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Volume 24: Number 77

Mon, 26 Nov 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Joshua Meisner" <jmeisner@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 15:23:15 -0500
[Avodah] Pets

A poster on Areivim asked about the permissibility of owning pets.

R' Yitzchak Nachman Eshkoli devotes a chapter to pets in his sefer
"Tza'ar Ba'alei Chaim".  Some excerpts:

- Rambam (N"M 5:10) says that it's assur to raise a dog unless it is
tied with a chain (based on a literal reading of Mishnah on BK 79b),
but most poskim
(inc. Shu"A Ch"M 409:3) say that the issur applies only to a bad dog.
The Yam Shel Shlomo (BK 87:45) limits the heter to "Kufri dogs" which
are especially unscary, but Rema, Knh"G, and Shu"A HaRav write that
the minhag is not like the Ysh"Sh, and that only a kelev ra is
problematic.  Rashba (BK end. ch. 4) and Pele Yoetz (s.v. Kelev) say
that there is a midas chasidus not to raise dogs, based on BK 83a.

- Ysh"Sh (BK 87:37) writes that there's no problem with raising cats
nowadays, as the cat mentioned on BK 80b as being dangerous is no
longer common.

- Shu"T Afrekasta d'Anya (R' David Sperber of Barshov - 163) and Be'er
Moshe (2:58), based on Maharsha on Sotah 48a, say that one cannot
raise songbirds.  Shu"T L'Horos Noson (11:77) writes regarding even
owning a mimic bird that "ein da'as chachamim nocheh mizeh".  Shu"T
Ateres Paz (1:2 - Yo"D 5) writes, though, that the explanation of the
Maharsha is not accepted la-halacha by rov poskim.  R' Elyakum Dvorkes
writes that keeping any bird in a cage may be problematic mishum
TzB"Ch, but acknowledges that this may not apply by all species.
Shu"T Sha'ar Asher (2:272:18) argues, being that TzB"Ch is hutar
l'tzorech bnei adam, and many poskim are mashma like him, also.

- Shu"T Chesed L'Avraham (R' Avraham Alkalai - Yo"D 117), Zivchei
Tzedek (117:43), and Levushei Mordechai (Mahdu"T Yo"D 50) prohibit
raising rabbits because they're b'heimos t'mei'os, but since their
stated reason is based on most rabbits being raised as food, Shu"T
Ateres Paz says the issur doesn't apply nowadays.  Shu"T Yachin uBoaz
(2:25) similarly allows raising monkeys.

He also discusses owning pets from a bitul zman/bitul mamon standpoint
(see Shu"T M'shaneh Halachos 6:216), although Shu"T Ateres Paz writes
that the issur is only if he exerts excessive torach on taking care of
them, and that if a person's mind will be calmed by them, efshar
l'hakeil.  Also, R"Ch Naeh (Ketzos HaShulchan-Badei HaShulchan 151:4)
and RSZA (brought down by ShSh"K (?) 18:62) discuss whether a fish
tank is muktzah, without mentioning any issue with owning fish in

Joshua Meisner

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Message: 2
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 16:05:20 -0500
Re: [Avodah] proofs of G-d

On Nov 21, 2007 5:38 AM, Marty Bluke <marty.bluke@gmail.com> wrote:

> Meshech Chochma( Shemos 13:9)writes:
> "Divine Providence is manifest for each Jew according to his spiritual
> level as the Rambam explains in Moreh Nevuchim (3:18): Divine
> Providence is not equal for everyone but rather is proportional to
> their spiritual level. Consequently the Divine Providence for the
> prophets is extremely powerful each according to their level of
> prophecy. The Divine Providence for the pious and saintly is according
> to their level of perfection. In contrast the fools and the rebels
> lacking spirituality are in essence in the same category as animals...
> This concept that Divine Providence is proportional to spiritual level
> is one of foundations of Judaism..."
> Today, this idea (that the Chinuch explicitly rejects) of hashgacha
> pratis on everything has taken hold. There is no question that it is a
> very calming thought. You don't have to worry about chance occurrences
> affecting you, everything is directly from Hashem. However, this was
> not the view of the overwhelming majority of the Rishonim.

Re: Moznay tzedek and Amaleik

At the end of parshas ki Seittzei there is the juxtaposition of Business
ethics and Amaleik.

   1.  how does a failing of business ethics give Amaleik any power over
   2. Aren't there anti-Semites all of the time,  What's new about this

Speaking to my congregration - conisting of many survivors of the Nazi
regime - I explained it thusly:
The normal/usual situatoin is that there are ALWAYS anti-Semites out theer.
BUT it is only when we fail to live up to the Torah standards of Business
Ethics that Hashem ALLOWS them power over us [kind of hester panim due to
our bad beahvior]

Simlarly Ya'kov avinu was promised safe passing by HKBH but was afraid of
"shema yigrom hacheit" But we know from Rambam et. al. that HKBH never takes
away a POSTIVE promise?  Shema yigrom might remove the higher level of
protection that was required. [e.g. vayhi chitas Elokim....]

L'havdil, many Evangelicals felt that 9-11 was a result of Hashem
withdrawing His usual protection of America due to America's mis-behavior.
So this idea of removing Protection in the face of Sin is a fiarly common

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 3
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 16:31:00 -0500
Re: [Avodah] status of the Ari & Besht

On Nov 26, 2007 6:28 AM, Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com> wrote:

> Does this special status of Ari and Besht apply to halacha or just
> hasgacha?
> The ability of the Ari and Zohar to outweigh SA seems to be a
> machloket of Eidot Ashekenaz
> and eidot Sefard. However, certainly NO ONE outside of chassidic
> circles gives the Besht the
> right to override SA. In fact this was one of the main complaints
> against the early chassidim i
> including zemanei tefillah.
> In recently RMF does not understand the right of chassidim to change
> their nusach tefillah.
> To accuse all these poskim of calling people a liar and being a
> dangerous position seems itself to
> be a dangerous position
> --
> Eli Turkel

Back to my hobby horse.

Since no one has really articulated an objective hierarchy of Halachic
standards one man's Torah is another man's mered.

Tangentially, see yesterday's Daf [ksubos 85] for several examples where the
Halacha morphed after teh Talmud, one by the Gaonim and ratified by the Rif,
and one by the RAMBAM knegged haRif!]in the Art

It's not just the Hasssidm who revised Nusach so did the The Arizal! And
FWIW so did the GRA.
The chiluk with the Gra and the ARI is that AFAIK they did idt ONLY for
yechidei Segulah.  Hasssidim advocatd changes for the masses.  While e.g.
Chayei Adam did not feel obligated to change nusach as per the GRA.

OTOH, cerrtain Hassidim remained loyal to nusach Ashkneaz - viz. Viener and
many Oberlander Hassidim. Those communities that had a firm concept of
Minhag Avos and so were not quick to revise.  But most communities did not

I still would like someone on this list to explain to me the following

Given Kallir wrote piyyutim for the Yotzeir
Given Remah [as in Yad Remah not R. M isserles!] - cited by Tur and Ratified
by mehcabeir [O. Ch. 68]] - objects strongly to saying piyytuim at taht time
due to hefsek.

   1. How is it that Kallir could not have known the Halachah?
   2. How didt Ashkneazim continue to add piyyutim in the same location
   for generations?
   3. Could they all have been wrong?
   4. And if they were indeed CORRECT - how could the Remah object?
   5. Or was this simply an aongoing Machlokes?
   6. So if Rema Isserles ruled it is OK for Ahsknezim to say them, how
   come this p'sak was revised by OTHER Ashkenazim?

So as we see, who trumps who or which text trumps seems to me to be a very
eclectic enterprise!

   1.  How come ashkenazim add Mizmor shir Tehilim 30 which is a Luiranic
   2. How come Ashkenazim say the Shatz' lines in Kedusha as per Ari as
   opposed to the Mechabeir?

In KAJ/Breuer's, loyalty to the original minhag DOES prevail!

   1. Kedusha si said as per SA NOT Ari
   2. No Mizmor 30  [GRA concurs on this one!]
   3. Piyyutim are recited.

thus we see there ARE communities in Ashkenaz that are loyal to its Mesorah
for the most part. And they are virtually all Yekkes and Oberlanders, with a
few Litvaks  thrown in here and there

Yekkes do not dance or clap on Shabbas & YT.   Even re: Simchas Torah it is
only a recent "chiddush/shinuy" [take your pick!] to dance on Simchas Torah.
[Hakafos is older but dancing is new]  Re: Minhag Amsterdam, I am told by a
native that they first had permitted dacning on S.T. but later banned
hakafos because it was both Lurianic and lead to dancing on YT!

While some communities think Clapping on Shabbos is violation of a G'zeira,
others are Omer Muttar. It is really similiar to the issue above.

I once saw a Chabad "Nusach Ari" publication remonstrate that people should
follow their minhag avos and cited a Maharil. I find this ironic since the
swithc to nusach ari itself is a major rejection of the Minhaggim and Nusach
of the Maharil.  Where does one draw the line? is it that once  Group "A"
makes wholesale changes in minhag only THEN it becomes fixed?

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 4
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 16:39:18 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Fables and Lies

On Nov 24, 2007 7:24 PM, kennethgmiller@juno.com <kennethgmiller@juno.com>

> So it's not just the Christians. We too have fables, fictions, and lies.
> Perhaps it is only this one solitary example. But one is not zero.
> My heart is still not fully healed from the pain of this disillusionment.
> And I apologize if this post has disillusioned any others. But I think that
> it is very relevant to the question which was asked in the previous thread.
> And given RBW's comment, I figured it might be worthwhile to spin it off
> into a new thread.
> To repeat his question:
> > the people who are motivated to repent will basing their avodat
> > Hashem based on a fable, and maybe even on a lie. Do we really
> > want that?
> My gut reaction is to scream, "No! It is too dangerous! How will they
> react when the lie is discovered!" But that consideration does not seem to
> have bothered those who chose to include Ayleh Ezk'rah in the machzor.
> Akiva Miller
> <http://lists.aishdas.org/listinfo.cgi/avodah-aishdas.org>

As Rav Avaharm the Son of the Rambam has warns us
It;s the hyperbole of Midrash that leads us astray, it's our need to take
them literally that is itself a fiction and a form of sheker. and if you
base dyour emanah on suhc a faulty foundation look out!

I have always opposed teaching kids what I call "Santa Claus" Judaism. I
recently protested in Arievim re: misquoting of the Midrash that Ya'akov *never
slept *instead of the original that Ya'loov never* LIED DOWN *for 14 years.
This kind of magical Midrash is not the fault of the midrash rabba, but the
fault of misquoters who pay little heed for the original texts and say 'waht
feels good"  And I plead guilty myself at times to furthering urban legends
instead of doing my due dillligence.

In an arumgent with young Yeshiva bachurim about 20+ years ago when I
explained that these Midrashim were being misunderstood they said:
"Rabbi you mean you don't believe the Midrash is TRUE?"
I answered: "of course every word is true!  But it is not meant to be
understood LITERALLY!"  That would be fallacy.

Since then I have found that Maharal and Rav Schwab [in addition to R. A ben
HaRambam] have been saying this for a long time.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 5
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 17:08:05 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Brocho of "Al Mitzvas Tefillin"... "Boruch Shaym

On Nov 23, 2007 12:17 PM, <RallisW@aol.com> wrote:

>  I understand that if one CH"S recites a brocho l'vatolo one should say
> "Boruch Shaym Kevod Malchuso L'Olom Voed", in order to remedy the situation
> somewhat. This is only the remedy b'diovad.
> How can one use this method every weekday when laying tefillin, especially
> when some are of the opinion [Rashi], that there is only one brocho of "Al
> Mizvas Tefillin"?
> I understand that if one tightens the Tefillin Shel Yad on the arm only,
> reciting the brocho of "L'Honiach Tefillin, and then puts on the Tefillin
> Shel Rosh one does not recite Boruch Shaym at all? This is how the Shulchan
> Oruch instructs us to put them on, without making the hefsek of winding the
> strap around the arm.
See the Rosh [as in Rabbeinu Asher not the Tefillin shel!]

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 6
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 17:30:17 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Borchu UVoruch Shemo between Borchu and Shmono

On Nov 21, 2007 1:12 AM, kennethgmiller@juno.com <kennethgmiller@juno.com>

> Please note that we have almost the same phrase - "V'Imru Amen" - at the
> end of Oseh Shalom in both the silent Shmoneh Esreh and in Birkas Hamazon.
> It seems that a private amen can indeed follow a plural verb. In fact, one
> could argue that the gabbai's "v'nomar" is merely a case of the "royal We",
> whereas "v'imru" is more clearly directed to others.
> Akiva Miller

re: V'imru Amein in O'seh Shalom
We discussed this many years ago on Avodah:  For sources - first see Baer's
Avodas yisroel  p. 104 & 130 as to why BOTH have v'imru amein

re: Kaddish: the o'seh in Kaddish is redundant  because yehei shlomoh rabbah
covers the topic already in Aramaic. And o'seh is in Hebrew - does it really
belong to the Aramaic Kaddish?

re: Amidah  the v'imru amein is then re-adapted back to the Amdiah, although
it does not belong there. It should be at MOST Amein w/o the v'imru!  [iow,
it is a copyist/printer's error to say v'imru at the end of the Amidah!]
Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 7
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 17:42:29 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Apikores?

On Nov 22, 2007 10:10 AM, Rich, Joel <JRich@sibson.com> wrote:

> How can someone who goes by Rov Rishonim be considered a heretic?
> Ben
> ===================================================
> Lshitatam there is psak in hashkafa (i.e. ikkarim can come into being en
> medias res)
> KT
> Joel Rich
> T

AFAIK and FWIW the Rambam holds that there is NO SUCH THING as p'sak in
matters that do not pertain to partical Halachah.  {kind of challenges his
own shittos on ikkarim but yesh leyasheiv]

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 8
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 17:56:19 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Apikores?

On Nov 22, 2007 11:57 AM, Zev Sero <zev@sero.name> wrote:

> Because now we know better.  Many rishonim lived before the discovery
> of the Zohar, and all lived before the AriZal and the Baal Shem Tov,
> so they were missing information.  The AriZal was taught by Eliyahu
> Hanavi, and the Baal Shem Tov by Achiyah Hashiloni, and therefore knew
> things that had been completely forgotten in previous generations.
> --
> Zev Sero

Using this logic - why don't we NOW pronounce ivrith in a manner consistent
with the Teimanim since we NOW KNOW BETTER how to really pronounce Hebrew
with Ayyin Het, etc.?  I say this because A rabbinical collleague posed this
to me, b'oso haloashon! that since we NOW KNOW BETTER we cannot rely on
"minhag Avos/t/th" in the face of much greater knowledge in Hebrew

When we defer to earlier sources we invoke  "niskatnu!"
When we reject earlier sources we  calim to know better.
in the mater of Hashkafa how do we know better?

There is a machlokes RambaM and RambaN re: the reason forthe issur of
bassar bechalav

   1. Rambam - smacks of an Avodah Zoro ritual
   2. RambaN - some issue of magic/kishuf/kil'a'yim

Hinuch - Favors RambaN, does not see Rambam's point
Archaeology- suggests that seething kids in Mothe'rs milk was a Pagan
Practice by a Cana'anite Tribe [Uggurites?]  Thus, we have EVIDENCE that
RambaM is right on the money here.

Do we NOW revise our Hashkafah in light of KNOWING BETTER?
I say YES!  The Rambam's rational apporach has actually been borne out by
scientific evidence. This dovetails well With R. Sa'adyah Gaon's thesis that
over time ALL mitzovs will be "sichliyos" And I speculate that had the
Hinuch known what WE know he would have been Modeh to the RambaM, but since
he did not have that information he was  "stuck"  following the RambaN.

Who is interested in taking this approach? Or despite sechel, science, RSG
and RambaM we still really do NOT know better?
Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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