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Volume 25: Number 65

Sat, 09 Feb 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "AY & CB Walters" <acwalters@bluebottle.com>
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2008 00:12:11 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Why Jewish Women should NOT wear a Burka (or

The Pele Yo'etz says that he praises the Bnei Hayishma'eilim whose wives 
totally cover up

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Message: 2
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@sibson.com>
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2008 14:47:28 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Hesped in Nisan


I can remember countless funerals that I have attended where the rabbi
begins his remarks by saying, "I know it's Nisan and we are not supposed
to be giving hespedim, but..." -- and then proceeds to give what any
person in the room would perceive as a hesped.

Michael Feldstein
Stamford, CT 

That's why I asked, it seems like a version of  nisht on shabbos geret
which is used as a matir :-(
Joel Rich
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Message: 3
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2008 22:08:29 +1100
[Avodah] atzei shittim

From: Saul.Z.Newman@kp.org
is there any makor talking about when the atzei shittim for the mishkan were
cut down?  were the trees chopped down the night of yetziah, or some years
before?  it  would seem a big job to do  in one night,

Big job?  In those heady daysme when there were nissim and niflaos going on
all around them, chopping down a few trees would've been a very tiny matter.

Anyway, Rashi seems to says that they prepared for it on Yaakov Avinu's
instructions. [26:15].

As for the briach hatichon, have a look at the Targum Yonoson 26:28 on how
that (sourced from Avrohom Avinu's eshel in Beer Sheva) got there, as well
as the miraculous way it threaded itself through the 3 sides of the mishkan.



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Message: 4
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2008 00:02:43 +1100
[Avodah] What is the difference ?

From: "Elazar M. Teitz" < >
    What is the difference between these burka-wearing women and a rosh
yeshiva who is reputed to wear 40 tallis katans? Both would seem to be
examples of halachic excess, ...

Wouldn't there be a separate mitzva for each TK being worn?


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Message: 5
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2008 01:44:17 +1100
Re: [Avodah] Shiluach Hakan

From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" < >
Moshe Shulman wrote: The view of the Ari is that one is required to do every
mitzvah and one could be m'galgil if one did not.

R' MB: Even gittin? Or only chiyuvim?
How about V'heishiv Es Hagezeilah?



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Message: 6
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2008 19:23:36 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Shiluach Haken

> Moshe Shulman
> One was that the Zohar says that performing this mitzvah is
> makarav Moshiach. He said the explanation is that when a
> Jew performs the mitzvah The Satan comes and complains to > HaShem that it is cruel. But rather then angering HaShem at > the Yidden, he is angry at the Satan and complains that for
> this bird you have mercy but for my children who are in exile
> and suffer, you have no mercy?

So maybe Satan will answer that he has no mercy for us because we are
cruel to poor little defenseless birds?

But also, this explanation of the Zohar begs the following question:
maybe it truly is that sending away the bird brings reproof onto Satan
as described. But does this make it a mitzvah to send away the bird?
Maybe the mitzvah is only to do it when you davka want the mother's
eggs, and if you don't want the eggs, then sending the mother away
brings reproof on Satan but still is not the actual mitzvah of
shiluach haken. Just because there's a good reason to send away this
particular mother bird doesn't necessarily make it shiluach haken.

And besides, even if it does bring reproof on Satan, maybe Hashem will
also reprove us for hurting a poor defenseless mother bird for no
reason. Just because Satan's reproof doesn't work, doesn't mean that
Hashem can't reprove us Himself.

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 7
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2008 19:30:55 +0200
[Avodah] Apocrypha

From [Avodah] "Borei nefashos rabbos VECHESRONAM"

I (Mikha'el Makovi) had said
>In the Apocrypha, for example, IV Ezra, quoted by Rabbi
> Leo Adler in The Biblical View of Man (Urim Publications), it
> is argued that man is doomed by Adam to sin, without
> hope of rising from sin. Different sections of Enoch argue
> that fallen angels or other extra-human means brought evil.
> Another part of Enoch swears that evil is due to man's free
> will - Rabbi Adler notes that if an oath is necessary to affirm
> this, it was apparently a hotly debated question.

R' Micha said
> PS: I deleted all the Apocrypha discussion because without
> Chazal telling me which pesuqim are in line with Yahadus,
> and which got the book excluded from Tanakh, it's not a
> source.

Are you saying that without Chazal mentioning Sefer Enoch, we can't be
sure which pesukim of it are kosher and wish aren't? Do we really need
Chazal to explicitly tell us that Enoch's original sin is unkosher? It
seems to me quite obvious that even if the book was excluded for some
other reason (even many 100% kosher books didn't make it either,
because the author was no one special, etc.), it is certain to me that
these ideas in Enoch certainly didn't help its case.

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 8
From: "AY & CB Walters" <acwalters@bluebottle.com>
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2008 21:56:19 +0200
[Avodah] Tefilin Chol Hamoed

> At 09:57 AM 2/6/2008, someone wrote:
>>Two things that I see as areas where N"S has influenced N"A;
>>Not wearing Tefillin on Chol HaMoed all together, taking the tefillin off
>>before Musaf on Rosh Chodesh.
In Satmar, Sanz, Klauzenborg et al, Bochrim do wear Tefilin Chol HaMoed. The 
Reason being (I think according to the Divrei Chaim) is that in halocho, 
there is a chiuv. Only in chassidus there is an inyan not to (due to the 
Zohar forbidding it). Since bochrim don't have shayches to chasidus, they 
have no reason to go with the Zohar against the halocho; thus bochrim do 
wear tefilin ch"m.  For the same reason, bochrim don't wear Rabeinu Tam 
tefilin either.

Klausenberger bochrim don't wear in Eretz Yisroel, though. But this is more 
due to the GRA than anything else. So it's Ashkenaz infuencing Sefard, in 
this case!

The SR zl was very makpid on bochrim to wear tefilin in EY, even when there 
was a minag ovos not like that, he would be metzaveh bochrim to wear tefilin 
even if they had a mesoro not to.

a gute voch

Avrohom Yitschok

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Message: 9
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2008 19:21:22 -0500
[Avodah] Tetzaveh "Mosheless"

This parashah is the only one in the last four books of the Torah in  
which the name of Moshe does not appear. Noting this literary  
curiosity, some commentators explain it as Moshe?s generously stepping  
aside to let the spotlight fall on his brother Aharon and his priestly  
functions.  Others point out that the traditional date of Moshe?s  
death, the 7th of Adar, always falls during the week in which Tetzaveh  
is read and his absence from the Torah reading, like his virtual  
absence from the Haggadah is seen as part of an effort to ensure that  
no cult of Moses worship would ever arise.

"And I will dwell among the People of Israel and be their God" Sh?mos  
(29:45).  Rabbi Yaakov Auerbach z"l points out that the Gematria of  
that whole pasuk is 2449, the year from Creation in which the Mishkan  
was first dedicated.

The actual phrase, Ner Tamid, which appears in our parashah for the  
first time, has come to refer to this fixture in synagogue  
architecture. Here, however, the meaning is that the lamp be lit  
regularly and does not refer to the synagogue's 'eternal light'. Light  
was the first element in Creation ? the first step in transforming  
chaos into cosmic order. Light intimates both life and the Presence of  
the Giver of all life. Psalm 104:2 describes God as "wrapped in a robe  
of light." Light has always been associated with peace. According to  
the Talmud (Shabbat 22b), the light of the menorah is testimony that  
the Divine Presence resides in the midst of Israel.?

May we all be enlightened to the truth of Torah.

?Kolel?s Parasha Study

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Message: 10
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2008 19:55:46 -0500
[Avodah] Context is Everything

The Vilna Gaon who contends that Eli, the Kohen gadol, consulted the  
Urim and Tumim regarding Hannah, and the letters "hay, reish, kof, and  
shin lit up.  Instead of
reading them correctly as "K'sheira," a worthy woman, Eli mistakenly  
read the letters in the wrong order as "Shikora," a drunken woman. So  
obviously, the Urim and Tumim
were as valid as the one interpreting them.  An important lesson of  
"Dan l'chaf z'chus"  is learned from this incident.
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Message: 11
From: "Zackary Sholem Berger" <zackarysholemberger@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2008 21:23:21 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Why Jewish Women should NOT wear a Burka

"I don't know if someone made this point already or not: Chumros of this
extreme magnitude are symptomatic of OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.


I don't think so. OCD is what jargon calls ego-dystonic: the obsessions well
up in the mind unbidden and are very unpleasant to the sufferer. I assume
many extreme chumros bring pleasure and meaning to the life of the
bal-chumra. Perhaps what is meant by RYGB is obsessive-compulsive
personality disorder, a different animal.

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Message: 12
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2008 19:39:15 -0500
Re: [Avodah] What is the difference ?

On Sun, Feb 10, 2008 at 12:02:43AM +1100, SBA wrote:
: Wouldn't there be a separate mitzva for each TK being worn?

Recall <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol09/v09n026.shtml#03> where
RSMandel cites numerous rishonim (and not small names: the Rama, the
Mordechai) who say you're not yotzei any mitzvah for the first!

In any case, when R' Scheinberg visited their school, my children came
home with the story that RPS had accidentally made a neder (or at least
omitted a "beli neder") when promising to be medayeiq in tzitzis. Each
pair is slightly different, made according to a different combination
of shitos. This way, at least one pair would stand up to any diyuq.

Gut Voch!

Micha Berger             The fittingness of your matzos [for the seder]
micha@aishdas.org        isn't complete with being careful in the laws
http://www.aishdas.org   of Passover. One must also be very careful in
Fax: (270) 514-1507      the laws of business.    - Rabbi Israel Salanter

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Message: 13
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2008 21:51:40 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Mussar

On Thu, Feb 07, 2008 at 04:07:02PM -0500, Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer wrote
about yir'as ha'onesh:
: It is Yiras Hashem to the extent that a reality check - a spiritual 
: reality check, a cognizance of "/l'ahn atah holeich/" - is Yiras Hashem. 
: I would say it is something along these lines.

The notion that yir'as ha'onesh is distinct from yir'as Shamayim is the
Ramchal's, not mine. I think it's actually closer to the knock-need man
RAEK belittles than desirable yir'ah.

But you missed a serious argument in favor of the centrality of yir'ah to
Tenu'as haMussar! The first of my "foundation stories" was RZS's words to
RYS -- "Yisrael, study mussar, so that you will become a yarei Shamayim"!

More from RDKatz via RYLevine's daily email:
> From The Mussar Movement, Volume I, part 2, page 269.

> If R. Israel held the fear of G-d to be the precondition for human
> perfection, he held Musar study to be the prerequisite for fearing
> G-d. Fear of G-d can only be induced by the study of Musar. Just as one
> can only see through his eyes and hear through his ears, so does the fear
> of G-d come through Musar16; only by prolonged Musar training, by studying
> Musar in accordance with the accepted methods, and by means of specific
> Musar exercises, can man attain steadfast fear of G-d. And if there is
> fear of G-d, there is everything. In consequence of one's fear of G-d,
> he will attain perfect faith in G-d, ethical and spiritual perfection,
> perfection in his deeds in their entire scope and compass.

Still can't explain, though, why yir'ah would only be introduced in
Tanu'as haMussar to counterbalance any false impression created by all
those stories about RYL ignoring a chumrah that would put others out.
Why in general one doesn't see yir'ah taking up more of a role than
other concepts (individual middos, other ideals, etc...) in sifrei Mussar
(other than BeIqvos haYir'ah, of course).

I need more thought on the role of yir'ah in tenu'as hamussar.

On Mon, Feb 04, 2008 at 10:13:36AM -0500, Jonathan Baker wrote:
: I've argued before that AishDas, whatever its methodology, needs to get
: away from the "mussar" self-description.  It's like a lead weight restraining
: any attempt to get off the ground.

OTOH, there is something odd about a drive to promote middos like emes
not to be up front about where it draws it goals.

: AishDas follows a methodology loosely based on the late R' Shlomo Wolbe's
: ideas about mussar, which are quite different from the old 19th-century
: heavy-handed model.  Just as the methods are different (no yelling at
: oneself for 20 minutes a day, or publicly humiliating oneself to break
: one's spirit), so too the label should be different.  The Daat-Rachamim-
: Tiferet slogan, while not terribly euphonious, does seem to indicate a
: different idea, one of Maimonidean moderation (daat mediates between chochma
: and bina, rachamim mediates between chesed and din, tiferet mediates between
: the seven lower sefirot and thus the emotions, in the Chasidic psychological
: model), rather than extreme self-abasement.

I think our model is older than RSW. See
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol10/v10n018.shtml#03> from the same
RJB. RYBS is quoted as saying that the battle against Tenu'as haMussar
ended with the switch to a focus on gadlus ha'adam; ie Slabodka.

But RJB's point is real -- by using the word "mussar" we are being heard
as saying something different than our intent. I do not know a solution
that doesn't irritate my sense of emesdik-keit.

I took Daas-Rachamim-Tif'eres in less qabbalistic terms. Dr Nathan
Birnbaum's qol qorei reads:
> These pioneers must gather to take counsel and create societal tools
> that will teach: a) How to deepen our awareness and love of Hashem; b)
> How to love our fellow human beings; c) How to pursue the modesty that
> is the glory of our G-dliness.

RYGB takes the definitions of the terms from Am Hashem pg 10 and writes
> By Da'as he meant awareness and knowledge of Hashem. He did not mean
> that one should study the evidence of G-d's existence and the like. Dr.
> Birnbaum meant that we should be intimately acquainted with Hashem. This
> intimacy would be manifest in fervor (hislahavus) in Hashem and submission
> (hachna'ah) before Him. Awareness and knowledge that do not lead to
> fervor and submission are imperfect. Submission before Hashem leads one
> to submit to others that submit to G-d's will as well, but not to those
> who do not, i.e., evildoers, scoffers and the haughty.

> By Rachamim he meant that we should cling to Hashem's middas harachamim
> and have mercy upon our fellow beings. Such rachamim must be aroused when
> one perceives either physical or spiritual anguish in another; it must
> concern itself both with remediation of extant pain and with prevention of
> potential pain; and it must address communities and individuals equally.

> By Tiferes he meant that we must consciously borrow a part of the
> ultimate glory that is Hashem's and adorn ourselves with it. The stress
> here is on "borrow" - as opposed to "acquire." We must see ourselves as
> a part of the glory that is the Creation, not as independent sources of
> splendor. The danger of the latter attitude is haughtiness and self
> centeredness. Kedushas HaTiferes requires us to identify, define and
> pursue a Torah esthetic - in our dress, our abodes, our art and our
> music - one that reflects the values of an Am Segula.

As I see it -- BALM, BALC, and BALN; a/k/a (in a different order) Torah,
Avodah, Gemillus Chasadim. Or to cite Chazal on this morning's parashah:
the mizbei'ach hazahav and keser kehunah, the shulchan and keser malkhus,
and the aron and keser Torah.

What I called a holistic approach to halakhah.

Notice that all of the above is equally applicable within an MO or DL
worldview, a yeshivish one, or chassidus.

(With the exception of extreme Briskers [whether YU or yeshivish],
who believe in the impossibility of analyzing the goal, and halakhah
alone is the path. And perhaps Breslov, who would see such an approach
as getting in the way of the goal of a natural experience, and the only
path is asking Hashem to perfect me.)

Gut Voch!

Micha Berger             "The most prevalent illness of our generation is
micha@aishdas.org        excessive anxiety....  Emunah decreases anxiety:
http://www.aishdas.org   'The Almighty is my source of salvation;  I will
Fax: (270) 514-1507      trust and not be afraid.'" (Isa 12) -Shalhevesya


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