Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 189

Sun, 09 Sep 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2007 16:13:21 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Teshuva - postive or negative?

On 9/7/07, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> Charatah is inherently depressing. I could even see someone explain
> "charatah" to a child as "feeling sad over something I did". On the
> other hand, while qabbalah al ha'asid isn't /inherently/ joyous (in
> that it is theoretically possible to make such a qabbalah without
> joy), if properly considered it would be joyous -- a renewed and
> positive state, new opportunities.
> Tir'u baTov!
> -mi
If Harata is remorse  -  an emotion such as depression would be the natural
OTOH, if Harata is a change of heart upon realizing that an erro ws made an
dthere is a BETTER way to look at it, then it need not become emotional at

EG Harat for a neder.  Had I known that my nephew would get engaged this
Thurdsay I would not have vowed to not eat Meat on Mondays and Thursdays.
This kind of regret is not depressing. just a realization that the action
was done without considering the facts.

EVERY Shoggeig has this element - I coulda/shoulda known better. It is not
necesarrily at all depressing.

Another example:  IF I had know Ya'kov preapred the Sidra better than I I
would have not voulnteered to lein today.  I have harata because I am now
aware that his leining would have been superior. I need not feel dcepressed
over this, just better informed.

AISI Rambam takesseomthing akin to this more dispassionate approach to
harata in general, [albeit he does describe some form of exclamation that
indicates SOME emotion],
OTOH Rabbeinu Yonah comes across to me as more emotionally involved.

Bottom line, Teshuva is gnerally an emotion process for most people, but it
is not necesarily the case. Teshuva and Harata can be based upon a more
intelligent or informed or enlightened reconsideration of one;s actions.

Kesiva vaChasima Tova
Best Wishes for 5768,
Please Visit:
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Message: 2
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2007 13:39:35 -0700
[Avodah] daas torah

<<In contrast in the case of abortion the Tzitz Eliezar was saying - after
clearly examining the written sources - it was clear that abortion in
certain circumstances was not murder and that one can not alter the
sources to fit one's preconceived understanding.  Rav Moshe Feinstein
felt that it was intuitively obvious [from his daas Torah] that abortion
is murder and therefore he had every right to alter the text of Tosfos
because obviously evidence to the contrary had to be the result of
corrupted texts.>>

while not being on RMF level it sounds very dangerous to alter texts without
some manuscript as a basis.  Another famous case is when R. Yehuda hachasid
seems to imply that some parts of the Torah were written after Moshe
RMF also assumes it must be a corrupted text as it goes against daas torah.

The problem is that experts have confirmed the authenticity of the text.
Daas torah
is based on what has passed through Jewish history. Since Rambam "won" this
Daas Torah would indicate that no other opinion could exist. Similarly Daas
would reject that any major opinion held of anthromorphist descriptions of

The problem with Daas Torah is that it does not account for opinions that
were held
by many in the past but that have been rejected in the course of the ages.
to use Daas torah to change old texts I find a very dangerous road.

Eli Turkel
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Message: 3
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2007 16:53:43 -0400
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Selichos

In Areivim Digest, Vol 23, Issue 773, RDK quoted (IIRC) RDrYL and noted:
> <<This alternative to saying Slichos starting at midnight (1 AM DST) was,
from what I have been told, the practice of most Jews in Europe before WW
> IIRC, RSBA's shul in Melbourne starts selichos at 4:45am on the first day
and erev RH.... <
KAJ/"Breuer's" likewise has s'lichos before Shacharis.  A start time of 7am
for RhSh is literally "m'acharin l'hispalleil" by comparison w/ the
S'lichos start times :-).

> Many shuls in town say selichos at 10:30pm, which well before chatzos
of course, completely undermines the idea of "mashkimim".  My understanding
is that it is better to say selichos before mincha the next day than before
chatzos, but I am now entering Avodah territory... <
Yes, if only the time between chatzos halayla and the end of layla is "a
time of mercy," while the nighttime before chatzos is the opposite, I would
imagine that 'tis better to say S'lichos during the day than at night
before chatzos.

Shabbas Shalom and all the best from
--Michael Poppers via RIM pager
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Message: 4
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2007 13:59:04 -0700
[Avodah] Rabmam's psak

<<: On more serious issues it is impossible to define what is a Torah
: thought and what is an alien idea. Is a psak of Rambam alien because
: he learned Greek philosophy?

Well, don't two promoters of secular studies recommend avoiding Hil'
Yesodei haTorah for this very reason?>>

I contend that it goes way beyond hilchot yesodei haTorah. One example
is that Rambam outlaws "magic shows" as kishuf while others define kishuf
as being "real black magic" as opposed to sleight of hand. However, Rambam
not hold this shita since on philosophical grounds he denies the existence
real magic. I am not aware of any shitah that disagrees with the Rambam on
(like the Gra) and therefore disagrees with Rambam in the straight halacha
of magic.

I have seen historians claim that the Rambam's psak against women taking
positions (which doesnt seem to have any known source) was influenced by
Moslem attitudes
towards women and was never accepted by rishonim in Ashkenaz. In more
terms I think there are many examples of the attitude of poskim towards
being influenced by the attitude of their contemporary society towards
In general historians bring many examples of innovations in Jewish culture
seem to be related to similar innovations in the general culture

kol tuv

Eli Turkel
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Message: 5
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2007 17:22:07 -0400
Re: [Avodah] halachic intuition - Disclaimer!

On 9/7/07, Richard Wolpoe <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com> wrote:
> Re: contamination it is bovious that most of Hazal were heavily influenced
> by the Greco-Roman culture prevalent in their day- especially in the Mishna.
> --
> <http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/>

I didn't mean to say C"vS that Hazal's Torah stemmed from Greco-Roman

Aderabba, I  was trying to say DESPITE being well-informed on Greek culture
that there was NOT a heave dose of Torah Contamination!  [and by extension
secular knowledge does not necessarily passel our unconscious Torah values]

But there was a heavy dose of Hellenistic knowledgee in their heads

Illustrations of Hazal and Greek culture:

There  is a drash IN TB Lulav Hagazul re: the word Hadar - i.e. it refers to
WATER as per the Greek Hydra,

Plus Hazal  treated Greek differently than other alien tongues WRT kisvei


here in America w/o a ghetto- we need values that work well in THIS mileu!
The Eastern European model imho was too organized around a ghetto society
and I feel it does not harmonize well with USA's society.

Hazal seemed toharmonize Judaism with their society - and that includes
sometimes vigrous opposition when needed!   But if Rabbinic leaders are
CLUELESS about THEIR society and long nostrlgically for another society they
will imho not deal realistically with the current milieu. Hence  imho the
weakness of RSBY's  attitude emerging from the cave. If RSBY emerged in
Tzefas  at the time of the ARizal perhaps he would have been less

Kesiva vaChasima Tova
Best Wishes for 5768,
Please Visit:
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Message: 6
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2007 22:10:13 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Bishul achar shelo bederekh bishul

R' Micha Berger wrote:
> As per the quotes emailed the chevrah by RDE, this was to defend
> his shitah that tea qualifies as tavlin. Is a bay leaf tavlin,
> or only powders? These are whole tea leaves, not grains. But in
> any case, if RMF argues that the hastening of the process caused
> by the water's heat doesn't qualify as bishul, the chalos sheim
> "tavlin" seams tangential.

I suspect that you are referring to Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim 4, Siman 74, Section Bishul, Subsection 18 (on page 137). If so, then the chalos shem tavlin is indeed tangential, because the whole question there is about whether onions and lemons are tavlin; tea was not mentioned until the last few lines.

In contrast, I suggest reviewing Subsection 15 (on the prior page there), which is entirely about making tea in a kli shlishi, and (as fas as I could find) does not use the word "tavlin" even once.

Akiva Miller

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Message: 7
From: saul mashbaum <smash52@netvision.net.il>
Date: Sat, 08 Sep 2007 22:22:00 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Is it better for one person to do a vadai

I wrote
Asei doche lo taaseh even if one could somehow both do a mitzva and avoid the lo taaseh. Tzitzit is doche k'laim, and wollen tzitzit can be put on a linen garment, even if linen tzitzit (without t'chelet) could possibly be used, both performing a mitzva (in perhaps a lesser way) and avoiding the lav. Despite the wording of the principle, I think it's fair to say that the lo taaseh is hutra, not merely d'chuya, by the asei.
I neglected to qualify the above, as I should have, with "mikkar hadin, min haTorah". We do have the principle of Reish Lakish, cited in connection with both yibum Yevamot 20a) and tzitzit (Menachot 39b), that "efshar l'kayem et sheneihem, m'kayem". Tosfot in Menachot 40a d"h kevan says that this is m'dirabban, and the Rambam  Tzitzit 3:6 says "din hu" that it is permissible to put wool tzitzit on a linen garment, but then says we do not do so because of the above cited principle. 
>Despite the wording of the principle, I think it's fair to say that the lo taaseh is hutra, not merely d'chuya, by >the asei.
The cited Tosfot says this explicitly. There are several places where the term "kilaim hutru etzel tzitzit" appears.
Saul Mashbaum
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Message: 8
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2007 23:01:08 +0200
Re: [Avodah] AAAH

RMB wrote:
> AAAH (Avraham Avinu alav hashalom -- a new acronym for the list?)

We should research whether the appropriate acronym wouldn't rather be AAEH 
(AA 'eved haShem). Didn't someone once post sometzhing about this on Avodah? 
R. Seth Mandel perhaps?

Arie Folger

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Message: 9
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2007 22:35:50 +0100
Re: [Avodah] lifnei iver/kanaus

RDB writes:

> I didn't say it is impossible, I said it isn't realistic. Of 
> course it is possible. Reuven is about steal Shimon's 
> diamond. Reuven catches Shimon, Shimon runs away, Reuven 
> chases him with a knife. Levi, standing a few feet away,has 
> permanently blinding 'mace' which he can spray on the Rodef, 
> or grab the diamond himself (with the intent to return it) 
> and call out to Reuven that he has the diamond. 

I am not sure I am understanding the example - but I can't see how it
helps you.

Is Shimon holding the diamond or not?  Ie when Reuven is chasing after
Shimon, is he chasing Shimon plus diamond, or Shimon minus diamond?

If he is chasing Shimon plus diamond, then what you seem to be
suggesting is that Levi takes it out of Shimon's hand - and the surely
that should be a decision for Shimon (ie whether he passes the diamond
to Levi for safekeeping or not).  If Shimon does not want to pass the
diamond to Levi, despite being chased by a man with a knife, why is that
not stealing any more than Reuven's taking?  The property owner has made
it clear that he does not want it saved in this manner.  You might think
that I am taking great risks in having expensive jewelry lying around,
tempting burglars, but that does not give you authority to seize such
jewelry and put it in the bank for me.

If Reuven is chasing Shimon minus diamond, and the diamond is just lying
there, allowing Levi to pick it up - where is it and how did it get to
being so easily accessible that Levi can just grab it?  If it fell from
either Shimon or Reuven's hand then it can reasonably be considered a
lost object where what Levi is doing is picking up and returning a lost
object, which of course is mutar and a mitzvah.

Even if you want to say, and this is the scenario which is closest to
the sort of situation you want - that it was in its place (eg in its
display case), and by Reuven running after Shimon, it meant that the
diamond was no longer being guarded by Shimon, it is not totally clear
that Levi should pick it up, rather than stand guard himself.  It *may*
be mutar for Levi to then pick it up for safekeeping, but only because,
not being able to ask Shimon, he is assuming that this is what Shimon
wants him to do - it is an assumption that Shimon would, in this
circumstances, want Levi to act as his shomer, and is a form of zachai
adam shelo b'fanav.  If Shimon yelled out, "do not touch that diamond",
to Levi, then I don't believe that Levi may take the diamond, whether
taking the diamond would stop Reuven in his tracks or not. That
certainly sets a very bad precedent, the idea that you can take away my
property because you think that I am taking risks to my life that I
would not otherwise have - to whit the expensive jewelry lying around
the house case.  You might try and reason with me, explaining the risks
to my family if burglars do target my house and take my jewelry, but I
certainly do not believe you have the right to seize my jewelry against
my will even to stick it in the bank.  Whether Levi then decides to use
the mace is another question, but assuming that Reuven was really posing
a risk to Shimon's life - despite the diamond was not in Shimon's hands,
then it seems clear that the use of the mace is really independent to
the diamond.

The major difference between the case you are setting up and the talmid
case, is that there is no question that the talmid does not want the
rebbe to take the item away, which is why the rebbe cannot be genuinely
classed a shomer, but a thief, while in this case, it is reasonable to
assume that Shimon would want Levi to take the diamond.

> >> And if by doing some other averah to achieve the same result ought 
> >> there
> also to be leeway - eg if the rav was boel the talmid's wife 
> as a way of bringing him to his senses, that would also be 
> OK?  Ok that is a yarog 
> v'al yavor, but I am sure you can come up with an issur lav. <<
> But you concede that in a case of a Rodef, blinding him 
> instead of taking the diamond would be excessive force.

See above, no I don't.  If Reuven said to Levi "Do not take my diamond"
then I do not see how Levi could take it - even if Levi was convinced
that that would stop Shimon in his tracks.  If Shimon said to Levi "take
my diamond" then that is with the permission of the baal, and hence
clearly not theft.  It is only if Shimon was not capable of saying
anything or of being asked that Levi might be able to act, and only
because we are assuming that this is what Shimon the owner really wants,
but just can't say.  And if the diamond is in the rodef's hand already,
there has already been shinui rishus, and Levi is not stealing from the
true owner, but the thief - and recovery of stolen property from a thief
is mutar whether one has a mace alternative or not.

> >> Rav Henkin does bring all this. The main point he is 
> making though is
> that one could not even start a discussion about whether 
> gezeila is yarog v'al yavor if you allow gezela as a kal 
> v'chomer from hitting. The whole argument goes away based on, 
> well hitting is not yarog v'al 
> yavor, gezela is more kal than hitting, so therefore it 
> cannot be yarov v'al yavor, end of issue.  The fact that this 
> line of reasoning is not imployed in the yarog v'al yavor for 
> gezela discussion, even by those 
> who hold that gezeila is not yarog v'al yavor indicates that 
> in fact we do not learn the kal v'chomer in this way. <<
> If that were true, then Yehareg V'Al Yaavor for Gezeila would 
> fall away due to other Issurei Misas Beis Din not being 
> Yehareg V;Al Yaavor, (notwithsatnding the Aggadic statement 
> of K'illu Notel Es Nafsho).

Sorry? Where do we see a kal v'chomer being made between Gezeila and
other issurei missas beis din?

> Kol Tuv,
> Doron

Shavuah tov


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Message: 10
From: "Doron Beckerman" <beck072@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2007 21:51:11 -0700
Re: [Avodah] lifnei iver/kanaus

> The case is as follows:

Reuven tried to steal the diamond. Shimon yelled at him, causing Reuven to
drop it. Reuven turns to run, Shimon chases after him with a knife
threatening to kill him. Levi, standing a few feet away, has only two
options - spray the blinding mace in Shimon's face, or pick up the diamond
that Shimon left for the moment because he was busy trying to kill Reuven
and yell out to Shimon that he has the diamond, with the plan being  to
cause Shimon to stop chasing Reuven out of concern for the loss of his

I would think it a Davar Pashut that the second plan of action is far
superior Halachically than permanently blinding the Rodef.

Regarding your question re Gezeila, IIUC, the point you were making is that
if we find something which is more Chamur than Gezeila not being YV"Y, that
would eliminate Gezeila being YV"Y. Ergo, Chavalah can't be more Chamur than
Gezeila. My point is that, if so, any Aveira which is Chayav Misas Beis Din
but not YV"Y would similarly eliminate Gezeila from being YV"Y.
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