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Volume 23: Number 222

Tue, 09 Oct 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 17:38:18 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Secular Thoughts on Sh'miras Halashon

PS::I found what I believe is the original source at

 "Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds
> discuss people." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 2
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 16:00:57 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Vayoel Moshe- misrepresntations

On 10/9/07, Dov Bloom <dovb@netvision.net.il> wrote:
> Conclusion: Dont learn VM without HaTekufa HaGedola!
> You wouldn't learn Menachem without Dunash, the Ktzot without the Netivot,
> or the Mechaber without the Rema!
> More accurately, you wouldn't learn the rejected calender shitot of Ben
> Meir without Saadya Gaon's responses, you wouldn't delve in to the
> grammatical opinions of Ben Naftali without learning about the accepted
> opinions of Ben Asher. Don't learn only the VM without knowing the
> mainstream hashkafot.

And simlarly aisi
Rosh balanced Rif and Tosafos [Me'iras Aynayim seesmto endorse this method]
Tur used many major Rishonim
Bet Yosef used a beis din of Rif/Rambam/Rosh
Rema relid upon Mordechai/Or Zarua/Rosh/Mahari &l  others
Kitzur used Chaye Adam/SA harav/DerechHachaim [ this is in a letter he

Rambam OTOH is hard to tell upon whom he relied - aside from Rif.

It would behoove US to not follow the MB blindly but to use a BD. I propose
from his era:
MB/Arch Hshulochan and kaf Hachayim/

I think making one gadol as absolute poseik a dangerous game. OTOH the tanna
Rabbi Meir suggests to pick ONE rebbe and don't spread yourself thin.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 3
From: Yitzhak Grossman <celejar@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 17:20:01 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Vayoel Moshe- misrepresntations

On Tue, 09 Oct 2007 21:12:51 +0300
Dov Bloom <dovb@netvision.net.il> wrote:

> regalkit@aol.com wrote: The sefer [VaYoel Moshe], in my humble opinion, is full of these misrepresentations; can someone guide me as to how I can understand a Godol Hador's writings?
> For anyone bothered or interested by seeming misrepresentations by the Satmar Rebbe in VaYoel Moshe,  I would suggest they study HaTekufa HaGedola by R Menachem Mendel Kasher, mechaber of the Torah Shleima Series.
> This work is in many ways an answer to the shitot of the SR, showing how the predominant opinions in Chazal, Rishonim Achronim and Gedolim in the last few generations are in great contradistinction to the SR's hashkafa. 


BTW, Rav Yehudah Herzl Henkin has a fascinating responsum on the
appropriate attitude toward the SR. [Although the subject's name has
been censored, it is clearly the SR.]

Shut B'nei Banim 2:34 (page 127)

Bein Din Ledin - bdl.freehostia.com
An advanced discussion of Hoshen Mishpat

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Message: 4
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 17:07:42 -0400
[Avodah] Zman Sinchaseinu Redux - An interesting Rema

There is a fasincating Rema [orach chaim 668:1] re:
"es Yom HaShimni hag Ho'atzeres hazeh"
Rmea states this is NOT a hag at all! It reall should say:
"es Yom HaShimni Ho'atzeres Hazeh"

Wow!  the psychological paradigm shift when I first saw this!. Could the
Rema Be RIGHT? All of our siddurim, benchers, etc. are wrong?  Didn't the
Rema see Artscroll,  Birnbaum, Heidenheim etc.  Was the Rema from some other

This psychology that I had experienced is about forcing the read to fit our
comfort zone paradigm. Of course the Rema had none of the above
praeyrbookss. So, what DID he have? The Rema had a Humash [or Tanach] - and
guess what! Lo and Behold the Humash NEVER uses the term hag in conjunction
with Shmini Atzeres!  [Chalk one up for the Rema!]

Now, after seeing the Rema on HIS level, what's his point?  As the G'mara
often does with a Tanna, we try to articulate HIS sevara. And based upon
what the Rema SAYS, the sevara is this " the terminology of those 4 holidays
is Humash-based!"   And therefore adding the term Hag is WRONG, because it
does not fit the structure because it is inconsistent with the sources

Now I know FEW who follow this Rema, nevertheless his underlying
presumptions are really usefu and probably valid for even those who  do not
follow his decision:

   1. He posits that the format of the terminology must be consistent at
   some level.  Whether or not it adheres to the Humash model per se, may
   indeed be quibbled, but this assumption that it is a level field is mashma
   2. The  Rema - a Traditionalist - was more concerned with this
   consistency then the familiar text.
   3. The Rema was VERY sensitive to the text. And he picked up upon a
   contradiction that few would notice. [well few non-yekkes would notice :-)]
   4. I suppose that the Rema might see other structures as having
   similar consistencies

re: #4  is my historical matrix re: Z'man simhoseinu. It is a product of a
simlar mindset who sees internal consistency within  given pieces of
liturgy. Caveat: I do not mean to say all  litrugy isconsistent in
terminology. Z'man in vatiten lanu is not necessarliy used the same way
everywhere.  Hekseh yes, Gz'aeira shava not necessarily so.

On  a completely other level, I would love to see published a Siddur al pi
Piskei Rema  alone  - as has been done for GRA, ChIDA, and now RYDS, etc.


Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 5
From: "Elazar M. Teitz" <remt@juno.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 20:20:17 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Mitsvat Sukkah is almost unique

     R. Aryeh Frimer wrote 

<I believe it was Rav Kook ZT"L who noted that Sukkah and Yishuv Eretz Yisrael are the only Mitzvot which one fulfills even with the mud on ones shoes.>

     I have seen it written in the name of the Vilner Gaon that the only two mitzvos encompassing the entire body are sukkah and yishuv Eretz Yisrael, with which he associated the pasuk "Vayhi v'shaleim --sukko um'onaso b'Tziyon." 



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Message: 6
From: saul mashbaum <smash52@netvision.net.il>
Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2007 23:38:58 +0200
[Avodah] Don't Blow Out the Candles and Make a Wish

RYLevine quotes an article about pagan practices:
In Greek times, people on their birthday would try to find favor in the eyes
of the moon goddess, Artemis. [49]  In an attempt to do so, they would make
round cakes (to symbolize the full moon) and light candles on top (to
symbolize the light of the moon.) They would then ask the moon goddess to
grant their requests.

Doesn't the concept than a pagan may nullify his AZ have relevance here? The various "gods" of the Greek pantheon have been rejected for thousands of years, and the whole religion is terminally disfuctional. Do its practices have the status of AZ for us now? I suspect not.
Despite the above, I was a bit nonplussed to once find a brand of tuna fish here in Israel, with a chareidi hashgacha, called Poseidon. However, I believe that in fact that there is no strict prohibition of using such a name, ie, the issur of "lo yizacher b'ficha" does not any longer apply to figures of Greek mythology (a revealing term in and of itself), although it indeed once may have been applicable. Similarly, I don't think people have problems with naming the planets (whatever number of them there are).  Since deities themselves have totally lapsed, I think the pagan practices once associated with them do not now have the status of "darchei Emori". 
Saul Mashbaum
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Message: 7
From: Saul.Z.Newman@kp.org
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 14:47:06 -0700
[Avodah] Don't Blow Out the Candles and Make a Wish

dr levine says the excitement level of candles would make the blowing out 
candles ok. 
r blumenkrantz  zl  in his pesach annual disagrees...

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Message: 8
From: "Prof. Levine" <llevine@stevens.edu>
Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2007 18:03:35 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Don't Blow Out the Candles and Make a Wish

At 05:38 PM 10/9/2007, Saul Mashbaum wrote:

>Doesn't the concept than a pagan may nullify his AZ have relevance 
>here? The various "gods" of the Greek pantheon have been rejected 
>for thousands of years, and the whole religion is terminally 
>disfuctional. Do its practices have the status of AZ for us now? I suspect not.

The following is from another article in the Fall 2007 Journal of 
Halacha and Contemporary Society, "Contemporary Wedding Trend or Pagan Rite?"

"Although modern-day pagans comprise only a slight minority of 
contemporary maypole-celebrants, their numbers are quite large. 
According to a study in 1997, there are about one million practicing 
neopagans worldwide today. [17] The majority of them practice some 
reconstructionist form of European pre-Christian paganism, ...."

17. See "Covenant of the Goddess," at www.cog.org

The above site contains a link to 
http://www.us.paganfederation.org/  the Pagan Federation 
International. There are links there to other sites also. So, it does 
not seem that "the whole religion is terminally dysfunctional."

Yitzchok Levine 
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Message: 9
From: Ken Bloom <kbloom@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 17:37:20 -0500
Re: [Avodah] How much Conformity to local Nusach/Mihag is

On Tue, 9 Oct 2007 16:15:18 +0200
Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org> wrote:

> The following is based on a story I recall, while not recalling the
> source. As human memory is fallible, please consider the following
> with some skepticism.
> ROY believes that the whole world should use nussa'h 'edot hamizra'h.
> There is a story about how he was visiting at Lincoln Square and
> wanted to be Shatz. The rabbi (I don't recall if it was RRiskin or
> RAMintz) pointed out that he should follow the local minhag. After
> not giving any indication to the contrary, he proceeded to do the
> entire service according to nuss'ah 'edot hamizra'h. When confronted
> after davening, eh, tefillah, he told the rabbi that he followed the
> local monhag that they should have been following all along.
> Sorry, but I can't recall the source of the story.

That would be inconsitent with ROY's psak that a sepharadi should not
be the Shatz at an ashkenazi shul.


Ken Bloom. PhD candidate. Linguistic Cognition Laboratory.
Department of Computer Science. Illinois Institute of Technology.
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Message: 10
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 18:49:32 -0400
Re: [Avodah] literalism

On 10/9/07, saul mashbaum <smash52@netvision.net.il> wrote:
> The existence of non-literal *terms*, a common feature in any language,
>  does not justify the conclusion that the legal statements made by chazal
> may sometimes be taken non-literally (a position which nevertheless I
> believe to be correct).
> Saul Mashbaum
Correct it's all about semantics
but to me literal avoids the idiomatic

What you seem to be saying is that we should usually follow the P'shat.
What I am adding is that the literal meaning is not always the p'shat
becasue sometimes the p'shat is dealing with an idiom.

My point is a "piece of cake" literally en francais: un morceau de gateau.
Of course that would be a bad translation. Literally a piece of cake is
something you probably eat after making a mezonos. Idiomatically it mens
something simple
Re-translate the above idiomatically and you would say:
[something like:]
Ma point est tres facile [a comprendre]. My point is easy [to understand]

I discussed Targum Onkelos with Professor Moshe Bernstein. He mentioned that
the Targum does not always state the p'shat. After we chatted, it turns out
that he conceded that even the p'shat is not always the literal meaning -
due to of idioms, metaphors, similes, etc.  So while sometimes Targum is off
into Midrash [e.g. lo sevashel g'di]  at other times his non-literal
translation really IS the  simple pashut p'shat because the original is
after all idiomiatic.

Back to Hametz
Bodkim es hechametz
Literally: inspect the Hametz

> Idiomaticaly search FOR Hametz [m'chappsim be'ad hechametz]

But if one is overly rigid, dogmatic, or inflexible, idioms could be taken
literally too.
Hazal aisi were very  loose at times with expressions in  order to convey
various levels of meaning . And sometimes they  repeated verbatim legal
statements that stem from different eras of  linguistic history.  Think
about all the synonyms we have for kal vachomer!

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 11
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 19:09:13 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Vayoel Moshe- misrepresntations

R' YG:
> BTW, Rav Yehudah Herzl Henkin has a fascinating responsum on the
> appropriate attitude toward the SR. [Although the subject's name has
> been censored, it is clearly the SR.]
> Shut B'nei Banim 2:34 (page 127)

And, interestingly, I received the following story in my inbox today (from
Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalayim): Even though the Satmar Rebbe had a completely
different outlook than our Rabbi (R' Tzvi Yehuda Kook - MYG), he never
scorned or denigrated him. Once Ha-Gaon Rav Moshe Feinstein ztz"l issued a
ruling regarding the height of a mechitzah between men and women in a shul,
that in pressing situations it is permissible to be lenient in a particular
issue. The Satmar Rebbe came out against him. Our Rabbi said: "It is known
that our paths are separate and different, but in this issue he is correct."
Even though they were polar opposites regarding the Redemption of Israel and
Klal Yisrael (the entirety of Israel), our Rabbi never said one negative
word about him.


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Message: 12
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 19:43:36 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] Selichos - especially before midnight

On Thu, September 20, 2007 5:32 am, R Arie Folger wrote:
: Bime'hilat kevod Toratkha, I see two conflated issues. Kabbalah is not
: the sum
: total of Jewish mysticism. Die hard Ari-only-fans will equate the two.
: However, there are many other mystical strains, some of which have
: known a continuous tradition, while others are discontinuous.

I think this is another disagreement that is really only about

I would have said that Qabbalah is the sum total of Jewish mysticism,
however, Lurianic Qabbalah isn't the sum total of Qabbalah.

E.g. I would consider Sifrei Heichalos to be Qabbalah, although the
Ari za"l didn't focus on scaling through the heichalos and past
various specific mal'akhim to reach the Kisei haKavod.

SheTir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             One who kills his inclination is as though he
micha@aishdas.org        brought an offering. But to bring an offering,
http://www.aishdas.org   you must know where to slaughter and what
Fax: (270) 514-1507      parts to offer.        - R' Simcha Zissel Ziv


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