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Volume 23: Number 218

Mon, 08 Oct 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "R Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2007 21:39:50 -0400
[Avodah] Noach "Oppression Of One's Fellowman Is The Worst

The Generation of the Flood rebelled against God's dominion. But the Torah
itself informs us that it was not this rebellion that brought on the world's
destruction. The immediate cause of the destruction was the oppression of
man by his fellow.

Now the earth had become corrupt before God; and the world had become filled
with oppression. (Genesis 6:12)

The Talmud learns from here that although the earth was totally corrupted by
idolatry and immorality, the fate of the flood generation was only sealed
for destruction because of acts of robbery and oppression. (Sanhedrin 108a)

God is endlessly tolerant of man's sins, but He listens to the cry of the
oppressed, as we are taught:

You shall not cause pain to any widow or orphan. If you cause him [the
orphan] pain ... if he shall cry out to Me, I shall surely hear his outcry.
My wrath shall blaze and I shall kill you by the sword, and your wives will
be widows and your children orphans. (Exodus 22:21-23)

God's anger must be ignited before He will consent to sit in judgment, and
it only blazes when the cry of the oppressed reaches His ears. Once God
assumes the seat of justice, He will administer retribution for all of man's
sins, but unless He is prompted to do so by the cries of the oppressed, man
can, in effect, do as he likes as God will never agree to sit in judgment.

This principle finds its strongest expression in the story of the
destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the twin cities who are metaphors for
evil and its consequences:

Now the people of Sodom were wicked and sinful towards God, exceedingly.
(Genesis 13:13)

Yet, despite their evil, God only brought them to justice because of the
outcry of an oppressed maiden.

"I will descend and see: if they act in accordance with this outcry, then
destruction!" (Genesis 18:21)

The Midrash explains that this outcry, which prompted God to sit in
judgment, was the scream released by Lot's daughter Plitas as she was
cruelly murdered by the populace for having committed the crime of secretly
feeding a pauper. (Pirkei d'R'Elazar, Ch.25)

The same thing had happened in the time of the generation that preceded the
flood, and it was this kind of cruelty of man against man that led God to
destroy the earth. If you want to really hurt God, then hurt your fellow man
and it may be one of the last times you hurt anyone!



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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2007 22:23:50 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Noach "Oppression Of One's Fellowman Is The

It's not like lo sa'ashoq is yeihareig ve'al ya'avor.

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 3
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2007 23:48:51 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Vayoel Moshe- misrepresentations?

From: R' Binyomin Hirsch

>>In the Maamar Sholosh Shevuos #86  he writes, "After the UN
gave permission for the State of Israel to come into  fruition, they revoked
their permission and gave it to the Zionists as a  TRUSTEESHIP, however the 
Zionists didn't obey the UN." Does anyone know if this  is in fact an 
historical fact, and if it isn't, does that mean the
Zionists  do have a right to be there according to the Satmar  shitta?<<

I'm not certain but I think he might be talking -- not about the UN vote  in 
1948 -- but about a much earlier vote in the League of Nations, to revoke the  
Balfour Declaration.

--Toby  Katz

************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol.com
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Message: 4
From: Shmuel Zajac <s.zajac@verizon.net>
Date: Sun, 07 Oct 2007 23:48:46 -0400
[Avodah] mechitza

 >>It is difficult for me to imagine women crowded by the doors and 
windows, when the number of women might be similar to the number of men.<<

As RMB notes, the phenomenon is mostly relatively recent, and certain 
things, like megila were (and often still are in many kehillos) done 
separately for women.

To imagine it, give a look at some of the (few) pictures available.  
Some of my father's (A"H) pictures of Simachas Torah show exactly that - 
and at that better than some descriptions I've read of shuls with even 
worse accommodations (like one small high up window that barely let the 
sound through.)  My father's pictures were based on his memories of 
actual shuls.

By the way, if you look at the design of most shuls, even those that are 
fairly large, you will see that the women's section is substantially 
smaller than the mens; either people were not building just for a few 
days a year, of women were not showing up for all of these events, or 
both.  And, if you look at older shuls, you will see this as well (and 
there you will see balconies and / or Mechitza's)

In Crown Heights there are 2 shul structures that are fairly old.  One 
is Chovevei Torah (not related to the new institution of that name), and 
there was a balcony for the women.  (The building has been taken over by 
ULY and the balcony was converted to other use.)   The other is the Shul 
that was part of Crown Heights Yeshiva, which was founded before WWII.  
It wasn't part of what we would today call the chareidi wing.  The shul 
is designed with a totally solid, unmovable, pair of mechitzas that put 
the men's section in the center, in front of the Bima and Aron Kodesh 
and the two narrower women's sections flank the men's sections. 

It's also worth noting that the Touro Synagogue in Newport RI is almost 
250 years, and has a balcony as well - and it was not even founded by 

shows a couple of other examples.

I'm sure there are plenty of other specific examples that others can 
mention, but the point is that there is clearly evidence of Mechitzas 
going back far enough to make it clear that it's not an innovation of 
the current, or even last generation.

-- Kayza

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Message: 5
From: "Doron Beckerman" <beck072@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2007 02:07:20 -0700
Re: [Avodah] Vayoel Moshe- misrepresntations

Regarding the history, I'll pass for now.

But regarding the Ramban, it is very important to distinguish between his
Lashon regarding when the Mitzvah of Kibbush applies, and when the Mitzvah
of Dirah on each Yachid applies (this distinction is clear LaMeayain
Heitev); and the idea that it only applies to those already in EY is not the
Vayoe"M's own, the Avnei Nezer raises such a possibility in the Ramban.
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Message: 6
From: Dov Kay <dov_kay@hotmail.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2007 14:22:13 +0000
[Avodah] Lulav basket

> >Do that constitute a chatzitzoh between the Arbo Minim being that the> >palm leaves used in those pockets are dried up?>> >I thought we pasken Like R. Meir that any binding is kosher.
R. H. Schacter recently said in a shiur available online at YU Torah that we hold that whatever R. Yehudah held was m'akev, we hold is a l'chatchila.  Therefore, there is still a mitzva of eged l'chatchila, which is why the Rema needed to explain how can do k'richa around the minim on YT if one failed to tie a kesher shel kayama on erev YT.  
The problem with lulav baskets (keisheklach) is that there may be a requirement of taaseh v'lo min ha'asui with respect to the eged, a requirement which a pre-made basket would fail.  However, even if one is choshesh for this opinion, I can't see one cannot simply tie the 3 minim together with a lulav strip while they are in their basket.  Perhaps he holds ein eged achar eged?  I should hasten to point out that R. Schacter did not pasken one way or the other - his comments were l'halacha v'lo l'maaseh.
Kol tuv
Dov Kay
Feel like a local wherever you go.
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Message: 7
From: Dov Kay <dov_kay@hotmail.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2007 15:59:27 +0000
[Avodah] Tea before shacharis

<<I'd like to note what I saw in the Halichos Shlomo (psakim of RSZAuerbach) Chelek "Tefilah" 2:2:"One who feels a need to drink before davening may drink coffee with milk and sugar, but it is probably best [ach yitachen shenachon] to say a Davar Bakasha beforehand, such as Shema Hashem V'Chaneni etc."The notes there add that when RSZA personally did this, his choice was to say the psukim from "Aylecha Hashem Ekra..." to "...Hashem Heyeh Ozer Li." (Tehillim 30:9-11)>>
Interesting, because in his siddur Olas Rayah (R'iya?), RAYK states in the name of his father that one should recite "Mizmor Shir Chanukas l'David" before drinking tea in the morning before shacharis.  Assuming that RSZA and Rav Kook's father had the same source for this, I wonder what it is.  After all, the recital of this chapter of Tehillim before p'sukei d'zimra is of late origin.
Kol tuv
Dov Kay
Celeb spotting ? Play CelebMashup and win cool prizes
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Message: 8
From: Dov Kay <dov_kay@hotmail.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2007 16:08:24 +0000
[Avodah] Shir HaMaalos Mimaamakim

<<  >1) Isn't saying Shir HaMaalos MiMamakim a hefsek between Yishtabach andBorchu? Minhag Lakewood (or at least BMG) is to say Shir HaMaalos later on.>>
Confirmed, as Kollel Beth HaTalmud in Melbourne, which follows minhag Lakewood, says it at the end of chazoras hashatz shacharis before kaddish.  This makes no sense to me, as it was intended by the Arizal as a preparation for birchos Krias Shema.  
The Aroch Hashulchan defends the custom of saying it after yishtabach on the basis that it is l'tzorech hatefillah and no worse than other mitzva-related interruptions which the Rema permits at that point.  Jeckes, of course, do not say it...
100?s of Music vouchers to be won with MSN Music
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Message: 9
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2007 14:25:35 -0400
Re: [Avodah] rationalism and mysticism

On 10/7/07, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> I think that there is a similar confusion caused by the word "mysticism".
> In its broadest sense, anyone who believes in a Borei and mal'akhim
> believes in mysticism. But I'm sure that's not what is being debated here.
> To me, the word means belief in an Intimate G-d, and centering one's
> religiosity on the attempt to experience Him. (I realize that that's
> Gnosticism in particular; however, it is the mental image I associate
> with the word "mystic".)
> T
> -mi
> --

This is tangential to Micha's post and Micha you can leave if off the list

This is like the 80-20 rule.  80% of the debates in Hlacah in general an
donthis lsit in particular are probably about definitions.

I was not the greatest Talmid of Brisk, but the Brisker methodology
re-inforced in me the concept of  getting precise defintions that are often
contextually based.

For example  2 definitions of kavvanah
1) awareness that one is davening [reguried for entire amidah]
2) understanding what is being said (peirush hamilim)  [required for just
1st bracha]

I also strongly concur that nearly ANY religious person must subscribe to
SOME form of mysticism - becasue I defined mysticism essentially as
'bridging the gap between n,man and God." To rambam THIS kind of mystiicms
sems primarily rational and intellecutal but the goal of LEIDA Es Hashem is
paramount - no loess than one who uses methods of Kabbalah or other forms of
d'veikus.  [Sufis perhaps used Dervish style methods]
Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 10
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2007 15:06:30 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Vayoel Moshe- misrepresntations?

On 10/7/07, regalkit@aol.com <regalkit@aol.com> wrote:
> The sefer, in my humble opinion, is full of these misrepresentations; can
> someone guide me as to how I can understand a Godol Hador's writings?
> Thank You.
> Binyomin Hirsch
>  ------------------------------

Having never read the sefer I cannot comment on the specifics...
Let me quote these principles on the general question:

>    - "As soon as passionate advocacy enters, reasonable judgment and
>    fair-minded balance exits"
>    - "One can be eithher an advocate for a position, or be a
>    dispassionate objective observer  but it is well-nigh impossible to  serve
>    both causes justly."
>    - "Hevu masunim bedin"
>    - and al Tadin Yehcidi, etc.
Maybe the best check for any published work is constant peer review and to
never accept the position of a "gadol" by his own authority alone.

Example: The Rambam was a Gadol but he stated many controversial positions.
AFAIK only Teimanim accept his positions wholesale, Certainly R. Yosef Karo
did not.

The beauty of the Beis Yosef and the Rema is that generally they surveyed a
wide-consensus of "gedolim" and rarely relied upon a single idiosyncratic
view. I endorse that methodology wholeheartedly.  In that sense I would
satate re: myself that I am accepting of Gedolim in general and a skeptic
re: any specific Gadol 's pronouncements.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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