Avodah Mailing List

Volume 24: Number 85

Mon, 03 Dec 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Richard Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2007 19:40:15 -0500
[Avodah] Miketz "It's Only Just Begun"

The wine steward remembers Yosef and approaches Par'o with his story. "With
us there was this Jewish kid [na'ar]..." Par'o orders Yosef's removal from
prison and Yosef is prepared to meet Par'o.

Rashi points out (actually curses) that wicked people, even when they are
acknowledging good that was done on their behalf, will belittle those to
whom they owe a debt of gratitude. The Wine Steward refers to Yosef as a
NA'AR (connotation of a fool), IVRI (a foreigner who doesn't belong amongst
us), EVED (a slave unworthy of leadership).

How many people we know who are so stingy with complimenting anybody or

One step above that, are people who begrudgingly compliment (out of

And one step above that, are people who will compliment, with a 'BUT'
afterwards. (So and so was accepted to Yale, BUT only because his father
went there). Would it have killed the person to omit the "But."  "It takes
guts to omit the buts." 

Finally, there are generous people who are benevolent with praise and
compliments, realizing how important positive reinforcement is and just how
nice it is to be nice! I hope that's you...

Kol tuv/Best regards.  ri                                            

Often we think: Miketz - It seems like the end. But in actuality it is
really B'reishis - just the beginning.  ri


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Message: 2
From: "Moshe Feldman" <moshe.feldman@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2007 11:35:33 +0200
Re: [Avodah] A shemitta miracle story

On Dec 1, 2007 3:36 PM, SBA <sba@sba2.com> wrote:
> Keeping shemitta - vetzivisi es birchosi.
> http://tinyurl.com/38xonr

This article is about how Mevo Choron has seen bracha in the 6th year
because of its decision not to farm the land at all during Shmitta.
However, http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3441757,00.html notes
that during a past Shmitta, Mevo Choron went into great debt because
of its decision to keep shmitta.

As to the applicability of v'tzivisi es birchasi: Hashem's promises
apply to the commandments *He* actually gave us, i.e., when Shmitta is
required by the Torah.  Hashem made us no promises with regard to
rabbinic enactments (even if they are patterned on the Torah rules),
and therefore He made us no promises with regard to Shmitta nowadays,
which is m'drabbanan.  This point is made by a number of achronim,
such as those quoted by Rav Shaul Yisraeli in
(section 4).

The following comes from the Shmitta list:
<<Yevamos 16a says that Chazal deliberately left areas of the Eretz
Yisrael from Kdusha Shniya so that poor people could go there to work
the land for money or to collect leket shikcha v'peya (Rashi DH
ukedusha rishona). In doing so they specifically left areas out of
Kedusha Shniya that had had Kedusha Rishona before Galus Bavel. They
also reduced the scope of the Mitzva of Shevi'is as a result. They
didn't say simply that Hashem would provide, and they didn't even say
that poor people could survive through food from hefker crops, they
reduced the Kedushas Ha'aretz to maintain Aniyei Yisrael.>>

Of course, it is still possible for Hashem to bless Mevo Choron based
on their actions.  But the point is that there is no *guaranteed*
bracha, and if so, poskim must take this into account when formulating
psak for all of Klal Yisrael.

Kol tuv,

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Message: 3
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2007 00:14:59 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Kashrus Question

R'SBA asked:
> After all, some little old lady - and maybe even some young
> man - who doesn't particularly follow  specific hashgochos,
> ie, any 'kosher' is good enough for him) going past and sees
> the hechsher sign could go in for a donut. After all these
> days there is EVERYTHING kosher lepesach - so why not KLP
> donuts?

Because KLP donuts would say "KLP" on them. Such a person *saw* the hechsher sign, but did he bother to *read* it? I refer to the phrase on the certificate that says "except for Passover".

> A dayan here told me today that he had a call once on chol
> hamoed Pesach from a lady in hospital who had been served
> a 'kosher' meal. Suddenly she noticed the lokshen in the
> soup - and she called him. But how many never even think of
> asking questions if they see a kosher seal?

So, are you suggesting that such dinners should not be made? That every single chometzdik item in the world cannot have a hechsher unless it specifically says "not for Pesach"?

Halacha is choshesh for a lot of stuff. But there is also a concept of "a miut that's so small  that we are not choshesh for it."

Akiva Miller

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Message: 4
From: "Elazar M. Teitz" <remt@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2007 00:18:41 GMT
Re: [Avodah] piyyutim

RArie Folger wrote:

<FYI, the reason we say UT has little to do with a certain Rav Amnon who may or may not have lived in Mainz and may or may not have had the slightest connection with the author of that piyut. The reason is that UT is peti'hah liqdushah on RH.>

And RZev Sero added:

<Indeed, that's why "uvechen lecho taaleh kedusha" comes *before* UT.
It has long seemed to me, therefore, that one should stand as for kedusha, just as one does for the keter/naaritzcha with which we usually introduce the kedusha of musaf; and that the person who opens and closes the aron should remain up there until after kedusha, instead of retreating to his place as soon as he's closed it.  But I haven't seen this done.  People do stand for UT, but not with feet together, and don't refrain from wandering about or whispering a word to their kids, etc., to an extent that they would refrain during kedusha.>

     "Uv'chein" introduces not only UT. It is the standard prelue to k'dusha whenever piyut is said in chazaras hashatz.  It is usually followed by a very long piyut, which is omitted by many piyut-saying shuls. Like UT, it does not deal with k'dusha until its very end. Until then, it discusses the inyana d'yoma: weights and measures on Sh'kalim, Hashem's remembering on Zachor, the mysteries of parah adumah on Parah, etc., and Hashem as dispensing mishpat on RH.  Only its very last phrase introduces k'dusha, and for those who say it, that phrase replaces N'kadesh or Nakdishach (which should not be omitted by those who skip this piyut); therefore, only that phrase should require standing as one does for k'dusha.


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Message: 5
From: "Meir Rabi" <meirabi@optusnet.com.au>
Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2007 11:25:19 +1100
[Avodah] Gentlemen and Ladies - Who Goes First?

In response to the apparent inconsistency of YaAkov usually giving priority
to the men: yet when YaAkov gets the family introduced to Uncle Esau, the
ladies go first [until Yosef steps in front of his mother]. R' Micha Berger
wrote on Nov 29, 2007 2:18 PM,: - Safety before kavod.

It would be helpful to hear a fuller explanation of the added safety
acquired by having the mothers precede their children. Presumably the
meeting was not on neutral territory but in Eisavs's domain. Whatever
strategic placements YaAkov had arranged would not have, within the normal
framework of military operations, provided much true protection had Eisav
decided to lay a trap. Were the women put first to be the human shields to
protect the more important sons in the background?


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Message: 6
From: "Meir Rabi" <meirabi@optusnet.com.au>
Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2007 11:37:17 +1100
[Avodah] Yosef's Brothers Would not Speak Nicely to Him & 2


Was YaAkov Avinu aware that his children were not on friendly speaking terms
with one another?

What did he do about that?


Has anyone an explanation for the Bakashah after Birkas Kohanim, in which we
say that when Yosef was wearing the Kesones Passim he found grace and favour
in the eyes of all who beheld him? Does this include his brothers?


Has anyone an explanation of the Medrash that the Kosones Passim was a long
sleeved coat that covered the palms (Pas Yad) of Yosef?





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Message: 7
From: Yitzhak Grossman <celejar@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2007 20:13:55 -0500
Re: [Avodah] C: we don't rely on manuscripts of Rishonim to

On Thu, 29 Nov 2007 23:28:17 +0100
Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org> wrote:

> RSBA wrote:
> > There is a page about this topic in the sefer Butzina Kadisha vol 1 (by Reb
> > Sender Deutsch) where he also quotes from a kadmon RM Taku in 'Ksav Tamim'
> > that there were manuscripts forged my minim 'lehatos es haolom'..
> Isn't that RM Taku who alledgedly held some strange position regarding the non 
> corporeality of G"d?

Yes.  The K'sav Tamim is available here:


> KT,
> -- 
> Arie Folger

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

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Message: 8
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Sun, 02 Dec 2007 09:50:45 -0500
Re: [Avodah] A shemitta miracle story

Moshe Feldman wrote:
> On Dec 1, 2007 3:36 PM, SBA <sba@sba2.com> wrote:
>> Keeping shemitta - vetzivisi es birchosi.
>> http://tinyurl.com/38xonr
> This article is about how Mevo Choron has seen bracha in the 6th year
> because of its decision not to farm the land at all during Shmitta.
> However, http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3441757,00.html notes
> that during a past Shmitta, Mevo Choron went into great debt because
> of its decision to keep shmitta.

And yet, knowing that, they decided to do it again, and to pray for
the bracha that would make it possible.  Maybe that's what got it for
them this time.

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: 9
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2007 14:40:08 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Torah Institutions = Tzeddakah?

On Nov 14, 2007 2:54 PM, <regalkit@aol.com> wrote:

> *"If a person is wealthy, instead of building a synagogue or bet midrash
> he rather should give his money to respected scholars to enable them to
> study Torah. Sefer Chassidim 1039"*
> There are may differences (nafke minahs). If a person makes a neder "Selah
> zu lizdakah bishvil sheyichye bni", and then gives the money to a Yeshiva
> has he obligated his vow? Hashem left us in Galus with two forms of gaining
> forgiveness; prayer and charity. Tzeddakah tatzil mimaves.
> Of course giving to a Yeshiva is a mitzva of Hachzakas hatorah, to Hatzola
> is chessed, etc., but can they be defined as tzeddakah?
> And if it is Tzedakah on what level of priority do these donations have
> vis-a-vis charity to a pauper.
> Binyomin Hirsch

FWIW Look at the mishebeirach on Shabbos following yekum purkan
Look at the list of donations e.g.:

   1. Ner lama'or
   2. yayin leikiddush yu'lehavdalah.
   3. pas l'Orchim
   4. utzedakkh la'aniyim

It seems clear that  tzedakkh la'aniyim [or lo'aniyim]  is a separate
All the other acts of "hessed" are not subsumed within the category of
"tzedakkah," rather tzedakkah is used NARROWLY.  Other acts are perhaps
equally worthy but the  "taxonomy" used here is NOT Tzedakkah.
Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 10
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2007 12:46:15 -0500 (EST)
[Avodah] Limited Mabul?

See RYGB's blog

He quotes Y-mi Shekalim 26a, which discusses the Mediterannian
overflowing twice. See link for quote, Hebrew never worked well on

I'm not sure that can be used to explain the mabul, though. If
anything, the reverse: The two times in the gemara are dor Enosh and
dor hapelagah. (Then the gemara discusses the spacial extent of the
flooding.) In either case, it would seem that this disqualifies a
flooding event, even of the scale of flooding from the Barbary Coast
until Ako. As that is being described as flooding less noteworthy than
THE mabul.


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Message: 11
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2007 13:16:58 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Fables and Lies

R"n Chana Luntz wrote many deep and wise ideas, such as:
> I think it is more than poeticising.  Ten is a minyan.
> ...
> By having the ten martyrs be in the presence of the others, the
> author is turning this from a statement about some very virtuous
> individuals, to a statement about the actions of the best of the
> Jewish community. With the linkage made explicitly to that other
> minyan of the 10 brothers, via the shoe reference.
> ...
> Ayleh Ezkra is an answer to this.  An argument for the nobility
> of the suffering of the Jewish community; the divine involvement
> in that suffering; the acceptance of the divine will that is
> indeed manifest (the antithesis of rejection); the linkage back,
> not to any of the timescales of Xtianity, but to the original
> first community of Jews (the sons of Ya'akov) and errors that
> they may perhaps have made, with the divine commitment and
> involvement continuous since then on a unprecedented level,
> despite such errors. That this is a discussion about community,
> not about individuals.

I wish to publicly thank R"n CL, and several other posters, for opening my eyes to many sides of this piyut which had previously escaped me. I hope to learn more, and become more aware of them, in the future.

Akiva Miller

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Message: 12
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@sibson.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2007 12:19:41 -0500
[Avodah] Introduction to Talmud

Does anyone have a syllabus for an adult ed course (4 -1 hour classes
max) for an introduction to talmud for those with limited background
(i.e FFB's, BT's who have never done any serious learning) - I assume it
would include some history and explantion of tools/processes used in the
mishna and gemara.

Joel Rich
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