Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 96

Thu, 03 May 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: saul mashbaum <smash52@netvision.net.il>
Date: Wed, 02 May 2007 23:35:21 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Matza on Pesach Sheni

RDavid E Cohen about eating matza on the 14 th of Iyyar, which RZS suggested may be assur (as possibly enacted by some future Sanhedrin)
On Pesach Sheni, one eats matzah only as a din in the korban Pesach -- "al
matzos umrorim yokheluhu."  There is no independent chiyuv to eat matzah on
that night, and no isur chameitz.  Hence, there is no real mitzvah of
akhilas matzah that one would want to do with appetite, and no relevant
analogy to "bo`eil arusaso beveis chamiv."

I am very inclined to believe that RDEC is correct in this. 
Somewhat off topic, but a very interesting pshat in "kol haochel matza erev Pesach keilu bo`eil arusaso beveis chamiv" is that the latter does the action before nissuin, which are accompanied by sheva brachot. The matza leil haseder is eaten after saying sheva brachot: 1) hagafen 2) mkadesh Yisrael vhazmanim 3) shehechyanu 4) haadama 5) asher gaalanu 6) hamotzi 7) al achilat matza. Thus one who eats matza before the seder is skipping sheva brachot, as is bo`eil arusaso beveis chamiv. 
I don't know who says this.
A quibble: when the seder is moztaei Shabbat, there are two more brachot said: ner and havdala. However, one may say that these brachot, although said at the seder, are not part of the seder per se
A further observation is that this vort goes better according to the Sfardic practice, according to which IIUC hagafen is not said over the second kos. Otherwise we have 8 brachot, and would have to come up with some reason that ine of the brachot  "doesn't count". Maybe the origin of the pshat is Sfardic.
Saul Mashbaum
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Message: 2
From: Madjsolomon@aol.com
Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 17:26:39 EDT
[Avodah] Yeshiva is a Mikva to a Ben or Bat Niddah

In response to the  thread titled ?Yeshiva is a Mikva?, it is important to 
be clear about what the  ?pgam? is and how this can be removed through ?
immersion? in Torah study.  
The question of  marriage to a Ben or Bat Niddah is not a new one (see EH 
4:13, and the comment  of the Vilna Gaon there who explains that this is in fact 
not a spiritual  blemish but instead an indication that such a person will 
have a deficiency in  character).  
It has been  discussed extensively by the poskim (for example Mishne Halakhot 
7:211; Shevet  Halevi 3 173.6, 4:162 and 6:129.22; Iggrot Moshe EH 4 4:14 and 
23.3; Minchat  Yitzchak 7:107), and some of these opinions have been recorded 
and considered by  Rabbi Moshe Weinberger in his ?Jewish Outreach: Halakhic 
perspectives? pgs.  112-116). There he refers to the ruling referred to on 
Avodah of Rav Moshe  Feinstein (source quoted above) and examines the argument 
offered that ?she most  probably had gone swimming in a lake or ocean and in 
doing so became permitted  to her husband before the child was conceived?.  
However, in addition  to the above sources, important contributions to this 
discussion have been made  by Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch (see for example Teshuvot 
VeHanhagot 2:627 and 3:389).  In the first source we see Rabbi Sternbuch 
struggle with this issue, recognising  that fear of Heaven and learning of Torah are 
of great significance. In fact, he  adds that through the study of Torah one 
attains Zechut Atzmit. However, in many  ways his arguments here are 
inconclusive. Yet in the second source cited,  although discussing marrying someone 
whose parents profane Shabbat in public, he  goes further emphasising the role of 
Yichus Atzmit and the effect attendance at  (Yeshiva and) Sem can have in 
transforming such an individual to becoming a ?Bat  Talmid Chacham?. 
The question whether  Rabbi Sternbuch applies different rules to these two 
cases interested me, so  following a letter I wrote to him I called him up to 
investigate this matter. He  responded by noting that his arguments in the 
second source apply equally to the  first case.  
For a more explicit  source that Torah study not only creates a new lineage 
and identity for a Ben or  Bat Niddah but in fact removes the pgam completely, 
see Rabbi Shlomo Aviner?s  Sheilat Shlomo 6:115, citing Chief Rabbi Unterman 
who states that ?at times the  power of Torah is so great that someone who 
studies Torah is able to remove this  pgam from their soul?.  
Johnny Solomon  (London)

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Message: 3
From: "Daniel Israel" <dmi1@hushmail.com>
Date: Wed, 02 May 2007 21:48:15 +0000
Re: [Avodah] fashion models and opera singers

On Wed, 02 May 2007 17:41:06 +0000 Zev Sero <zev@sero.name> wrote:
>As I said, I don't think it's even a "one side of the river" case.
>But in our case the man has bought his ticket, dressed up, is 
>in his seat, and is going to hear a woman sing, no matter what you 
>Your singing isn't even going to cause him to hear more kol isha 
>he would otherwise do, because if you turn down the gig then the 
>who replaces you will sing exactly the same songs, for exactly the
>same amount of time.  And by you taking the gig that other woman 
>will *not* sing.

Assuming this is correct, and I'm not commenting on that question 
at all, it could imply that there is a problem in a case where the 
woman in question would otherwise be replaced by a man, or fewer 
songs would be sung.  An open mike, for example, or a talent show.  
American Idol, perhaps.

It also could mean that a lifnei iver problem could arise if the 
woman in question became sufficiently prominent that her 
involvement was a draw.  Certainly when Kathleen Battle sang 
Zerlina (for example) there were people who bought tickets, got 
dressed up, and sat in their seats precisely because she was 
singing.  There were fewer (or no) unsold seats over the run.  So 
there would be a real chashash that her singing led to certain 
additional people coming.  Of course, she isn't Jewish (AFAIK) so 
no problem.  But this question might have been of interest to Belle 
Miriam Silverman.

Daniel M. Israel

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Message: 4
From: "Daniel Israel" <dmi1@hushmail.com>
Date: Wed, 02 May 2007 22:00:18 +0000
Re: [Avodah] kabalat shabbos

On Wed, 02 May 2007 17:35:06 +0000 "Newman,Saul Z" 
<Saul.Z.Newman@kp.org> wrote:
>for a community where it would be very hard to get a minyan friday 
>nite [and someone needs to say kaddish so they want to make a 
>is anyone aware of a shitta that would allow davening including 
>with a kavana not to be mekabel  shabbos until after driving home 
>there being mkabel shabbos at licht bentching time?

I'm not sure that their is a point to doing this anyway.  AFAIK, 
the ikar of saying kaddish is on the day not the t'fillah.  That's 
why l'chatchilah one should say ma'ariv after tzeis on a yartzeit.  
Even if this is during aveilus, I think the kaddish is "credited" 
to the day on which it is said.  Here where one is going to say it 
even before shkiah I think it would be no more of a zechus than 
saying mishnayos and a kaddish d'rabbanan.  (Which is not to 
minimize it, rather to say that perhaps that's exactly what he 
should do instead.)

Daniel M. Israel

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Message: 5
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 23:36:13 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Torah Study vs. other contributions to society

RDB writes:
> A few points in response.
> 1) The comparison to an idiot savant, even as an extreme 
> example, holds no water at all. Such a person may very well 
> be Pattur from all Mitzvos.
> A normal person who is a Baki who collates material will have 
> Chidushim almost involuntarily. 

> This is something that a Baki with barely average 
> intelligence might very well come up with, and he should 
> write it down on Chol HaMoed with no Shaala.
> (The truth it that I think it was the GRA who said this) :)

 So you are agreeing with me - ie "it is that something extra that human
beings are capable of adding called understanding that can, if done
properly, make this learning valuable".  In other words, human beings,
normal human beings, will have chiddushim because that is part and
parcel of understanding, in contrast to the idiot savant, who does not,
and as you say, is probably patur from mitzvos.

On the other hand, the implication also from what you are saying above
is that not all chiddushim are of the same quality.  While a baki with
barely average intelligence may well come up with a chiddush that he
could write down on chol hamoed, the implication from your writing is
that does not mean that we can equate him with the Gra.  If one had a
choice between learning torah from him and from the Gra, one would also,
I presume, have no shaila.  So while all normal human beings produce
chiddushim if they study torah, some produce better chiddushim than
others.  I thought that both of these statements was held relatively

Now, how we get to the greater levels of understanding, or greater
chiddushim or greater Torah learning or however you want to articulate
it is the question - and it is here that TUM differs from a Torah only
view.  You can certainly disagree with the TUM perspective, what I am
trying to do here though is articulate it in response to the question -
if a person was sitting and learning in yeshiva all day, without any
parnessa worries, would he, from a TUM perspective, be fulfilling his
tafkid in life?  Not from a Torah only perspective, - clearly from a
Torah only perspective he would.  RMB raised the issue of whether one is
permitted to be supported by others - but as I tried to indicate, that
is a totally different question, which could be answered either way by
somebody coming either from a Torah only perspective or from a TUM

As indicated, there are also other questions that can be asked.  Such as
if you grant that some levels of chiddushim production are greater than
others, is there a point at which we say that a certain level is
sufficiently small that, if the gain in other ways, such as becoming a
medic and saving lives, is sufficiently large, one should l'chatchila,
and even without parnasa worries, abandon the the sitting in yeshiva and
go and become a medic.  I think everybody would agree that in the case
of the Gra, no way should he go off and be a medic.  But how about Mr
ordinary with his ordinary chiddushim?  

And one might well be more inclined to the view that Mr ordinary should
indeed go off and be a medic if one took a TUM view that what he learns
as a medic can help enhance the understanding and chiddushim that he
then comes up with when being kovea itim than if you took a Torah only
perspective that whatever he learns in training to be a doctor doesn't
really help his torah learning in a significant way.

> 2) ROY is certainly a great scholar. He has integrated his 
> vast knowledge into becoming a fine person, - I appreciated 
> many of his Hashkafic perspectives as put together in a two 
> volume "Halichos Mussar" which I found valuable for its 
> application to day to day life issues. (This is not an 
> invitation for dredging up quotes etc.) 

You haven't been around here long enough, otherwise you would know that
I am a big fan of ROY (probably, to be honest, the person who quotes him
most frequently on this list).  And, while this post is going to be long
enough, too long for me to go into it, I fundamentally disagreed with
the final paragraphs of R Marc Shapiro's review of the biography of ROY
precisely because he suggested that ROY is not fundamentally mechadesh,
whereas I think that he is, just in a different (and more subtle) way
from your Rav Moshe or similar Litvishe posek.  But the point still
remains *if it were true that ROY was merely an encyclopedic reference
point, and was not in fact being mechadesh, then one would rate him as a
lesser scholar than someone capable of being mechadesh*.  I disagreed
with the assessment because I don't think it is true, not because the
underlying premise is flawed.

> 3) I'm very confused about the conflation between getting 
> secular knowledge and a priori that means that one is out of 
> the ivory tower, in terms of the GRA. There are many great 
> professors who have great knowledge in of the secular who are 
> wholly detached from society. 

Sorry, I think I confused you and everybody by using the term "ivory
tower" which is probably in this context not helpful.  TUM started out
being about getting secular knowledge a priori - but part of its
reasoning and justification for the value in doing this has to do with
this being the knowledge of the non Jewish world in which we find
ourselves.  Secular knowledge of say, an extinct civilisation (such as
some of the south american ones) is probably less highly regarded that
knowledge generated by and of the society in which Hashem has placed us
(on the assumption that he has placed us here for a reason, nad not in a
different kind of society with a different kind of knowledge base).

> 4) The Chazon Ish actually did read significant medical 
> journals according to R' Gedaliah Nadel.... 

OK so then he did explore secular knowledge (something a TUM perspective
would applaud).  He was cited here as being the classic case of somebody
who did not explore secular knowledge and kept completely within a Torah
only perspective, finding everything out from within the gemora,
rishonim, achronim etc.  I am not knowledgeable enough in the knowledge
of the Chazon Ish to tell you one way or the other.  The case we have
been discussing here recently concerned his position on electricity, and
the view expressed (by those much greater than I) that the Chazon Ish
did not understand how electricity worked.  Again the implication being
that if he had understood electricity, either he would not have held as
he did, or, alternatively he would have had a much better chance of
pursuading others that his view was correct.

> 5) I think your comments on TuM enhancing understanding that 
> Torah is the Chochmah of the Borei are not in sync with the 
> Torah's Hashkafah. One who stops his learning to say how 
> beautiful a tree is in Mischayev B'Nafsho - and I think this 
> is, as a Mashal, like a master artist who shows his 
> apprentice a painting which, says the artist, is one in which 
> the artist has invested his very essence, asks for his 
> opinion, and the apprentice says "that other painting of 
> yours (which is nice, but not the essence of that artist's 
> soul) is nice." 

Ah, but the TUM perspective is not to say that the other painting is
nice (to work within your moshel).  If the person in question could not
distinguish between the painting into which the master artist had poured
his very essence and the one in which he had not, he would be a lousy
art critic.  Rather, he needs to study both works precisely so he can
appreciate the extent to which the master artist has poured his essence
into the one painting and not the other.  But without any exposure to
the second, it is far harder to truly appreciate the first.  However if
he studies and appreciates all the skill that went into the second, and
then studies the first with that in mind, how much more is he going to
be impressed with the first by contrasting it with the second.

> 6) Understanding Halachah and Bein Adam LaChaveiro 
> interactions as linked to TuM also seems flawed. 
> Experientially, I do not think the case can be made that the 
> greatest Poskim are more involved in TuM than the second 
> tier, or that the biggest Mentches are more involved in TuM 
> than the second tier ones. 

And you just told me that the Chazon Ish read serious medical journals
and had a familiarity with Kant ;-)  Seriously, is that also true on the
second tier level?  Regarding menchlichkeit, I tend to agree that an
intellectual TUM perspective (ie knowledge of physics and philosophy and
what have you) does not particularly generate Menschen.  We have been,
however, discussing on areivim how endless time in yeshiva also does not
seem to necessarily generate menschen.  However, and this is where one
can talk about an extended form of TUM if you like, I would certainly
argue that exposure to human beings in all their frailties and failings
does make for greater menschen.  People with some exposure to the world
of hospitals tend in my view to be better at bikur cholim, as they have
a better idea about what to say and what not to say.  People with some
exposure to the world of death and dying are better at being menachem
avel, no question in my mind.  People with disabled children are as a
rule better at providing support to somebody who has suddenly been faced
with this kind of tragedy, what can I say.  These skills are learnt, and
generally learnt from experience.  And the more experience you have the
better you are at them.  People can have the kindest hearts but they can
say the cruelest things in ben adam l'chavero situations because they
just don't have a clue how to handle it.  Some people are unquestionably
more natural at it than others, but the idea that sitting in a yeshiva
and becoming baki in several masechtos is the most direct way to achieve
skills in this area seems the part that is demonstratably flawed to me. 

> 8) Quantity vs. quality. There is no doubt that the quantity 
> of Torah will exponentially enhance its quality, perhaps even 
> more than the Madda.  L'Olam Ligras Inish V'Hadar Lisbar. 

That is the essence of the debate, how to enhance the quality of the
Torah and of the individual. With Mada, without Mada (ie the debate we
have been discussing), with sleep, without sleep (that too is a debate,
is it better to force oneself to stay awake and study even if both life
and the torah flies past in a daze, or should one try and get a good
night's sleep and be refreshed); with chevrusa, without chevrusa
(talking to somebody makes one by definition go slower, and so there is
less quantity, but there is generally thought to be more quality -
although I am not sure the Gra thought so necessarily for himself).
With an educational system set up to cater for the masses, or set up to
cater for the elite. In summary, a TUM perspective is that it should
lchatchila, be with madda (however madda is defined, narrowly or
widely).  A torah only approach is that is should not.  

> All the best,
> Doron



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Message: 6
From: "Yisrael Medad" <yisrael.medad@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 3 May 2007 15:37:35 +0300
[Avodah] Special Case of Name-Calling

I was just informed that at a brit today in Israel, the family received a
psak from Rav Mordechai Eliahu @ 11 pm last night on whether you can name
the infant for someone who was alive when the baby was born and saw him.
Said 'yes'.

Yisrael Medad
Mobile Post Efraim 44830
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Message: 7
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doniels@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 3 May 2007 15:58:00 +0300
[Avodah] When do the malachim come?

R' Dov Kay wrote:
> My shul, Etz Chaim in Manchester, recently voted to reinstitute the
> German-Jewish minhagim which, for various reasons...

> I was asked to daven kabbolas Shabbos last week and took the initiative to
> daven from the shulchan (ie the almemar), not the amud at the front.
> They are both additions, so why distinguish between
> the two?

As my father explained it to me many years ago:

Yekkes say Tehilim (e.g. for a sick person) verse after verse. (Chazan
says a verse, Kehal says the 2nd, Chazan says the 3rd, etc.)
We also say the Tehilim in Kabolas Shabbos this way.
Thus it's clear that it's not part of davening and can be said fro the Omud.
Since Lecho Dodi could be mistaken as an addition to davening, it's
said from the Almemor.

Litvaks say tehilim (e.g. for a sick person) with the Kehal repeating
each verse the Chazan says.
They "do" Kabolas Shabbos by the Chazan saying [the first and] last
verse (or 2) of each Kapitel.
Thus Kabolas Shabbos is no different from Pesukai D'Zimra and could be
mistaken as an addition to davening, so it's said from the Almemor to
make it clear that it's not part of davening.

- Danny

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Message: 8
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 3 May 2007 11:17:37 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] Love your fellow as yourself

On Tue, May 1, 2007 8:36 pm, Daniel Eidensohn wrote:
: Prof. Levine wrote:
:> From Rav Hirsch's commentary it seems to me that he interprets the
:> work l'ray'acha to apply to all of mankind, to one's fellow man, and
:> not just to one's fellow Jew.
:> Yet, according to the Chinuch and the Rambam, ray'acha is taken to
:> refer to one's fellow Jew only.
: A support for the general understanding is found in Rashi (Shabbos
: 31a). Rashi understands Hillel's response as a parapharase of Vayikra
: (19:18). [As does the Maharsha] Concerning the idea of learning all
: the Torah on one foot. ...

Tangent: It could be that he was asking for an explanation of the
whole Torah of a single principle, not "while standing on one foot".
This would explain why Hillel doesn't follow his own advice about not
wasting time answering people who are trying to be silly; the question
wasn't silly. I believe this is in the Gra, but as I didn't find it, I
may have my sources confused.

It also explains why I assumed Hillel's answer really was the
underlying morality behind all of halakhah.

Now, back to the subject...

"Achikha" in the lav "lo sisna" doesn't necessarily mean all Jews, but
rather only shomerei Torah umitzvos. See the Sema"q #16, Rambam
"Rozeiach" 13:14. Very important for another thread... The Rambam
concludes the list of ikkarim with a statement associating "halo
misan'ekha H esne" (Teh' 139) to those who do not believe the ikkarim.
Whatever anyone else holds, the Rambam intended the ikkarim to define
who is "unzerer".

I wonder if we necessarily interpret "rei'akha" here as being all
Jews, if we are required to hate resha'im meizidim. (Although
according to the CI such people can't exist in the post-haskalah era,
so leshitaso this isn't lema'aseh.) One could say no, or one could say
we're being asked to have a love-hate relationship. I am inclined
toward the latter but more because of the elegance of the idea than
any real basis.

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: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Thu, 03 May 2007 10:28:53 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Special Case of Name-Calling

Yisrael Medad wrote:
> I was just informed that at a brit today in Israel, the family 
> received a psak from Rav Mordechai Eliahu @ 11 pm last night on whether 
> you can name the infant for someone who was alive when the baby was born 
> and saw him. Said 'yes'.

What's the hava amina otherwise?   It seems to me that when something
like this happens it's *especially* common to name the baby after the
recent niftar.   (Extreme example: my mother's cousin Yidel was named
after his mother, Eidel, who didn't live to see his bris.)

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: 10
From: "Mike Miller" <avodah@mikeage.net>
Date: Thu, 3 May 2007 17:36:04 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Special Case of Name-Calling

On 5/3/07, Yisrael Medad <yisrael.medad@gmail.com> wrote:
> I was just informed that at a brit today in Israel, the family received a
> psak from Rav Mordechai Eliahu @ 11 pm last night on whether you can name
> the infant for someone who was alive when the baby was born and saw him.
> Said 'yes'.

Why is that surprising? R' Eliyahu is a sefardi; he would presumably
allow naming for any non-parent relative, even if they're still alive.

Or was the shaila about a father who was niftar after the baby was
born? Or am I missing something obvious?

-- Mike Miller
Ramat Bet Shemesh

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Message: 11
From: "Daniel Israel" <dmi1@hushmail.com>
Date: Thu, 03 May 2007 15:32:01 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Love your fellow as yourself

On Thu, 03 May 2007 15:17:37 +0000 Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> 
>Tangent: It could be that he was asking for an explanation of the
>whole Torah of a single principle, not "while standing on one 
>foot". This would explain why Hillel doesn't follow his own advice 
>not wasting time answering people who are trying to be silly; the 
>question wasn't silly. I believe this is in the Gra, but as I 
didn't find 
>it, I may have my sources confused.

See the Kli Yakar on that pasuk, which seems to indicate that the 
real question was, as a ger who would not have had a Torah 
upbringing to accustom himself to mitzva obseravance is there one 
principle he could keep in mind because kol haTorah kulah might be 
too much to hold onto in all practical situations.  This, of 
course, opens up the question of why Shammai did not respond 

Daniel M. Israel


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