Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 59

Tue, 20 Mar 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Michael Kopinsky" <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 04:31:08 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Retzei

On 3/20/07, Jonathan Baker <jjbaker@panix.com> wrote:
> RMKop:
> > We are davening that HQBH will "Retzei b'amcha yisrael uvisfilasam", and
> > one day he will "hasheiv es ha'avodah lidvir beisecha," and THEN
> "v'ishei
> > yisrael us'filasam b'ahava s'kabeil b'ratzon." IOW, this is a
> > chronological progression
> > Why do none of the meforshim on siddur say this? (Caveat- I haven't
> looked
> > all the meforshim on this issue, but am being someich on (I think)
> > Artscroll's commentary which mentions only the two pshatim that RES
> More interestingly, why does Artscroll use the "chronological" inter-
> pretation when it's not brought in the MB's summary?

I should have been more clear.  The "chronological" interpretation is my own
chiddush.  I was someich on Artscroll re: the existence of the dichotomy of

I didn't completely follow your presentation of the Tur, but it seems to be
similar to what I'm saying (without explicitly discussing the chronological
progression, but I don't think that's crucial).  Is there a significant
difference that I'm missing?

I don't have a MB on me now, but when I get a chance I'll look this up and
see if I mean the same thing as the Tur.

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 22:45:40 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Halachic who is right from "The Lost Scotch"

On Mon, Mar 19, 2007 at 11:34:54PM -0000, Chana Luntz wrote:
: First of all, and only being slightly cute here - at the time that this
: all occurred, Yehoshua was already married to Devorah and ishto k'gufo.
: Yehoshua may have been surprised by the appearance of Chaim ben Zundel,
: but the Yehoshua/Devorah combination was not.

I think this is meaningful, and wish you hadn't stated it so cutely.
It deserves serious consideration.

Who is the BHB? The couple as a unit did mess up.

Nistapkha sadeihu doesn't seem fair to the singer, who turned down jobs.
How common must something be for it to be an implicitely assumed risk?
Is it relevent that the norm is for the chasan or the chasan's side to
hire the singer?

For that matter, the kallah KNEW there would be some singer who wouldn't
be canceled, the loss was caused directly by her actions. She should
be the one mechuyeves to pay sechar bitul. They had the combined money
already comitted to pay both singers, this is an attempt to recoup
money already set aside.

(And if this is about to become a kollel couple, they had /better/ take
the concept of sechar bitul seriously.)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "As long as the candle is still burning,
micha@aishdas.org        it is still possible to accomplish and to
http://www.aishdas.org   mend."
Fax: (270) 514-1507          - Unknown shoemaker to R' Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 3
From: "Ilana Sober" <sober@pathcom.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 23:14:24 -0500
[Avodah] microphone on shabbos

It's interesting that, as electricity becomes more and more ubiquitous, abstaining from its use becomes very much a defining feature of Shabbat.

Also interesting that, IIUC, the use of electricity without an incandescent element is generally considered d'rabbanan, so that Tzomet et al are able to devise devices that can be used with grama switches etc b'makom tzorech. For ordinary life, a day without electricity is very much set apart and one can easily understand the halachic instinct that it should be prohibited. But in situations of illness, disability, security, etc - even situations that do not get to the level of pikuach nefesh - a day without electricity can be extremely trying.

- Ilana
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Message: 4
From: Meir Shinnar <chidekel@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 23:13:49 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Ikkarim Redux

> 2.   WRT to orthopraxy - in general, someone who makes kiddush and  
> is  shomer
> shabbat is me'id on briat haolam.   The notion of hezkat  kashrut  
> means that
> unless we have specific knowledge to the contrary,  someone who is  
> orthoprax
> has the hazaka of being orthodox - and we don't  normally check  
> ikkarim....

> The Talmud tells us that someone who recites Krias Shema without  
> Tefilin is
> considered as if he is giving false testimony because of the  
> connection
> between  Tefilin and Shema. While the recitation of Kiddush and  
> Havdalah
> accomplishes the  mitzvas aseh of sanctifying Shabbos verbally at  
> the beginning and
> departure of  Shabbos, OTOH, I know of no source wherein it is  
> stated that reciting
> Kiddush is  considered as if one sanctifies Shabbos by refraining from
> melacha.

Of course, I agree with RSB - my point was  that someone who makes  
kiddush "and" (emphasis now added - but was in original) is being  
me'id by words and actions - not that saying kiddush makes one shomer  
shabbat..- but that edut is sufficient proof unless one has specfic  
proof otherwise.

Meir Shinnar
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Message: 5
From: "Moshe Yehuda Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 23:16:08 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Retzei

*On Fri, March 16, 2007 12:39 pm, Elliott Shevin wrote:
*: I find the latter awkward; "return the service to... and the fire-
*: Nonetheless, I have a vague recollection that this sort of construction,
*: a subject of a prepositional phrase added after the phrase ends, is used
*: elsewhere in liturgy and/or Tanach, but can't recall any examples and
*: enjoy seeing one or two.

There's at least one other in Tefillah: Hamelech B'chvodo Tamid Yimloch
Aleinu, V'al Kol Ma'asav.


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Message: 6
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 23:16:27 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Halachic who is right from "The Lost Scotch"

Micha Berger wrote:

> Nistapkha sadeihu doesn't seem fair to the singer, who turned down jobs.

I wonder if this is another distinction to be drawn.  In the classic
case, can we assume that the day labourer would have found another job,
had he not committed himself to this one?  Perhaps not.  Is there any
record in the gemara of how often a day labourer could expect to find
himself unemployed for a day?  In our case, however, our singer got
actual offers, which he turned down; that would seem to make his loss
more concrete, and perhaps give him a greater entitlement to compensation.

But let's consider another case: what if the entire wedding had to be
called off?  Perhaps the shidduch was cancelled altogether, or perhaps
one of the couple got sick and it had to be postponed, etc.  Such things
happen, and I imagine that people in the wedding industry have learned
from experience (their own or others) to draw up standard contracts that
include provision for such an occurrence.  (In fact, I'd call this a
case of poel yodea uBHB eino yodea, similar to a case when the BHB just
bought the farm and has no experience with this river, while the worker
is an old hand, who knows the river's moods and habits well.)

I imagine that if this singer does any reasonable amount of wedding
business his standard contract provides for how much he is to be paid
if his services turn out not to be required for any reason.  And that
provision would equally govern what happens in our case.

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: 7
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 23:19:05 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Halachic who is right from "The Lost Scotch"

From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" _kennethgmiller@juno.com_ 

>>My first reaction was to object, and say that not everyone can  spare 
the cash with which to go beyond what is absolutely required. $500 is  
a lot of money!

But then I realized that the chasan of the story DID  have that money 
available, and he WAS prepared to part with it, specifically  to give 
to that singer. <<
Also, his kallah (or her father) has even /more/ money than the chosson,  
because -- don't forget -- she hired the /real/  Chaim ben Zundel, who must  
command more for a performance than Davidi, the guy who only impersonates Chaim  
ben Zundel!  So even if $500 seemed like a lot of money to the chosson  before 
he got married, he can afford to be more generous now that he  has married 
into an affluent family.  :- )

--Toby  Katz

************************************** AOL now offers free email to everyone. 
 Find out more about what's free from AOL at http://www.aol.com.
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Message: 8
From: Meir Shinnar <chidekel@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 23:21:51 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Ikkarim Redux

> RSB's  point is irrelevant to the main point of the post - my point is
> that in  dealing with others, we have a greater obligation with  
> respect to
> what we  (not they - we) do than what they believe

> WADr, I disagree, especially, when Ikarim are part and parcel of the
> rationale for determining compliance with whether one complies with  
> a halacha  such
> as Shemiras Shabbos (as opposed to making Kiddush), shechitah and  
> edus and
> even fulfilling Mitzvas Krias Shema which is defined as Kabbalas Ol  
> Malchus
> Shamayim.

I think (or hope) we are talking about cross purposes.

In dealing with those who are not yet zoche to be Orthodox, as with  
everything else,  I think that it is far more important to focus on  
what our obligations are - to hashem, to ourselves,and to the other -  
rather than focus on the faults of the others - and sometimes  
focusing on those faults causes us to go astray.  That isn't a point  
that the others don't have faults - and I am sure RSB can give an  
exhaustive catalogue of faults - nor what is the optimal (or even  
minimal) form of kabbalat malchut shamaim - but the question of the  
proper response to those who we think fail to measure up....

Meir Shinnar
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Message: 9
From: "Samuel Svarc" <ssvarc@yeshivanet.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 01:33:20 -0500
Re: [Avodah] The Lost Scotch

Due to the many complaints about the morality of the p'sak, I think it is
only fair to quote the author's introduction to the p'sakim. (The halachic
rightness is something I myself am troubled by, and plan to post separately

"  When I introduced the idea of a short-story book on Choshen Mishpat to a
variety of Rabbonim they all shared the same concern.

"You have to include a very clear disclaimer," they insisted. "A warning to
your readers not to try and rule on their own based on what they find in the

Such disclaimers are in fact quite common in books of a sensitive halachic
nature. A typical entry would read similar to the following.

This book is intended as a guide only. In case of practical application a
competent Halachic Authority should be consulted.

This statement in a book of Choshon Mishpat presents a difficulty. In case
of practical application, consulting with a competent halachic authority to
assess one's rights is pointless. It is impossible to correctly answer a
disputant without first hearing the opposing party's version of the story.
Such investigation invariably depicts a tapestry of events quite different
from those originally presented and only through hearing from both sides can
a true picture of what actually transpired possibly appear. Consequently,
any Rov giving a clear, unequivocal ruling to an individual disputant is by
definition incompetent!

The key words to consider here are assessing one's rights. A great deal of
useful advice on dispute extrication can be gleaned from a Rov, or indeed
from any level-headed, unbiased person. In most petty disputes being right
is irrelevant; the correct thing to do is engage in damage control and mend
a friendship, sometimes even enduring a monetary loss in the process.

Such an attitude is based upon elementary economics. Engaging in a
Cost-Benefit Analysis of the aggregated costs of a dispute invariably
indicate the need to find middle ground; to search for a happy medium with
which both parties are comfortable. Unless one of the parties harbors
malicious intent, this is by far the most successful method of settling
disputes and removing ingrained resentment and strife.

Synonymous with such an approach are the barometers of moral correctness,
ehrlichkeit and mentchlichkeit. It is erroneous to pursue a regimen of
strict halachic adherence without considering these platitudes, as evidenced
by the Talmud's statement, "Jerusalem was only destroyed because of halachic
exactitude in money matters." (Baba Metzia 30b)

However, it must be emphasized that to base an approach to monetary dispute
solely upon one's moral inclinations is woefully inadequate. On the
contrary, such an outlook lends itself to halachic abuse, for "every man is
just in his own eyes" (Mishlei, chap.21 v.2) - by process of elimination
disputants will inevitably blame the conflicting party for not being
ehrlich. Under this 'noble' banner, a vociferous, well-connected and
charismatic litigant can engineer a coercive social atmosphere to demonize
the opponent, from which the only escape is capitulation. This is certainly
not consonant with halacha. The truly moral path first requires an
appreciation of the halacha, and only afterwards considers what is ehrlich
and mentchlich and what not. 

This provides for a secondary note of caution to the reader. The rulings
given in the following pages are strictly halacha-based; any moral
conclusion would be dependent on factors other than the technicalities of
the story and hence beyond the scope of this work. Nevertheless, a study of
the rulings and their underlying principles will still prove invaluable in
introducing important halachic principles and their relevant applications.

This also explains why not every story ends with a final psak halacha.
Rather than devote pages of explanation to fine, hair-splitting halachic
complexities, I have been content to briefly quote relevant sources and
explain why the issue has been left unresolved. On the contrary, it would be
obtuse to write conclusively on debatable issues; halacha requires that a
Beis Din be comprised of (ideally) at least three judges, allowing the word
of the individual to be over-ruled anyway!

Although producing a book in English does provide the unscrupulous
individual with the tools and knowledge to manipulate halacha for his or her
own devices, this is not reason in itself to desist from such an endeavor.
For this is the way of the entire Torah - For the ways of Hashem are
straight. The righteous walk in them and the wicked stumble over them
(Hoshea 14, 10).  "

I hope that this will retain the author's chezkat kashrus that he so easily


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Message: 10
From: "Samuel Svarc" <ssvarc@yeshivanet.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 01:40:06 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Halachic who is right from "The Lost Scotch"

In what must be first on A/A, I side with R' MS. I fail to see the oneis by
the singer. As he and RN' CL have pointed out, the oneis that is referenced
in SA is an "Act of G-d". *Choosing* not to have him sing is no "Act of
G-d", but rather an act of man. Why is the singer faulted if Yehoshua chose
not have him sing in conjunction with Chaim ben Zundel?

As for R' MK's counter argument, that "[t]his is exactly comparable to the
case in the Gemara - I hired poalim to irrigate my field, and then it rained
or the river irrigated the fields for me.  The poalim certainly could have,
if they were bored, carried water to my field from the well, but it would
have served no benefit.
Oness in this context means that for unforseen reasons the work agreement
was not carried out.  It could be because the poeil got sick mid-day or a
relative of his died, or it could be because the BH"B no longer needs the
work done (such as the cases mentioned above).  The Gemara calls all of
these oness." I differ, because watering a field once it has been watered is
harmful. Whereas, what harm is there if both singers would sing?

R' YM makes an argument that I heard from a lurker as well. The contractual
agreement starts with Davidi preparing for the chasuna, and as such he
should receive at least partial payment. The lurker embellished this
argument with the following: the story makes clear that Yehoshua was
requesting a special request that Davidi had to make preparations for, so
even if in a regular case the obligation would only start when he sings, in
this special case it should start as soon as he makes special preparations.


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Message: 11
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doniels@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 10:53:09 +0200
Re: [Avodah] donating blood

>I've often wondered if donating blood or getting a blood test is like
>Hakazas Dam and therefore requires Netilas Yadayim afterwards.

I have seen Rabonim go "out of their way" to do so, in both cases.

- Danny


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