Avodah Mailing List

Volume 20: Number 19

Sun, 22 Oct 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 15:34:15 +1000
Re: [Avodah] nice things about EY (from areivim)

From: "saul mashbaum" <smash52@netvision.net.il>
> I have heard beshem the CS z'l that when Moshiach comes there will be a
> need to establish a 'zecher' to our golus - and it will be "YT sheni shel
> goliyos", which  will become a permanent fixture in our calendar.
> Chaim G Steinmetz:
>> It is found in Droshos Chasam Sofer p 544 (in the droshos of
>> pesach). [See a slightly different take on the issue in his chidushim on
>> Beitza 4b, and tshuvos OC #145].

> Unfortunately, I have not been able to find the reference to Droshos
> Chasam Sofer p 544;  the version of this sefer I have access is a five
> volume set with diffeent pagination.

I think you have been looking at the CS al hatorah 5"v 9published by RYN
Stern).The Droshos (also published  - earlier by RYNS - has it as I wrote, 
in a nice vort about how the actual yestizias miztarayim took place on YTS 
shel galiyos..

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Message: 2
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 10:16:34 +0200
[Avodah] Gra & importance of rishonim

R' Moshe Meiselman - writing in Jewish Action 1997 - asserts that the 
primacy that we give to the Rishonim in understanding texts was from the 
Vilna Gaon. I have not been able to find any discussion of this in 
traditional or academic sources and would appreciate references. The 
relevant quote from the article is the following:

/"Most Torah learning, even through the early 18th century, revolved 
around the Shulchan Aruch. This not only reflects the nature of Torah 
study, but also reflects the nature of halachic development. Legal 
systems have their own form of dynamic. They rely more heavily on 
practice and precedent than they do on legal source and conceptual 
analysis. Law recognizes the current reality as a dominant force in 
making legal decisions. Hence, when the Shulchan Aruch became the 
primary focus of learning and the major creative force of Torah learning 
was in legal development, the use of Talmudic sources in halachic 
analysis and the various approaches of rishonim were of secondary 
importance. Rav Yonatan Eyebshitz was the leading rosh yeshivah of his 
day. His major contribution to halachic literature were his shiurim in 
the form of Urim ve'Tumim and Kreiti Upleiti, both commentaries to the 
Shulchan Aruch, whereas he did not publish his commentary to Shas, which 
was only recently published. /

/All of this was changed by the Vilna Gaon. In his view, the legal 
aspect of Torah practice and Torah learning was secondary to the issue 
of text analysis. He exerted major efforts in first establishing proper 
texts, a matter of major concern for one who saw Talmudic text analysis 
as his primary objective. H*e then established the method of using 
rishonim as the benchmark of proper text analysis. *Finally, all 
halachic decision-making, in his view, was consequent to proper text 
analysis from the perspective of the various rishonim. Only in choosing 
between equally valid approaches of various rishonim did he allow 
practice and custom to be operative.....

/The clearest way to evaluate the Gaon's influence is to contrast 
Hungarian and Lithuanian methods of learning. The entire revolution of 
the Gaon did not touch Hungary, which was under the influence of the 
Chatam Sofer. The difference between Lithuanian and Hungarian learning 
and halachic decision-making reflects either the presence or lack of the 
Vilna Gaon's influence.    '


/Daniel Eidensohn/


/ /

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Message: 3
From: "David J Havin" <djhavin@iprimus.com.au>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 16:13:02 +1000
[Avodah] FW: Hakafot on Simchat Torah Night

Akiva Miller posted:

"Over the years, many posts in many threads have bemoaned the loss of
various minhagim, and changes to them, and have hailed the KAJ community as
a stalwart of retaining old-time Ashkenaz. The recent thread about Selichot
at Shacharit, Musaf and Mincha on YK is but one example.


I was thus very surprised to read in R' Yitzchok Levine's post, of Rav
Schwab adding Hakafot to Ma'ariv of Simchat Torah in not one, but two such
Shuls.  I'm curious what his reasons were, and what the shuls' reactions



Professor Levine is not completely correct in what he writes.

Rabbiner Hirsch instituted Hakafot on Simchat Torah night, which was
contrary to the practice generally in Southern Germany.  The Grossgemeinde
(Rabbi Dr Marcus Horovitz) at the Borneplatz did not.  This was one of the
instances where the Grossgemeinde adhered more faithfully to Minhag

In 1919, Rabbiner Joseph Breuer was appointed Rav of the Frankfurt Klaus,
which was the oldest Shul in the city (1765).  It was not officially
affiliated with either KAJ or the Grossgemeinde.  Whilst the Klaus also did
not have Hakafot on Simchat Torah night, when Rabbiner Breuer founded KAJ in
Washington Heights, he continued the custom of KAJ in Frankfurt.

It is true, however, that Shearith Israel of Baltimore did not have Hakafot.
During Rav Schwab's second year (circa 1937) he had one Hakafa, the next
year three, the next year five and finally seven. The Hakafot were after
Yigdal to indicate that they were not part of the regular service and the
old Baltimore German members left before Hakafot.  Even under Rabbi Feldman
in the 60s the older members did not stay.


In 1931, Rav Schwab became an assistant to Rav Yonah Merzbach in Darmstadt.
In 1933, he became district Rabbi in Ichenhausen (Bavaria).  I know one of
the members of that community very well.  He told me that Rav Schwab changed
the Hakafot from a slow, almost funereal, procession which was so typical in
Germany, to a much livelier affair.  He had seen this during his time in the
East (Telz and Mir).  Rav Schwab attempted to blend aspects of both East and
West.  I am not surprised therefore that he instituted the changes in


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Message: 4
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 03:23:55 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Knowledge of Good and Bad

It looks like I didn't explain myself well. I thank several people 
who wrote, both offline and on Avodah, and I'd like now to clarify my 

I never meant to reject the idea (based, I believe, on Rambam in 
Moreh Nevuchim 1:2) that prior to eating from the tree, Adam and 
Chava based their decisions on emes/sheker, and that after eating, 
based on right/wrong.

But there is a great middle area between those extremes. Perhaps I am 
misunderstanding what people mean by "emes/sheker", but I understand 
it to refer to objective fact, leaving no room for opinions or 

For example, Chava observed that the fruit of the tree was "tov 
l'maachal". I will concede that this might refer to the objective 
fact of it being edible. But it seems to me more likely that she was 
making a value judgment, that it was not only an edible food, but 
that it was a *good* food, i.e., better than some other foods. This 
is clearly how the Torah uses the word "tov" in reference to the gold 
of Chavilah (2:13), to describe it as above-average in quality.

What was life like, for people who did have bechirah chafshis, but 
did not yet understand right and wrong? I imagine that they might 
choose, for example, between two equally healthy fruits, but which 
had different tastes. Or perhaps they'd choose between fruit with 
different nutritional strengths. They had emotions, and desires, and 
the ability to choose from among them.

Could they have desired an unhealthy fruit? I don't know. Such an act 
would have been "wrong", but they did not yet understand that 
concept. Might they have rejected it as being "sheker"? Maybe, maybe 
not. Sheker is a reason not to use a southbound road to reach a 
northern destination, but I don't see where it would proscribe 
moderately unhealthy experiences that one might learn something from.

So the nachash presented Chava with some reasonable arguments, and 
appealed to her emotions, advising her that there could be some 
benefit -- some "tov", which was a concept that she did understand -- 
from disobeying G-d's command. And she fell for it, because although 
there was some "good" to be gotten from this act, it was still 
not "right". But 'right' was something she did not understand.

That's the point I'm trying to underscore, and I do not think that it 
contradicts the Rambam or anyone else. That Adam and Chava understood 
good and bad even before eating from the tree. And then, after eating 
from the tree, they suddenly gained a new insight, that even though 
something is "good" -- for example, pleasurable -- it might still 
be "wrong" -- that is, *morally* wrong, improper, evil.

And a simple way to remember this, is by translating the tree's name 
not as the tree of knowledge of "good and evil", but of "right and 
wrong". (In other words: I find the word "good" to be ambiguous, 
referring either to emotionally good or morally good. By using the 
word "right" for moral good, we can clear up the confusion a bit.)

Akiva Miller

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Message: 5
From: "Yid Ste" <yidste@hotmail.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2006 23:47:01 -0400
[Avodah] YK Selichoth at Shacharith, Musaf and Minchah

K'hal Adas Yereim (the Vienner kehilla in Williiamsburg, Boro Park and 
Monsey, NY (which follows minhagei Schiffshul)) 4-5 years ago published Yom 
Kippur Selichos with a Pirush on the side and footnotes.
They still print every year a sheet detailing which selichos will be said at
each of the tefilos.

Y. Stein

Get FREE company branded e-mail accounts and business Web site from 
Microsoft Office Live 

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Message: 6
From: Chaim G Steinmetz <cgsteinmetz@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 00:45:08 -0400
[Avodah] nice things about EY (from areivim)

 Chaim G Steinmetz <cgsteinmetz@juno.com> wrote:
> Look
> in Droshos (which I am not aware was reprinted in 5 volumes??) for 
> Pesach
> 5690 - the last piece DH Lemaan Tizkor. 

I of course meant 5590..

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Message: 7
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 13:59:53 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Uman/Leaving the women behind

RIS wrote:

> RnCL, quoting Sukkah 27b:
> "as Rav Yitzchak says, from
> where do we know that a man is obligated to visit his rav on 
> the festival as it is written "why are you going to him today 
> it not being new moon or shabbat" and we can infer from there 
> that on new moon and shabbat one is obligated to visit one's Rav."
> Interesting source - in that case (Melachim Bet 4:23), the 
> WIFE was going to visit the Navi and was questioned by her 
> husband (it's the story of Elisha and the Shunamit).

Yes I noticed that also and wondered about it.  But then I thought,
while on this occasion it would seem she was going without her husband,
was it clear that she did so generally, and maybe they generally both
went?  And while there seems to be a discussion about her being a
tzedakes and hence being machmir on herself to go so often, it wasn't
clear to me that that was absent the husband (ie that Elisha was clearly
her Rav and not his).  I agree if it is clear that she is going and he
is not, doesn't that raise questions about it being a positive time
based mitzvah from which one would have expected her to be exempt, and
isn't it odd that anybody would learn out the halacha from her actions.

> - Ilana



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Message: 8
From: "Prof. Levine" <llevine@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 11:18:51 -0400
Re: [Avodah] What is the source for the minhag of Chasidim to

At 01:13 AM 10/22/2006, Chaim G Steinmetz wrote:

> From 266 he quotes Shaar Hakavonos (SH) of R' Chaim Vital (RCV), that the
>minhog was to go around 7 times, and that this took place ST after
>Shacharis, Mincha and Motzei ST. Then he quotes R' Yaakov Tzemch (RYT) in
>Nogid Umtzaveh, this minhog in the name of Ari, but with the 
>important difference, that RYT brings it as if hakofos took place 
>the NIGHT of ST and the morning. The same in Chemdas Hayomim (CH), 
>where after he brings similar to what RYT writes, he complains about 
>those that don't do hakofos the night of ST.
>Yaari assumes that the discrepancy between the Shaar Hakavonos and RYT and
>CH, is explained by the fact that RYT and CH used corrupted manuscripts,
>while the "proper version" of the Shaar Hakavonos was only printed 
>much (almost 150) later, in 1852.
>He then goes on the bring the Shelah, who apparently does not mention
>hakofos at all, and several Sefardim from a hundred years later,
>that do mention it concerning the night of ST.  Ad kan devorov.

The ARI did nothing on Simchas Torah when he was in Sefas, because 
there is no Simchas Torah (second day of Shmini Atzeres, eighth day 
of Yom Tov in Chutz L'aretz) in EY. The dancing he did was on Isru 
Chag, not on Shmini Atzeres. This is the whole point of the "mistake" 
in the text which you have chosen to dismiss.

I believe that the reason why the ARI did not dance on SA in EY is 
because SA is, of course, D'Oraisa in EY. The heter of dancing on ST 
in Chutz L'Aretz seems to me to come from the fact that ST is 
D'Rabbonon. For those who hold that one may not dance on Shabbos and 
Yom Tov, dancing on SA in EY should be problematic, to put it mildly. 
Dancing on ST in Chutz L'Aretz seems to me to have been permitted for 
Kovod Hatorah and because ST is D'Rabbonon.

Yitzchok Levine 
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Message: 9
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 10:54:38 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Knowledge of Good and Bad

From: <kennethgmiller@juno.com>

> That's the point I'm trying to underscore, and I do not think that it
> contradicts the Rambam or anyone else. That Adam and Chava understood
> good and bad even before eating from the tree. And then, after eating
> from the tree, they suddenly gained a new insight, that even though
> something is "good" -- for example, pleasurable -- it might still
> be "wrong" -- that is, *morally* wrong, improper, evil.

How do you answer the Rambam's kasha: how could Adam and Hava benefit from 

David Riceman 

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Message: 10
From: "Prof. Levine" <llevine@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 11:24:08 -0400
Re: [Avodah] What is the source for the minhag of Chasidim to

At 01:13 AM 10/22/2006, Chaim G Steinmetz wrote:

>Let me preface this by saying that I have no expertise in Kisvei Arizal and
>in the various versions of the manuscripts and prints etc. I am also not an
>expert in minhogim at all, but Torah hi ulilmod ani tzorich.

I recall hearing that we actually have almost nothing directly from 
the ARI. The writings that we have are from Rav Chaim Vital and other 
talmidim of the ARI. Thus, technically, I am not sure if there really 
is anything that one can correctly label as "Kisvei 
Arizal."  However, I am not sure of this.

Yitzchok Levine 
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Message: 11
From: Chaim G Steinmetz <cgsteinmetz@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 15:05:41 -0400
Re: [Avodah] What is the source for the minhag of Chasidim to

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Message: 12
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 15:57:11 -0400
Re: [Avodah] What is the source for the minhag of Chasidim to

On Fri, Oct 20, 2006 at 11:56:28AM +1000, SBA wrote:
: To have even a hava amina that the "basis" of a minhag practised by 
: tzadikim and kedoshim and thousands of their followers over centuries 
: is "due to a mistake in  transcription" is ludicrous and mischievous.

Actually, claims like that are made all the time.

The Torah Temimah suggested that the custom of saying "migdol yeshu'os"
when bentching on Shabbos and Yom Tov is because someone mistranscribed.
That originally it was a parenthetic note saying that in Shemu'el beis
the word is "migdol". The name of the seifer was abbreviated shin beis,
and a later transcriber took "b-sh-sh'" for beShabbos.

Lema'aseh the TT was mistaken, since the Avudraham could not have known of
a Xian "Samuel II". (Did the division even exist yet?) And the Avudraham
records the two leshonos.

Another example: RYBS's "explanation" (offered as a "the best I could come
up with") for why most chassidim do not sit in the Sukkah on SA. Chassidim
were nohagim to go to their rebbe for SA-ST. Since the crowd was too
large for a sukkah, they had the din of a chasan and his shushvinin,
and were peturim from the sukkah. But the chassidim all remembered that
by the rebbe, they didn't sit in the sukkah on SA, and so, they didn't
use the sukkah on SA even when home.

Minhagim are be'etzem something the people did first which the rabbanim
and intelligensia justified after the fact.

Tir'u beTov!

Micha Berger             Feeling grateful  to or appreciative of  someone
micha@aishdas.org        or something in your life actually attracts more
http://www.aishdas.org   of the things that you appreciate and value into
Fax: (270) 514-1507      your life.         - Christiane Northrup, M.D.


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