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Volume 23: Number 170

Wed, 15 Aug 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Avroham Yakov" <avyakov@hotmail.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 12:45:35 -0400
[Avodah] Buying a small plot of land for shmittah. Legitimate


I have received numerous mailing and seen many ads about bnei chutz la’aretz
purchasing small plots of land (4 amos x 4 amos) to be ma’kayim the mitzvos
te’luios be’aretz.

If I go ahead with this, is it a legitimate purchase?

Will that really help me ma’kayim the many mitzvos te’luios be’aretz?

Thank you,


More photos, more messages, more storage—get 2GB with Windows Live Hotmail. 

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Message: 2
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2007 18:40:04 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Why is Milchemes Reshus allowed?

I asked:
: What is the rationale behind a milchemes reshus?...
: Why are we not offended by this concept?

R' Micha Berger suggested (and R' Moshe Gluck wrote similarly):
> People die if the economy fails to thrive.

I must be missing something.

I can certainly understand that in some situations, the economy is so bad that people are literally dying in the streets. This is not ancient history, but is happening even today.

Now, one possibility is that the people of another country are the cause of this problem, and another possibility is that they are *not* the cause of this problem. In the first case, where they *are* the cause of the problem, it would be a milchemes mitzva to attack and kill those rodfim. In the second case, where they are *not* the cause of the problem, why do we feel justified in attacking and killing these innocent non-rodfim?

Akiva Miller

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Message: 3
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2007 15:11:46 -0400
[Avodah] Lifnei Iver/Kana'us

There is a discussion on Areivim now about the merits of a Rebbe who
supposedly ripped an indecent sign off the interior of a bus. I recall
seeing - some time ago - a discussion of this kind of behavior. IIRC, this
source contended that it was permissible (although I don't recall the exact
context). To take away the political overtones let me reformulate the
question: Your Jewish neighbor's mail is inadvertently delivered to your
home, and among the rest of the mail is an obscene magazine. The assumption
here is that he will never know if you don't give it to him. Do you:
a) give it to him
b) give it to him together with a well considered discourse on the evils of
c) throw it out
d) throw it out, and then deliver the above discourse 


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Message: 4
From: Meir Shinnar <chidekel@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2007 21:09:11 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Badatz Denounces Violent Demonstrations

> me
> : the RZ position has that the government has the status of melech...
> That is A RZ position. R' Reines would not have agreed. There are  
> other
> forms of RZ than R's Kook messiano-Zionism. Most of them would  
> disagree
> with this assertion. I couldn't picture RYBS, for example, agreeing. I
> ask RHM to chime in about RAS.
> ========================================================
> So in this formulation who would have the responsibility for  
> maintaining
> the social order in Israel today?
> I think they would argue that the gov't qualifies as either tuvei
> ha'ir, or if tuvei ha'ir requires that they be observant, perhaps dina
> demalkhusa.
> But not din melekh.
  I think RMB is mixing up two separate issues.
1 is the messianic interpretation of zionut and the medina - and I  
agree that all the sources he cites (and others) do reject this  
messianic approach.

2 The second is that establishing a government means that the  
government has the right to  govern.  The question is the nature of  
the halachic status of such a right when the government is not  
committed to halacha - and there is a shitta of the ran that  
essentially a government by the consent of the people has the status  
of a melech.  This notion is not dependent at all on the messianic  
interpretation of the zionut and the medina.  (After all, the ran's  
shitta is specifically for premessianic times - not when we have the  
melech hamashiach....)

Now, all RZ, whether messianic or not, believe that the state has a  
halachic right to govern - (there are limitations on that right - if  
it would directly require violation of halacha without a halachically  
tenable justification - and much of the recent debate within the RZ  
community is whether orders to evacuate a Jewish settlement cross  
this halachic line or not) - but the fundamental acceptance of the  
halachic validity of state actions is, IMHO, universal across all  
stripes of RZ.  The ran's shitta is  the best known halachic  
justification of this shitta.  Whether it was accepted by RYBS and  
RAS, or would have been accepted by R Reines (who was pre the  
medina) , or whether they would have used another line of reasoning,  
I don't know - but this shitta does not have the messianic  
implications that they objected to.

Meir Shinnar

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Message: 5
From: "Michael Kopinsky" <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2007 21:45:10 -0600
[Avodah] Loaning without eidim, and talking to ladies

On 8/12/07, Kayza Zajac <s.zajac@verizon.net> wrote:
> Or to go to a Jewish source:  One who gives a loan without properly
> documenting it is considered a Rasha.  (My husband is not here, so I cannot
> ask him for the exact source.)

BM 75b: (I got it first guess!  I'm proud of myself for remembering.)

"Amar Rav Yehuda amar Rav: Kol mi sheyeish lo ma'os umalveh osan shelo
b'eidim oveir mishum lifnei iveir lo sitein michshol. V'Reish Lakish omeir,
goreim klala l'atzmo, shene'emar..."  (The gemara continues with a story.
Ayen sham.)

The Ritva there says that this isn't an issur mamesh, but only a middas
chassidus.  He compares it with something else commonly understood to be an
issur, but he holds that that is also midas chassidus.  Unfortunately, I
can't remember what.

Come to think of it, this could be the Ritva l'shitaso at the end of
kiddushin, who says that the issur of "Ein Shoalim b'shlom isha klal" can be
avoided if one is entirely sure that no bad can come out of the
conversation.  (Then again, he adds that this should only be relied on by
someone who is muvhak b'chassidus (or something like that), which kind of
makes it not so practical as a hetter.  Though the poskim quote the Ritva
without that stipulation.)

On the topic of Ein Shoalim b'shlom isha:  (Ladies, close your ears.)

Does this issur apply to a p'nuya, or only to an eishes ish?  It makes sense
that it would only apply to an eishes ish, as the concern is that it will
lead to an areivah, and only by an eishes ish is that a real concern.
(Be'ilas p'nuya is only d'rabbanan and takanta l'takanta lo avdinan.)
However, none of the poskim (at least that I've seen) make such a chiluk.

If the issur applies to a p'nuya, what is the hetter for dating?  It should
be assur for one to ask his fiance how she is doing.  (Before anyone jumps
on me, I will point out that only regarding the issur of histaklus is there
a hetter if it is for the sake of marriage.  Such a hetter is not mentioned
by the SA or any of the primary poskim (where primary = the ones I've seen)
regarding she'eilas shalom.)

It could be that the halacha was developed in a cultural background of
arranged weddings, where one did not talk to his fiance/kallah/shidduch a
lot before the wedding, and only had a brief glance to make sure he agreed
with his parents' choice.  In such a case, a blanket issur of she'eilas
shalom would make sense.  But what would the halacha be today?

And with this I end my unconnected stream of random Torah thoughts.

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Message: 6
From: hankman <salman@videotron.ca>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2007 15:30:44 -0400
Re: [Avodah] What was actually written on the luchos, zachor

R'n Toby Katz wrote:
I don't know "who" says it but it is commonly said that the first five are  
bein adam laMokom and the second five are bein adam lachaveiro, strongly  
suggesting a parallel structure that wouldn't be obvious if, say, four dibros  were 
actually written on one luach and six on the other.
A friend of mine, a musmach of Ner Yisrael, R. Yehoshua Honigwachs has a thesis that the parallel 5 dibros on each luach are megaleh a structure of  Torah as a whole. These five main concepts each one indicated in one of the 5 parallel dibros (one lamokom and the other lachaveiro) lead to an understanding of the basic structure (unity) of  (Chamisha Chumshei) Torah. Thus Torah can be analyzed as follows:  the 1st commandment's underlying theme represented in  Bereishis, the 2nd commandment's main theme in Shemos and so on. Then, within each chumosh it's parshios can further be subdivided at the next level by sub-themes based on each of the five dibros and so on to lower levels of subdivision. (Sort of like Chesed shebeGevura etc.) 

He spells out this thesis in a book he authored "The Unity of Torah" published by Feldheim (1991) with a short foreword from R. Yaakov Weinberg, zt"l The Rosh HaYeshiva of Ner Yisrael, which seems to be more of a haskoma than a foreword, in which RYH puts forward his thesis and illustrates it by examples from Bereishis. I suspect that this thesis deserves a much wider exposure than it has received to date.

Kol Tuv,

Chaim Manaster
Montreal, Canada
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Message: 7
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Levine@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2007 17:12:15 -0400
[Avodah] Standing for the Chasan and Kalah

Recently Rabbi Zev Cinamon published a sefer entitled "Beyom 
Chasunaso." In it he gives "an explanation and analysis of the laws 
and customs of a Jewish wedding." One of the sections of this sefer 
has the above title and discusses this topic.

I have posted the material dealing with this topic at 
http://www.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/levine/standing_chasuna.pdf .

I recommend this sefer, because it deals with all aspects of a 
chasuna and points out which "customs" that we see today are based on 
halacha and precedent, and which ones have been added recently and 
have no basis.

I bought the sefer today in Eichler's in Flatbush. To find out where 
you can purchase this sefer in your area please contact

Yeshiva Gedolah Of West Hempstead
P.O. Box 563
West Hempstead, NY 11552
Yeshiva Gedolah Of West Hempstead <Yeshiva@ygwh.org>

Yitzchok Levine 
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Message: 8
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Levine@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2007 17:27:10 -0400
[Avodah] It is not the same religion

Yesterday after shul a group of us were standing outside and 
chatting. One of the people mentioned something that had been 
announced in shul and then said, "I never remember hearing about this 
when I was growing up." I replied, "Today it is a new religion." The 
person paused, thought for a moment, and then nodded agreement.

Today we do see things that many consider to be fundamental Jewish 
practices which are really questionable innovations. Yet, there are 
those who will maintain that these are old practices that must be 
maintained. In Appendix I of Beyom Chasunaso which is entitled 
"Beware of Strangers," Rabbi Zev Cinamon deals with a number of 
things that have become standard practice at many chasunas today. You 
may be very surprised to read what he has to say about calligraphical 
Kesubos, untying neckties, shoelaces, etc., praying under the chupah, 
singing eishes chayil, and Maypole dances. See 
http://www.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/levine/beyom_appendix_i.pdf .

Again, to find out where you can purchase this interesting sefer, contact

Yeshiva Gedolah Of West Hempstead
P.O. Box 563
West Hempstead, NY 11552
Yeshiva Gedolah Of West Hempstead <Yeshiva@ygwh.org>
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Message: 9
From: "Michael Kopinsky" <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2007 22:04:41 -0600
Re: [Avodah] Kaparos? For PETA?s Sake!

On 8/9/07, kennethgmiller@juno.com <kennethgmiller@juno.com> wrote:
> I asked:
> > At least according to Rebbi (Yoma 85b), Yom Kippur is mechaper
> > even without Teshuvah. I do not understand how that would work
> R"n Toby Katz answered:
> > The inuyim of Yom Kippur provide atonement, the same as any
> > punishment or consequence or suffering inflicted by a bais din
> > or by Shomayim -- not total atonement, in the absence of teshuva,
> > but at least partial kapara.
> So Yom Kippur can be partially mechaper without teshuva, but not without
> the inuyim. I had not thought of that. Thanks!

Is this indeed the case?  The halachic sources seem to say (and it's been a
few months since I've seen them, so I'm probably misquoting) that "Itzumo
shel yom mechaper".  Violating the inuyim would probably somewhat limit the
effect, as it's tovel v'sheretz b'yado, but the effect is there with the
inherent kedushas hayom.

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Message: 10
From: "Zev Sero" <zev@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2007 14:43:33 -0400
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Standing for the Chasan and Kalah

On Areivim, Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Levine@stevens.edu> wrote:

>  I have posted the material dealing with this topic at
> http://www.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/levine/standing_chasuna.pdf

The author writes:
   "Since the groom does not receive the status of 'chasan' until
after the recitation of
    all those brachos which are said under the chupah"
and in a Hebrew footnote writes:
   "So it appears obvious, for otherwise how is this person different
from anybody else,
    for he has not yet done anything in the matter of kidushin or
nisuin?  Also see
    Sefer Hashorashim of the Radak, shoresh chasan, who writes that
the ikar of the
    word chatan' is the renewal of the simcha (see Nedarim 32a and
Yerushalmi ibid
    3:9, and Mishna Nidah 42a), and what addition or renewal of the
simcha is there
    now?  It is obvious that the simcha is only after the completion
of the kidushin
    and nisuin."
Thus far the author of the material RYL posted.

It seems to me that this is not at all as obvious as the author
thinks.  First, the
chatan has done something in the matter of kidushin and nisuin - he has accepted
a kinyan on the ketuba.    Indeed, the first time he is mentioned in
the ketuba he is
not called "hechatan", because the kalah has not yet indicated her acceptance of
his proposal; but the second time he is mentioned he is called "chatan
dinan", and
he continues to be called that every time he is mentioned again, because by this
time he has made his proposal, and the witnesses have reason to believe that the
kalah has accepted it*.  By the time he walks to the chupah the witnesses have
already referred to him as a chatan several times, and have taken a
kinyan from him,
so surely he is indeed a chatan.

* (Precisely what reason they have to believe this is another
question, since she isn't
usually present when the ketubah is filled in and signed, and the witnesses make
the kinyan on her behalf, without necessarily ever having met her, let
alone asked
her whether she authorises them to do so.  But that's a question for
another time.)

Zev Sero

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Message: 11
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 14:38:53 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Reminder: Jerusalem Motzai Shabbos Shoftim get

On Sun, Aug 12, 2007 at 02:26:01PM +0300, Danny Schoemann wrote:
: All chaveirim and their spouses are invited to a get together in our
: home, in honour of R' Micha Berger and his family.

I myself still need directions by public transportation from Derekh Efrata
(or the bus on Derekh Chevron), Talpiot/Arnona/Baka -- whatever we are
really in...

I will also RSVP with how many descendents will still be willing to
spend another evening with me after 2-1/2 weeks of being together. <g>

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Despair is the worst of ailments. No worries
micha@aishdas.org        are justified except: "Why am I so worried?"
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507      

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Message: 12
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 21:17:04 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Buying a small plot of land for shmittah.

Avroham Yakov wrote:
> Hello,
> I have received numerous mailing and seen many ads about bnei chutz 
> la?aretz purchasing small plots of land (4 amos x 4 amos) to be
> ma?kayim the mitzvos te?luios be?aretz.

I seem not to be on the same mailing lists.  I have not seen any of
these ads, and I would actually be interested in such a deal.  I did
buy one of these 7 years ago, but it was a 4-year lease; at the end
of the 4 years I expected to be contacted with a renewal offer for
the remaining 3 years of the cycle, but never heard from them, and
the shtar had no address or contact information on it.

If any of these ads are in emailable format, perhaps you could
forward them to me.

> If I go ahead with this, is it a legitimate purchase?
> Will that really help me ma?kayim the many mitzvos te?luios be?aretz?

I don't see why not.  The shtar I got seemed legit (assuming that the
operation itself was legit, i.e. that the lessors actually owned the
land they were leasing, and it wasn't simply the Bnei Brak equivalent
of fraudulent Florida land deals).  According to the shtar I had a
lease on a patch which was 4x4 amot even according to quite a large
shiur, and I authorised the farmer to farm it together with the rest
of the field in which it lay.  I also authorised the farmer to mix
the produce of my patch with the rest of the produce, and take the
appropriate trumot and maasrot from the whole pile.  I also agreed
that after everything had been taken off, the farmer could keep the
rest of the produce as a gift.  I don't see why any of this wouldn't

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


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