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Volume 22: Number 11

Tue, 19 Dec 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 13:17:12 -0000
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] URL: article about halachic

Further to our conversation regarding aseh doche lo ta'aseh - I saw over
shabbas that Rav Moshe has a teshuva on the question in Iggeros Moshe
Yoreh Deah chelek aleph siman 93 - ie specifically on the question of
whether one can pudh off the zayin nekiim in the face of pru u'rvu -
although he concludes inconclusively (at least in writing).

He, like RZS, appears initially to see the problem as being for her -
that for him it would seem initially that there is no problem, as it is
only an issur d'rabbanan in the face of a d'orisa mitzvah - but for her
there is a problem because she is not commanded in pru u'rvu, and is she
allowed to sin in an issur kal in order to enable her husband to fulfil
a mitzvah raba.  Cases he cites are the heter to freeing (presumably he
means the half slave) in order to enable pru 'urvu and the heter to
enable his friend to fulfil the mitzvah of pesach and he also quotes the
beis yosef in orech chaim at the end of siman 306 that one can even be
over on the issur of shabbat in order to save his daughter from shmad.
But on the other hand he says that it does not seem to him that we can
prove a general rule from here because we see that it is forbidden to be
over on an issur shvus to bring a knife even if the issur is a
d'rabbanan even though that will allow the kiyum of the mitzvah raba of
bris mila and also it is forbidden to do haza even to enable the mitzva
raba of pesach (and he brings tosfos that even though one can be over no
a shvus of amira l'akum vis a vis yishuv eretz yisroel, they then say
not for other mitzvos).  

And from this he writes that maybe there is even a problem for him to be
over on a d'rabbanan, even though it is clear that to enable pru u'rvu
we can free a slave, because maybe it is only a d'orisa that can be
pushed off in order to enable a mitzvah raba to be performed.

Some thoughts on this:

The case of not bringing a knife on shabbas has, I thought, a lot to do
with the fact that bringing the knife is something that could have been
done erev shabbas (the shulchan aruch refers to this explicitly in siman
331, si'if 1).  While I thought that rabbinical prohibitions could be
violated for a bris mila if they do not involve preparations that could
have been done previously.  Is it not the second case that is more
analogous here?

Both Shabbas and Pesach are cases where, if the mitzvah cannot be done
in its correct time, it can be done later - in the case of mila it can
be pushed off until yom rishon, while in the case of Pesach, that is
what Pesach sheni is for.  While the other cases are cases where unless
one is allowed to be over on the d'rabbanan, the mitzvah may never be
performed - which would seem to be more analogous to our case.

While Rav Moshe starts out apparently differentiating the case where one
person is over an issur to help another - in bringing the case of the
half slave (where the issur of freeing is clearly that of the master) he
seems in effect to be discounting that as a problem, and rather focusses
on whether you can be doche a rabbinical issur to enable a biblical
mitzvah, regardless of who is doing it (there is no suggestion that
bringing the knife for the bris mila might  be more permissible if it is
done by the father than by anybody else).

On another matter, some people have questioned my statement that giving
a sperm donation is a vadai issur d'orisa (and in particular have
pointed me in the direction of Bnei Banim vol 4 siman 19 and Ezer
Mekodesh Even Haezer 25:2).  

On the other hand, Rav Moshe in`Even HaEzer chelek aleph siman 64 while
he brings that which is found in the Tosphos Rid in Yevamos that the
ma'aseh of Er v' Onan is dependent on kavanah, that if the kavanah is
not to make her pregnant that is assur, but if the kavana is to fulfil
the desire of the eiver that is mutar and that R' Meir and the Chachamim
disagree about if his kavanah is not to make her pregnant because of
sakana and see further discussions there - but clearly rejects this
approach, on the grounds that, if this is the case, why is everybody so
concerned about somebody having hirhurim in the day because of what may
happen at night etc etc - which is certainly the way I have always
understood it.  Maybe more when I have had a chance to look at more than
the first few paragraphs of the Bene Banim as the implications do seem

And on the subject of consistency - if we are going to hold that a woman
has no mizvah of pru u'rvu even on a rabbinic level, that has
implications, not just for a miut that may be suffering from
infertility, but for the rov who have no such problems vis a vis the
whole question of women specific birth control (ie the pill - and why
Rabbinic sanction is generally regarded as necessary).  And similarly if
we can comfortably ignore questions of safety vis a vis ovulation
extending drugs the same can presumably be said for birth control pills.



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Message: 2
From: rabbi@att.net (Mordechai Torczyner)
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 18:33:24 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Al petach beito mibachutz

For me the issue in lighting outside is practicality.

I tried to light outside a few years ago, using a fish tank as a cover. The concept was to light and then lower the lid on the tank, but this is problematic. Since we say hadlakah oseh mitzvah, the menorah must be able to last the proper length of time at the moment I light it, but with the cover raised the menorah could not last the requisite time!

Be well,

Congregation Sons of Israel, 
Allentown, PA 
Mareh Mekomos Reference Library 
Index to the Talmud
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Message: 3
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doniels@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 21:31:01 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Al petach beito mibachutz

R' Zev Sero asked (via WiFi watching his menora):
: Is there a good reason why I've never heard of anyone in chu"l doing
: it that way, even where the weather permits it?

Even in EY not that many people do it; even if every entrance has a
few menorot, it's nowhere near the number of people in the buildings.

The reason I stopped lighting outside (in EY) is that no matter where
you light in the house you're yotze; even putting the menora on your
table is OK.

But outdoors it has to be at the door to your house or yard. Is that
the front door, the entrance to the building or the entrance to the
courtyard (we have 8 buildings in a tight square.)

You also have to have it in the tefach nearest to the opening (petach).

If you don't put it in the precise location outdoors you may not be
fulfilling the mitzva and also you'd be making 2 brochos in vain.

So if you want to be machmir and be sure to fulfil the mitzva, be
meikil and light indoors.

A lichtige Chanuka

- Danny

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Message: 4
From: "Moshe Feldman" <moshe.feldman@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 23:04:44 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Halachic justification for short sleeves

I wrote:
> The Gemara Kesubos 72b writes that a woman who knits in public and shows
> her elbows while doing so violates das yehudis.  

I did not correctly translate zero'a.  It means either arm or upper arm.

> I also note that Rashi Kesubos 72a explains "das yehudis" as "what women
> were noheg even though it's not written."  It would therefore make sense
> that das yehudis should be fluid and depend on the way women dress in any
> particular locale.  I admit that theoretically, one could argue that once
> something becomes das yehudis, it never loses that status, but from a
> historical perspective, such an argument would be hard to make

The Maharam Alshaker (lived from 1466-1542) siman 35 writes that although
the gemara states "se'ar b'isha erva," this applies just to the hair that
women have a custom to cover, and therefore if a woman moves from a place
where women cover all their hair to a place where women leave hair hanging
out of "tzma'san" for the purpose of beauty ("l'hisna'os bo"), the woman may
follow the latter minhag (and, in fact, the Bais Yosef OC 75 cites the
Rashba stating that se'arah mi'chutz l'tzma'sa is permitted).  He cites the
Raavya that an unmarried woman is permitted to not cover her hair because
people are used to this, and se'ar b'isha erva applies only to hair which is
normally covered.  (This Maharam Alshaker is cited by the Magen Avraham and
Be'ur Halacha OC 75.)

Shu"t Yascil Avdi vol. 4 OC siman 9 uses this Maharam Alshaker, as well as
the Ben Ish Chai (Parshas Bo sections 10 and 12) and Shu"t Maharam Ben
Chaviv (no citation) to show that in a locale where women have the custom to
bare their arms (zero'a), yesh la'hem al mah lismoch.

The Lechem Chamudos (= Divrei Chamudos--see
http://www.daat.ac.il/encyclopedia/value.asp?id1=1112, written by the baal
Tosfos Yom Tov) on the Rosh in Berachos (3:116) is also cited as a basis for
being mekil.  He states that "kol makom u'makom l'fi minhago" with respect
to what is considered mekomos ha'mechusim, and specifically mentions zero'a
right before that comment, implying that the comment applies to zero'a as

I am told that Rav Aharon Lichtenstein paskens that the issue of short
sleeves depends on minhag, and where the minhag is to be meikil, one may do

In contrast, Mishna Brurah 75:2,10 (citing Rokeach, Chayei Adam and Eliya
Rabba) says that it makes no difference whether it customary for women in
that locale to uncover their zero'a. Also, Yabia Omer OC 6:14(3) agrees with
the MB and disagrees with the proof that the Yascil Avdi brought from the
Ben Ish Chai.  (The Ben Ish Chai says that a woman who uncovers her breast
while breastfeeding is not considered to be showing erva.  ROY argues that
that is permitted because it is l'tzorech, but wearing short sleeves is not
l'tzorech.  I find that difficult--(1) she could always cover herself with a
blanket, so it's not really l'zorech; (2) in hot climates, wearing short
sleeves is l'tzorech; and (3) in any case, the case of breastfeeding shows
that there is a part of the body which for most people is considered erva
yet for some it is not if darka l'galos.)  This is also the position of the
Klausenberger Rebbe in Shu"t Divrei Yetziv EhE 37 (who focuses primarily on
the issue of whether shok is until the knee or the bottom of the leg).

The idea that the upper arm is not objectively erva makes sense to me.  When
I lived in America, my very tzniusdik Christian secretary (who told me that
she often shops in heimishe clothing stores so as to get modest clothing)
would wear short sleeves, yet seemed more modest to me than many frum women.

(Note that I don't have personal negios here, as my wife is makpidah to
cover her elbows.  I was simply writing this in response to a comment I had
made on Areivim regarding some women in Gush Etzion who cover their hair but
wear short sleeves.)

Kol tuv,

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 22:50:27 -0500
[Avodah] Historu of Havarah

I was learning IM OCh 2:5 as part of researching sources we once
discussed to find RMF's position on eilu va'eilu. (See 
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol21/v21n015.shtml#02> for my first post
based on this round of IM hunting.)

Kedrarko beqodesh, only one havarah is amitis, but any mesoretic havarah
is kosher (eg for chalitzah, where the qeri'ah is me'aqeves).

I am not sure what this means. For example, we know that true Ashkenaz
havarah had a distinct ayin. (Ask any boy nicknamed "Yankl".) It dropped
out because the local languages had no such sound. Is this change
"real", or is the mesorah with an /ng/ ayin? And once we say we should
revert this shift, how many are similar but simply too old to know?
And what about sheva na and sheva nach? RAKotler pasqens about them, but
one could argue that Ashkenazi havarah pronounces them interchangably.
Again, what defines a valid shift, and what should be corrected?

RMF also makes some historical claims that are hard for me to understand:

1- He says that from Matan Torah until churban bayis rishon there was
only one havarah. What about sheivet Ephraim, who couldn't say the /sh/
of "shibolet"?

I would have thought every sheivet pronounced Hebrew distinctly.

2- RMF writes that Ashkenazi havaros enjoy a rov, and in fact "ubiperat
shebenei Ashqenaz hayu harov bekhol hadoros".

Genetic tests on Ashkenazim (eg studies on Tay Sachs) show that a thousand
year ago, there were amazingly few Ashkenazi families. (And in fact, 40%
of Ashkenazim are tracable to just four women of that period, according
to Dr. Doron Behar's PhD thesis. These women have rare mDNA.)

So, there was almost certainly a time when Ashkenazi havarah didn't have
anything close to a majority of users.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "The worst thing that can happen to a
micha@aishdas.org        person is to remain asleep and untamed."
http://www.aishdas.org          - Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv, Alter of Kelm
Fax: (270) 514-1507      

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Message: 6
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 23:00:02 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Chanukah priorities

On Monday, 18. December 2006 19:04, avodah-request@lists.aishdas.org wrote:
> In theory, a multi-dimensional matrix is of need: betzibber or beyoched,
> oring before or after the shkie, after tzeis or before tzeis (repeating
> shma after tzeis), lighting as early as possible, lighting before or after
> shkie, before or after nacht, lighting before or after maaref.

RPLM, wouldn't you have some mercy on our non-yekkische list members and 
explain to them what oren means. (I'll give it away: In Easternspeak it's 
called davvening)
Arie Folger

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Message: 7
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 17:26:47 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Al petach beito mibachutz

Mordechai Torczyner wrote:

> For me the issue in lighting outside is practicality.  
> I tried to light outside a few years ago, using a fish tank as a cover. 
> The concept was to light and then lower the lid on the tank, but this is 
> problematic. Since we say hadlakah oseh mitzvah, the menorah must be 
> able to last the proper length of time at the moment I light it, but 
> with the cover raised the menorah could not last the requisite time!

And Danny Schoemann wrote:

> The reason I stopped lighting outside (in EY) is that no matter where
> you light in the house you're yotze; even putting the menora on your
> table is OK.
> But outdoors it has to be at the door to your house or yard. Is that
> the front door, the entrance to the building or the entrance to the
> courtyard (we have 8 buildings in a tight square.)

So how did they do it in the time of Chazal?  They also lived in
houses which opened into chatzerot which opened into mevuot.  And
they didn't have fish tanks, or glass cases.  And yet they lit
outdoors, keeping the Tarmudaim company.

> You also have to have it in the tefach nearest to the opening (petach).
> If you don't put it in the precise location outdoors you may not be
> fulfilling the mitzva and also you'd be making 2 brochos in vain.

I don't really see that.  Putting it outside, but not within the
closest tefach to the doorpost, may not be the best way, but it still
must be at least as good as putting it on your table.  If you can say
the brachot over a menorah that's on your table inside, where nobody
from outside can see it (mipnei hasakana) then surely you can say them
if it's nearly but not quite in the right place outside, where everyone
can see it.

BTW, I'm outside again tonight.  It's a bit chillier and windier than
last night, and the lights are flickering, but I have them just under
a tefach inside the doorway, so they're a bit sheltered.  Here are
some pix from last night: http://sero.name/menorah.html

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

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Message: 8
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 17:07:55 EST
Re: [Avodah] Halachic Infertility, or, Abolishing Shivah

R'n Ilana Sober writes:

>>The problem of halachic infertility should  certainly not be minimized.
Fundamentally, it is a result of churban, galut,  the lack of a sanhedrin,
etc. No - the halachic system is not perfect and  even causes suffering. Dr.
Rosenak is correct that in this case, as in  others, the problem is not that
G-d designed an imperfect system, but that  the system has deteriorated. He
misidentifies the cause of the deterioration  as "the rabbis." The cause of
the deterioration is churban and galut - the  rabbis are those who saved the
system from total  disintegration.<<
My father R' Bulman zt'l said something very similar about the  problem of 
agunos.  It is one of the tzaros of galus.  The hands  of the rabbanim are often 
tied, not because of the halacha, but because of  galus.

--Toby  Katz

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Message: 9
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 17:39:42 -0500
[Avodah] Nevuah/psak

An interesting article by R' Elman appeared in Tradition (Fall 1985)
which has a very different take on lo bashamayim hi (which iiuc
originally drives us to say these diyukim from nach are a different
level). He cites R' Tzadok as saying that until the anshei knesset
hagedolah (when prophesy stopped) people went to the navi to know the
dvar hashem (with certainty but only in their particular case). After
that , there is no true certainty. This would explain why we don't see
sanhedrin's footprints in nach and why lo bashamayim hi overruled a bat
kol (but perhaps wouldn't overrule true nvuah - see all the commentaries
on what bat kol is). It might also explain the mahartz chiyut's
understanding iirc of teiku - that eliyahu can be mvarer 'facts" but not
new dinim. 

It's a fascinating , albeit nonstandard approach. Has anyone seen
anything else on this R' Tzadok?

Joel Rich

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Message: 10
From: Chanani Sandler <chananisandler@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 19:13:11 -0800 (PST)
[Avodah] Kosher Food vs. Lifnei Iver

I have the opportunity to provide my colleague with sufganiyot and "chanukah gelt" chocolates  for Chanukah, but he may not recite a Bracha. On the one hand providing him with kosher food appears to be a good thing (as the person would be eating kosher... or at least not eating non-kosher), but giving him food to eat when I know that he will most probably not recite a Bracha may be Lifnei Iver. I am wondering if the mitzvah of eating kosher trumps not reciting a bracha. Any thoughts?
Do You Yahoo!?
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Message: 11
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2006 07:14:13 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Kosher Food vs. Lifnei Iver

On Mon, Dec 18, 2006 at 07:13:11PM -0800, Chanani Sandler wrote:
: I have the opportunity to provide my colleague with sufganiyot and
: "chanukah gelt" chocolates for Chanukah, but he may not recite a
: Bracha....

Restauraneurs do this all the time.

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 12
From: "A & C Walters" <acwalters@bluebottle.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2006 16:20:38 +0200
[Avodah] zman hadloko erev shabbos and motzei shabbos

There is much dispute as to when is the correct time to light Chanuke licht 
Friday evening and Mot"Sh. Mot"Sh is the smaller of the problems, because we 
can be someich on the RaM"A and can light later than the zman. The Brisker 
Rov ztvk"l claims that the zman hadloko mot"sh is different to the rest of 
the week, and those who are noheg "shtot zman" should light then, R"T, for 
them it is their zman", an achtel, a sechxtel etc. (He himself would 
normally take out Shabbos very late, but Mo"S Chanuka he davened by the 
achtel, and lit by the sechxtl - he had his daughter light the match and the 
shamash; he only lit the actual candles of the mitzveh). Either way, it is 
not too problematic. Those, however who follow the Gr"o (who is cholek on 
R"T and Royv Rishonim) should nevertheless be careful to know that gimel 
kochovim is required lekula almeh (this azoro is from the Ch"C in BH"l). I 
remember one year walking to Mincha one shabbos Chanuka and looking at the 
freshly lit menoyros as I passed)

The bigger problem is Friday night. According to Halocho, the zman (at least 
on Friday) is from Plag HaMincha. This is an hour and a quarter (75 minutes) 
before Tteis. (According to the Levush, before shkia). For those who hold 
R"T l'iker hadin, it means that plag is only 3 minutes before shkia (as the 
BH"l points out Reis Samech Alef, beinyan tosefes shabes). For those who are 
also choshesh the yerayim lechumra (who hold that 13.5 minutes before shkia 
is BH"S and shkia is vadei leila) there is of course a problem. (by the way, 
why isn't there the same problem every Friday night of shabbos licht which 
also cannot be lit before plag, the teretz is we can be somech on R' Akiva 
Eiger (brought down by SH"Z) that by shabbos, plag is a simon that you are 
lighting for shabos and not for yourself; since everyone lights that time, 
it is clear why you are lighting and it is ok even before plag. This does 
not apply to chanuka licht where plag is the iker zman, not just a somon 

One eitzeh is to light 15 minutes before the shkia and to be somech on the 
levush, that means 75 minutes before 58.5 (zman bh"s lfi R"T) is 16.5 
minutes before shkia. Therefore lighting between 16.5 minutes before shkia 
and 13.5 minutes before shkia fits in beautifully. However, if you start 
being choshes shiur mil at longer than 18 mins (eg 24 mins) than 3/4 mil - 
18 mins, and you have again a problem.

The truth is, we don't pasken like the Yeraim, whereas we do pasken like R"T 
(royv rishonim, Sh"O, RaM"O, Baal HaTanya (in sefer, not in siddur), Chasam 
Sofer, Satmar Rov, Klausenberger Rov, Minchas Cohen (in sefer Bein 
HaShmoshes, brought down a lot by Mis"B, the Mish"B also (at least 
lechumra), RMF (although he holds R"T in America is 50 not 72)and lbcl"c Rav 
Ovadia Yosef) so how can we risk a brocho levatolo just to be choshes a daas 
yochid (Yeraim).

I personally don't see why we have to be somech on the Levush, and I light 
2.5 minutes before the shkia on Friday. (Since I hold R"T iker hadin). Also 
RMF and lbcl"c ROY both pasken beinyan hefsek tahara after shkia (RMF 9 mins 
(in Brooklyn) ROY 13.5 mins) is kosher due to the sfek sfeika (sofek if 
halocho is like R"T in which case it's vadai yoim even after the  shkeia, 
sofek geonim. Even if the halocho is like the geonim, there's still a sofek 
yoim sofek laila (it's bein hashmoshes). They are soimech on this even for a 
chashash kores of niddah (zova to be specific). So presumably this case is 
much lighter, in that is before the shkeia, and even if it were to be a 
mistake in the luach/clock, there is still a Sf"Sf which one could be somech 
on, bedieved.

A freilichen chanuke

Beis Shemesh

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