Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 125

Tue, 29 May 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2007 20:53:21 -0400
Re: [Avodah] What Does "Bless" Mean? (was Z"L in English)

On Sun, May 27, 2007 at 02:28:42PM -0400, Elliott Shevin wrote:
: I have a more basic question. What is the nature of "brocha/blessing" that we 
: do to or for Hashem and His works, and ask that He do to or for us?

See <http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2005/12/what-is-berakhah.shtml>.

I list shitos about what "barukh" means in relation to HQBH, and thus
what we mean when we make a berakhah.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             In the days of our sages, man didn't sin unless
micha@aishdas.org        he was overcome with a spirit of foolishness.
http://www.aishdas.org   Today, we don't do a mitzvah unless we receive
Fax: (270) 514-1507      a spirit of purity.      - Rabbi Israel Salanter

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2007 21:06:37 -0400
Re: [Avodah] What Does "Bless" Mean? (was Z"L in English)

As for what we could do for Hashem...

RJR wrote:
> Not that I know what it means but there is a strain of Jewish philosophy
> that understands that HKB"H created the world/us because he is a giver
> and needed something to give to

That "strain" is the position of RSG in Emunos veDei'os, the Ramchal in
Derekh Hashem, RSShkop in the intro to Shaarei Yosher... I would argue
it's wider than a strain and qualifies as the norm.

However, how about, HQBH created the world becuase He chose to be a Giver
and it's impossible to give without having a recipient -- therefore He
chose to create recipients.

Bringing the original question back to the issue of berakhos... As Chazal
write, "berakhah" is a lashon of ribui. RSRH writes that there is one
way we can apply the concept of ribui to HQBH. Hashem chooses to step
back and leave things for us to do. If we commit to doing His Will in
this world, we thereby increase His influence in the world.

Thus, a berakhah is a statement of commitment. Before eating that apple,
I commit to using the precious gift of that apple to serve Him.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             The purely righteous do not complain about evil,
micha@aishdas.org        but add justice, don't complain about heresy,
http://www.aishdas.org   but add faith, don't complain about ignorance,
Fax: (270) 514-1507      but add wisdom.     - R AY Kook, Arpilei Tohar

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Message: 3
From: Chaim G Steinmetz <cgsteinmetz@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2007 22:27:27 -0400
[Avodah] News From Our Eruv Project

 > From: Elliott Shevin <eshevin@hotmail.com>
> Now, why would you be acquiring medicine on Shabbos unless it were 
> for 
> someone who is at least a choleh she-ain bo sacana? And unless my 
> memory 
> fails me, in such a case, one may violate a miderabannin. So there's 
> no reason 
> the Jew can't take the medicine directly from the pharmacy to 
> wherever 
> it's needed, provided he doesn't traverse an actual reshus harabim.
Even a derobonon in such a case needs a shinui if done through a Jew. and
even then a non-Jew is preferable (unless that is not an option).
[BTW, I got the same letter...:)].

Chaim Gershon Steinmetz

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Message: 4
From: "Doron Beckerman" <beck072@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2007 22:01:23 -0700
Re: [Avodah] Yishuv EY

The Kol Bo (Simman 127) quotes the Maharam MeRotenburg:
"The primary Mitzvah of going to EY, is... only if he will be Parush from
here on, and he will be careful of all types of sins and fulfill all the
Mitzvos HaTeluyos BaAretz, for if he sins he will be punished more than if
he sinned in Chu"l, because Hashem seeks out EY constantly and the Eyes of
Hashem are upon it and he watches it alwas, and one who rebels in the palace
of the King is not the same as one who rebels outside the palace, and it is
a Land which consumes its inhabitants.. for it will spit out those who
transgress sins."

Radak (Yechezkel 33:25) - "How can you inherit the Land and do these acts
which are not in accordance with the nature of the Land, for it cannot
digest sin transgressors, as it in the Toras Kohanim at the end of Parshas

Rashbam (Ekev 11:10) - "This Land is better than Egypt for those who keep
Mitzvos, and the worst of all the Lands for those who do not."

Shla"h (Shaar Haosiyos 56a) - "One year after I came to Yerushalayim... was
the Shemitta year... and many of those dwelling in the Land wanted to
absolve themselves, because of the great duress... and I deliberated with
myself and said, I am more obligated to keep it and even to sell the coat
off my back, for Hashem will tell me, why have you come from a place where
you are exempt to a place where you are obligated, and when you are in a
place where you are obligated you will neglect this Mitzvah? Why have you
come to defile My Land?... And then I found the same in Sefer Charedim...
that all those who come to live in EY must be very careful about Shemittah
and all the Mitzvos HaTeluyos BaAretz, just as the Amoraim were careful to
keep them as it says in the Yerushalmi, so that the Mitzvah of dwelling in
EY not come with an Aveirah of negating the Mitzvos HaTeluyos Bah, and the
loss will outweigh the gain."
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Message: 5
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net>
Date: Mon, 28 May 2007 09:37:01 +0300
Re: [Avodah] har habayit

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Eli Turkel 
  To: Shoshana L. Boublil 
  Cc: avodah 
  Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2007 8:14 PM
  Subject: har habayit

   Hence I would suspect that if one really took every shitah 
  into account that there is not much room left

The point of the post was that people keep following their feelings instead of checking the facts on the ground.

I asked specifically. They said that going by the machmir positions, there is still sufficient places to visit on the area known nowadays as the Temple Mount to walk for a period of 2 hours.

Rav Yaakov Ariel made a clarification of his psak on this issue in this week's Parsha letter where he noted that we were allowed to walk in the area known as the "machteima", and not on the Temple Mount itself.  This area is still on the other side of the Western Wall, in the area known colloquially by all as Har HaBayit.

Shoshana L. Boublil
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Message: 6
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 28 May 2007 10:18:46 +0200
Re: [Avodah] har habayit

> Rav Yaakov Ariel made a clarification of his psak on this issue in this
> week's Parsha letter where he noted that we were allowed to walk in the area
> known as the "machteima", and not on the Temple Mount itself.  This area is
> still on the other side of the Western Wall, in the area known colloquially
> by all as Har HaBayit.

Anyone know more details exactly where this "machteima" is?

Eli Turkel
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Message: 7
From: "Yisrael Medad" <yisrael.medad@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 28 May 2007 11:39:47 +0300
[Avodah] Har Habayit

Eli writes,

*The Steipler brings a proof to the shiurim of CI that the width of har
habayit (at it narrowest) is just about 500 amot according to CI shiur. If
one accepts this then there is absolutely no room on the eastern or western
sides outside the 500 amot.
Personally I find the CI shiur hard to accept and that the 500 amot is only
a subset of the whole area. However those who accept CI cannot walk on the
two sides.  I have never put them together but there are articles in
techumin that argue for a southern or northern position for the bet
hamikdash. Hence I would suspect that if one really took every shitah
into account that there is not much room left*
As I don't have Rav Goren's book with me at the office, I can't give his
exact figures but he lays out about seven different shitot to illustrate how
the Bet HaMikdash could be fitted into the Temple Mount and, just as the
Mishna has it, Middot 2:1, the most expanisve 'clear' area is on the south,
followed by the east, north and west where it becomes the narrowest.
Nevertheless, there is room outside of the 500 square cubit.  And then we
can argue about the Machaneh Leviyah and even further, not to mention the
Ra'avad's opinion that entry is completely permissabel everywhere, follwoed
by Rav Weingarten's heter based on *halicha bashvil* or those who claim the
status of the area is still of a war.

Yisrael Medad
Mobile Post Efraim 44830
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Message: 8
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net>
Date: Mon, 28 May 2007 11:55:24 +0300
[Avodah] R' Menachem Mendel Mishklov

I'll post, shortly responses to the sources brought here concerning R' Chaim and others, but I came across a book that is relevant to this topic called "The Return to Jerusalem: The renewal of the Jewish Settlements in Eretz Yisrael during the 19th century", by Prof. Aryeh Morgenstern.

(he.wikipedia.org/wiki/????_????????? )

Prof. Morgenstern concentrates on Talmidei HaGra, led by R' Menachem Mendel of Shklov, who came to Israel following the passing of the Gr"a, with the purpose and intention to build Israel as a way of bringing the Ge'ula closer.

The book contains a letter (or a reference to it) written by R' Menachem Mendel in 1820, where he refers to the rebuilding of Jerusalem as "Atchalta De'Ge'ula".

Interesting enough both R' Menachem Mendel and the Chatam Sofer considered the earth quake in Tzefat to be a result of Not building Jerusalem, or as the Chatam Sofer wrote: "Yerushalayim Gavta Et Kevoda".

The book connects between 2 threads, as apparently the Gr"a explained that the 3 shevu'ot refer only to Beit HaMikdash itself, but they can (and should) rebuild Israel and prepare what is needed for the Beit HaMikdash.

Shoshana L. Boublil
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Message: 9
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 28 May 2007 17:23:46 +0200
[Avodah] yishuv EY

>>Try R. Tzvi Yehuda Kook for a different perspective.

He has sources saying that baalei aveireh SHOULD be oleh to EY?>>

I suggest reading the writings of R. Kook Senior & Junior on the importance
of the contributions of the chilonim to yishuv EY. I would also strongly
reading kol dodi dofek from RYBS on the brit that binds us all together
in the building of EY. While of course neither denies the importance of
mitzvot in building EY both express their hakorat hatov to those
that actually built the land with their physical labor

The difference is that the talmidim of the SR are mainly in NY state while
of R. Kook are in Yerushalayim. The influence of the various SR on Israeli
thought is nil even within the charedi political parties.
SBA thinks Satmat is mainstream because he quotes the Sheloh etc.
By mainstream I mean today's mainstream. How many yeshivot in EY learn
VM and how many learn the thoughts of R. Kook and RYBS?

Eli Turkel
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Message: 10
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Date: Mon, 28 May 2007 12:31:22 -0400 (EDT)
[Avodah] R' Unna on Kol Isha

If people are still interested, a PDF of R' Unna's teshuvah on girls'
choral groups is now available on


He construes kol isha narrowly, following the Rishonim, indicating that
none of the poskim use the gemara in Sotah about men & women singing being
like a fire in flax, which might actually asser such choral performances.
If one chooses to be machmir on himself, he should be machmir on himself
davka, and not make a public protest.

        name: jon baker              web: http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker
     address: jjbaker@panix.com     blog: http://thanbook.blogspot.com

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Message: 11
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Tue, 29 May 2007 15:39:31 +1000
Re: [Avodah] shemitta

From: "Moshe Feldman" <>
, A & C Walters  wrote:
> Also, those who say that by avoiding the "difficulties" of the mitzvah, it
> should be fakert, a person should look for them, and enjoy them, let's not
> forget shitas Tos; (beshem R' Chaim) Kesub. 110b that because of the
> difficulties of shmitta etc, one is potur from yishuv E"Y.

Tshuva to Even HaEzer 75:3 cites the Maharit that these words were
written by a talmid to'eh.


FYI, it was not only R' Walters who relies on that RCC but even the
father of the Maharit - the Mabit quotes him - RCC- (in vol 1:245)
exactly as per the Tosfos !

To get a good understanding of this matter see VM p.263.

>>Second, RCC states simply that in his day,
people could *not* fulfill the mitzvos ha'tluyos ba'aretz ("ein anu
yecholim l'hizaher"), and in mentioning the punishment for violating
those mitzvos, RCC implies that his point is that one shouldn't make
aliyah if that will lead one to *violate* aveiros which will cause one
to be punished.


Tosfos also says 'eino noheg bizman hazeh d'ikka sekanas derachim'.
Presumably, these days, Tosfos would ban people living in the more
dangerous areas of EY (eg Sderot, Chevron, Aza etc)

It is no question that RCC would ban current baalei aveireh
from making aliya.

How do you think he would have ruled for those who asked about
making aliyah - but plan to rely on the Hetter Mechirah?


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Message: 12
From: "SBA" <areivim@sba2.com>
Date: Tue, 29 May 2007 16:08:31 +1000
Re: [Avodah] shemitta

From: "Moshe Feldman" , R Samuel Groner wrote:
> : I wouldn't know where to begin arguing with someone who believes that
> : "someone who is not very very confident that his mitsvos outweigh his
> : averiros should definitely avoid being in EY." ...
> R' Micha Berger responded:
> RSBA already cited VaYo'el Mosheh. I believe the Minchaz Elazar (R'
> Chaim Elazar Shapira, the Muncaczer Rebbe) also writes about this
> danger, and does so in more vibrant language.

> Just pointing out that the Avnei Nezer YD 454 s"k 27 - 39 disagrees
> with this.  He argues: (1) there is a mitzvah to live in E"Y, so one
> has no right to question whether he is ra'ui to live there-- b'hadei
> kavshei d'rachmana lama lach.

Methinks that your are oversimplifying/generalising and maybe even
inadvertently mistating the views of the AN.

First of all, what he actually writes is "ein lehashgiach
im hu tzadik oy lo"

This is clearly in reference to what he himself had written earlier (in
sk 24) that a person who is so 'zakai' that if all Yidden were like him - we
would have the geulah, 'mitzva al **yochid hazeh** leyshev beEY'

So regarding this earlier comment of his, he says that lav davke SUCH a
great tzaddik  - but even a person (basically a shomer Torah uMitzvos)
of a lesser level, there is no need to investigate or ensure whether he is
tzaddik enough to qualify for aliyah.

But a 'grobber baal aveireh'? Man dechar shmei??     CV to even think
that that is what the AN 'b'hadei kavshei d'rachmana lama lach'.

(The following is not referring to RMF's post - just a general comment)

It is surprising (or rather, NOT surprising...) to see, how quite a few
apologists justify (to themselves - the actual olim of course couldn't give
a toss) the 'aliyah' of the early chotim umachtiim via this teshuva of the

However, anybody who learns the teshuva at the source - without relying on
the 'quotes' of later writers -  will quickly notice that there is some
deviousness behind this. They rarely quote all the way to end of - where, in
fact, the AZ are on a number of matters similar to the conclusions of the VM
re Yishuv EY bizman haZeh.

I especially refer to his summary (p.290) 454:62:

1.  "Ikar mitzvas yeshivas EY hi bihyos lo parnoso mirevach EY...

2.  "...ein mitzvas Yishuv EY rak be'ish tzaddik she'im hoyu kol yisroel
kemoso hayu nigalim...oy beshe'al kol ponim sofek lo im ish tzaddik hu.
"Avol im shlosh eleh lo yaaseh, yetziosoy meChu'L leEY chinom ein kosef
venachas ruach beyetzi'osoy.."

4.   "...Vechol ma she'omarnu me'inyan yeshivas EY.....ubilvad sheyisyashev
shomo betoch kibbutz anoshim miyisroel hakesherim.."

5. He more or less repeats the above. Ayen shom.



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