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Volume 24: Number 50

Mon, 12 Nov 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 20:31:20 -0400
Re: [Avodah] An-im Zemiros

On 10/25/07, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> 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.

When I worked for  IBI, a follower of the GRA and a Chabadnick noted how
similar were their piskei Halachah.  Brisk often follows GRA.  Thus, the 2
traditions have similar roots.

I  categorized them together as Litvisher Mekkubalimj

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
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Message: 2
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2007 00:27:36 EST
Re: [Avodah] Just what ARE the rules of p'sak anyway?

From: "Chana Luntz" _chana@kolsassoon.org.uk_ 
(mailto:chana@kolsassoon.org.uk) :

>>And  then there are the "leap of genius" type teshuvos - ie where somebody  
reinterprets or brings a gemora (or the Torah) or a line of rishonim that is  
desperately compelling, but unheard of before. ....  And yet these  seem to 
me to be the ones that are *most* difficult to put into any rule based  
formulation, as they have a semi miraculous feel about them.  And yet they  feel very 
situational - this particular scenario sparked this particular  reaction 
(including the assistance from above - ie was the particular help  *needed* 
here?).  It
is not guaranteed reproducable, even when the same  person writes other 
teshuvos (so what changes?).  If anything it feels  closer to a master golfer (or 
other sportsman) getting his swing just  right.  

Regarding the question of whether halacha is "reproducible" and  rule-based, 
you compared a master posek to a "master golfer getting his swing  just 
right."  Possibly a better comparison would be to a scientist who is  trying to find 
a material with some exactly needed properties for an important  industrial 
application, or trying to find a new drug with some specified  properties, and 
-- using his knowledge and expertise, but also some trial and  error, and some 
serendipity (=hashgacha pratis) -- he discovers/invents an  amazing new 
product.  There was nothing in the laws of science that  guaranteed that some day 
this product would be invented, but at the same time,  the production of this 
substance clearly followed the rules of  science.


--Toby  Katz

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Message: 3
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2007 00:57:07 EST
Re: [Avodah] lifnei iver/kanaus

From: "Richard Wolberg" _cantorwolberg@cox.net_ 

>>On  the same topic, the Talmud also tells us we should never strike a child
in  anger. (I guess you should smile when administering corporal  

No, I guess you should wait until your temper has cooled and then make a  
rational decision as to whether the child in question would benefit from a  
spanking.  This will also prevent you from hitting the child harder than  you meant 
to.  You should davka /not/ smile while hitting a child because  he will 
conclude that you are hitting him for sadistic reasons rather than  for his own 

--Toby  Katz

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Message: 4
From: Michael Kopinsky <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2007 00:30:13 -0500
Re: [Avodah] luach zmanim

A & C Walters wrote:
> Does a luach zmanim have kedushas geniza?
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
Most luchos do not have any Torah content on them.  Lo posek ani, v'lo 
ben posek, but based on what I've heard in other cases, I would assume 
that if the luach only has zmanim, and short comments like "Sof Zman 
krias shma, Gra", it would not have kedusha.  Of course, if you're 
talking about a luach with minhagim, and haftaros, etc. it of course 
would need geniza.


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Message: 5
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2007 23:19:36 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Just what ARE the rules of p'sak anyway?

> > RYG writes:
> > 
> > > --- Begin Quote ---
> > > 
> > > [Quoting the T'rumas Ha'deshen:] But in the [aftermath of
> > > the] decree of Austreich they [women who had been captured by 
> > > gentiles - see the previous section of the DM] were 
> > > permitted, on the authority of Gedolim, to their husbands 
> > > too, even to Kohanim ...
> > > 
> > > [The DM himself:] And it seems to me that perhaps the Gedolim
> > > who permitted did not do so Mi'dina but for a Zorech Sha'ah, 
> > > for they saw that we must be concerned for future women, that 
> > > if they were to know that they would be unable to return to 
> > > the husbands of their youth, they might sin, and so they 
> were lenient.
> > > 
> > > And do not say, can we be lenient with regard to an Issur
> > > De'oraisa? It seems to me that they relied on that which it 
> > > is stated "kol d'me'kadesh a'da'ata d'rabbanan m'kadesh" and 
> > > Beis Din has the authority to nullify their Kiddushin and 
> > > they are therefore as single women and even if they have 
> > > strayed they are permitted to their husbands, so it appears to me.
> > > 
> > > --- End Quote ---
> > > 


> You seem to be referring to the celebrated opinion of Rabbeinu Tam.
> A)  RT's famous ho'ra'ah, as cited by the Rishonim [0], was a 
> permission for a woman who had committed adultery to marry 
> her gentile paramour who had subsequently converted; it said 
> nothing about whether such a woman is permitted to remain 
> married to her original husband.
> B)  Shittah Mekubezes [1] states explicitly that Rabbeinu Tam 
> didn't permit the woman to her husband.
> C)  Meiri [2] claims that "mikzas rabboseinu ha'zarfatim" 
> permitted the woman to her husband, but he seems to reject 
> the shittah in toto.
> D)  Terumas Ha'deshen [3] is apparently unsure, but he seems 
> to lean in favor of limiting RT's leniency to the adulterer.
> E)  Hafla'ah [4] says that RT agrees that she is prohibited 
> to the husband, but not as a sotah, and perhaps from an edict 
> of BD of Shem.
> F)  P'nei Yehoshua [5] seems to conclude that RT agrees that 
> there is a De'o'raisa prohibition to the husband.
> G)  The Poskim give at least two other reasons to justify 
> RT's ruling (see Rosh [6] and Mordechai [7]),  neither of 
> which applies to the husband.  SA [8] cites Rosh as a "yesh 
> omrim", and the Rama and Nosei Keilim don't seem to even 
> mention RT's actual reason.

This seems all very odd to me, because the reference to the view of
Rabbanu Tam as brought in Tosphos in Kesuvos 3b, and again in tosphos
Sanhedrin 74b, is brought as an explanation as to why a woman is not
(and in the case of Sanhedrin particularly, why Esther HaMalka was not -
to tie in two threads) required give herself over to death (given that
adultery is one of the big three that is yarog v'al yavor).  And clearly
the subtext of that discussion is that Esther was not thereby making
herself forbidden to Mordechai.  And that is precisely the Rivam's
criticism of Rabbanu Tam in both places that in such a case the biah of
an oved cochavim should not assur her to the baal (for which he quotes
Kesuvos 26b) and specifically vis a vis Esther what was the kasher
avaditi - ie if this was the reason it was OK for Esther, why did it
make a difference if she actively went to the king or not.  I agree that
it then goes on to say that on this basis Rabbanu Tam permitted a woman
to her gentile captor who later converted, but that is not the thrust of
the discussion in either place.

Is it possible (and I don't know the DM's position on this) that he held
like the Mishna and gemora on Kesubos 26b, which seems to imply that a
married woman in general even if not the wife of a cohen becomes
forbidden to her husband on captivity  on being violated and not like
the gemora on 51b which seems to hold that a captured woman who is not
the wife of a cohen is permitted to her husband, even if she is seen
doing things to help the bandits like hand them arrows, on the ground
that she is doing this because she is afraid of her life, in which case
it is considered like anus and hence she is permitted to her husband?

Because this situation as you describe it above in the time of the
Trumos Hadeshen seems rather odd vis a vis the women married to
Yisraelim - because prima facie as you describe it it would seem to fall
fair and square within the gemora on Kesubos 51b - so, unless the DM did
not hold like the gemora on Kesubos 51b (as it would seem the Rivam
might not have, given his citation of 26b), then there must have been
some other factors which took the case out of the gemora on Kesubos 51b
- unless of course the key question was the wives of the Cohanim, which
prima facie would be forbidden on the basis of the gemora on Kesubos
51b, but then it is hard to see how afkinu helps any better.

> H)  I am unfamiliar with the responsa literature on the 
> subject, and I haven't seen the S'ridei Aish; where is it?

Sorry, this is a reference to a letter of the Sridei Aish (which I do
not have a copy of, but read one time or other) in which he discusses
difficulties he has with various aspects of Yiddishkeit, and
particularly the phraseology and the way non Jews appear to be dealt
with.  I am sure R Marc Shapiro would  be able to direct you to a
source.  However it is not a halachic reference.

> Summary: although I am not expert in the issue, I do not know 
> the basis for your assumption that we hold like RT, and 
> additionally, it is far from clear that RT is even relevant 
> to the husband.

I am also certainly no expert.  I confess that I drew this from a couple
of things I had been told (but have never seen in writing) about
situations of droight du seignour and how these were handled
historically (I would think post Rishonic, but I am really not sure).
Of course the gemora in Kesubos 3b that we are discussing deals with a
case of droight du seignour, but only if marriage was on a Wednesday,
and this problem could apparently be avoided by switching marriages to a
Tuesday.  But in places where the seignour was not so accommodating, you
(apparently) were faced with a situation where Cohanim could not get
married at all if one did not allow for this somehow. So be sha'as
hadchak I was told they fell back on Rabbanu Tam - and I just thought it
was a dvar pashut. However because I am relying on oral sources, which
are not always the most reliable, I  could well be wrong [Somebody also
told once me that droight du seignour was a myth, although clearly the
gemora does not believe it is a myth - and the two tales contradict one

BTW, I am not sure if this is necessarily related, but there is a modern
day scenario that may also be sourced in Rabbanu Tam's position.  That
is, mother marries Orthodox, then divorces civilly and never receives a
get.  She them marries civilly a non Jew and has a child by that second
marriage.  Is the child a mamzer?  Now this was a kind of halacha
l'ma'ase situation for my husband in his single days, as there was a
girl loosely in his social circle at university who was precisely in
this situation.  And he was told that technically she was not a mamzeret
and technically he could go out with her and marry her (I don't think
they were compatable for a whole host of other reasons, but that is
another story).  But she did subsequently get married, and while I think
she found it difficult to find somebody in the UK who would marry her,
she did in the US, and I believe had an Orthodox wedding.  Now how else
do you explain this if not by way of Rabbanu Tam?   Or am I jumping to
conclusions here and can you derive it directly?

> Good Shabbos,
> Yitzhak



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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2007 21:01:28 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Just what ARE the rules of p'sak anyway?

On Tue, Nov 06, 2007 at 05:27:35PM -0500, Yitzhak Grossman wrote:
: By "Hokol modim they didn't", I understand you to mean that all agree
: that Rishonim do not have the authority to nullify Kiddushin.  This is
: not correct; the most sensational account of a post-Talmudic afke'inhu,
: and the only one I know to have occurred without a preexisting edict,
: and justified solely by a perceived Rabbinic fear of a potential future
: socio-religious catastrophe, is this one of the Darkei Moshe [0]:
: Austreich they [women who had been captured by gentiles - see the
: previous section of the DM] were permitted, on the authority of
: Gedolim, to their husbands too, even to Kohanim ...
: [The DM himself:] And it seems to me that perhaps the Gedolim who
: permitted did not do so Mi'dina but for a Zorech Sha'ah, for they saw
: that we must be concerned for future women, that if they were to know
: that they would be unable to return to the husbands of their youth,
: they might sin, and so they were lenient.

So, it would seem that hakol modim that rishonim do not have the
authority to nullify qiddushin, at least at the level of DM's

On Thu, Nov 08, 2007 at 06:57:27PM -0500, Richard Wolberg wrote:
: This is just the opposite of an old saying: "An expert is someone who comes
: from more than 50 miles away to give advice." I'm not sure from where that
: comes. " 

This is because the issue is legal authority, not factual expertise. And
legal authority goes to the person who best know how the laws fit the
people involved.

Cases where the laws aren't well known, and one needs to bring in an
expert on the fact, we do so. E.g. RYGB gets calls from around the world
from communities looking to set up an eiruv /anyone/ (who would use a
community eiruv at all) could use.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             A pious Jew is not one who worries about his fellow
micha@aishdas.org        man's soul and his own stomach; a pious Jew worries
http://www.aishdas.org   about his own soul and his fellow man's stomach.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                       - Rabbi Israel Salanter

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Message: 7
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 00:50:36 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Women's zimun

On Nov 9, 2007 1:51 PM, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:

> On Wed, November 7, 2007 10:12 am, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> In short, your opening question is that there is ample proof the
> system isn't algorithmic,

Diclaimer I DO NOT insist pesak is algorithmic. I am on record as saying
otherwise although on this thread i have not taken ANY side whatseover!

> but since you insist it is, you're troubled.
> You then confuse using a weighting system with anarchy.

WADR that is someone else. I think that  if anything I was saying  if one
uses 2 matzos and not 3 you are  guilty of anarchy after the pesak of the
Bet Yosef.   But I did not say that at all either, but that would be CLOSER
to what I did say

> And yes, by including aggadic values in the heuristic,

I never said Aggadic values do not count.   There are many minhaggim rooted
in Aggadah.
The requirment to stand for Kiddush Levana is rooted in Aggadah. by
extrapolation: the minhag to stand for Shiras Hayam and by extension 10
Dibros can be demonstrated to come from the same aggdah re: kabbalas p'nei
Shechina.   While the  Rambam, Rema nd Rav objectg to making some passages
"holier" than others etc. the minhag is firmly rooted in an aggedita in the
Gemara - aisi.

> The concept of halakhah kebasra'i is often cited as the reason why the
> Bavli has more authority than the Y-mi. RRW would take this to mean
> "Bavli trumps Y-mi".

Look the Riof and Ri Migash say this. an dAFAIK so did R. Sa'dyah Gaon. I am
not advocating this position, I am only the messnger don't shoot ME!

> Which then is disproven by how Tosafos treat
> mayim acharonim. And thus, RRW is left with a question.

I am not left with any question about mayyim ahcarhonim
I WOULD ask why are we still makpid on separarting meat and fish since this
is similar to the mayyim ahcaronim issue [viz.  Bavli medicinal
requirements which were specifcally waved by the Ga'onim]

If you hold Basrai "trumps" that is an objective system.  Rema held that
Basrai trumps.   The URL Micha use dshowt that it is a machlokes betwee
nAshk. and Seph. how to interpret basrai.

But the GRA re: 2 matzos rejected basrai and went back to Talmud . Why?

> My take: Y-mi pesaqim carry less weight than Bavli, so that if all
> else were equal, Bavli would "win". The weight given this rule in
> Ashkenaz is far far lower than that given in Sepharad.

[see above about  Rif and Ri Migash  & Bavli vs. Yerushalmi]

> However, you just can't pull out the significance of things willy
> nilly. It's not simply personal opinion. There are textual rules that
> have textual weights,

But whose rules are we playing by

If BY overrules HIS rule to pasken like Rambam/Rif and neverthless paskens
THREE matzos, how can the GRA ignore the BY's exception?

The Kaf hachayyim - No ashkenazi! -  mentions

   1. The Shleha says this is the best way to be yotzei lechal hadi'os
   2. The GRa rules otherwise
   3. he then says but most Acharonim reject the GRA here nayway!

I would GUESS that the aforementioned BY, Sehlah, and Kaf hachayyim were
aware of the Rambam'GRA conern that lechem oni would be compromised and
paskened tht lechem mishnah trumps lecehm oni anyway

For the BY and the Kaf hachayyim it was about the nubmers of poskim not the
better read of the Gmara

I don't know about the Shelah, he obviously felt that you WERE yotzei lechem
oni with 3 anyway - or at least that is the kaf Hachayyim's read of the

> there are mimetic histories of how seriously
> various issues have been treated, and there is the desire to actually
> help people become yereim usheleimim.

How does the GRA over-ruling the BY and the Rema  increase shleimus!
Adreabbah imho it can only  create more mistrust in the process.

When AhS said Rashba had beter sevar but went with Rosh/Tur re: al nekkiyus
Yaddayim he was putting the process over his opinion.  WADR the GRA put his
opinoin OVER the process
and sought to repeal the asccepted p'sak of BOTH ashkenaz and Sepharard!

had the GRA said: "You know I think the Rif/RAmbam read is better, but I
edefer to the process of how Hlachah has eveolved"   we would not be having
this thread. Instead he attcks the Rosh'e read of the Sugya as 'wrong"  I
cannot think of a harsher way to say that the process must be flawe3d at
least in this one case!

(Such as chassidim looking for a
> means to allow clapping on Shabbos along to a good hartzig niggun, or
> helping a couple become parents.)

And C's say that a guitar on Shabbos inspires THEM! and since they are not
choshesh for tikkujn Maneh what's the big deal!

How about those who  allow goyyim play instruments on Shbbos to enhance the

See the Tur 338 and 338 regarding hasma'as kol and using insru,ments ON
SHABBOS for Hassan Kallah!   This is caputre din the major seforim Tur, BY,
Darchei Moshe etc.

AISI this systme is totally subjevctive. If Tsoafos says to ignore a Mishnah
it is OK but if a C rabbi says to follow a Tur or a Rambam he is WRONG.

FWIW, Neither Rema [339 nor RMF [orach chaim pt. 2 #100] find the heter for
dancing/clapping on the part of Tsoafos as good one.  At Best it comes under
either mutav sheyihyu shoeggeim or an apologetic for a minhag that is

> SheTir'u baTov!
> -micha

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 8
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 01:14:03 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Vayeitze "Watch Whom You Marry"

On Nov 10, 2007 7:57 PM, Richard Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net> wrote:

>  In this Torah portion Jacob is deceived into marrying Leah instead of his
> intended, Rachel. We all know the story. Interestingly, in Kabbalistic
> literature every bride is said to have a component of Leah and Rachel.
> Rachel represents the beautiful, lively, charming and appealing part of our
> spouse ? whereas Leah represents the not so attractive part. She is
> characterized as weak-eyed and not very desirable. Initially we marry Rachel
> and perhaps after a while we see the Leah component. This does not mean the
> marriage is over. It merely means we must employ maturity in dealing with
> it. As the female spouse has those two components, the male spouse also may
> have the two components to Yosef Hatzadik and any one of his brothers. We
> all contain opposing forces which is part of the dissonance of life.
> Incidentally, the gematria for Rachel is 238 ? the same as *vay'hi or*"Let there be light." It's almost ironic that the reason Jacob was deceived
> with Leah was because there was no light. On the other hand, the gematria
> for Leah is 36 which is double chai (somewhat paradoxical in this case) and
> also the same gematria for Eicha. Jacob certainly didn't chant Eicha, but he
> probably asked "HOW?" could this have happened. Nevertheless, he accepted
> his lot and dealt with it.

We have a Principle that HKBH does not let a Tzaddik get hurt inadvedantly
in an aveirah.  E.G. people asked how could RMF have drunk NYC water when it
containe bugs?  The answer given was theat HKBH would have protected RMF
from accidently ingesting bugs when he drank th NYC water.  Sort of a
"shomer Pesa'im Hashem" except that for tzaddikim.

Question: How did HKBH let Y'aaov Avinu have relations with Le'ah that night
when his Kesubbah said Rachel - which meant his bi'ah was assur.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
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