Avodah Mailing List

Volume 21: Number 3

Mon, 06 Nov 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "M Cohen" <mcohen@touchlogic.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2006 14:27:28 -0500
[Avodah] Taking Tums On Shabbos and/or Yom Tov?

...Are Tums considered candy or medicine in regard to taking on Shabbos..

R shlomo miller (Rosh kollel and posek Lakewood and Toronto) holds that
taking Tums (and similar types of things) are mutar to take before the
illness (ie heartburn) has arrived.

Mordechai Cohen

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Message: 2
From: "Dr. Josh Backon" <backon@vms.huji.ac.il>
Date: Sat, 04 Nov 2006 18:32:18
Re: [Avodah] Taking Tums On Shabbos and/or Yom Tov?

Someone asked:
>Are Tums considered candy or medicine in regard to taking on  Shabbos and/or
>Yom Tov? If one has heartburn as opposed to pregnant women  taking them as a
>calcium supplement.

The  SEFER REFUAT HA'SHABBAT discusses heartburn ("tzarevet") in Chapter
41, pages 322-323. He says that on Shabbat one should try to avoid eating
those foods that induce acid reflux and "l'chatchila ein likach soda l'shtiah
[sodium bicarbonate] k'dei listor chumtzot eilu d'ein zeh ma'achal b'ri'im.
V'assur mishum gzeirat shechikat sammanim".

However if EVERY food the person causes heartburn and he has no option of
eating except by taking bicarb then "yesh l'hakel".



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Message: 3
From: "Simon Montagu" <simon.montagu@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2006 11:27:00 +0200
Re: [Avodah] What is the source for the minhag of Chasidim to

On 10/24/06, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> For example (learned from RGDubin back in v4, 2000ce), the Torah Temima's
> (since disproven) theory about the origin of saying "migdol" in bentching on
> Shabbos. He writes that the original note was to contrast the text of
> bentching with that in Shemu'el beis, and therefore read "besh"b 'migdol'".
> Somone then expanded the rashei teivos to "beShabbos" and so the minhag was
> allegedly born.
> (WADR to the TT, the theory doesn't work because the Avudraham mentions the
> practice, and he didn't know about a future splitting of Shemu'el by people in
> another part of the world.)

I don't understand this disproof. The TT's theory seems to me to work
just as well if the original note said "beit shin" for "bishmuel"

A similar example that I heard from the late Rabbi Ephraim Wiesenberg
of London is the note in some haggadot that on motza'ei shabbat one
should say "min hapesahhim umin hazebahhim" instead of "min hazebahhim
umin hapesahhim" shortly before the second cup of wine. Now, there is
an explanation (which I forget) why on motza"sh the pesahh was eaten
before the zebahh, but what does that have to do with it? In context,
it refers to "regalim ahherim haba'im likratenu" and davka not this
year, so why should the order this year be taken into account?
Instead, it is suggested, there was originally a note "beit mem shin"
meaning "bamishna" (referring to the mishna within the bavli, Pesahhim
116b) which was misinterpreted as "bemotza'ei shabbat".

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Message: 4
From: "Mike Miller" <avodah@mikeage.net>
Date: Sat, 4 Nov 2006 18:36:40 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Taking Tums On Shabbos and/or Yom Tov?

>> Are Tums considered candy or medicine in regard to taking on Shabbos..

Many people take Tums as a calcium supplement (both pro-actively and
in response to low calcium), so they may have a din of vitamins.

-- Mike Miller
Ramat Bet Shemesh

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Message: 5
From: "Mike Wiesenberg" <torahmike@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Nov 2006 18:35:48 -0500
Re: [Avodah] honey

     Again, that honey is permitted is a mefurash gemora, bechoros 7b. To
say that chazal blew
it ....is inappropriate, no?. Not that I am the moderator, but ...
  From the avodah agreement:
  "Everything is open for debate except the legitimacy of halachah itself."

>>A lot of this argument is about just that kind of position: it is
>>"common knowledge" that bee-honey is permitted only because of confusion
>>in the word "dvash" with date-honey, but now that we're trying to look
>>for textual evidence, it's not so clear-cut.
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Message: 6
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doniels@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2006 14:17:22 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Lighting Neros on Yom Tov

R' Saul Mashbaum wrote:
I believe that one may almost always cook something on YT and rely on
the possibility (it need not be a likelihood) that unexpected guests
will come and the cooked food will be used to serve them (Shema ikleu

We learnt in daf yomi that that is not the reason nowadays. The 1st
Bi'ur Halocho in 527 (Al Yedie Eruv) goes through the 2 sides fo this
argument. The MB prefers one to be machmir as per RSM's reason (and
plenty Rishonim), yet agrees that the halocho is not so.

Thus, in priciple, one could cook all the way up to Shabbos.

- Danny

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Message: 7
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2006 02:36:47 +1100
[Avodah] Reason for Hamotzi ?

In the latest issue of the Mevakshei Torah journal, a reader asks
about the nusach of "Hamotzi Lechem min Haaretz".

He notes that all other similar brochos use the workd "Borei",
eg 'Pri Ha'etz', 'Pri Ho'adama', 'Minei Mezonos', 'Minei Besomim', 'Pri 
So why not here as well?

And after all, we do not actually get our bread straght from the ground.
Though I see one of the meforshim writes that the nusach refers to after 
arrival, when loaves of bread will appear from the earth...


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Message: 8
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2006 23:30:06 -0500
[Avodah] Peshat (was Re: Rav Keller's JO article on

Fri, 13 Oct 2006 from: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org> 
 > Zvi Lampel wrote: 
:From the Introduction to Rabbeynu Saadia Gaon's Full Commentary on the Torah: 
:> If I would further clarify this, I would add that it is proper for every 
:> person of understanding to always grasp the sefer Torah according to the 
:> peshat of the words that is mefursam [conventional/widely-known/familiar] 
:> among those who use that language, and [take the meaning that is] used more. RMB:
Which would include idiomatic or poetic usage, or even rare but accepted 

Yes, if there is some reason to abandon the literal meaning, which indeed is often, maybe even usually, the case.The first section of Moreh Nevuchim treats the subject. He first gives the primary, literal meaning of a word, shows where it is used in that meaning, then describes how it can have related, non-literal meanings, and shows how other pesukim do use it in that meaning based upon context. Then, based upon principles of reason or mesorah, he applies that meaning such words whose literal meaning would ascribe corporeality or other deficiencies to Hashem. There is a progression to follow, and one cannot go to the next step unless there is reason to do so. That is precisely what RSG and the Sefer Ikarrim are telling us. At stake for them was discounting the immediate jump by allegorists to allegorize everything--narratives and imperatives--at whim. RSG does not just say that one is free to say anything as long as it does not contradict Chazal. On the contrary, he says one
 understand the words in their primary, conventional meanings /unless/ reason or Chazal indicate otherwise. 

IMHO, this doesn't touch the inyan of whether "yom" must mean day rather than era unless we are told.

It follows from the above that "yom" means day, rather than era. That's how people talk presently. That's how you must agree it is usually used in the rest of Tanach. (As one example of its usage which comes up many times: When the Torah speaks of keeping a Yom Tov for a day, have you any doubt what it means?) And in Maasei Breishis, that is how it was impassively taken by the rishonim. Some (Rashi, Ramban, Abarbanel, Rabbeynu Ovadia MiBartenuro) express it in terms of hours. Some (Ibn Ezra, Rambam, Rabbeynu Bechaya, Seforno) express it in terms of the rotation of the heavenly sphere.The Rambam's son objects to the (Rashi) explanation that "the yom Hashem made the tolodos of Heaven and Earth" could be referring to Day One, on the grounds that the tolodos were not extracted/fashioned/perfected/positioned in one day, but over the rest of the six days. He therefore concludes that in this case, as well as in the case of the posuk that talks of "the Day that the Torah was given" t
 he prima
 ry meaning of "yom" must be relinquished in favor of the less-used meaning of "period of time." These are the exceptions. Like his father, he took it for granted that "yom" in all other cases, including in Maasei Bereishis, means a 24-hour type day.

ZL, quoting RSG:
: For the goal of every written work is that its ideas be wholly grasped by 
: those who hear it [read]. The only exception is if the chush (sensory 
: perception) or the seichel contradicts that terminology, or if the peshat of 
: that terminology clearly contradicts another verse, or contradicts the mesorah 
: of the prophets.... 

I assume also "the mesorah of the prophets" will raise the same contention 
between ourselves and RMShinnar as did the MN. Does this mean "the body of 
mesorah as a whole", ie defy some ikkar or shoresh, or does it mean the 
mesorah about the particular pasuq?

RSG's examples show he means the latter.

Old ZL:
: RMB and I have had a usually unexpressed disagreement over the "argument :from silence."
 If I understand him correctly, when Chazal and/or rishonim say 
: nothing about the meaning of a word, nothing can be learned about how they 
: understood it. I always maintained, and I submit the original quote from Sefer 
: HaIkarrim and now this passage from Rabbeynu Saadia Gaon demonstrates, that 
: the primary, conventional understanding of words is the correct way to 
: understand them, and is the way to understand how Chazal and/or Rishonim took 
: them, unless they state otherwise.... 

I think it's more like when the ba'alei mesorah say nothing about the meaning 
of the word, any peshat meaning is valid, whereas you are limiting it to the 
most usual usage.

Any "peshat" meaning is valid, but the definition of valid "peshat" is what's at issue. If the most usual usage is not given priority, then you are simply disregarding, or disagreeing with, what RSG, Rambam and Sefer Ikarrim are trying to tell you, or rendering their thesis meaningless.

Your way would involve gray area, BTW. If the homonym has 
two equally common translations, you obviously can't say one to the exclusion 
of the other. So how much more usual need it to be before it qualifies as a 
default assumption?

Yes, there are instances of gray area, and sometimes it's a toss-up (Rambam in MN notes some such cases), and that's why there are sometimes (make that often-times) machlokos. But you can't invoke the "where-do-you-draw-the-line" argument in cases where the conventional meaning is obvious.

But I am shying away from your position because (leshitas RSRH and I assume 
others) homonyms in Hebrew come from the two meanings having a single 
underlying commmon theme, and the word's translation really meaning that 
theme. The translations are really limiting the broader idea by fitting it 
into context and thus coming with different English words (or other 
descriptions in the translation) and are not really different translations. IOW, if yom refers to a time period of a certain sort, and both eras and days 
are times period of that sort, neither usage is the more primary translation 
-- they are just different assumptions about context coloring the same 
translation: "And it was evening and it was morning, one 

RSRH is proposing a subtly different idea than the Rambam. The Rambam takes the primary meaning of a word to be 100 percent of a given concept. For instance, "fire" is the concept of an entity that proffers light, heat, fury, destruction, melting, blackening, etc. The "borrowed" meaning takes just some of these properties, not all; so that one who is angry can be described as "fiery." For although he is not proferring light, melting, or blackening, he is demonstrating fury.So granted that according to RSRH, the "real" meaning of a word is solely what the homynym has in common with the "literal" meaning. But this does not change the fact that there is a meaning that the speaker means to convey. And it does not negate the thesis of RSG, Rambam and Sefer Ikarrim that in understanding the Torah?s intent, the initial preference should be given to the primary, usual, conventional meaning of words meant by people when they use that term. And that meaning should only be abandoned if 
 reason o
 r mesorah indicates that one should abandon it.
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Message: 9
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2006 17:52:36 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Prophets are infallible?

Fri, 03 Nov 2006 from: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il> 

> Sefer HaIkkarim 3:17 says that prophets other than Moshe are fallible 
> i.e. they can misunderstand what they are seeing. 

> Does anyone else state that prophets are fallible? 

Every human being, even Moshe Rabbeynu, is fallible. But when true prophets report a prophecy, the Sefer Ikarrim 3:17 cited succinctly begins "sheh-kall divrei ha-neveim amti'im b'li safek,"--all the words of the prophets are true without question (as is indeed the 6th of the Rambam's 13 Ikarrim).
The Sefer Ikarrim says--as does the Torah--that the prophets other than Moses perceived and related Hashem's thoughts through imagary and riddles. Thus, they perceived "seeing" Hashem which, as an impossibility, is an erronous sight. Nevertheless, he says, they were fully aware that the image they saw was not literally true, but only true for the message intended. They did not misunderstand what they saw, any more than one misunderstands a model of an atom when he knows it's only a model of an atom.
The consequence of this that the Sefer Ikarrim points to is where it may seem that a prophet saw "more" than what Moses perceived. Since Moses was the greatest of prophets, anything a prophet perceived must be qualified by what we know is true, and what we know is G-d's will, from Moses.
Zvi Lampel
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Message: 10
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2006 09:08:33 -0500
[Avodah] Gadol Bchachmah Ubminyan

The Rambam (Mamrim 2:2) explains that a later Sanhedrin is greater
bminyan (even though it's got the same number of participants in the
voting) if "minyan chachmei hador shhiskimu vkiblu hadavar sheamru bet
din hagadol vlo chalku bo".  Is this definition universally agreed to?
Does it refer to chachmei hador outside of the sanhedrin or the
discussion within? How are "chachmei hador" defined?

Joel Rich

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Message: 11
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2006 15:55:07 -0500
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Article about Kashrus Lecture From the

On Areivim, Yitzchok Levine wrote:
> The November 1 issue of The Hamodia contained excerpts from a talk 
> that Rabbi Yosef Eisen gave during Chol Moed Succos in Flatbush. In 
> it he discussed some of the ramifications of the Shevach scandal that 
> occurred in Monsey.

The article includes:
> Maybe they?re being meikil with pilot lights. A Rema quotes an
> issur b?heter, and says it?s a bedi?eved. So, too, rule the Aruch
> Hashulchan and the Chochmas Adam, and that?s what the Biur Hagra
> says on the spot ? not to rely on this lechatchilah.  But for some
> inexplicable reason, over ninety percent of hashgachos are meikil.

Lo zachiti lehavin.  The Rema is in YD 113:7, but I don't see where
he says it's bediavad.  He doesn't give it the explicit approval of
a "vechen nohagin", but nor does he make any negative comment.  Nor
does the Biur Hagra seem to say what R Eisen says he says.  Rather,
the Gra (in note 20) refers us to what he said earlier (in note 18),
that he disagrees with the Rema on the whole question of the fire,
and paskens like the Mechaber that lighting the fire doesn't help
at all, neither lechatchila nor bediavad; it therefore follows that
lighting the pilot light doesn't help either.

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                       	                          - Clarence Thomas


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