Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 145

Wed, 04 Jul 2007

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 22:09:03 -0400
[Avodah] Mourning for the Temple or repenting?

I have an elementary question. Is the  basis of our activities during 
the three weeks -  mourning (aveilus) for the Temple?

If it is then is it required that we feel sad about the loss of the 
Temple? In the 8th volume of the Igros Moshe OH 37.2 page 113 he deals 
with the issue of ripping one's garment on Friday afternoon after 
chatzos. In the course of his discussion he says, There is absolutely no 
mitzva to be upset about the death of someone. This is stated clearly by 
Rashi in Kesubos (6b)...And surely there is absolutely no mitzva to 
increase one's suffering or even to cause one self to feel suffering..." 
He asserts that aveilus is a collection of activities to show respect 
for the departed but they are all external actions that do not require 
feelings of sadness. I spoke recently with Rav Meisleman and he 
confirmed as elementary that mourning is external activities and does 
not require feelings of sadness. It  would seem that  in fact the 
underlying concept to the three weeks is more of doing teshuva than 
mourning. For example the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (#121) states, "It is a 
positive commandment from the prophets to fast on the days on which 
tragedy happened to our ancestors. The purpose of the fast is in order 
to arouse our hearts to focus on the path of repentance...

The reason I am mentioning this is I can't remember a single derasha 
about the 3 weeks that didn't involve the need to be upset about the 
loss of the Temple or to be upset that we weren't upset about the loss. 
If it is aveilus then in fact there is no requirement to feel sad. If it 
is a method of motivating teshuva than feeling upset is appropriate. The 
latter might help explain the inherently  optional status of fasting - 
except in a time of hardhsip - Rosh HaShanna 18b. It might also provide 
a key to understanding why R' Yehuda HaNasi wanted to do away with the 
17th of Tammuz and perhaps Tisha B'Av itself - Megilla 5b.

Daniel Eidensohn

Go to top.

Message: 2
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 16:53:32 -0400
Re: [Avodah] korbonos by mincha gedoyle

Micha Berger wrote:
> On Fri, June 22, 2007 11:53 am, Zev Sero wrote:
> : [RAM] kennethgmiller@juno.com wrote:
> :> I'd think
> :> this to be among the gezeros that still apply even when the reasons
> :> no longer hold. I.e., that we will wait the full half-hour in 3BHMK,
> :> even on EP/ES.

> : Why would a future Sanhedrin, with the full power to repeal obsolete
> : gezerot, refrain from doing so?

> Because I think minhag avoseihem beyadeihem would mean that a future
> Sanhedrin would only repeal gezeiros for which there is motivation to
> repeal. A lack of motivation to persist would be insufficient.

I only know the phrase "minhag avoseichem biydeichem" from the letter
received in Bavel about Yom Tov Sheni; but that letter gave a specific
reason why they should keep their old minhag, it didn't just say to
keep doing it because it was the minhag.

Even if the future Sanhedrin will see some value in keeping outdated
minhagim for tradition's sake, there *is* no minhag about when to
bring the korban tamid.  The last korban tamid was brought nearly
2000 years ago!  I don't see how any value ascribed to "tradition"
would transfer from when "avoseichem" davened mincha to when "you"
should bring the korban, on Erev Pesach that falls on Erev Shabbos.

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                       	                          - Clarence Thomas

Go to top.

Message: 3
From: mkopinsky@gmail.com
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 22:59:52 +0300
[Avodah] Slogan game (was: Vehoyo einecho ro'oys es Morecho)

On 7/3/07, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> Daas Torah

Is this originally a quote from somewhere?  I thought it was a new term
used for a new idea.

Go to top.

Message: 4
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 18:32:37 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] Slogan game (was: Vehoyo einecho ro'oys es

On Tue, July 3, 2007 3:59 pm, mkopinsky@gmail.com wrote:
: On 7/3/07, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
:> Daas Torah

: Is this originally a quote from somewhere?  I thought it was a new
: term used for a new idea.

It is used in contrast to da'as nota in Chullin 90b. (I did say I was
seeding the list with Avodah perennials...) In the gemara, "da'as
Torah" means a pesaq compelled by the Torah, in contrast to a "da'as
nota", where the evidence only leans in favor of one pesaq over the

It is not about "da'as Torah" as used today because (1) it's about
pesaq specifically, and (2) today's da'as Torah is actually a kind of
da'as nota -- statements that emerge from a Torah weltenschaung, not a
conclusion one must reach from the received sources.

Since I'm already threatening reopening that can of worms, here's my
blog entry on it

I believe the idea evolved from RYSalanter's. RYS is the earliest
source for the idiom in modern times that I'm aware of. However, when
you strip his idea of its Mussar context and underpinnings, it
perforce evolves into something else. I do not believe RYS expected
people to turn to a rav for anything beyond pesaq and mussar advice
(the latter being where DT really launched from) and he didn't speak
of a black-and-white separation between gedolim who have DT and the
hamon am who do not. Rather, it was something we each should be trying
to build within ourselves. But see the blog entry.

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

Go to top.

Message: 5
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@sibson.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 18:25:19 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Mourning for the Temple or repenting?

 I spoke recently with Rav Meisleman and he confirmed as elementary that
mourning is external activities and does not require feelings of
Daniel Eidensohn

Aiui according to R'YBS the feelings are the kiyum (assuming you're
talking about mourning for a relative)
Also I'm not sure we need a mitzvah to feel the loss of a loved one, it
is inherent in the briah and the mitzvot seem designed around it (again
for aveilut yachid/ chadasha versus rabim/yeshana) One could argue (R'
YBS) that the whole point of the 3 weeks is to build those feelings.

Joel Rich
distribution or copying of this message by anyone other than the addressee is 
strictly prohibited.  If you received this message in error, please notify us 
immediately by replying: "Received in error" and delete the message.  
Thank you.

Go to top.

Message: 6
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 18:27:18 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Slogan game (was: Vehoyo einecho ro'oys es

mkopinsky@gmail.com wrote:
> On 7/3/07, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
>> Daas Torah
> Is this originally a quote from somewhere?  I thought it was a new term
> used for a new idea.

The SME says "daas baalei batim hepech daas torah".  I think that's
the earliest usage, and it certainly predates the modern slogan.

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                       	                          - Clarence Thomas

Go to top.

Message: 7
From: "L Reich" <lreich@tiscali.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2007 11:28:49 +0100
Re: [Avodah] korbonos by mincha gedoyle

Re: [Avodah] korbonos by mincha gedoyle

An exhaustive treatment of the halachic/astronomical timing demands for tefilas minchah can fe found in several places in the sefer "Birur Halochoh" on Shulchan Aroch by R' Yechiel Avrohom Silber of Bne Braq.

The references (all on Orach Chayim 233)

a) Chelek Beth p. 231-6
b) Tinyono p. 410/11
c) Revi'i     p. 191/2

Elozor Reich, Manchester
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20070704/7e3854ad/attachment.htm 

Go to top.

Message: 8
From: "L Reich" <lreich@tiscali.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2007 11:37:32 +0100
[Avodah] Your brother's a Mumar; here's the solution!

Subject:  Your brother's a Mumar; here's the solution!

Having an apostate as a brother can present a potential future 
Yibum/Chalitza problem.

What I can only describe as a "flabbergasting solution" is prescribed in the 
Oruch Hashulchan, Even ho'Ezer 157. The detailed instructions seem to 
indicate practical advice.

Elozor Reich 

Go to top.

Message: 9
From: SAULWEINREB@comcast.net
Date: Wed, 04 Jul 2007 14:46:48 +0000
[Avodah] Wartime orders

R Josh Backon,

Thank you for your list of sources.  Bli neder I will check many of them, although you gave me an assignement that will take some time to complete.  Like I said in my original email, I am not looking for psak halachah, there are fortunately many sources for that.  I am just looking to stimulate discussion regarding some of the variables that need to be considered when determing the sakanas nefashos issue during wartime.  However, some comments to respond to your e-mail are i think in order, because I can't help it, so please forgive me.

You wrote:

With regard to training: there would be differences between the situation in Israel (where people in basic
training could be suddenly sent to do guard duty in a sensitive area) vs. the situation in the USA where
this would never occur.


Yes, there are certainly differences between the situations in the two countries, and I think that these should be explored.  You are also correct that soldiers in Basic training in the US are extremely unlikely to be sent anywhere where sakanah is an issue.  Basic training BTW is what every soldier goes through when he/she first enters the military just to learn the basics.  However, my questions refer not so much to basic training , but to the training that units do on a constant basis to stay ready for action to fulfill the particualr function of that unit.  This is constantly being done by both active duty and reserve units.  In these scenarios, the difference between the two armies is blurred significantly.  Surely you don't think that the chances of a US Army unit being sent into quick unexpected action (especially a medical unit like my own) is not significant.  Just read the newspapers about reserve deployments, both for natural disas ters in the US and for deployment to Ir
aq, Afganistan etc...  The overwhelming majority of the US army reserves have been used extensively over the last five or so years, and it shows no sign of letting up anytime soon.

Dr Backon:

Without reading the sefarim in depth, it would be foolish to even begin to delineate what's muttar and what's
assur. You simply have to read the above sefarim to get a notion of what's involved. You also might want
to contact Orthodox military chaplains (e.g. Col. Alan Greenspan) who would be more attuned to the
specific problems in the US military.


Agreed, please do not give psak halacha, let's just discuss some of the important variables.  I'm interested to see if people have some ideas that will help me think abouth this topic.  BTW, the orthodox military chaplains are very helpful and knowledgable, and are a great resource.  Rav Gedaliah Dov Schwartz Shlita of Chicago IL is also one of the foremost authorities on this topic, and he makes himself available to US religious soldiers for these types of issues.  He is wonderfully helpful, and even speaking with him he likes to brag about "my soldiers".

R Yisrael Meidad writes:

There must be a point where one should not do things during training on
shabbos because the environment is not truly a sakkanah" I need ask: at what
time is this training taking place?  There is a difference when done during
war but not on or near an actual battlefield or whether far away from any
field of operations which, I would presume, that it should not be done on
the Shabbat.


I agree totally.  It is a challenge to figure out exactly where this point is.  Some decisions are easy and clearly do not fall into the category of sakanas nefashos.  I wonder if I could come up with a scenarion where chillul shabbos would be justified in a training situation.  Clearly, the distinction between training and wartime is not so clear.  The situation that I am dealing with is in a non-Jewish army, and the war is taking place in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Clearly, in "theater"  I don't think there is a shaalah at all.  Carrying weapons, doing whatever needs to be done is clearly OK.  Also, in a training environment on a base in the US, when it is routine training that has nothing to do with the war directly, I think that chillul shabbos would be very hard to justify, only with my job as a physician some of those duties might be permissable but this has nothing to do with wartime directly.  However, it gets a little fuzzy when you think of a unit that is training and getting
 ready to deploy to Iraq or another hot zone.  (Unfortunately, some may argue that almost all training in the US army today might fall under this category, given the current situation) There the training is crucial, and one may argue that at least some of what is being done can be considered sakanas nefashos based on the argument that every detail of the training has direct impact on the safety of the troops (at least some of whom are Jewish, and even if not I am assuming that chillul shabbos to save a goy's life is justifiable as well.  If you disagree with this premise, then the discussion would have to be on diferent terms altogether.  However, virtually every posek I have spoken to has strongly agreed with this assumption.  For several reasons 1) similar to the hetter that R Moshe ZTL wrote for a doctor to save a goy's life on shabbos because of sakanas nefashos for Klal Yisrael 2) because a soldier that treats soldiers preferentially based on religion would cause a breakdown i
n troop moral that would endanger everyone, including the soldier himself directly, vehamaven yaven. 3) presumably, this is necessary for the safety of the country that we are defending, in which reside numerous Jews).

So the question returns, when can chillul shabbos be justified in a training environment?  

R Meidad:

Since I feel that you are talking about actual wartime, in a Jewish army
like in Israel, obviously there would be a dialogue between the "chaplain"
and the relevant officers to judge what is really necessary to be done even
on the Shabbat to keep troops ready or prepared for an immediate operation.
In my experience up near Tzur in 1985, we carried weapons constantly,
day/night. Shabbat/chol/, bathroom/kitchen, even when not "on duty" although
turning lights off/on, storeroom duty and other related activities were not
done on the Shabbat except for the specific units who went out on patrol.

Once you get into it, it becomes easy to understand and follow.


I am speaking about actual wartime, but not in a Jewish Army.  In the US army, there will be no such discussion about what might be OK on shabbos.  The soldier simply needs to fugire out how to comply with his orders.  Your experience in Lebanon ion 1985 was clearly in a "hot zone", and I don't think anyone would disagree that carrying weapons constantly was appropriate.  In such scenarios, it is easy to understand.
Shaul Weinreb
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20070704/e0943353/attachment.html 

Go to top.

Message: 10
From: saulweinreb@comcast.net
Date: Wed, 04 Jul 2007 19:53:23 +0000
[Avodah] Wartime orders

Reb Arie Folger writes:

Is being court martialed a pikuach nefesh? Can you have a hetter for dichui Shabbos by getting yourself into the situation where not doing so isn't an option, even though pushing off the training until Sunday is theoretically possible (if a Shomer Shabbos training division were opened, for example) and won't result in any deaths on active duty?


I don't think being court martialled is a pikuash nefesh, as I stated before, people don't actually get executed for such things in today's military.  However, you do bring up am interesting question.  Let's say for arguments sake, that one is not allowed to enter a profession where he will be called upon to do melacha on shabbos that is sakanas nefashos (this is highly debatable, but just for now assume that it is assur).  The person joins anyway, either out of ignorance, or because he didn't care that it was prohibited.  Now he is in the situation that he must do a melacha and it really is unquestionably sakanas nefashos, can he do the melacha now?
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20070704/e110ad64/attachment.htm 

Go to top.

Message: 11
From: "Moshe Feldman" <moshe.feldman@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2007 23:26:47 +0300
[Avodah] healthy eating and exercise--hashkafic aspects

On 6/22/07, Newman,Saul Z <Saul.Z.Newman@kp.org> wrote:
> http://tinyurl.com/2558mx  jonathan rosenblum  goes after the sacred cow of the
> diet/exercise characteristics of the haredi male....

RJRosenblum focuses on v'nishmartem me'od l'nafshoseichem as the
reason to eat and exercise properly.  In addition to v'nishmartem
me'od, there are additional Hashkafic reasons to eat properly.  Hashem
created the world in a way such that a person will be healthier if he
is careful to eat healthy foods rather than better-tasting unhealthy
foods.  Just as we are careful to only kosher food, we should be
careful to eat only healthy food.  With regard to both kosher &
healthy food restrictions, we control our ta'avos when we limit what
we eat.  As the control of ta'avos is a thread which connects many
mitzvos, why not add healthy eating to the list?

Moreover, when a person succumbs to his ta'avos and eats too much
unhealthy food, he is in danger of falling into the trap of living in
order to eat, rather than eating in order to live, which violates kol
ma'asecha yi'hu l'shem Shamayim.

In addition, we make brachos on foods to constantly remind ourselves
of Hashem's beneficence.  When a health-conscious person spends time
thinking whether a given food is healthy for him or not, he too can
use the opportunity to think that he is eating to be healthy, and that
healthy foods are a gift from Hashem.

I think that it's harder to find additional hashkafic aspects of
exercising other than v'nishmartem me'od.  After all, exercise takes
time, and ideally one should not waste a second.  True, one can always
listen to a shiur while exercising, but usually this is not the
optimal form of learning.  Perhaps, one could use the following
thought to enhance exercise: if one exercises in natural surroundings,
one can simultaneously appreciate the nifla'os ha'Borei.  I bicycle in
Gush Etzion in breathtaking scenery.  For those who are zocheh to live
in Eretz Yisrael, one also can be mekayem walking/going 4 amos in EY
(cycling should count as rachuv k'mehalech dami); certain gedolim are
said to have walked on different routes on different days (the
implication being that each new 4 amos is a separate mitzvah) and
appreciating the Land that Hashem has given us.

Kol tuv,


Avodah mailing list

End of Avodah Digest, Vol 23, Issue 145

Send Avodah mailing list submissions to

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

You can reach the person managing the list at

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Avodah digest..."

< Previous Next >