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Volume 23: Number 192

Wed, 12 Sep 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Marty Bluke" <marty.bluke@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 14:52:06 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Selichos - Especially before Midnight

It is hard to go against all the modern day poskim.

Igros Moshe O.C. 2:105, R' Moshe is very against the practice of
saying selichos before midnight.

Yechave Da'as 1:46, prohibits saying selichos before midnight, instead
he advises reciting selichos before Minchah.

I just saw yesterday in Halichos Shlomo that RSZA is machmir as well
on this issue.

R' Willig suggested, that instead of saying selichos at 10:00PM, a
much better choice is to daven mincha a little early and say them
between mincha and maariv at the end of the day before sunset as R'
Ovadya writes in his teshuva. In a place like NY where shkia is still
after 7PM if peole really want to say selichos not early in the
morning, this would seem to me to be a realistic option.

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Message: 2
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 11:45:04 +0100
Re: [Avodah] lifnei iver/kanaus

RDB writes:
> >>> 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 diamond.<<

And then RAB writes:
> Could I sujest a simpler case.
> Reuven is attempting to kill Shimon. To prevent him, Levi
> must distract Reuven long enough for Shimon to escape. He 
> yells and screams, but Reuven is too angry and cannot hear. 
> Levi picks up a brick. He can either heave it through 
> Reuven's car window, and THAT will get his attention, or he 
> can throw it at Reuven's head. Which is preferable?

This to my mind is precisely why it is poskened in Choshen Mishpat siman
380 si'if 3 that such damage is mutar because "shelo yiyeh mamono chamur
m'gufo".  The Shulchan Aruch there is discussing the case where the
nirdaf is being chased by the rodef, and to save himself breaks the
kelim of the rodef, and there it is held that he is patur, shelo yiyeh
mamono chamur m'gufo, but if the nirdaf saves himself from the rodef
using other people's property he must pay for them, because he saved
himself using other people's property.  However in the case of another
person who is chasing after the rodef to save the nirdaf and he breaks
kelim, whether those kelim are of the rodef or of another person, he is
free from paying, so that he should not be held back from saving the

The point being, that in a pikuach nefesh situation, people need not to
be held back by making these kinds of calculations, they just need to do
the thing that will most effectively save the nirdaf.  In the case RAB
gives, it is perfectly mutar to throw the brick through Reuven's car
window (or somebody else's car window) - and he should not be held back
because he is using or taking other people's property.  On the other
hand, there would also seem to be a risk that if he shattered a car
window, he might not get Reuven's attention, while if he threw the brick
at Reuven's head, he most certainly would, so it is really not clear
that he ought to be taking that risk, given that Shimon's life is at

And that is the problem with RDB's example as well.  The mace will
definitely work.  Grabbing the diamond may or may not.  Not only that,
grabbing the diamond is not actually the thing that in the case RDB is
suggested does the trick - it is *telling Shimon that he Levi has the
diamond* that is really distracting Shimon.  So in that case, it would
seem that if Levi wanted to take the risk that concern about the diamond
would distract Shimon, he probably only has to lie, and say he has taken
the diamond, he does not really have to take it.  Even if Shimon
identifies it as a lie pretty quickly by diverting his attention to the
diamond, he will be faced with the dilemma of stopping and picking up
the diamond and making sure Levi does not take it, or continuing to
chase Reuven.  So if Levi is going to be making cold hard calculations
about what is going to minimise issurim - then lying would seem to be
the way to go, because we know that this permissible for the sake of
shalom, and it is hard to see a more powerful case of that than this.
On the other hand, as indicated, the only thing that is guaranteed to
work is the mace, because Shimon might well be so blinded by anger that
the diamond has become irrelevant (it would certainly seem so from the
fact that the diamond has fallen from Reuven's hand and Shimon is still
chasing Reuven and not the diamond) - and if Levi stops and makes those
kinds of calculations, Shimon might end up knifing Reuven.  So, assuming
you do not think that this is a bo b'machteret situation, and that
Shimon is within his rights, then I don't see how it can be said to be
wrong for Levi to use the mace, and that probably is indeed the
preferable method - he is using a reasonable and sure means of stopping
somebody who is chasing after somebody with a knife to kill him, rather
than an uncertain means that require quite intricit mental calculations.
On the other hand, if he chooses another method, he is patur, because we
don't want to hold anybody back from saving a nirdaf because they are
making calculations about - well this would be ganeva and this would be
chavla and this would be lying and in the meantime, Shimon is dead.  Not
because the one issur is or is not more chamur than the other.

> Akiva



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Message: 3
From: "Doron Beckerman" <beck072@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 18:30:07 +0300
Re: [Avodah] lifnei iver/kanaus

That one must make quick calculations is evidenced by the fact that if he
can save the Nirdaf B;Echad MeiEivarav of the Rodef, and he does not do so,
killing him instead, he is a Shofech Damim.

All of the objections to the particulars of the case are sidestepping the
primary point. It may take some back and forth to fine tune precisely the
case, but I'm pretty certain I could do it.
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Message: 4
From: "Akiva Blum" <ydamyb@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 19:56:26 +0300
Re: [Avodah] lifnei iver/kanaus

Once you agree that either of these scenarios are acceptable, if not for the technicalities of where one is less of a certainty than the other, and we have the principle shelo yehei momono choviv migufo, than we must ask why a teacher cannot confiscate a pupil's property based on this principle, if he can indeed hit him.
Perhaps we can differentiate between where the rodeif is a killer, thus since he has forfeited his life, his property is undoubtedly worth less, and our case where the pupil has forfeited his right to a beating. Perhaps his property is more valuable to him. For a proof, see pesachim 25a: Rebbi Eliezer says why does the Torah say.. uvchol meodecha.. if there is someone whose money is more precious to him than his body..



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Message: 5
From: "Marty Bluke" <marty.bluke@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 14:42:43 +0300
[Avodah] Shehecheyanu for shmitta

RSZA is quoted in Hlaichos Shlomo that when Rosh Hashana is starting
the shmitta year a person should have kavana when he says shehecheyanu
in kiddush for shmitta as well. Shmitta is a mitzva that comes
periodically and therefore falls under the rubric of shehecheyanu. We
should have in mind the miztvos that we will do during shmitta when we
make the beracha. It would seem that this only applies only to people
living in Israel where shmitta is applicable.

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Message: 6
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 17:16:08 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Selichos before Chatzos

On 9/11/07, Dov Kay <dov_kay@hotmail.co.uk > wrote:
> I am also no savant of Kabbalah.  However, I understand that minhag Chabad
> and the p'sak of the Ben Ish Chai is that latecomers, r'l, do not skip the
> 4
> levels even in order to daven the Amidah b'tzibbur.
> With regard to Selichos, RMF in IG permitted an early recitation (ie
> before
> chatzos, but preferably at 1/3 of the night), but only as a horaas shaah
> for
> one year (his words) and on the basis that an announcement be made to that
> effect.  I don't think you can bring a proof from YK, as this is clearly a
> sui generis eis ratzon.
> Kol tuv
> Dov Kay

ein hachi nami!
But the Kabbalist giving the Shiur I cited above - Rav Mordechai Aderet -
noted that despite this kabblistic position, The Halacha in the Shulchan
Aruch is otherwise  - And  he noted that this is the POWER OF THE TZIBBUR to
over-ride these Kablistic considerations.

Point? if you are into the Kabblistic model go for it, but if not the POWER
OF THE TZIBBUR is over-riding.  And It makes sens to me to use this power
for saying selichos in a non-kabblistic manner.

Mema nafsach. If you are following Halachah - as codified in shulchan aruch
- then be consistent and rule that the power of the Tzibbur is uber alles.
If you are a mekubal follow THAT model

The Sha'arei TEshuva's objection to Selichos before Midnight is al pi
Nistar. Fine for those who  are consistently dooing things al pi nistar go
for it.

But now we have a Mishmash!  When it comes to the matter of coming late we
follow HALALCHA and NOT Kabbalah. OTOH for Selichos we  are chosheisfor

WHY is there this inconsistency?

My understanding is that the early morning (from chatzos to daylight) is an
"ays ratzon". And that the night before chatzos is emphatically NOT an ays
ratzon. Except for YK, which is ENTIRELY an ays ratzon.

> 2. Furthermore why not EXTEND the exception  for YK throughout the
> Selichos season  - given that our Selichos are structured on the YK >
model to begin with?

Because the nature of the universe is not subject to our whim or convention.
If the night is not already an ays ratzon, our decision to consider it so
won't change anything.

Just my guess...

Akiva Miller


or  perhaps from the beginning of Ellul.  [see kitzur SA for example]  I
realize that YK is special but I see no reason to go fuandamental on this
one issue when there is ZERO Halachic sources to say that it is assur to see
13 Middos at night.

Remember that RMF actually permitted this practice as a "sha's hadechak" I
would say that improved kavann or other logistic difficulties would IMHO
serve as a legitimate reason to do this!

Furthermore the structure of Selichos is all about an extened YK on many
levels.  Worth a thread on its own. Selichos of Erev RH for exmaple includes
the pizmon of Shacharis of YK.  Erev RH is in itself the biggest of the YK
K'tanim that precede many Roshei Chadashim.

FWIW At  Ner Yisrael Toronto where I was gabbai - I was told that the Shatz
was to say 13 Middos on RH when it falls on Sahbbos. Most communities only
do so on YK itself, but we see the possiblity of extending that  aspect to
RH .

Kesiva vaChasima Tova
Best Wishes for 5768,
Please Visit:
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Message: 7
From: "Daniel Israel" <dmi1@hushmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 15:46:27 -0600
Re: [Avodah] lifnei iver/kanaus

On Tue, 11 Sep 2007 09:30:07 -0600 Doron Beckerman 
<beck072@gmail.com> wrote:
>That one must make quick calculations is evidenced by the fact 
that if he
>can save the Nirdaf B;Echad MeiEivarav of the Rodef, and he does 
not do 
>so, killing him instead, he is a Shofech Damim.

I'm not sure how to understand this.  I would assume that this 
refers to someone who made the cheshbon that echad m'eivarav would 
work but killed anyway.  If he made the cheshbon that killing was 
necessary, will the beis din really second guess this?  What if he 
claims that he didn't have sufficient time to do the cheshbon, will 
beis din accept this?  (I haven't seen the halacha inside, so I 
don't know.)

Daniel M. Israel

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Message: 8
From: "Daniel Israel" <dmi1@hushmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 15:48:25 -0600
Re: [Avodah] Shehecheyanu for shmitta

On Tue, 11 Sep 2007 05:42:43 -0600 Marty Bluke 
<marty.bluke@gmail.com> wrote:
>make the beracha. It would seem that this only applies only to 
>living in Israel where shmitta is applicable.

Your last comment, is this b'ferush in RSZA, or your understanding? 
 If the latter, can you clarify the s'vara, and has anyone heard 
any other opinions?  Not saying you are wrong, just curious.

Daniel M. Israel

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Message: 9
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 22:37:16 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Kosel vs shul in Old City

R' Daniel Eidensohn wrote:
> I davened mincha today in the Ramban's shul in the Old City.
> Someone objected and said that I should have prayed at the
> Kosel since it has greater sanctity.

What is the nature of that extra kedusha? Both locations are outside the Beis Hamikdash. Both locations are outside Har Habayis.

I am under the impression that Both locations are within the most ancient walls (e.g., are equal are regards Lulav on Chol Hamoed, and Maaser Sheni), but maybe I'm wrong?

Akiva Miller

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Message: 10
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 20:37:23 -0400
[Avodah] Trivia Question - What Friday Nights have no Shalom

Shalom Zachor is traditionally observed on virtually every Friday night of
the year
I attend one on Sukkos in the Breuer Sukkah which was done on a baby born
less than 2 full hours before Shabbos!
There are several Friday nights that [at least virtually] never have a
Shalom Zazchor
In addition there is also one Friday night that may have a "mitigated"
Shalom Zachor -at least in some communities.
What are these exceptional cases?

Kesiva vaChasima Tova
Best Wishes for 5768,
Please Visit:
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Message: 11
From: Galsaba@aol.com
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 20:56:50 EDT
[Avodah] What so special with year 5768?

My understanding is that this year is type of He Chet Alef, which is very 
What makes it so rare?
What type of Postponement we have this year that makes it so rare?

************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol.com
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Message: 12
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@sibson.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 01:33:03 -0400
[Avodah] FW: FW: Weekly Halacha Overview- The Recitation of

:  <http://www.yutorah.org/subscribe/_images/emailbanner_flug.JPG> 	
: The Recitation of Selichot 

: There is an ancient tradition to recite Selichot, prayers for
: forgiveness, during the days leading up to Yom Kippur. This tradition
: has become widespread among Jewish congregations throughout the world.
: This week's issue will discuss some of the traditions surrounding the
: recitation of Selichot, including when the period of recitation
: and the proper time of day to recite Selichot. We will also discuss
: issues that relate to the actual recitation of Selichot. 

: The Time Period for Reciting Selichot 

: Tur, Orach Chaim no. 581, notes that there are three traditions
: regarding when one should begin reciting Selichot. Rav Amram Gaon
: records the practice of reciting Selichot between Rosh HaShanah and
: Kippur. Rav Hai Gaon records a practice of beginning the recitation on
: Rosh Chodesh Elul. Tur then notes that Ashkenazic tradition is to
: the recitation on the Sunday (Saturday Night) prior to Rosh HaShanah
: when Rosh HaShanah begins on Thursday or Shabbat. If Rosh HaShanah
: begins on Monday or Tuesday, Selichot begin on the Sunday prior to
: [Rosh HaShanah cannot begin on Sunday, Wednesday or Friday.] 

: The Proper Time of Day for Selichot 

: Maharil, Hilchot Yamim HaNoraim states that the Selichot should be
: recited at ashmoret haboker (the last third of the night). He explains
: (based on the Gemara, Avodah Zarah 3b) that during the last three
: of the night, the Almighty focuses on olam hazeh (the physical world)
: and therefore it is an auspicious time for prayer. The Arizal (cited
: Sha'ar HaKavanot, Derushei Tefilat Arvit no.1) states that one should
: never recite Selichot prior to (halachic) midnight. This statement is
: codified by Magen Avraham 565:5. R. Ovadia Yosef, Yechaveh Da'at 1:46,
: suggests that the source for setting the proper time for Selichot
: midnight is based on the comments of the Zohar, Parshat Chayei Sarah
: 132b, that the time period from midday until midnight is a time of
: judgment and from midnight to midday is a time of mercy. Therefore, we
: recite Selichot during the time of mercy. Although, R. Yosef agrees
: ashmoret haboker is the optimal time to recite Selichot, he concludes
: that one may recite them from midnight until midday. 

: R. Efraim Z. Margulies, Mateh Efraim 581:1, notes that although it is
: preferable to recite the Selichot at ashmoret haboker, on the first
: the Selichot should be recited after midnight on Saturday night as is
: reflected in the specific prayers for the first day of Selichot. He
: (Elef L'Mateh, ad loc.) that if one does not recite the Selichot on
: Saturday night, rather at ashmoret haboker, he may still recite the
: words that refer to Saturday night. However, if he recites the
: after dawn, he should omit the references to Saturday night. 

: In certain communities it is difficult to find a minyan to recite
: Selichot between midnight and midday. R. Moshe Feinstein, Igrot Moshe,
: Orach Chaim 2:105, rules that in such a situation, if there is no
: option and the Selichot would otherwise be omitted altogether, one may
: recite Selichot prior to midnight. He explains that since there is no
: halachic prohibition against reciting Selichot before midnight, rather
: kabbalistic tradition that prior to midnight is not as beneficial, one
: may be lenient on a case-by-case basis. R. Feinstein notes that if one
: is going to do so, he should at least recite Selichot during the
: transition of the first third of the night to the second third of the
: night as Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 1:2, also classifies this time as
: an auspicious time. 

: R. Yosef, op. cit., cites one opinion that presents an alternative
: justification for those who recite Selichot prior to midnight.
: to this opinion, one may recite Selichot as long as midnight has
: occurred in Jerusalem. Therefore, those who live to the west of
: Jerusalem may recite Selichot at an earlier hour. Nevertheless, R.
: notes that most Acharonim are of the opinion that one follows the
: midnight of that specific location. 

: R. Yosef himself concludes that one should not recite Selichot prior
: midnight even if one is in a pressing situation. He suggests that in a
: pressing situation, one should recite Selichot prior to Mincha.
: the time in which Mincha is recited is also between midday and
: he considers the daytime hours during this period preferable to the
: nighttime. 

: Machnisei Rachamim: The Controversial Prayer 

: There is a prayer printed in many prayer books titled "Machnisei
: Rachamim." This prayer calls upon the angels (those who bring in
: to beg for forgiveness on our behalf. Maharal of Prague, Netivot Olam,
: Netiv Ha'Avodah no.12, objects to reciting this prayer because it
: appears as if we are praying to the angels and not to the Almighty. He
: therefore amends the text from "machnisei rachamim hachnisu
: (those who bring in mercy bring in our plea for mercy) to "machnisei
: rachamim yachnisu rachameinu," (allow those who bring in mercy to
: in our plea for mercy) which is directed towards the Almighty. R.
: Sofer, Chatam Sofer, Orach Chaim no. 166, records his personal
: to skip that prayer. He implies that it is not sufficient to amend the
: text because the notion that the angels should serve as ambassadors is
: objectionable even if we don't pray directly to them. 

: The opinions of Maharal and R. Sofer notwithstanding, a justification
: for this prayer can be found in Shibolei HaLeket (R. Binyamin HaRofei,
: 13th Century) no. 282. He notes the existence of this prayer and notes
: the same question that Maharal would ask three hundred years later. He
: then quotes his teacher, R. Avigdor who explains that although there
: a prohibition against praying to angels, one may directly address the
: angels and request that they pray on our behalf. 

: The Thirteen Attributes of G-d 

: The centerpiece of Selichot is the recitation of the thirteen
: of G-d (Shemot 34:6-7). The Gemara, Rosh HaShanah 17b, states that G-d
: instructed Moshe that these thirteen attributes should be recited when
: requesting atonement for transgressions. Rabbeinu Natan (cited in
: Rav Amram Gaon no. 59) rules that one may only recite the thirteen
: attributes in the presence of a minyan. Tur, Orach Chaim no.565,
: questions this ruling, contending that there should not be anything
: wrong with reading verses from the Torah. Rashba, in his responsa
: (1:211), implicitly asks Tur's question and answers that if one
: the thirteen attributes in the form of a prayer, a minyan is required.
: If one recites the thirteen attributes in the manner in which he reads
: verses from the Torah, it is permissible. Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim
: 565:5, codifies Rashba's opinion. R. Yitzchak Tirnau, Sefer
: Elul, rules that during the days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur,
: one may recite the thirteen attributes without a minyan. R. Eliyahu
: Shapira, Eliah Rabbah 565:6, rules that R. Tirnau's opinion is not
: accepted. Mishna Berurah 581:4, codifies Eliah Rabbah's ruling. 

: Rashba claims that the reason why recitation of the thirteen
: requires a minyan is that the Gemara, Rosh HaShanah 17b, states that
: when Moshe received the thirteen attributes, G-d appeared to him as a
: chazzan donned in a talit. The implication is that the thirteen
: attributes are meant to be recited in a congregational setting. [Taz,
: Orach Chaim 581:2, notes that based on the same comment of the Gemara,
: one should deduce that the chazzan wears a talit during the recitation
: of Selichot. Taz notes a technical problem regarding recitation of a
: beracha on the talit, which was addressed in a previous issue
Beracha_on_a_Borrowed_Talit> .] 

: ________________________________

: R. Joshua Flug is the Rosh Kollel of the Boca Raton Community Kollel,
: member of the YU Kollel Initiaitve and senior editor for the Marcos
: Adina Katz YUTorah.org, a division of Yeshiva University's Center for
: the Jewish Future. To access the archives of the Weekly Halacha
: click here
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