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Volume 23: Number 195

Mon, 17 Sep 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: RallisW@aol.com
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2007 22:10:38 EDT
[Avodah] Hineni

What is the origin of Hineni? Shouldn't be said before all tefillos of both  
Rosh Hashonoh and Yom Kippur, within halachic guidelines?
Is it said by Sephardim as well as Ashkenazim?
How come it contains more Shaimos HaShem than any other tefilloh yet ends  
with"Boruch atoh shomaiya tefilloh"?

************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol.com
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Message: 2
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2007 22:16:14 -0400
[Avodah] Hataras Nedarim for one's wife

From: Yitzhak Grossman <celejar@gmail.com>
<<Yes.  Shulhan Aruch YD 234:56.>>

Yasher koach.  Heshavtani al hahatara, mah teshiveni al mesiras moda'ah?


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Message: 3
From: Sarah Green <sarahyarok@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2007 20:09:11 -0700 (PDT)
Re: [Avodah] Kosel vs. Shul

My husband was on a brief visit to EY & had ordered a taxi to take him to the Kosel in time to daven kevasikin. The taxi did not show up and he was debating with himself if he should still get to the Kosel or go into the nearest shul to still daven kevasikin.

Later that day he asked on of the maggidei shiur in Mir, known as an expert in halacha, if he did the right thing.  (I hope I quote this accurately, but to the best of my recollection this is how it went:) The Rov laughed and said, what chutz l'aretz- nik shayla you ask.  Davening kevasikin is beferush a halacha.  How could that compare to davening at the Kosel?

Fussy? Opinionated? Impossible to please? Perfect.  Join Yahoo!'s user panel and lay it on us. http://surveylink.yahoo.com/gmrs/yahoo_panel_invite.asp?a=7 
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Message: 4
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2007 23:48:33 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Selichos - Especially before Midnight

On 9/16/07, Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org> wrote:
> Repeat after me: saying selichos in the evening is not a Jeckishe minhog.
> We
> say selichos [at 6:15] in the morning even on the first day, despite it
> being
> Sunday.
> AFAIK, we have been doing this for over 200 years in our kehilloh, and
> that
> must have been taken over from even older Ashkenaz communities.
> Whoever invented this novel idea of saying selichos right after the TV
> show,
> before the late night show, wasn't trying to observe minhog Ashkenaz,
> While I do not swallow minhog Ashkenaz hook, sink and barrel, preferring
> instead to analyze it. It is much of the time rooted in most ancient
> pisqei
> halakhah - "from before the standardization *on* the Bavli," as RRW is
> wont
> to say. For some reason not connected to minhog Ashkenaz, but very much
> connected to the religious disconnectedness of a large number of our
> brethren
> since the 19th century, Jeckes are blamed for anything not halakhically
> acceptable. This is unjustified. Blame Reform, blame the various kofrim
> veapiqorsim, messissim umedi'him our people has unfortunately endured in
> the
> last 200 years, but do not blame the Jeckes.
> Chassieme tauwoh,
> --
> (Rabbi) Arie Folger, Israelitische Gemeinde Basel
> happily embracing the old, well worn tradition of our kehilloh,
> happily learning minhog Ashkenaz,
> who-is-nonetheless-half-Galicianer-half-Moroccan
> http://www.ariefolger.googlepages.com
> _______________________________________________

I want to Echo R.Arie Folger's sentiments.

There was a [mis-leading imho] statement that Hatzos is the ideal time for
Sellichos floating around Teaneck, NJ.  Yet, - AFAIK  based upon sources
etc. as well as the Yekkishe Minhag -   THE IDEAL time t is RIGHT BEFORE
dawn, pre-vaissikim. As we know, the first night MIGHT be a valid exception
in that pizmon - even for yekkes - starts "Bemotzo'ei Menuchei" -
suggesting  A Saturday Night start.  [nevertheless as noted - Yekkes do it
before dawn even on the first Sunday...]

And a disclaimer of sorts:
I agree with R. Arie that TV etc. is NO reason to do Selichos before Hatzos
MY essntial justification is re: Kavvanah!  I.E. if one's Kavvanh is best at
10:00 PM over and above either 1:00 Am or 6:00 AM. I think the Kavvanah
counts, or even trumps in the cheshbon.  But I am NOT saying it ever makes
10:00 Pm a lecatchila option, AISI it is a valid sha'as hadechak option when

[Also if it is the ONLY time a community can get a minyan it is tantamount
to davening an early Ma'ariv during a Summer weeknight which IS a yekkishe

Remember the same sources that demand 13 Middos after hatzos ALSO deem
Tikkun Hatzos as preferential over Selichos!

Kesiva vaChasima Tova
Best Wishes for 5768,
Please Visit:
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Message: 5
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 00:31:26 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Kapporos, rationalism and the titles of the

On 9/7/07, Yitzhak Grossman <celejar@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, 30 Aug 2007 07:47:07 -0700 Yitzchok Levine wrote:
> > <http://www.forward.com/articles/11506/>"Orthodox Call on Sinners To
> > Give Chickens a Fairer Shake - Forward.com"
> > Yitzchok Levine
> >From the Forward article:
> > The kapparot ceremony is one of the more colorful elements of the High
> Holy Days but one of the most historically fraught. Maimonides and later
> Joseph Caro, author of the authoritative code of Jewish law, both claimed
> that kapparot had its roots in pagan ritual and should be abandoned by
> religious Jews.
> This is apparently carelessness or ignorance on the Forward's part; as
> far as I know, the Rambam never mentions the custom of Kapporos at
> all.  Perhaps the writer confused Nahmanides with Maimonides; the
> Poskim do indeed cite Ramban as objecting to
> the custom.
> I anticipate the indignant protests of contemporary rationalists: "But
> of course the Rambam unequivocally rejected all such superstitious
> practices rooted in folk religion!"  First, even if we concede that the
> Rambam would have probably discouraged the practice had he actually
> heard of it and written anything about it, it is nevertheless
> irresponsibly inaccurate to baldly assert that he "claimed that
> kapparot had its roots in pagan ritual and should be abandoned by
> religious Jews".
> Morever, I do not consider it at all certain that the Rambam would have
> necessarily opposed the practice, which after all appears in the Geonic
> literature [1].  The Meiri, an enthusiastic albeit moderate rationalist
> and Maimonidean, although he does cite the practice's opponents,
> is nevertheless willing to interpret the custom in an impeccably
> rationalistic manner [2].
> Incidentally, a friend once told me that Dr. S. Z. Leiman disparaged
> the Friedman Shulhan Aruch for omitting from the title of OH 605 the
> words "minhag shtus hu", which were apparently present in all the
> earlier editions of the SA but omitted from the later ones.  I finally
> checked for myself; they do indeed omit the words from their main text,
> but they mention the history in a note.  They also cite a responsum of
> the Shemesh Zedakkah [3] who cites the Maharash Abuhab as claiming a
> tradition that those words were written by the editors, not by R. Yosef
> Karo himself.  It isn't completely clear whether he means that none of
> the Siman titles were written by RYK, or that this one specifically was
> embellished by a zealous anti-kapporos partisan.  The Friedman editors
> also cite a further discussion of these issues in the Bris Ya'akov
> (Sofer) [4].
> [0] see Beis Yosef OH 605
> [1] ibid.
> [2] see Hibbur Ha'Teshuvah Meishiv Nefesh Ma'mar II Perek 8
> [3] OH #23
> [4] #41 note 4.  The author is a grandson of the Kaf Ha'haim.
> Yitzhak
> --
> Bein Din Ledin - bdl.freehostia.com
> An advanced discussion of Hoshen Mishpat
> Yitzhak
> --
> Bein Din Ledin - bdl.freehostia.com
> An advanced discussion of Hoshen Mishpat

I am not familiar with all of the sources.

First Disclaimer:
If the Rema supports this Minhag I would say it is NOT a minhag Shtus per se

Now for mitigating arguements

   1.  given the reality of the situation on the ground TODAY, I think
   Rema himself [were he here] might be in favor of eliminating it. Proof?
   Ashkenaz got rid of kefiyyas Hamitta because of arousing suspicion amongst
   the Gentiles.
   2. If you personally have no minhag avos, then why bother getting
   invovled in a  controversy? E.G. My family long ago switched to coins
   in lieu of chickens.  I fee lthat is a valid alternative w/o any drawbacks
   to continue that.
   3. Third - aisi - there is no mitzva to flaunt it. If you want to
   perpetuate a valid minhag avos by using chickens then by all means do it w/o
   being Mehallel Sheim Shmayyim  being somewhat discreet.
   4. Kapapros is after all a Minhag and NOT a Halachah. It can be
   subject to changes if there are valid considerations to do so w/o being
   labeled a "Reformer".  Elevating it to the status of  Halachah is imho
   misleading;, tantamount to making a d'oraisso out of a derabbanan.  ideally
   categories should be respected and not homogenized.

Kesiva vaChasima Tova
Best Wishes for 5768,
Please Visit:
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Message: 6
From: "david guttmann" <david.guttman@verizon.net>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 04:16:24 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Kapporos, rationalism

R.Yitzchak Grossman noted that Meiri in Hibbur Hateshuvah gives a rational
explanation. True but if one reads him carefully he does bemoan the fact
that it is seen as Nichush rather than a symbolic reminder for a hihur
teshuvah  where we see ourselves as condemned and therefore need teshuvah.

Also note that it is only children that do it and there is no mention of
twirling around the head. The minhag was started with a ram that had horns
to remind Akeidat Ytzchak and his love to HKBH.

Telling is his final comment: "Umi Yiten vehaya levavam zeh leyre'ah et
hashem hanichbad vehanorah velakachat et haminhagim bederech hana'ot
vehamevukash lo derech bilti mechaven velo derech mitzvat melumada".

Gmar Hatima Tova

David Guttmann
If you agree that Believing is Knowing, join me in the search for Knowledge
at http://yediah.blogspot.com/ 
Ve'izen vechiker (Kohelet 12:9) subscribe to Hakirah at www.hakirah.org 

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Message: 7
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 10:57:03 +0200
[Avodah] ha-sameach be-chelko

I have a question about what the phrase ha-sameach be-chelko means?
Simple pshat would indicate that one does not strive to be better/richer
but is happy with where he is

1. modern (western) society prizes "progress". Our civilization has
progressed materially because of people who wanted to change things and were
not happy with the status quo. For example in the stock market a company
that makes a billion dollars every year is not desirable. A company is
to continuously increase revenues through new innovations. We view "eastern"
religions as the sleepy type with yoga where people are happy but they live
like they lived 2000 years ago.

2. In spiritual matters ha-sameach be-chelko seems even less appropriate.
It seems to be the opposite of teshuva which says that one should never be
with ones status and always work on getting better.

It certainly seems to be against the philosophy of RYBS who stressed that
religion is not the opiate of the masses. Rather Judaism involves a constant

I return to the question of how to interpret ha-sameach be-chelko

shana tova

Eli Turkel
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Message: 8
From: "Ilana Sober" <ilanasober@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 11:04:11 +0200
[Avodah] Hataras nedarim with a shaliach

I used to make my husband my shaliach specifically, and let him know if I
had any specific nedarim in mind.

Since he was niftar, I have not done the erev RH hataras nedarim, nor have I
needed to matir any specific neder.

In general - there are some halachot (minhagim?) which in theory would seem
to be equivalent for men and women, but are not very practical for women.
One is the erev RH hataras nedarim, at least for women who do not have a
husband to be their shaliach. A women generally does not go to minyan, and
also needs to be matriach three men to be a beit din, and can't return the

Another is birkat hagomel after airplane flights. I know women do bench
gomel after childbirth and if they were saved from a serious immediate
danger (car accident, jail) but I have not seen women do so after routine
trans-oceanic flights. I will confess that I also do not bench gomel after
flying, since there is no obvious opportunity to do so. I will further
confess that I have not looked into the question very seriously, and have
assumed that women are just relying on a lenient position that flying is
sufficiently safe and routine that it does not require birkat hagomel, even
though men do not rely on that opinion.

Since I am ashamed to post on Avodah without even trying to locate a source,
I did look up MB OC 219 sk3
"The custom is for women not to make this bracha, and the acharonim wrote
that the reason is because this bracha is recited in the presence of ten,
and it is not proper conduct (orach ar'a) for a woman. Some have written
that in any case it is proper for her to make a bracha before ten, at least
[nine] women and one man." The Aruch HaShulchan OC 219:6 writes: "The
practice of women is not to make the bracha, and there is no basis for this,
only that the custom is to make the bracha at the time of Torah reading and
therefore people imagine that women are not obligated in this bracha.
Therefore, it is proper for them to make the bracha. Perhaps it is because
it is written "bik'hal am" and women are not called "kehal" and to make the
bracha before men is not proper conduct, therefore, they have refrained."

The AH says to look at the Magen Avraham, who cites the KH (?), who
"wondered why women do not say this bracha - if it is because it requires
10, bedieved it can be fulfilled without 10, and therefore she should make
the bracha before wone man or before women ak"l. Perhaps their custom is
because they consider these brachot to be optional."

Gmar chatimah tovah,
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Message: 9
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 13:24:53 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Selichos - Especially before Midnight

RRW wrote:
> Since Yeke's tend to NOT
> factor Qabblah into their Litrugical ?considerations in general. [I hve no
> evidence just a good hunch]

Kabbalah does not feature at all PUBLICLY except for netilat lulav and sefirat 

However, that does not preclude gedolei Ashkenaz from engaging in kabbalah 
(they often did, but on their own terms), and thus, indirectly, from 
flitering through to the masses. Thus, while berikh shemei isn't said, that 
much kabbalah could be let through, that selichot are said in ashmoret 

However, I see no point in this analysis. Selichot were developed for being 
recited in the morning. I am utterly unaware of a minhag to say selichot, 
which does not also care about when it is recited.

AFAIK, never before the 19th/20th century did people say selichot at 10pm.

Plus, some posters have pointed out that one can even understand the idea of 
the last third of the night being particularly appropriate for such prayers, 
without resorting to nistar.
Arie Folger

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Message: 10
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 13:35:08 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Hataras nedarim with a shaliach

R'nTK wrote:
> I have a vague thought that if a husband can invalidate his wife's nedarim
> ? he is ipso facto her shaliach for hataras nedarim, but I don't pretend I
> really know what I'm talking about.

Totally unrelated, AFAIU. The husband can invalidate such nedarim that hamper 
their family life, while hatarat nedarim is all about very personal, bein 
adam laMaqom vows.

Arie Folger


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