Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 66

Tue, 27 Mar 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "SBA" <areivim@sba2.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 12:24:02 +1000
[Avodah] Amod Hashachar

From: "SBA" <areivim@sba2.com>
For centuries, rebbes and their talmidim have been teitching (Brochos 1:1):
'Ad sheyaaleh amod hashachar' referring to the 'morgen shtern' = the
morning star. .. Not one of the meforshim on Mishnayos explains it

I wrote 'for centuries' as the Tosfos Yom Tov already writes:
"Yesh regilin leposroy kochav hashachar...ach bekaan ein nachon.."

the above Tosfos YT: "Yesh regilin leposroy kochav hashachar"
but leaves out the continuation: "ach bekaan ein nachon" !!

I also had a look at the (Hebrew) Artscroll gemara, and while it doesn't
translate 'amod hashachar', in the Notes (#7), it quotes the Mogen Avrohom.
If I understand them correctly, Artsroll too, is confusing Amod Hashachar
with Alos Hashachar.


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Message: 2
From: Dov Bloom <dovb@netvision.net.il>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 09:33:57 +0300
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Kitnyos

It is not clear to all poskim that soybeans and similar products that were unknown at the time of the development of the gezeira/minhag of kitniot are "clearly included". 
A prominent Posek that clearly held otherwise was R Shaul Yisraeli Z"l who ate and served products that some osser but he held were not known in Europe and such were not part of the minhag. RMF's tshuva on peanuts was already mentioned. The Melameds - father and son hold similar views mi-ikar hadin as do many others who learned from R Yisraeli.

>> As for mustrad wants that becomes the minhag it is included.
>> RMF and  other say that anything not included in the original custom
>> like peanuts is not included later even if it is technically kitniyot
>That can't be true, because corn was not in the original gezera,
>and yet everyone agrees that "terkishe veitz" is forbidden.  The
>same goes for soybeans: unknown in Europe at the time of the original
>gezera, and yet clearly included.

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Message: 3
From: "Samuel Svarc" <ssvarc@yeshivanet.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 05:31:32 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Halachic who is right from "The Lost Scotch"

>From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
>Subject: Re: [Avodah] Halachic who is right from "The Lost Scotch"


>This does not seem to me to be relevant to the problem I have with the
>psak.  The idea that an ones can be considered to be eey efshar
>practically as well as physically was not something I thought was raised
>as a problem.  The issue we raised  vis a vis the oneis question was
>(and there were other issues):
>does  oneis occur when the act is an "act of man" as well as when it is
>an "act of G-d"?  I was mesupik about that, others argued the case more
>strongly.  The Trumas Hadeshen does not seem to me to help here, as the
>fundamental act causing the ones, the wife falling ill, is an act of
>G-d.  Whereas here, the act that made the eey efshar, the act of the
>kala, was an act of man, making it different. The fact that it made an
>eey efshar practically rather than physically does not appear relevant
>to the distinction being drawn.

What you term "act of G-d" or "act of man" are just synonyms for
"physically" or "practically". And the case of the Terumas HaDeshen speaks
directly to this. Albeit the wife's falling ill is an "act of G-d", that is
not what is causing the oneis. You can, theoretically, hire someone to take
of your wife. The decision not to do so is an "act of man". 

>> The clincher? The author chose this scenario based on a real
>> story: A chosson had hired a popular Jewish singer to sing at
>> his chasunah. At the chasunah, his father-in-law informed him
>> that either the singer goes, or he (the f-i-l-) goes.
>Who poskened that the chosson does not have to pay?  (The issue is not
>whether the chosson might not choose to ask him to sing, but whether the
>the lack of appreciation of the f-i-l and therefore the chosson choosing
>not to have him sing pater's paying).  This case in fact seems even
>further from the river case than before).

How so? If there is an oneis the BHB doesn't have to pay. Since fighting
with one's f-i-l (right at the chasunah!) is not a practical option, the
chosson is considered an oneis.

>Let me give you a case closer to that of the Shulchan Aruch.  Let us say
>that the property that needs watering is originally that of the baal
>habayis's wife, not his, and because he has only recently married her
>and taken over the responsibilities for the field, he does not know that
>the river stops on a regular basis - but in fact his wife and her family
>do, as they have had the property for generations (and let us say for
>some reason the workers are workers who also do not know - let us say
>they come from the husband's town not the wife's town). Are you saying
>that because the knowledge resides in the wife and not the husband who
>does the hiring, then the workers have to bear the loss?

Yes. Why do you think otherwise? The halacha is explicit, the BHB needs to
have more knowledge then the poel in order to have to pay him. How does his
wife knowing something create this knowledge by him? (In the case you gave
BD might assume that if his wife knew, then most probably he did as well.
However, if he can prove that he didn't have any knowledge then he wouldn't
need to pay.) Does he go to the mikvah on the day she goes? Why not? What
happened to Ishto k'gufo? Obviously, this halachic concept is not the
panacea you make it out to be.


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Message: 4
From: Elliott Shevin <eshevin@hotmail.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 13:49:29 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Avodah Digest, Vol 23, Issue 65

Mischa Berger wrote:
> Try pronouncing the word "button", not with the real /t/, but as it> usually comes out -- /bu'on/. 
As it *usually* comes out? Not here in the Midwest. Maybe on Lawn Guiland... <g>
Thanks for the pronunciation guide.
"Striving to bring Torah Judaism into the 58th century"
Your friends are close to you.?Keep them that way.
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Message: 5
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 14:13:25 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] Ikkarim Redux

There are a number of issues being mixed here:

I- Is the halachic process appropriate?

I would answer yes -- if we limit the question to the halachic ("Brisker", as
RMShinnar put it) sphere. There are laws that do subdivide the Jewish people
based on belief and/or action and expect us to respond differently to people
in each group. We therefore have halachic in and out groups.

Most of RMS's issues are therefore not resolved by discussing what the
criterion is. The very fact that there is an us vs them means that someone
will be excluded. And the use of these categories for halachic questions means
that halachic process will get involved.

Eg: IM OCh 3:11-12. In #11, RMF pasqens that shemiras Shabbos is the criterion
for deciding who can be elected shul president. Citing the Rambam who rules
out electing koferim. A mechalel Shabbos who violates issues most of the
locals observe and know is assur may not be elected.

In #12, RMF discusses answering the berakhah of a kofeir. There the criterion
is belief in a Borei. I'm not sure it's as relevent, as RMF is making a
logical point about berakhos in particular; if the person doesn't believe in
"E-lokeinu" or that He is "Melekh haolam" then to him these are just empty
words, the berakhah was not said beSheim uMalkhus, and does not get an
"amein". So I would be reluctant to generalize from that.

But still, you see RMF addressing this division of us vs them as a halachic

II- What is the criterion?

Here there are a number of criteria. And I think I am on shakier ground saying
we use one or the other.

1- The 13 ikkarim.

I still say that in practice, this (in some rather loose form) what's used.
RHS seems to hold this way in the already cited recording. However, see below.

RMS's basic disagreement to this position is that he does not feel it was
reached via valid halachic process. To recap, my feeling was that:

a- This pesaq would not be made in error due to ignorance. There is enough
obvious information that many of the ikkarim were contentious in the past from
sources like the Ra'avad for me to believe that even non-historians know the

RMS says the Ra'avad (as an example) is being spun to minimize that dissonance.

b- There are teshuvos, like RASoloveitchik's about L messianism, or references
to the ikkarim in stam yeinam, that do refer to them.

IIUC, RMS replied that he thinks the term is being used idiomatically, without
a conscious thought about "the ikkarim" vs "someone who believes" in general
and therefore not necessarily used to mean these specific beliefs.

I do not think either of these responses reflect the seriousness with which
teshuvos are written in practice. This issue is not debatable, it boils down
to differences of opinion about people.

2- Some less demanding belief set

With each of #1 and #2 we get two variants:

a- The belief itself
b- Belief through rebellion

I do not know of a shitah that holds 1a, that a person must believe the
ikkarim and is an outsider even if he denies any of them due to sincere
logical error. My guess would be that more common would be a combination of 1b
(belief of the ikkarim OR honest error) and 2a (as long as that honest error
isn't about something as basic as monotheism).

As I wrote, this position sounds shakier as I continue looking at it.

3- Shemiras Shabbos

As in the above-cited IM.

3a- As an action

3b- As sufficient proof of belief. This is kind of a hybrid between answers #2
and #3. The definition of the "in group" is some less demanding belief set,
and rather than trying to be psychic, we use his shemiras Shabbos as
sufficient proof that a person believes it.

4- Kol haTorah kulah

With the above questions of whether we mean lehach'is or even letei'avon or
honest error, of whether it's the ma'aseh or the belief implied by following

However, RMYG already cited Teshuvos haRadvaz (1:344), and this is also the
position of the AhS

Frankly, this is so restrictive that the ikkarim look downright liberal by

5- There is also the RHS as recently used by RGStudent in Hirhurim
> R. Hershel Schachter (Eretz Ha-Tzvi 17:4-5) quotes in the name of R. Joseph
> B. Soloveitchik, based on Eruvin 19a, that God's covenant with Avraham
> required four things of Jews: 1) Belief in God's unity, 2) Performing
> circumcision, 3) Not intermarrying, 4) Belief that God gave to Avraham and
> his descendants the land of Israel. R. Schachter suggests that fulfilling
> these four conditions is a prerequisite for being a part of the Jewish
> people (regardless of one's personal status as a Jew). Therefore, someone
> who violates any of these conditions (e.g. intermarries) is not a part of
> the Jewish people and, if this is taken literally, should not be called to
> the Torah or counted for a minyan. I'm not entirely sure if R. Schachter
> would extend this idea that far, although see his article "Synagogue
> Membership" in the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society.

This is a different conclusion about RHS's position than that reached by
RARakeffet as discussed in their lectures.

Interesting side-note: These practice based definitions are more about
excluding mumarim than apiqursim.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Spirituality is like a bird: if you tighten
micha@aishdas.org        your grip on it, it chokes; slacken your grip,
http://www.aishdas.org   and it flies away.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 6
From: "Michael Poppers" <MPoppers@kayescholer.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 15:06:58 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Minhag Avos and Minhag haMaqom

In Avodah Digest V23#64, Micha wrote:
> A yekke living in Elizabeth probably still waits only
three hours after meat, washes his hands before qiddush, etc...
> As pointed out on Areivim, this is mutar. The typical town is like the
talmudic case of one with two batei din. Although in Elizabeth, with 
say in the running of every facet of the kehillah, I find that a stretch. 
I can think of two different ways of looking at this:
My following minhag avos in private apparently doesn't create a "lo 
sisgod'du" [LS]-violating agudah; as I'm sure Micha knows, whether 
violations of minhag in general are a LS problem has been debated by 
pos'qim (e.g. see MA 493:6; also see 
http://www.torah.org/advanced/weekly-halacha/5760/kiseitzei.html), but 
even assuming they are, it would seem that public vs. private is a valid 
distinction (consider how an adherent to YT Sheini handles the situation 
when that day is publicly not YT).  Apparently (REMT may want to respond 
;-)), not wearing t'filin at an Elizabeth, NJ minyan during Chol haMoeid 
also doesn't create an agudah, while not adhering to the minhagei aveilus 
of the "second [set of] days" of y'mei S'firah (the minhag hamaqom in 
Elizabeth) does (as per RMA 493:3) create an agudah -- among many 
possibilities, perhaps the nafqa mina is abstaining from an activity (even 
a mitzvas asei) vs. actively violating a standard (even if only a minhag 
If the minhag hamaqom in Elizabeth was to wait six hours or to wash only 
after making Qiddush, my waiting three hours or washing before making 
Qiddush might very well be a violation of LS; as there is no such minhag 
hamaqom, my following minhag avos, even when less stringent than what is 
practiced by most of the community, is not a violation.  Similarly, there 
is no minhag Elizabeth with regard to wearing t'filin on ChM (although the 
gabboim are instructed to only allow t'filin wearers to be ba'alei 
t'filah).  When there's no minhag hamaqom, the next Q may be whether "al 
y'shaneh adam mip'nei hamachloqes" is applicable -- here too, public 
activity vs. private activity may be a valid distinction.  (Q: does the 
mandate of "m'rutzeh laqahal" for a ba'al t'filah get its halachic force 
from "al y'shaneh"?)

All the best from
Michael "Yekke" Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ, USA
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Message: 7
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 21:50:08 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Amen

> RnCL responded to me: 
> > So why was the piece entitled "the silent Amen"? <
> As RYL noted (Avodah Digest V23#51) when he reposted the 
> piece to Avodah, it's actually entitled "A Quiet Amen." 

Sorry.  However, I think my criticism stands.  I understand the term
quiet to mean barely, if at all, audible - whereas the three halachas I
cited seem to make it clear that ennunciation of the Amen in a way that
is indeed audible is required (in contrast to the ideal form of tephila,
where Chana is described as her mouth moving, but her voice not being
heard, so that it looked to Eli like she was drunk - so a certain type
of quietness might be regarded as appropriate).  And further the idea of
"itti" that the gemora brings in order to support the idea that the Amen
should not be louder than the original brocha does not seem to me to
particularly lend itself to any idea of quietness - all it seems to me
to be saying is that the person saying the Amen should not drown out the
one saying the bracha  But surely the idea of itti is one of being in it
together, ie that the ideal would be not only should the Amen not be
louder, but it should not be softer either (ie "don't walk in front of
me I may not follow, don't walk behind me I may not lead" as the song
goes) - whereas to me the idea of quietness is just that, of being less
loud than what came before.

Gut Voch and all the best from 
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ, USA



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Message: 8
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 17:14:53 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] Love of Israel

On Fri, March 23, 2007 1:23 pm, Chana Luntz wrote:
: And of course the principle of giving kovod to a King is learnt out from
: Eliyahu running before Achav (see Menachos 96a) and Achav was, as we
: know, involved in Avodah Zara, among other things - so not exactly the
: most dedicated of shomrei mitzvos.  Nor was he a melech of beis David.

: And R' Mike writes
:> >From a strictly halachic perspective, obviously all those cases were
:> >cases of melachim, which is the only halachic government. Clearly, the
:> government nowadays is not a malchus

: That is in fact not so clear at all....

Just to connect RnCL's dots... Since Achav was not mibeis David, we are /not/
only talking about halachic government. Achav, an idolatrous king who ruled
despite "lo yasir sheivet miYehudah" sets a pretty broad precedent.

I therefore would think that her speculation about whether Medinat Yisrael
qualifies as malkhus is a tangent. It's irrelevent if we have a maqor for
showing respect for someone who is outside of "som tasim alekha melekh".

Or would one argue that a non-Davidic king is a qiyum of som tasim even while
being assur? I think it be mitzvah haba'ah ba'aveirah. You can't claim it's
asei docheh lav, as otherwise there is nothing left of giving the melukhah to
beis David.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Spirituality is like a bird: if you tighten
micha@aishdas.org        your grip on it, it chokes; slacken your grip,
http://www.aishdas.org   and it flies away.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 9
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 00:27:58 +0200
Re: [Avodah] AishDas and Mussar

> Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2007 15:48:42 -0400 (EDT)
> From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
> Subject: Re: [Avodah] AishDas and Mussar
> To: "A High-Level Torah Discussion Group" <avodah@lists.aishdas.org>
> Message-ID:
> <27997.>
> Content-Type: text/plain;charset=iso-8859-1
> On Mon, March 26, 2007 1:28 pm, Rt Shoshana L. Boublil wrote:
> : (I'm sorry I missed the 'forks' post...).
> "Forks" refers to an article by RYGB (I believe in the Jewish Observer) 
> that
> has been discussed here so many times so as to get its own nickname. See
> <http://www.aishdas.org/rygb/forks.htm>.

Thank you, I truly enjoyed reading it -- and seeing just how much Sephardi 
Derech is different from what's described in "forkes".<g>

> The basic fork, as a one-liner:
> Litta defines man's tafqid as sheleimus ha'adam
> Chassidus, as deveiqus baH'.

> The idea happens to also recur on my blog at
> <http://www.aishdas.org/asp/category/forks>.

Which I also enjoyed, and which also showed me where the Sephardi Derech, 
especially as followed by the great rabbis of North Africa and Saloniki 
etc., and the Gedolim who studied at Porat Yosef in Jerusalem - all defer 
from what is shown in these 2 articles.

> : Active Sephardic communities?  All over Israel.
> : They have their own Yeshivot and their own derech which is NOT the 
> Litvische
> : derech.
> Derekh halimud or machashavah? I assume you mean both. But I would love to 
> see
> a developed presentation of the essance of avodas Hashem, what is man's
> tafqid, from any of the Sepharadi points of view.

I would like to mention here some items, told to me by my husband and 
members of his family, in honor of his uncle R' Meredech as he was called --  
Rav Mordechai Chozez ZT"L a true Lamed Vavnik who passed away last week.

One of the memories everyone shared was R' Meredech gathering the kids and 
learning with them on the roof, at night.  He would teach and the mothers 
would bring candies and goodies and beverages and make much of the kids who 
had stayed up and learned.

R' Meredech worked most of his life as a tailor, but he was also the rabbi 
of the Libyan community in Yaffo for over 50 years.  It was during his 
Shiv'a when questions keep coming up -- and no R' Meredech was available to 
answer them, that his loss was truly felt, and the community began to come 
to grips with his passing.

His daughters told of how he sat at the Shabbat table teaching, and how they 
looked fwd to that special time.  But it was how he, and others like him 
taught that was so special.

My husband recalls sitting, as a child, in a g'mara class given by Rav 
Chamos Agiv ZT"L.  They started by reading from the g'mara, and then R' Agiv 
told them to close it -- and to give their own thoughts: their questions, 
their understanding, their ideas.  Common sense was the rule of the day. 
And then, when they had finished discussing and the children opened the 
G'mara once again, he would praise the children who raised thoughts and 
ideas brought in the G'mara, telling such a child: "you are a Tanna;  You 
are an Amora" -- and when the child would say "no" the rabbi would say --  
yes, you thought of an idea that the Tanna or Amora presented.  You are like 
them.  But when an idea that was against common sense, against reason, 
contra to real life was presented, the Rav would ask: if you were in a 
commercial meeting and you raised such an idea -- would they want to do 
business with you?  Did your idea make sense?  Think!

It is just this attitude that brought my husband, when he was 11 years old, 
to start lecturing from the Bimah in his shul -- b/c he had so many 
questions, so his father sent him to learn and ask and speak from the Bimah 
to all those present in shul instead of just continuing to ask.

Sephardi teaching emphasized knowledge of Tanach, the rabbis would regularly 
quote from all parts of the Tanach, and the students were expected to know 
the sources (not from the G'mara page....).  It emphasized learning Halacha, 
but in a different way.  That is why davka a student of the Yeshivat Porat 
Yosef, Rav Chaim David HaLevy wrote a sefer halacha "Makor Chaim" -- which 
contains an introduction of Machshava to every section of Halacha.  Learning 
Halacha without Machshava was considered wrong and dangerous:  "We don't 
want to raise murderers who can quote halacha..." (from another Rav).

In the article in Aspaqlaria, the question is raised what is HitHaLech 
Lefanay VeHeye Tamim means/teaches.  what is "Tamim".  Tamim, in Sephardi 
thought is something achieved many times by the regular Jew, whose "insides" 
and "outsides" are the same, who follows Halacha b/c Hashem said to do so. 
It is a different kind of wholeness.  And yet, this same simple Jew will 
spend as much time as he can, whenever he can, learning Shas and Poskim and 
Shut, after working for a living; on Shabbat; when he leaves for his 
pension.  [I'll try to get back to this after Pesach to give a better 
definition]. In general, there was no split between the intellect and the 
emotions, you were supposed to work with both at the same time as you 
learned.  That is why most of the teaching was filled with tales, not like 
the Chassidic tales, but more like those found in the G'mara that teach one 
to act in a way that emulates how Hashem is, that brings halacha to life.

It is among the Sephardi Gedolim that you see that there was no split 
between Deveikut and Sheleimut as presented in the above 2 articles.  The 
Gadol was the Dayan, the Poseik, but also the "Anshei CHeN" an acronym for 
"Chochmat HaNistar" - the one people went to when they had problems of the 
kind that we see Chassidim bringing to their Rebbes.  But, for Sephardim, he 
wasn't a Rebbe as defined by classical chassidut.  He was the Chacham, the 
"Respected", the "Elder", who would dispense advice to anyone who came to 
his door, who was noted for his tzniut, for his connection with the simple 
man, despite his Gadlut BaTorah.

To this day, despite his age, Rav Ovadia Yosef, another graduate of Porat 
Yosef Yeshiva, will accept anyone who wants to see him and listen to their 
questions and answer them.  You don't need a special "proteksia" to get in 
to see him.  His lectures are filled with halacha and machshava and tales, 
all as parts of the same wholeness of Torah.

It is this type of man that Rav Meredech was.  A modest man and a Gadol 
BaTorah. A teacher and one who gave support to many.

Yehi Zichro Baruch.

Shoshana L. Boublil

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Message: 10
From: "Michael Kopinsky" <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 16:53:57 -0600
Re: [Avodah] Ikkarim Redux

On 3/27/07, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> 3- Shemiras Shabbos
> As in the above-cited IM.
> 3a- As an action
> 3b- As sufficient proof of belief. This is kind of a hybrid between
> answers #2
> and #3. The definition of the "in group" is some less demanding belief
> set,
> and rather than trying to be psychic, we use his shemiras Shabbos as
> sufficient proof that a person believes it.

RMF uses 3b l'hetter in a teshuva regarding allowing mechalelei shabbos to
duchan.  He says that since the significance of Chilul Shabbos is only as a
"maaseh kefirah", someone who is known to not be a kofeir, even if he is
mechalel shabbos b'farhesia, can still duchan.

I'm sorry I don't have an IM available, but it's in the Yad Moshe under
Nesias Kapaim.  (I think it's in OC1, but I'm not sure.)

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Message: 11
From: "Michael Kopinsky" <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 17:01:26 -0600
Re: [Avodah] Love of Israel

On 3/27/07, R' Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> Just to connect RnCL's dots... Since Achav was not mibeis David, we are
> /not/
> only talking about halachic government. Achav, an idolatrous king who
> ruled
> despite "lo yasir sheivet miYehudah" sets a pretty broad precedent.
> I therefore would think that her speculation about whether Medinat Yisrael
> qualifies as malkhus is a tangent. It's irrelevent if we have a maqor for
> showing respect for someone who is outside of "som tasim alekha melekh".
> Or would one argue that a non-Davidic king is a qiyum of som tasim even
> while
> being assur? I think it be mitzvah haba'ah ba'aveirah. You can't claim
> it's
> asei docheh lav, as otherwise there is nothing left of giving the melukhah
> to
> beis David.

Since when is "lo yasir" an actual lav?  Even according to the Ramban in
Chumash who says that the Makkabim were punished for violating this, that
does not make it an issur d'oraisa.  He doesn't list it in his sefer
hamitzvos, does he?  (I mean this question seriously, not rhetorically.)  I
certainly understood that it was an ethical directive saying "here's how
klal Yisroel should run", but a lav?  (This is even leaving aside the Ran in
Drashos (#4?) who argues on the Ramban and says that there is not even any
issur in lo yasir, just a nevuah.)

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