Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 116

Fri, 18 May 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Samuel Svarc" <ssvarc@yeshivanet.com>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2007 20:39:50 -0400
Re: [Avodah] shemitta

>From: Moshe Feldman [mailto:moshe.feldman@gmail.com]
>"Samuel Svarc" <ssvarc@yeshivanet.com> wrote:
><<Furthermore, Yishuv EY today is not a mitzvah according to the Rambam
>and many others, so there is no problem in not facilitating someone else's
>Actually, DL and some Litvish charedim I've spoken to here seem to
>believe that the halacha is like the Ramban.

How can one impose his own reasoning on other people who don't hold that

> And it is not clear that
>the Rambam holds that there is no mitzvah:

The Ramban felt that way, as he argued against the Rambam, making it clear
what he understood the Rambam's position to be.

> And Rav Moshe Feinstein holds that according to the Rambam it's a
>mitzvah kiyumis.

Which is definitely not a chiyuv on someone else to facilitate.

><<I'm surprised that you'd insist on charedim applying R' Kook's
>of the Ramban instead of the interpretation of their manhig, the CI.>>>
>First, I noted that Rav Kook's understanding is the pashut pshat in
>the Ramban.

In R' Kook's opinion. The CI disagreed with this.

>Second, the CI himself strongly pushed Otzar Bais Din
>over buying produce from Arabs. So charedim should follow their
>manhig completely, not just for one prat.

I would assume, if the rumor that they aren't using OB is true, that the
reasoning is as follows: Experience has shown that people don't keep the
"kedushat sheviis" properly. So they picked the better of two evils, as
their manhig didn't feel there was a chiyuv to eat peiros sheviis.


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Message: 2
From: "Samuel Svarc" <ssvarc@yeshivanet.com>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2007 21:42:40 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Torah Study vs. other contributions to soCIETY

>From: David Riceman [mailto:driceman@att.net]
>Samuel Svarc wrote:
><If you will kindly point out, i.e. by bringing quotes instead of
>which two posts of mine seem to you contradictory it would be my pleasure
>to play Ariadne to your Theseus.>
>sources follow:

I thank R' Riceman for going to the effort of assembling the relevant core
of my varied posts in one spot. I will now try to repay him by explaining

><The "ivory tower in discussion" was learning full time, isolated, or
>going out and doing something to help this world. >

I think this is the most succinct statement I made, as long as one keeps in
mind that I, 1. Argued for the learning side of the equation, and 2. Was
explicit that this is as preference.

><So, one might not be obligated to learn all day (a topic we will leave for
another time), but it definitely is preferred >over other Mitzvos.>

Once again, I said that learning is preferred over other mitzvos.

><Sure, if someone wants to train to enhance his Torah study, go right ahead
(although I disagree with you on how effective and time efficient a route
this is). > 

The same way one who eats or sleeps, this time is understood to be necessary
as a preparation for learning, so to one who studies other subjects in order
to better understand Torah, it is necessary as a preparation for learning.
Does one's time spend sleeping count as TT? No. Is it counted as a necessary
preparation? Yes.

>If so, how do you justify the Rama's behavior?

He learned these subjects as a preparation to better understand Torah. The
Maharshal held that these subjects are forbidden to study and the Rama
disagreed with him. The same way, like today, there are machlokes haposikim
on certain subjects if one is permitted to learn them, they too argued about
this. But none of them held that one can't study permitted subjects to
enhance Torah.

>Is there a precise formulation of this preference somewhere?

Actually, there are many. Let's start with one that is being discussed
on-list now. Megillah 16b. If you've missed the recent posts on this I'll
gladly forward them to you.  

>>> Don't you agree, for example, that
>>> learning the umanus of shehita counts as Talmud Torah?
>> No, I don't agree. The halachos of shechita, yes. Practical lessons on
>> how exactly to hold the knife, no. Pray tell, why do you think
>> Do you have a source that leads you to this opinion?
>Sure; the Shulhan Aruch discusses it, as does the Gemara.

This is an assertion without a source. I would be shocked if either the SA
or Gemora refer to learning the practicalities of shechita, not the
halachos, as TT. I would be interested in a source that says otherwise.

>I would have
>thought that Talmud Torah necessarily includes learning how to do
>mitzvos.  If you exclude that then haser ikkar min hasefer.

If you are referring to the halachos of how to do mitzvos, I'm in full
agreement that this is TT. If you mean practicalities, this is already the
position that I responded to above (indented quotes) in a previous post in
which I pointed out the incongruity of something that has no Torah in it
being considered TT. I also asked for a source that says contrary, and you
haven't, as of yet, provided one.


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Message: 3
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 12:55:21 +0200
[Avodah] tachanun & lamnatzeach

In our shul they were debating whetjher to say lamnatzeach on Yom
That led to the basic question of the difference between them.
According to edot hamizrach one doesnt say lamnatzeach whenever one
doesnt say tachanun which simplifies the issue.

However, Ashkenazim have a much larger list of days that tachanun is not
said then for lamnatzach. A quick look at several siddurim gave very
different answers as to which days lamnatzeach is not said
(e.g. isru chag, tu be-av tu-beshvat etc.)

The question is what is the rule when lamnatzeach is not said?
And why the difference (according to ashkenazim) between the two.

BTW I was just a nebi samuel and learned that yom yerushalayim is the
yahrzeit of Shmuel HaNavi.  In that case chassidim should certianly
not say tachanun on the 28th of Iyar.
Yesterday Nebi Samuel was especially crowded being the day after the
yahrzeit coupled with erev rosh chodesh.

ON a completely different issue I was a week ago visiting the Haas
From there as well as Nabi Samuel one gets two very different views of
all of Jerusalem. From both sides it is clear that "har ha-bait" is MUCH
the level of all the nearby hills including the Har-Hazeitim.
Har Tzion is some 30 meters above Har HaBayit
From the water tunnels that lead to the Temple mount it is clear that this
could not have changed very substantially since bayit sheni times since all
Herodian water sources are built on gravity and stricy knowledge of the
heights of the water sources and the final location

Eli Turkel
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Message: 4
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 13:06:56 +0200
[Avodah] going up to har habayit

It was reported last week that several Rabbonim from the RZ camp,
amongst them Rav Yaakov Meidan of Yeshivat Har Eyzion, went up to
portions of Har HaBayis. It was also reported that Rav Yaakov Ariel,
the highly respected Rav of Ramat Gan, published a psak that seemed to
support their actions.

If any of our correspondents could fill in the halachic details, I
would be most appreciative.>>

The halachik basis is simple. The temple mount was extended by Herod.
It is generally conceded that this extension has no halachic basis and so is
not part of halachic har habayit. Hence,  the various prohibitions do not
extend to these extensions. Thus, one can go there if one is "tamei met" and
it is sufficient to go a Mikvah.

The tricky part is identfying where was the Temple within the Temple mount
and where were the Herodian extensions. The Kulahs are based on taking
certainly historical possibilities and taking the chumrah of them which
still leaves  some areas that can be visited.

Those who prohibit which includes R. A. Shapira. R. Lichtenstein and several
other promininet DL poskim plus all charedi poskim have 2 objections. One
they do not rely on historical guesses as to where was the Temple. In fact
there are probably enough theories around that include almost everything.
Second the fear that once one goes on the Temple mount it is too easy to get
into the "wrong" areas or that one does not go to the mikvah properly etc.

Eli Turkel
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Message: 5
From: "Yisrael Medad" <yisrael.medad@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 14:13:57 +0300
[Avodah] Ascending to the Temple Mount

*It was also reported that Rav Yaakov Ariel,
the highly respected Rav of Ramat Gan, published a psak that seemed to
support their actions.*

That was an error.  He did not.  His brother, Yisrael Ariel did and probably
someone made a mistake.  The clarification appears in today's HaTzofeh.

Yisrael Medad
Mobile Post Efraim 44830
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Message: 6
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 13:19:02 +0200
[Avodah] otzar bet din

With all that, I don't see why Otzar BD couldn't fulfill all of this, and
therefore I'm skeptical of the claim that the Badatz doesn't use OB. If it's
true, it would behoove those who feel it's wrong to attempt getting their
POV, as I'm sure they have one as well>>

Just to be clear the modern otzar bet din is a major chidush of the CI
(the ancient one worked differently). Basically the Badatz does not
hold of this chiddush. As I also mentioned even in terms of fruits which are
less of a problem the Badatz does not want fruits with kedushat sheviit and
so import or their fruits also.

BTW the Badatz also has a kulah since they do hold that a nonJew uproots the
sanctity of the land and so nonJewish produce within
EY is free from kedushat sheviit (this is also the basis of the heter
mechira which Badatz doesnt accept but for other reasons).
Since CI accepted the other shittah that nonJewish produce does have
kedushat sheviit each side has a chumrah& kulah that the other doesn't.

In fact it means that products from the Badatz are actually kedushat sheviit
according to the CI. There was a nasty fight the last few shemittah years
because the Badatz doesnt indicate on their cans of packaged vegetables the
year they come from. Hence someone in Bnei Brak who buys a can of potatos
(for example) with a Badatz hechser might possibly have to treat it with
kedushat sheviit even a few years after shemitta.
Badatz as a shitta does not indicate anything on their lables that might
indicate a kulah. Hence they refused to label which cans came from NonJewish
but shemitta products. I think in the end they gave out some codes on labels
that would indicate the origin for those knowledgable. They have a similar
fight with ROY because they refuse to say on their wines and grape juices
which are too diluted for Sephardom to use. Therefore ROY had probited all
eda charedit wines and grape juices unless one knows for sure that they are
not diluted with water.

Eli Turkel
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Message: 7
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 14:53:40 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Torah Study vs. other contributions to soCIETY

R' Samuel Svarc wrote:
>> If so, how do you justify the Rama's behavior?
> He learned these subjects as a preparation to better understand Torah. The
> Maharshal held that these subjects are forbidden to study and the Rama
> disagreed with him. The same way, like today, there are machlokes haposikim
> on certain subjects if one is permitted to learn them, they too argued about
> this. But none of them held that one can't study permitted subjects to
> enhance Torah.

I apologize if my comments are irrelevant - I simply haven't been 
following this thread.

If you are saying that the Rema studied philosophy but the Marshal held 
that it was forbidden. The Rema refers to this in his respone to the 
Maharshal noting that the Maharshal also knew philosophy. The dispute 
seemed to be whether one can utilized secular understanding to explain 
Torah issues and mix them into psak. Rema felt it was appropriate and 
Maharshal felt it was not. The exchange also included the criticism that 
Rema was ignorant of grammar.

Daniel Eidensohn

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Message: 8
From: "Ilana Sober" <sober@pathcom.com>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 08:48:59 -0400
[Avodah] shmitta

Regarding otzar beit din - please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it
only works for fruits, that grow every year on the same trees (or
grapevines). But with crops that need to be planted every year (vegetables
and grains) there would be a problem of s'fichin that couldn't be solved by

- Ilana

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Message: 9
From: "Ilana Sober" <sober@pathcom.com>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 08:53:39 -0400
[Avodah] orla

A&C Walters wrote: "So apart from the halocho of sofek orla bEY lechumra, in
metzius a lot of it
is, l"a probably vadai orla?"

IIUC, orla is not just assur; it is relatively rare for many species because
trees that young are not mature enough produce fruit. One would have to
investigate which species of fruit have a chashash of orla. Does anyone have
such a list?

- Ilana

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Message: 10
From: "Yisrael Medad" <yisrael.medad@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 16:21:31 +0300
[Avodah] Anybody Hear of Parshat Y'honatan?

According to Maariv, there's a Parshat Y'honatan:

Yisrael Medad
Mobile Post Efraim 44830
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Message: 11
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 15:42:02 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Orla

Reb "A & C" Walters asked:
> This is halachically fine for vegetables, but what about fruit?!? What
> about orla? Not only is orla the hardest thing to give hashkocho on
> (according to Mashgicim in the Eida Chareidis), but since orla cannot be
> sold here, because even the Rabinut won't give a hechsher, to generally it
> is exported. So apart from the halocho of sofek orla bEY lechumra, in
> metzius a lot of it is, l"a probably vadai orla?

Since I once checked that one out for our kehillah, I am pleased to report: it 
depends. First of all, vegetables (the quote you included from the OU speaks 
specifically about peppers) are not subject to 'orlah. However, even among 
fruits, the problem isn't accross the board. Some trees do not give fruit so 
soon, so there is essentially no problem. Example: citrus fruits.

OTOH, there are other species where agricultural techniques create a lot of 
fruit bearing 'orlah plants, and in the case of such fruits, one needs to 
worry about 'orlah. Example: grapes, prunes.

The export department of the Rabbanut haRashit keeps a list of the different 
species for which one should worry about 'orlah.

Arie Folger

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Message: 12
From: David Riceman <driceman@att.net>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 10:55:43 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Torah Study vs. other contributions to soCIETY

Now that I understand your general position better how do you harmonize 
it with the Rama in YD 246:21, where he says that it is preferred ( he 
uses the term "midas hassidus") for a person to earn his own living 
while studying, and he describes learning full time (except for a 
wealthy person who needs no stipend) as a less than ideal concession to 
practical considerations.

For specific examples of practical advice in sifrei halacha a five 
minute search yields YD 20:4, 24:6 in hilchos shehita, and, in H' 
Gosses, the long list in YD 339:1, which could be replaced by a simple 
prohibition against anything which shortens a person's expected length 
of life.

In general the line between halachic issues and practical advice is hard 
to draw precisely.  The gemara (sorry, I couldn't find it this morning) 
describes how Abbaye used to hold birds as he slaughtered them, and it 
describes (Hullin 17b) the various methods by which different schools 
used to check knives for nicks.  The poskim view the latter as an actual 
machlokes, and, as far as I can tell, the former as practical advice 
(which is why, IIRC, it's not cited in Shulhan Aruch).

I did hear once, from someone who had a kabbala in shehita from Rabbi 
Feinstein, that Rabbi Feinstein asked him during the examination where 
he put his hands when he slaughtered.  The Rama there (YD 1:1) says that 
the hacham who certifies the shohet should check both that he knows 
hilchos shehita and that he's "baki b'yad".  How can a hacham know that 
unless he himself has studied the mechanics of shehita? According to 
your opinion that it's preferable for a hacham not to spend his time 
learning such things, how could we have established an institution of 
certification which is itself a stumbling block for hachamim?

David Riceman

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Message: 13
From: "dhojda1@juno.com" <dhojda1@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 12:52:35 GMT
Re: [Avodah] going up to har habayit

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