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Volume 24: Number 29

Thu, 25 Oct 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: David Riceman <driceman@att.net>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 12:54:38 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Rambam/Support

Rich, Joel wrote:
> The recent article in Tradition got me thinking in relation to a 
> discussion on Hirhurim about Doctors.  Let's assume for now that  the 
> Rambam learned full time and only went to work for Parnassa after his 
> brother died (we need not get into whether this was Yissachar/Zevulun 
> according to R' Moshe or "tzedakka"), why did he choose medicine which 
> seems to have led him to spend much less time on limud torah then he 
> might have spent had he  worked for parnassa at another profession?
See Shmonah Perakim Perek 5 (ed. Kafih p. 256 column 2 at the beginning 
of the new paragraph).

David Riceman

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Message: 2
From: Elliott Shevin <eshevin@hotmail.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 12:57:40 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Religion and Falsifiability

Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> And I can tell you ma'asim where rich people are told NOT to perfect> themselves but to be ba'alei tzedakkah instead in order to support the poor> of the community....
> Certainly we all work on middos to a degree but self-perfection is not for the 
> masses. Most of us have jobs to do first....
It depends on what you'd call "self-perfection." To me, that doesn't mean 
abandoning the ways of the world. Rather, when the "rich people" and 
those of us who "have jobs to do first" are indeed perfecting themselves 
if they go about these pursuits in a manner faithful to Torah.
Hashem didn't give us mitzvos about how to farm, how to conduct commerce, 
how to weave, and so on, in the expectation that the perfect individual does 
none of these things.
Help yourself to FREE treats served up daily at the Messenger Caf?. Stop by today.
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Message: 3
From: "A & C Walters" <acwalters@bluebottle.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 19:48:38 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Mikveh l'zona

See the last Beis Yosef in YD siman 183 in the name of the Rivash that he was asked if there exists an issur nidah for an unmarried girl. He replied that there most certainly is,but nevertheless, an unmarried girl should not go to mikveh, because if she does, keday sheloy yoviu michshol behistalek mimeno isur nida hachomer. 

Basically, people are not so far gone to be oyveh an issur kores, but an issur kal, they will. Thus, it's better to assur her to go, so that she will not be able to be melamed zchus on herself.

Agav, there is a machlokes Rambam Rayved if there is bechlal an issur to be boyel a penuyeh. The Rambam holds it is an issur deorayse, (zoyne - a pelegesh is reserved for melochim )whilst the Rayved holds she is a pelegesh.

All this is by a Jew. Since the case is by a goy, the din is probably different. I cannot remember if there is an issur nida by a goy, but mimonofshach - if there is no issur nidah, then why should she go to mikveh. If there is, then let's apply the Rivash and not let her go to mikveh.

So - not to go.

As for the Chillul HaShem - I would suggest a cherem; she should be not allowed into shuls/shops/stores etc. unless she stops this behaviour. (All well and good ihern Yerushalaim, but I can't see the LBD doing it)
  I know of a young lady (I will call her Leah) in her late 20s, unmarried, who is ostensibly "frum".  Leah is from a charedi home.  She is shomeres Shabbos, keeps kosher, dresses modestly.  She won't even drink unsupervised milk, which is the norm in the Charedi community in England.
  Leah is also having a relationship with a non-Jewish man and going to mikveh.  I would prefer not to elaborate as to the circumstances in order to avoid identification.  I will say that she is publicising her conduct in her workplace, much to the embarrassment of other Jewish employees.  I strongly surmise, based on other facts, that she is doing this in order to have a baby.
  There is no doubt much that could be said about Leah's mindset and our recommended response to it on Areivim, but I have question for Avodah:  Is there any point at all in her going to mikveh?  Is there an issur of niddah in such a case?

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Message: 4
From: "Sholom Simon" <sholom@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 15:24:29 -0400 (EDT)
[Avodah] 42 Steps/Stages

A friend of mine passed on the following question:

I know that the Besht (and also in the Talmud) had the idea that the 42
stops in the wilderness that the Israelites made are equated to 42 stages in
the development of the soul/human life. I have searched everywhere, and
simply cannot find an actual list of these 42 stages. Oh, I can find plenty
of lists of the 42 stops in the wilderness, and references to the Besht's
statement equating them with stages in life (but not the Talmud citation),
and about the connection to the Ana B'Koakh prayer's 42 words, but no more.
Any insights or sources you can suggest?


-- Sholom

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Message: 5
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 18:09:42 -0400
Re: [Avodah] An-im Zemiros

Micha Berger wrote:
> On Tue, October 23, 2007 4:28 pm, R Zev Sero wrote:
> :> In some communites, Holeh Misheeirach's are very narowly limited.
> :> Chabad
> :> has a really short version - bascialy just shabbos hi miliz'ok.
> :> In German communites the full nusach is used but ONLY for people in
> :> sxtreme condition

> : Chabad also says the full version on Shabbos for those who are in an
> : extreme condition.

> As I recall my father retelling it: RYBS doesn't mention a short
> version, but he does limit use of the normal one. He holds that
> Shabbos hi miliz'oq is an issur, that ze'aqah and baqashah are
> outright prohibited on Shabbos.

Yet another example of similarities between L and B.  (Presumably
RYBS would not object to a normal mi sheberach for someone, with
no bakashos in it, just because he happens to be in need of refuah;
nor do I imagine he'd object to adding to that normal mi sheberach
the phrase "shabbos hi miliz'ok".  That adds up to the L "short

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                       	                          - Clarence Thomas

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Message: 6
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 19:21:00 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] An-im Zemiros

On Thu, October 25, 2007 6:09 pm, Zev Sero wrote:
: Yet another example of similarities between L and B....

In my recent post, I placed chassidus and Brisk near different corners
of a triangle: Brisk places textual process and halachic mechanics
ahead of maximizing aggadic, tafqid haadam, concerns, whereas
chassidus quite famously does the opposite. (The third corner being
minhag avos / mimeticism.)

Do you disagree with this characterization WRT L? If so, how do you
account for typical L minyan times?

IOW, I think there are a few coincidences, not a L-B similarity.

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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Message: 7
From: "Meir Rabi" <meirabi@optusnet.com.au>
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2007 08:54:34 +1000
[Avodah] Avraham Avinu's Menu: Meshech Chochma P VaYera

Rabbosay, What was the meat and milk combination Avraham served his

Acc to Rashi there was no combination; milk was first served and meat was
only served later.

However according to the Pesikta, quoted by the MCh, they were served a food
of cooked meat with milk. This was the defence Moshe R used to dismiss the
protests of the Malochim who were attempting to prevent BNY taking the


The Meshech Chochma explains: Avarham A served Ben Pekuah meat. 

A correctly slaughtered Kosher animal which is not a Teriefo; may have a
living or dead, fully or not fully developed foetus removed from it, which
is known as a BenP.

This BenP has remarkable qualities, including: it is Kosher even though it
has Simaney Teriefos; the Cheilev fats are K and its Gid HaNasheh is K. See
ShO YD 13.


Thus AA was permitted to cook it and the angels were permitted to eat it.

So what was the defence used by Moshe R? Simply this; only someone with
Kedushas Yisroel can Shecht and only Shechita can make a BenP. Since the
angels knowingly accepted the food they must have accepted that Avraham A
had kedushas Yisroel. Therefore there are no grounds to protest their taking
the T. And as we attest today and have for many years, he was right.


How does the MCh know that BP may be cooked with milk?

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Message: 8
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 18:58:36 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Religion and Falsifiability

On 10/24/07, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> However, it makes no difference in our original question. Each person
> still has to live as to become one of those few. The Rambam may explain
> why Hashem created a world in which most people don't get the Torah
> and of those who do, most do not try to follow it, and of those who do,
> few get it right. But the Rambam does not change the basic premise that
> few do get it right, few are true ovedei Hashem, who "implement the Torah"
> correctly. And the rest of us are obligated to try joining that few. The
> need for the rest of us to rethink our implementation of "keeping the
> Torah" is still there.

Comment the above paragraphs supports the apparent requirement for
INDIVIDUAL self-perfection.

All that said, I would be surprised if our community did show a lack of
> measurable refinement overall. In chessed alone: all 5 of North Jursey's
> most charitable communities (according to a local paper's audit) contain O
> communities. How many non-Jewish communities pull together a bikur cholim,
> volunteer chevrah, tomchei Shabbos, pull together their own EMS service
> (as needed), a dozen gemachs, etc...?

Comment: And the above seems to supports the notion that it is what the
community accomplishes as a UNIT that is the over-riding goal or criteria
for perfection.

I am just defending my decision that
> it would not be a show stopper for me -- just a source of surprise.
> Tir'u baTov!
> -Micha
> --
> Micha Berger             It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where
> micha@aishdas.org        you are,  or what you are doing,  that makes you
> http://www.aishdas.org   happy or unhappy. It's what you think about.
> Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Dale Carnegie
> _______________________________________________
> Avodah mailing list
> Avodah@lists.aishdas.org
> http://lists.aishdas.org/listinfo.cgi/avodah-aishdas.org

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 9
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 19:32:52 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] Religion and Falsifiability

On Thu, October 25, 2007 6:58 pm, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
:> All that said, I would be surprised if our community did show a lack
:> of measurable refinement overall. In chessed alone...

: Comment: And the above seems to supports the notion that it is what
: the community accomplishes as a UNIT that is the over-riding goal or
: criteria for perfection.

As RDE already wrote: We are only speaking of the collective as a way
to use the law of large numbers. It's statistics magic to average out
the effects of all the other things in an individual's life. We can't
measure if Torah refined an individual O Jew, because we have no
access to who he would have been otherwise. But on average, we can be
compared to the average of an otherwise similar population of other

That said, this is the central dialectic of RYBS's "Community". Man
banded together to make communities to accomplish more than he could
himself. The community exists, therefore, to serve the individual.
However, man's highest calling is to serve the community, not himself.

Like all of these dialectics, I think it arises from the basic
giver-recipient problem: Hashem created us to receive His Good. His
greatest good is His Own Nature to give good. Thus: We must receive
the opportunity to give. Which in turn means that we can't simply get
everything we need passively, as then we didn't receive the greatest
gift: the opportunity to contribute!

Man is betzelem E-lokim. The individual. Thus, unlike RYBS, I find it
impossible to consider collectivism as a real equal in this dialectic.
We exist to get, and the best thing we can get is to give to others.
Since society exists to serve the most possible people, one great
thing we can get is the chance to advance society.

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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Message: 10
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 19:16:33 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Minhag Yisroel

On 10/24/07, Zev Sero <zev@sero.name> wrote:
> Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> > On 10/24/07, *Zev Sero* <zev@sero.name <mailto:zev@sero.name>> wrote:
> >>> Meanwhile in the absence of a Sanhedrin by what authority did:
> >>>    1. Minhag Yisroel morph ma'riv from Reshus to Hova?
> >>     It's a neder.  "Kiblu aleihem".
> > I didn't make the neder.
> Your ancestors did.  A person has the right to make a neder binding
> on him and his future descendants.

And is a Sanhedrin needed?
So wjhy fan't the Jews of circa 1948 IMPOSE 5 Iyyar as a hhag for all of us

> how can a neder over-turn the Talmud?
> Huh?  How does it overturn the Talmud?
> > Can I be noder against the Halacha?
> Of course not.  "Mushba ve'omed meHar Sinai."  You can't vow to eat
> pork, but you can vow not to eat beef, or to eat beef every Shabbos.

no this is shavau. neder is different.

>>>    2. Talmud Bavli acquire Halachic authority?
> >> As the Rambam says in his hakdama, Kol Yisrael accepted it as their
> >> authority, just as one can accept ones own posek.  Asei lecha rav.
> > So what?
> All Israel accepted it so it's binding on All Israel.

So let all Israel accept:

   1. 5 iyyar as a holiday
   2. Any out-of-use mitzva [so-called "mes Mitzvah"] remains status quo
   3. Therefore revivals of
   1. Shatnex chekcing and
      2. issur lashon horo were unncecesary since they went out of us

  Later poskim
> were not accepted by everybody, so they're not binding on everybody.

who says Bavli was more accepted than later Poskim? the Rambam?  But Rema
says  we go bassar  basrai?  And  how says the MB is not  MORE popular than
the Talmud? or ROY?

>  most jews drive on Shabbos waht does THAT prove.
> Nothing at all.  But if all Jews agreed to drive every Wednesday,
> and accepted it on themselves and their descendants as a neder, then
> it would be binding.  And if all Jews agreed to accept RYSE or ROY
> as their rav and posek acharon, then his views would be binding on
> everybody.

and how is this survey conducted to ensure a fair vote?

> Anbd who is the Rambam to ictate Halachah!
> He's not.  He's giving the history of how Talmud Bavli came to be
> the last source that is binding on everybody.

Maybe he is wrong!
Bavli does not permi dancing, clapping or slapping on Yomt Kol sheckain on
Shabbos but Frum jews do it!

Bavli states [arachin 3] that women are as obligated in Megilah as men - who
follows THAT?

>>>    3. Zohar  acquire legitimacy?
> >> Why would it need to "acquire" it?  It is what it is, and carries
> >> its own legitimacy.  What would be a Sanhedrin's role here - to give
> >> it some kind of "haskama"?
> > So it has zero halachic significance then?  We certainly do not acrod
> > Halachic signifcance to Aggadic passages in Talmud [se Rambam] so why
> > Zohar?  it's jsut another book - or is it more? And if is more why? And
> > why not put on TEfilin on Hulo Shel Moed base dupon Zohar. Ois this
> > based upno neder?
> Because it has halachic passages.

So does the Agur. Howis the Zohar more important than the Agur in
determining Halachah?

> > So the Shulchan Aruch is NOT the book of Halachah. I can show you dozens
> > of books taht state it IS the book of Halachah. { e.g. See heshy Zelcers
> > Mihna companion on Niddah for example]  Are they all mistaken?
> If they say that it is the definitive halachic authority then they
> are obviously mistaken.  It's trivial to find cases in which we don't
> follow the ShA, even if by that term we mean to include the Rema.

Howis Heshy Zelcer MIstaken shwne pkaen
 he publishes that the shulchan Aruch is the repository of Halchah but the
Rambam is NOT mistaken that ALL of Israel accepted the Bavli therefore it is
binding on all of Israel?  Who has the authority to make these judgments. We
can show that Bavli was NOT accepted during periods in Israel from
documents  circa 600-1000.

>>>    6. Polygamy get banned?
> >> Originally a cherem accepted by particular communities, and continued
> >> as a minhag.  It's only binding on those communities that accepted it.
> > Why should a community bind me? is a community a Sanhedrin? Can
> > acommunioty BIND me to do 5th of Iyyar as a day of Yom Tov ceasing from
> > Melacha? If not why not? If it can ban me from a2nd wife, why can't a
> > community ban melacha?
> If they accepted it on themselves as their binding minhag, and you are
> a member of that community, then I suppose they could.

So how come we cannot promulgatge % Iyyar as a Holiday!  Why require a
Why can[t the community issue a cherem, any ba'al that is mesarie to give a
get will have his original Kiddushin nullified retroactively by communal

> >>> 7. Mechiras Hametz emerge?
> >> What's the problem with it?  Why would you need a Sanhedrin for it?
> >> It doesn't involve any change in halacha at all.  I guess I just
> >> don't understand the question.
> > I suggest you research the matter further as to how we seel hametz an
> > dhow the Talmud construes such a sale wand why the GRA objected to OUR
> > Sale as it exists now.
> If you think there are grounds for objection to our sale as it exists
> now, please mention them.  I'm not aware of any such grounds, or of
> anybody who objects.

today's Sale of Hametz is NOT based upon the Talmud - whose authorty I  have
A valid Talmudic sale is when the property is ACTUALLY transferred.  The
idea of seeling Hametz via anagnet while it remains in place w/o actaulyl
transferring it is an abstraction of circa 15-16th centuries and was
objected to by many poskim - including GRA - as a ha'aram and not a valid
sale. Many of the Yekkes in my congregation woulc not accept it as a REAL
sale if it sits in the closed and all that trasnpires are a couple of pieces
of paper.

A Mechira Olamis of course IS a PROPER sale and the GRA would give it his
I know other rabbanim Rabbi Mordecahi Aderet is one - who will NOT partake
of Hametz that has been sold by our means

>>> 8. Aveilus during Sefira become instituted?
> >> Minhag.  Which is why there's so much variation in the details,
> >> including on which days it applies.
> > So how does Minahg have authority?
> It does.  "A minhag brecht a din".

So start a minhag to have 5 uiyyar as a Holiday. Why need sanhedrin?
You could make a minahg of carrying a hnaky outside of the eruv too!  And
that amount be a minhag tht brechts a din, too!

 But by definition its authority
> is fuzzier than that of a din, because it emerges from the bottom up,
> rather than being imposed by a specific authority.

Who says Minhaggim are from bottom up? Menahcem Elon outlines a form of
Minhag that is top down. Ayein sham.  in fact it might be the MOST
authoritative of ALL minhagim!  [see Rabbi Yochan Pesachim 103 and 104 re:
v;'nahagu ho'om]

> > At any rate it has not been rule dupno by a Sanhdrin.
> No, it hasn't.  And therefore it isn't halacha, it's minhag.
> Minhag is *not* halacha, it's a separate layer.  Had the Sanhedrin
> enacted it it wouldn't be minhag.

Actaully Rambam says a ASanhedrin can impose a Hnahagga.r
And FAIK Rambam says that Rabbanim TODAY can impose Gzeiros and Takkanos,
but only not on a national level, w/o it become accepted natioanlly. But
that was even true of Ezra and HE lived in the era of a bona fide Shandrin -
so I am not quite sure what has changed.

> But if Minahg can establish Aveilus during sefira why not a
> > holiday on 5 iyyar?
> > Mah nafshach!
> Perhaps because those who started celebrating 5 Iyyar were already
> bound by the minhag to mourn during sefirah, so it's arguable that
> they had no authority to make a new exception to it.

so a New minhag can BRECHT a din but it CANNOT brecht an old minhag?
I would posit that the GRA's revival of 2 matzosGEBRCHTed the pre-existi9ng
minhag that  had been 3 matzos as testified to by the Beis Yosef!

 Whereas Lag
> B'omer may have been an exception from the beginning of the minhag
> to mourn.  Especially if it comes from RSBY's instruction to rejoice
> on the day of his "hilula", which was before any mention of the minhag
> to mourn.
> --
> Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
> zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
>                                                   - Clarence Thomas

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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