those who seek compensation of fraud." According to him, Epstein's position
is "non-instructive and patently immoral." He demands that Rabbi Epstein
retract these statements and that the Tzomet Institute renounce the content
of the article it published.>>


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