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Volume 25: Number 76

Mon, 18 Feb 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Moshe Feldman" <moshe.feldman@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2008 12:04:42 +0200
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Zayin adar

On Feb 15, 2008 6:54 PM, Michael Feldstein <mike38ct@aol.com> wrote on Areivim:
>  Quick question for the Areivim chevra...when there are two Adar months,
> when do people mark Zayin Adar and honor Chevra members?  Adar Rishon or
> Sheini?

Rav Shlomo Levy (RK of Yeshivat Har Etzion) says that it depends on
the question: when there is a leap year, is Adar I considered an extra
month and the real Adar is Adar II, or is Adar II the extra month
(kind of like pre-Nissan).  This depends on how one understands Mishna
Megillah 1:4 "ein bain adar rishon l'adar sheini ela kriyas
ha'megillah u'matanos la'evyonim"--does this mean that one could
fulfill seudas purim on Adar I?

Kol tuv,

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Message: 2
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2008 03:43:47 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Tetzaveh "Be Careful What You Wish For"

cantorwolberg@cox.net wrote:
> It seems strange to me that for someone who was considered to be
> the most humble Biblical character of all time, had the chutzpah to 
> say to the Almighty: "If you don't forgive them, then count me out." It
> sounds like a threat. 
There were many times that Moshe asserted his independence

*Berachos**[i]* <#_edn1>*(31b)*: *Moshe* also spoke insolently towards 
Heaven when he prayed (Bamidbar 11:2). The school of R? Yannai said that 
Moshe (Devarim 1:1) had shown chutzpah when he said that the silver and 
gold which had been showered on the Jews caused them to make the Golden 
Calf? R? Oshaiya said: It is comparable to the case of a man who had a 
malnourished cow. When he gave it special food to fatten it up and it 
then it started kicking. Obviously it was the special food that had 
caused the rebelling? Eventually G?d admitted that Moshe was right?

*Bamidbar Rabbah[1] <#_ftn1>(18:12): Moshe said: This is the way you can 
know that G?d has sent me?If these men die a natural death.. then G?d 
has not sent me (Bamidbar 16:29). *This verse can be understood with a 
parable. The wedding assistant to the king?s daughter had evidence that 
the bride was a virgin. One of the wedding guests stood up and cursed 
the assistant and said the king?s daughter was not a virgin. The 
assistant went to the king and told him: If you don?t take care of this 
insult against you and have this man executed publicly?then I will also 
say [believe] that it is definite that the king?s daughter was not a 
virgin. The king then decided that is would better to execute the 
accuser than that the assistant should slander his daughter. Korach 
challenged Moshe and said that Moshe made up all the things that he had 
said. Moshe then said to G?d: If these people die a natural death?then I 
will also become a heretic and say that G?d has not sent me and that I 
made up everything myself. There were three prophets who spoke in this 
manner?Eliyahu, Micha, and Moshe. Eliyahu said ?Answer me G?d answer me 
so that the people will know that You are G?d and if You don?t answer me 
then I will say that You are the one that corrupted them. Micha said to 
Achab: If you return in peace even I will say that I am a false prophet.

*Pnei Moshe[i] <#_edn1>(Yerushalmi Sanhedrin 50a):* *Three denied their 
prophecies*. In other words they said they would deny their prophecies 
in order to clean and remove evil thoughts from the hearts of the people 
and encourage them to adopt proper belief in G?d instead.

*Sanhedrin**[i]* <#_edn1>*(111a): *R? Eleazar said: I once visited 
Alexandria in Egypt and an old man told me that he wanted to show me 
what his ancestors did to my ancestors.* *Some were drowned in the sea 
while others were killed with the sword and others were crushed in the 
buildings. This terrible suffering led to Moshe being punished. Moshe 
said ?Since I came to speak to Pharaoh in Your name he has done evil to 
the Jews and they haven?t been saved.? G?d replied ?Woe is it for those 
who are gone are no longer. Many times I revealed Myself on a lower 
level to Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov and yet they did not question my 
actions as you have. You will be punished by seeing what happens to 
Pharaoh but not the conquest of Israel.?

*Devarim Rabbah[1] <#_ftn1>**(5:13): *What does it mean ?and destroy 
them?? G?d said to Moshe, ?I will cause you to inherit them and will 
cause others to be descended from you.? Where do we see this? The Torah 
says in Shemos (32:10)[Bamidbar 14:12], ?I will make you into a great 
nation.? When Moshe heard this he began to pray for mercy for them. What 
did he say? He said, ?G?d, You are seen face to face [lit. eye to eye].? 
What does ?face to face? mean? Reish Lakish explained that Moshe said, 
?G?d, the Attribute of Justice is on evenly balanced scales.  You say 
that You will smite them with plague and I say that You should forgive 
them [Bamidbar 14:19]. The matter is thus evenly balanced and we will 
see who is victorious ? You G?d or I.? R? Berekya explained that G?d 
replied to him, ?By your life you have nullified My will and your view 
prevails.? How do we know this? Because it says in Bamidbar(14:20), ?I 
have pardoned according to your word.? This is an example of ?And you 
shall decree something and it will be established for you? (Job 22:28).

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Message: 3
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2008 12:36:08 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Kabbalah's Legitimacy

> > I don't know why no one else responded to you, but I
> > would find it difficult to reply to someone who states "*I*
> > disagree" with the Rambam, RSRH et al.

Of course, who I am to disagree with either one. Rav Hirsch on the
issue of astrology and magic and such, asks who is giant enough to
presume to decide between Rambam and Ramban whether these are shtiot
or are real. (As an aside, he says either way, there's no difference,
because it's assur to do.)

I recall an earlier thread on this topic, I forget where, about
whether a person should choose a shita or just know what's out there.

A rabbi of mine gave a mini-shiur on this, in which he said that on
the one hand, Torah is something to be lived, not merely theoretically
known. So it isn't enough to simply know the shitot out there; in the
end of the day, you have to hold by *something*.

On the other hand, who are we to do this?!

My rabbi seemed to imply a  50-50 split to these two aspects. In all
deference to this rabbi of mine, I'm going to have to disagree, and
make it something like 75-25. For I would say, learn the available
shitot as best you can, and don't give short shrift to any one of
them, and once that's done, choose a personal shita for yourself. For
I would put especial emphasis on the aspect that one cannot live
without some personal shita; at least for myself, I cannot live this
way without in the end being able to confidently say what I live by.

So b'vadai I need to learn the available shitot, and not give any of
them short shrift. And I need to be aware of how little I know, so
that I'll have an open mind and not be too arrogant or stubborn in my
positions. But in the end, I need to hold by something.

I think I also have Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Glasner's and Rabbi Berkovits's
audacity. Both of them were extremely provocative, and didn't hesitate
to disagree with everyone else, in harsh terms even. Elsewhere on
Avodah, it was noted that Rabbi Berkovits made a particularly harsh
statement regarding Rabbi Moshe Feinstein's gadlut. Now, what I lack
of course, is RMSG and REBs' Torah knowledge, which of course is
liable to make my audacity and brazeness rather misplaced. This is a
kashya ;)

>  While I find it difficult to reply to one who 'disagrees' with
> the Ari ZT'L.
> Moshe Shulman

1) The whole point of this thread of mine is to explore how out of the
norm I am for saying this. So you're begging the question. I know I'm
out of the norm; the question is, does anyone else legitimate possibly
corroborate me? (I know that Rabbi Kanievsky pronounced apikorsut on
the elder Rabbi Kapach who founded the Dor Daim, so perhaps my
appealing to the Dor Daim for support is not so helpful for me.)
2) Rabbi Danziger, according to R' Eidensohn in the Avodah post linked
above, says Rav Hirsch rejected post-Geonic Kabbalah, which certainly
includes the Ari (presumably, he considered the Zohar Tannaitic). So
apparently, if I reject the Ari, I'm merely following Rav Hirsch l'fi
Rabbi Danziger.

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 4
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2008 08:47:44 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] Hot Cheese for Shabbat Lunch

RZS writes of a Dutch family making a Milchig seder.

On the one hand, there's the famous story of the Beis Halevi and the
man who asked if he could use milk for the Arba Kosos:


On the other hand, the Gemara in Pesachim, talking about food for the
Seder, orders that one have "two cooked foods", and their first 
suggestion is "beets and rice".  After some discussion, they settle
on "shankbone and egg" for the known symbolic reasons; but it seems
fairly clear that they were thinking beets and rice to be the seuda.

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

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Message: 5
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2008 10:57:32 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] Hot Cheese for Shabbat Lunch

As for those posters (and poskim) who maintain that "ein simcha ela bebasar",
the Gemara seems to disagree.  Thanks to Hebrew Wikipedia, on "ein simcha
ela b'basar vayayin", the source is in Pesachim 109a:

  as it says, "Vesamachta bechageicha", with what do we rejoice?  Wine.
  Rebbi Yehuda says, men with what is fitting for them, women with what is
  fitting for them.  Men with what is fitting for them, i.e. wine, and
  women with what?  Rav Yosef repeats [a braisa]: In Bavel - with colored
  clothes, in EY - with linen clothes.  A Braisa [Tanya]: Rebbi Yehuda
  ben Beteira says: When the Holy Temple is standing, one rejoices only
  with meat, as it says "you shall slaughter shelamim and eat there and
  rejoice before Hashem your God," and now that the Temple is not standing,
  one rejoices only with wine, as it says "Wine causes the heart of man to

The Chayei Adam brings down the whole thing, "ein simcha ela bebasar 

But if the Gemara says that the whole inyan of simcha today is Wine, how
is it that so many people today are mekadesh on grape juice?  How can they
fulfill the inyan of simcha with grape juice?  Even leaving aside the big
postwar chiddush that it works for Hagafen - it surely isn't wine for simchas
yom tov purposes.  Absent, of course, sh'as had'chak and health reasons.

        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: "Saul Guberman" <saulguberman@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2008 10:20:32 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Zayin Adar

> Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2008 11:54:13 -0500
> From: Michael Feldstein <mike38ct@aol.com>
> Quick question for the Areivim chevra...when there are two Adar months,
> when do people mark Zayin Adar and honor Chevra members?? Adar Rishon or
> Sheini?
> According to the Mishnah Berurah 100.15, it should be celebrated in Adar
I.  Of course there are opinions that it should be Adar II.   See the link
below for detailed discussion (more than you ever wanted to know) of Moshe's
birth & death date calculation.  This also effects celebrating Adar
yahrzeits in general.


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Message: 7
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2008 10:40:35 -0500
[Avodah] Tetzaveh "Be Careful What You Wish For"

Regarding the pasuk where Moshe tells HaShem "And now if You would  
forgive their sin -- but if not, erase my name from Your book that You  
have written," and my comment: It seems strange to me that for someone  
who was considered to be the most humble Biblical character of all  
time, had the chutzpah to say to the Almighty: "If you don't forgive  
them, then count me out." It sounds like a threat.

Two postings were quite defensive about my use of the word "chutzpah."  
It's funny how the same people had no problem in describing the  
chutzpah of Miriam toward her parents (with chazal justification, I  
know). The objections raised to the term chutzpah is lovely d'rash,  
but it's not p'sak.

One response was:
So Moshe is telling Hashem, "If you wipe them out, I have no more  
reason to exist, and I won't want to exist!"

The other was:
"Ribono shel olam, I don't want that honor and that glory.  I just   
want you
to please forgive your children.  Please, don't wipe them out --  wipe  
me out
instead.  Please, I don't want the glory and the honor, I don't  want  
to be in
Your book -- if my people -- YOUR people -- are going to be  destroyed."

The creativity of the above is wonderful, but it's not was the pasuk  
says. Simply put, who is any man to give God an ultimatum. Pshat is  
very clear. If Moshe meant what the above people claim,
then he could easily have been diplomatic and stated it by saying  
either: "I have no more reason to exist" or "I don't want that honor  
and that glory" or a million other things. The p'shat is clear.
It was not only an implied threat, it was a real threat. If you follow  
the very next 2 psukim, it says: "HaShem said to Moshe, Whoever has  
sinned against Me, I shall erase from My book. Now, go
and lead the people to where I have told you. Behold! My angel shall  
go before you, and on the day that I make My account, I shall bring  
their sin to account against them."  So God is going to
do what God wants and He doesn't need anyone to threaten Him. In fact  
there have been commentaries saying that because of what Moshe said to  
HaShem regarding the threat is the reason
his name was erased from the entire Tetzaveh sidra.


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Message: 8
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@sibson.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2008 16:00:59 -0500
[Avodah] Aveilut-kabbalat shabbat

I'm not sure I understand why an avel would not say kabbalat shabbat
byachid  (what part of aveilut is contradicted by kabbalat shabbat)

In any event, given that many shuls daven mincha late on Friday so that
they are finishing mincha close to shkia, iiuc everyone is supposed to
be mkabell shabbat before continuing.  If so, why would the avel stay
out until after lcha dodi as everyone has already been mkabel shaabat
and his late entry seems a aveilut bfarhesia?

Joel Rich
distribution or copying of this message by anyone other than the addressee is 
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Message: 9
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2008 16:50:59 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Zayin Adar

Saul Guberman wrote:
> See the 
> link below for detailed discussion (more than you ever wanted to know) 
> of Moshe's birth & death date calculation.  This also effects 
> celebrating Adar yahrzeits in general.
> http://www.biu.ac.il/JH/Parasha/eng/tetzaveh/mrz.htm

From that link:
    but regarding those who say on the twenty-first of Nisan, it is
    not clear, yet this is not an insurmountable problem, since that
    year was a leap year, and the greater part of the first month [Adar],
    plus the greater part of the last month [Sivan] and the entire
    month in between [Nisan] could be counted as totaling three months.

This is obviously a mistake, and should read: "the first month [Adar I],
plus the greater part of the last month [Nisan] and the entire month in
between [Adar II]".


Also from that link:
    Tradition has it that Moses was born in the year 2,369, counting
    from Creation.  If we extrapolate the fixed Jewish calendar back
    to the time of Moses, assuming the same calendar were in use then,
    we arrive at the fact that 2,369 was not a leap year [1].  The
    year in which Moses died, however, was 2,489, which by similar
    computations  [2] comes out to have been a leap year.   Therefore,
    according to the sources which we have cited, we can conclude
    that Moses died in Adar II.

The *traditional numbers* are not 2369 and 2489 but 2368 and 2488.
But those numbers are from the Seder Olam, which used a different
calendar than we do.  The question is how far off it was from ours.
The author of this piece assumes it was only one year off, and thus
comes up with the above cheshbon, seeming to disprove the opinion in
the medrash that Moshe was put in the River on Shevi'i Shel Pesach,
as well as to raise the question of in which Adar he passed away.

But it seems to me that the Seder Olam's calendar is in fact *two*
years behind ours.  We use a 1-origin calendar that starts nearly a
year before creation; the world was created on 25 Elul 1, and Adam
was created on 1 Tishri 2.  But the Seder Olam seems to use a
0-origin calendar that starts from Adam's creation.  In the SO's
calendar, Adam was created on 1 Tishri 0, and had he been alive at
Yetziat Mitzrayim he'd have been 2450 years old.  Therefore on our
calendar Moshe Rabbenu was born in 2370, which was a leap year,
and died in 2490, which wasn't.

(This assumes the anachronism of projecting our 19-year leap-year
cycle backwards, but since there was no kiddush hachodesh when Moshe
was born, that is the only way to get any sort of calendar.  For the
year of his death, when there was kiddush hachodesh, we must still
project our system backwards, but with caution; however, since the
non-tekufah reasons for declaring leap-years would have been irrelevant
in the midbar, ISTM that it's valid to assume the 19-year-cycle was
adhered to, unless there's evidence otherwise.)


More from that link:
    This view is more in line with our standard Jewish calendar,
    according to which the seventh of Adar never falls on the Sabbath,
    neither in a regular year, nor in Adar I or Adar II in a leap year.   

I don't see how this is relevant, since this is only so because we
deliberately manipulate the calendar, by means of the ADU dechiyah,
to make it so, and because our entire year depends on the keviut of
Tishri.  I see no reason to assume the ADU dechiya was used in the
midbar, and in any case its effect would have been completely gone
by Adar.  There is no calendar-related reason to assume 7 Adar that
year *couldn't* have been on a Shabbos; the reasons are those given,
that Moshe seems to have written on the day of his death, so it must
not have been Shabbos.

OTOH, calculating the molad of Adar 2490 by our current method
yields 4:23:01:16, which should give us Rosh Chodesh on Thursday,
and make the 7th a Wednesday.  Even adding a month for an out-of-
cycle leap-year yields a molad of 6:11:45:17, which should give us
a Friday Rosh Chodesh, and put the 7th on a Thursday.  But if we
go back a year to 2489, the molad of Adar II is 7:14:13:4.  By our
current rules, we would call this a Molad Zaken and declare Rosh
Chodesh on Sunday, which would put the 7th on Shabbos; but given
how early in the afternoon it is, it might not have been unreasonable
for Moshe Rabbenu's beth din to have declared Rosh Chodesh on Shabbos,
putting the 7th the next Friday.  This would explain the machlokes.
While for many reasons I still believe that the difference between
the SO's calendar and ours is 2 years, this would indicate that the
people who argued whether Moshe died on a Friday or a Shabbos assumed
the difference is only one year.

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: 10
From: "Esther and Aryeh Frimer" <frimera@zahav.net.il>
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2008 09:06:48 +0200
[Avodah] Shitat haRav JB Soloveitchik on Women Making Kiddush

[Delayed due to technical problems. -mi]

In note 12 of R. Michael Broyde's article "Further on women as prayer
leaders..." Judaism, Fall, 1993 , he writes:
    "Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik recounted, in a response to a halakhah
    l'ma'aseh question, in a public lecture at Yeshiva University on
    November 6, 1984, that a woman can -- without any hesitation --
    recite kiddush even for a large group of people (men and women)
    in any circumstance, and that this was completely permissible,
    (mutar le'hathila) since no minyan/quorum is required for this act and
    therefore the group is not considered a zibbur that need be concerned
    with its honor. For a contrary opinion see Mishnah Berurah 271:4;
    however, the position of Rabbi Soloveitchik it implicitly endorsed
    by Rabbi Neuwirth writing in Shemirat Shabbat Kehilkhata 47:6,
    who does not quote the limitation of Mishnah Berurah."

[We note parenthetically that R. Broyde seems to have erred on this point
since Rabbi Neuwirth does cite the Mishna Berura elsewhere in Shemirat
Shabbat Kehilkhata 51:9, note 24]

Rabbi Chaim (Howard) Jachter also cites the Rov to this effect
independently in his insightful comments (44.20 minutes into tape)
at http://www.etzchaimkgh.org/audio/sperber_debate.ram.

Has anyone seen the shita of the Rov cited anywhere else, or any halakhic
discussion regarding Women Making Kiddush for Community?

        Kol Tuv
        Aryeh Frimer (from home)

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Message: 11
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2008 22:21:03 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Shitat haRav JB Soloveitchik on Women Making

> Has anyone seen the shita of the Rov cited anywhere else, or any halakhic
> discussion regarding Women Making Kiddush for Community?
>         Kol Tuv
>         Aryeh Frimer (from home)

I don't know about for a tzibur, but my rav (who isn't anyone special
AFAIK) at yeshiva (Machon Meir; he also teaches at Nishmat)
approvingly told a story of a family of Ethiopian olim, whose daughter
(fluent in Hebrew) said Kiddush for her father and mother.

Mikha'el Makovi


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