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Volume 24: Number 98

Mon, 17 Dec 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 12:32:19 GMT
Re: [Avodah] All transgressions are sins?

(Caveat: RDE wrote, "There are a number of authorities who claim that the Rambam holds that there is no Torah obligation to do teshuva." Yes, I concede that such interpretations exist. It is obvious that this entire thread is going aliba the *other* authorities, who says that there are at least some cases where there *is* an obligation to do teshuva. This thread is trying to define the border between acts which require teshuva and acts which do not require teshuva.)

R' Daniel Eidensohn wrote:
> Furthermore we are dealing with rather circular reasoning.
> Since it obviously causes a blemish when transgressing
> G-d's word it requires teshuva. Where does it say that every
> transgression causes spiritual blemish and where does it say
> that every transgression requires teshuva?

It seems to me when one is stuck in "circular reasoning", that is precisely whe defining one's terms becomes most critical. In the current case, we need to ask about three ideas:
1 - blemish
2 - transgressing G-d's word
3 - requires teshuva

What do these ideas mean? To what extent to they overlap? Are they identical, or are there cases which fit one but not another?

I do not recall ever hearing of an act which was a sin but did not require teshuva. But I *do* seem to recall hearing of cases which do not require *kapara*. If someone can give us examples of that, perhaps it will help here.

> It is either obvious that one must do teshuva or that teshuva
> is optional. I am going one step beyond that by asking whether
> sometimes teshuva is not needed for a transgression because
> not every transgression is a sin. To repeat my question. Where
> is it stated that every transgression is a sin that causes
> spiritual damage which requires repentance?

Again we need to define terms, and consider to what extent the definitions overlap. There seems to be a presumption that "transgression" is a broad category, which certainly contains all those acts which do require teshuva, and might also contain certain acts which do not require teshuva.

Yet, we do find examples of acts which do not meet the technical criteria for "sin", but DO require teshuva nevertheless. One such case was David Hamelech and Bas Sheva. If "sin" is defined as actions which violate Halacha, then this was a wierd case which requires teshuva even though it was not a "sin". But if "sin" is defined as actions which are "wrong", i.e. which G-d expects a person to avoid regardless of technicalities, then David was a simple case of a sin which does require teshuva.

What I'm trying to say is that if we have cases of acts which are *not* transgressions, and yet *do* require teshuva, then I doubt we'll find any examples of acts which *are* transgressions and yet *don't* require teshuva.

But I do admit that lo ra'inu aino raaya -- just because I can't find an example, that doesn't prove my case.

But I still maintain that the solution to the question (if there is one) can be found ONLY by carefully defining the terms. If we fail to define the terms adequately, then any proposed solution will be easily shot down by saying "That's not what I meant." But if we do work on defining our terms, aiming at a better definition of "transgression" or "sin", and at a better rule of "when is teshuva required", then the hope is that we'll be able to come up with a category of "transgressions which require teshuva", and a category of "transgressions which do not require teshuva".

Akiva Miller
Click here for the latest rates on money market accounts!

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Message: 2
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 22:37:50 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Women Lighting Menorahs

On Dec 14, 2007 2:17 PM, Steven J Scher <sjscher@eiu.edu> wrote:

> R'AM
> > My personal practice is that in most cases, I light, but my wife does
> not,
> > and both my sons and daughter light. This follows Mishne Brura 671:9,
> > that because of "ishto k'gufo" (that husband and wife are two halves of
> > a whole), one of them can light and still be following the "each person"
> > rule. It seems to me, though, that my unmarried daughter is unable to
> > rely on this concept until she gets married, and so she must light for
> > herself in order to follow the "each person" rule.
> I saw this MB too, but don't really understand it.  Is there any other
> case where the halacha or minhag is for everyone to do something, but we
> rely on ishto k'gufo to fulfill it?

Not a direct answer but:
At least with hadlakas neiros [both for Hanukkah and for Shabbos] the wife
can do it for the husband EVEN when the husband is away from thee house!
Obviously this would not work with mitzvos hateluyos beguf.  Maybe this is a
case of a mitzvas hateluya babbayis EVEN for theAshknezice mehadrin min

see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 3
From: Michael Poppers <MPoppers@kayescholer.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 22:58:22 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Fables and Lies

In Avodah Digest V24#96, RSHM replied to R'Micha:
> Rav Amnon Bazak, in Nekudat Pticha, short essays on all the parshiot of
the Torah, also sees t'shuva as a central theme in the story of Yosef and
his brothers. <
And RJSacks (I don't recall if R'Micha mentioned him or RJSac_h_s in the
msg to which RSHM responded) expands upon this idea in this year's
"Covenant and Conversation" for P'Vayigash. I very much enjoyed the overall
methodology, but I have two Qs:
-1- As R'Sacks notes, this way of explaining the sequence of events as they
are described in the Torah doesn't take B'reishis 42:9 as meaning that
Yoseif "was acting so as to fulfill his childhood dreams" -- OK, but then
l'shitaso what _was_ the point of that pasuq's phraseology?
-2- R'Sacks also states that there can be only one explanation for
B'reishis 43:34, namely, that Yoseif "is trying to make [his brothers]
jealous of their youngest brother" so as to replicate, to the degree
possible, "the circumstances of their original crime" and give them the
chance to either repeat their offence or, OTOH, demonstrate the "t'shuvah
g'murah" of RaMBaM Hilchos T'shuvah 2 -- so l'shitaso how does one explain
the favoritism of B'reishis 45:22, which occurs after the brothers
demonstrated that "t'shuvah g'murah" component?  Thanks.

Gut Voch/Shavua Tov and all the best from
--Michael Poppers via RIM pager
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Message: 4
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 22:59:24 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Tefillin on Rosh Chodesh

On Dec 11, 2007 11:48 AM, David Riceman <driceman@att.net> wrote:

> Moshe Y. Gluck wrote:
> > Do we have any idea how fast this Minhag spread? Maybe it took a long
> > time.
> > Besides, there are many Minhagim, I believe, based on the Zohar which
> people
> > found out about, somehow, sometime.
> But it's not a minhag, it's a halacha.  If one may wear tefillin on Hol
> HaMoed then one must.
> David Riceman

The Zohar says one MAY NOT wear Tefilin on Hol Hamo'ed

However see the Ikkar Tos. YT at the end of mo'ed katan fora a completely
non-kabbalistic argument for not wearing Tefilin on Hol Hamo'ed.

See Dr. Ya'akov Katz's sefer on halachah and Kabablah

See Menachem Elon's work on Halachah. There are MANY types of minhaggim. !
kind of minhag is the minhag to follow 1 poseik over another.  [e.g. it is
the Ashknezic MINHAG to follow pskim who require tefilin on Hulo shel mo'ed,
or it is the Ashknezic Minhag to follow the poskim who require salting meat
for a full hour except behsa'as hadechak]

See Kaf hachayyim on Brachos that are questionable 'sfeik brachos l'hakeil.
He specifically states that saying an extra bracha basesd upon one's minhag
[e.g. minhag ashkenaz to say 2 brachos on Tefillin, or a bracha on Hallel
for Rosh Hodesh etc.] does NOT constitute a case of s'feik brachos lehakeil
In this sense Minhag means one's shita or one's community's shita.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 5
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 08:04:40 -0500 (EST)
[Avodah] Former Synagogue

From: RallisW@aol.com
> How does halochoh view a former synagogue, either now lying abandoned or  
> C"Sh turned into a church or a mosque? Does one tear kriyoh upon seeing it, as  
> with seeing the mokom hamikdosh? (I would guess probably not.) Is there any  
> distinction between a former Orthodox shul or a  Conservative/Reform? Do they 
> still retain some of their former kedushoh? 

Isn't this all dealt with in the Gemara in Megillah?

The Makom haMikdash is special in that it always retains its kedushah.
That's why the Zerubavel crowd were able to offer korbanot after marking
off the positions of the heichal and the altar, even without rebuilding
them completely.  So we tear kria on it.

But a shul can be sold by the Shiva Tuvei haIr (essentially, the shul
board today), and loses its kedushah.  If it's just abandoned, I think
it would retain its kedushah, but if sold, boom.  Although, it's really
nice when a shul buys back a building that had once been a shul.  My
old shul in Park Slope did that - the building had been a Conservative
shul from construction in 1913 to sale in 1965, then an American Legion
hall until 1996, and now an Orthodox shul again, slowly being renovated.

Similarly, Cong. Or Zarua on the Upper East Side (C) bought a building 
that had been the original synagogue of Cong.  Kehillath Jeshurun (O)
until sometime around 1900, used by other congregations for 50 years,
then sold as a church in 1951, and then bought again as COZ about 15-20
years ago.  After some years, OZ knocked it down and built a larger

See http://tinyurl.com/2vdnbt
and http://tinyurl.com/2mod3d

        name: jon baker              web: http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker
     address: jjbaker@panix.com     blog: http://thanbook.blogspot.com

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Message: 6
From: "Gilad Field" <gilad73@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 15:56:37 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Women Lighting Menorahs

> >I saw this MB too, but don't really understand it.  Is there any other
> >case where the halacha or minhag is for everyone to do something, but we
> >rely on ishto k'gufo to fulfill it?

havent't been following this discussion so far - sorry if i'm repeating old
but, ner chanukah is a chovas ha-bayis (ner ish u'beiso) other mitzvos that
are a chovas ha-guf we wouldn't rely on the klal ishto k'gufo.

(parenthetically, the brisker rov has an interesting discussion regarding
the relationship between the ikar mitzvah and and hidur mitzvah in his
chidushim on the rambam - where he discusses the machlokes rambam/rema
regarding who should light the extra candles (bnei ha-bayis/ baal ha-bayis)
and bris milah).
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Message: 7
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@sibson.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 09:08:10 -0500
Re: [Avodah] All transgressions are sins?


1.	Is the parking ticket a FEE for parking and you MAY lechatchila
park illegally so long as you are willing to pay 
2.	OR is it a fine for bad/moralunethical/anti-social behavior and
it is not OK to do so unless under duress? 

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
is one nafka mina whether it is forbidden under the broad interpretation
of dina dmalchuta?
Joel  Rich
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Message: 8
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 16:41:04 +0100
Re: [Avodah] All transgressions are sins?

RDE wrote:
> To repeat my question. Where is it stated that every transgression is a
> sin that causes spiritual damage which requires repentance?

Since the thread started IIRC with the question of whether teshuvah would be 
called for when, for example, destroying someone else's property with 
permission, I would like to suggest a different analytical angle. Just 
ignoring bal tash'hit, which isn't the issue we were discussing, there is a 
question as to whether there is a prohibition of being a maziq. IIRC, some 
a'haronim (RSSkopf?) suggest that it grows out of gezeilah. Now that is a 
known quantity. We may discuss of whether something is gezeilah, or not.

For instance, if nizaq permits maziq to cause damage on condition of paying, 
there is no gezeilah, but rather a kind of services rendered, as gezeilah 
involves, by definition, the lack of permission. The interesting question, 
though, is how the agreement comes about. If there is no prior qinyan to 
agree on the terms, is the maziq required to pay like a maziq does, 
considering that he isn't really a maziq; after all, he is acting with 

However, if the nizaq knows of the maziq's intentions, but, while passively 
agreeing, really doesn't agree but sees no way out, then the hezeq is a form 
of 'hamas (talyuhu vezavin).

I think that we will quite obviously know which case requires repentance.

This kind of analysis can be performed in many other situations, allowing us 
to identify cases where a sin was committed, and others where none [that is 
under our consideration] was.

In short, I believe it quite obvious that every transgression requires 
repentance, but not everything that the Torah requires payment for is indeed 
a transgression, or rather, the categories the Torah mentions aren't 
necessarily all-inclusive.

Arie Folger

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Message: 9
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 20:45:20 -0500
[Avodah] Removable Tattoos

In tandem with the ongoing Areivim discussion of body modification and
piercing, I was wondering about the Halachic status of a new method of
tattooing. Basically, the ink as inserted under the skin is sealed in
translucent polymer beads. The colors show through the beads, effecting the
tattoo appearance. When exposed to certain (laser) wavelengths of light, the
polymer casing disintegrates, and the ink - which by itself is not permanent
- is absorbed by the body. The website is
So, here we have ink which is nonpermanent, and when encased in the polymer
- which is colorless - has a permanent effect, yet is intended to be
nonpermanent and easily removed. What sayeth the Chevrah?


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Message: 10
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 23:27:27 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Yekum Purkan

On Dec 13, 2007 11:50 AM, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:

> In any case, this would seem to prove RRW's first point, that Yequm
> Purqan is Israeli.

Disclaimer I never said that Yekum Purkan was from Israel. I only stated
that Israel used aramaic, too. Au Contraire Reish Galvasa refers to
Babylonians. I am not sure wher the confusion is. I clearly pointed it to
being Babyylonian

> Which would make it contrary to Agus's theory

Agus Theory or hypothesis is not subject ot yekum purkan.  Agus cannto be
dproven or disp[oven scientifically, All I can say is that countless books
on litrugy prety much say the same thing.   Cairo Geniza fragments have
served to show the accurcay of his findings.

But it is really simple. any school child has learned that the American
ideals were founded upon Rousseu. Montesquieu, Voltaire, etc.  The same
demonstration is obvious for Ashkneaz. Ashknaz latched onto Kallir - a
Judean, and to Meshullan be Kalonymous of Lucca Italy and his family.
Sephardic eshew the piyyutim of both Kallir and the kalonymos family for the
most part.  You need no scientific proof beyond that

> about Ashkenazi practice
> showing more heritage of Israeli mesorah. Not a counter-proof, as I
> still stand by the other part of that post (pending review) that
> Agus's theory is simply unfalsifiable and therefore unscientific.
> >
> > (Whether or not the theory is in line with actual migration patterns
> > as already known in more solid ways, and thus true anyway.)
> >
> > SheTir'u baTov!
> > -micha
> > --
> > Micha Berger
the pattern is demonstrable.  Ashkenazim use Kallir Sephardim don't.
Dozens;' of clues are in Geniza fragments.  See works on  liturgy such as:
Ta Shma
Max  Arzt

The Ba'al Hamaor reports that the Talmidim of the Rif altered the Minhag of
Israel away from the earlier practices. Those earlier practices conform to
Kallir.  Rif is both Sephardic and Babylonic for the most part.

But the truth be told, this is not a black and white issue.  E.G. Rashi
seems convinced that his Mesorah is from Bavel over Israel.  E.G. Rashi
opposed a bracha on Hallel on Rosh Chodesh [mahzor Vitri] which matches the
Bablyonian/Sephardic tradition, -while Rabbeinu Tam supports this bracha.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/

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Message: 11
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 23:41:17 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Having a boyfriend equivalent to being married?

I just want to weigh in quickly.

I must agree with Zev Sero on this thread.  Despite being a Talmid of RYBS
these hazzakoss are simply not true for us anymore since the "S" revolution
of the 1960's.

I cannot think of a bigger nishtanu hatevvi'im than the entire issue of
male/female relations, etc. during the later half of the 20th century

To be fair to RYBS, one could say that the last 50 years is a tremendous
aberration regarding these matters. I would agree  But metzius must trump

Also one can say that thre are still "old-fashioned" types of women that
would still be in the category of tav lemeisiv.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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