Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 164

Sat, 03 May 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: David Riceman <driceman@att.net>
Date: Fri, 02 May 2008 12:44:03 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Who is the father redux - from R' Aviner

Who are you citing?

David Riceman

Rich, Joel wrote:
> _A widow becoming impregnated by her deceased husband_
> Q: Is it permissible for a widow to become impregnated by the frozen 
> sperm of her deceased husband?
> A: It is forbidden to perform such an act from a deceased man.  First 
> of all, a deceased man is not obligated in the mitzvah to be fruitful 
> and multiply.  A deceased man is not obligated in the mitzvot at all.  
> He is free.  Secondly, it is forbidden to cause a child (or anyone for 
> that matter) sorrow.  The Torah says over and over: an orphan is 
> unfortunate, an orphan is unfortunate.  But sometimes there is an 
> orphan and we have mercy on him.  Here, however, we create a child 
> orphaned from his father with our own hands!  And he is even worse 
> than an orphan, because an orphan had a father and he died, but here 
> the man died and only then did he become an orphan.  We must explain 
> to the child that he never had a father.  We understand that the 
> mother is suffering from loneliness and she would be happy if she had 
> a baby, but we do not save her from loneliness by causing a child to 
> suffer his entire life.  
> *KT
> Joel Rich*
> distribution or copying of this message by anyone other than the addressee is 
> strictly prohibited.  If you received this message in error, please notify us 
> immediately by replying: "Received in error" and delete the message.  
> Thank you.
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Message: 2
From: bdcohen@optimum.net
Date: Fri, 02 May 2008 16:44:13 +0000 (GMT)
[Avodah] Kaddish

Cantor Wolberg wrote:
"I recall in the Agudas Achim in Hartford (R' R. Wolpe knows it very  
well) for daily shacharis,
there would be 4 people involved. First: beginning until Boruch  
sheomar; Second: Boruch Sheomar
until Yishtabach; third: Yishtabach until second ashrei; fourth:  
Ashrei until end.

Most would want the "third" one, but at least 4 were satisfied."

Agudas Achim in (West) Hartford davens nusuch sfard, so Boruch Sheamar comes later, so #1 gets a bigger portion. Does that make a difference?
David I. Cohen
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Message: 3
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Levine@stevens.edu>
Date: Fri, 02 May 2008 14:25:25 -0400
[Avodah] Tzadakah

As often happens here in glorious Flatbush on a 
Friday afternoon, the bell just rang. When I 
asked, "Who is there?" the reply was, as usual, "Tzadakah."

I went to the door and gave the fellow standing 
there a dollar.  This is what I normally do, 
given that there so many collectors appear at our door.

In shul I and others davening with me are 
approached daily by collectors. Indeed, there are 
some who apparently have a route, and therefore 
they come at regularly on certain days. If I 
daven at another shul on a different day, I often 
see the same collector to whom I gave earlier in the week.

I am not sure if I am doing the "right" thing 
when it comes to those collecting in shul or who 
come to my door. Should I really be giving them? 
Are they worthy of receiving funds that I could 
earmark for other causes? Am I giving enough? Am I giving too much?

Below is a selection from Chapter 9  "Beggars and 
Charity" of the translation of Rabbi Moshe 
Weinberger's 1887 book. Rabbi Weinberger was a 
colorful rabbinic and lay figure who left his 
native Hungary and arrived in New York City in 
1880.  A disciple of the distinguished Hungarian 
talmudists Rabbis Meir Perles, Samuel Ehrenfeld, 
Moses Sofer (d. 1917; not to be confused with the 
Chasam Sofer), and Eleazar Loew,  he ultimately 
entered the rabbinate,  serving as rabbi of 
Congregation Bnai Israel Anshei Ungarn in 
Scranton, Congregation Ohev Shalom in 
Philadelphia,  and Congregation Beis Medrash 
ha-Gadol Anshei Ungarn in New York. Unimpressed 
by what he saw here, he published his classic 
work,  ha-Yehudim veha-Yahadus be-New York (New 
York. 1887).'Written in rabbinic Hebrew. it was 
intended primarily for European Jews considering 
emigration to America. Its message was clear and 
blunt: "Stay home." (From Tradition 25 (2) 1990, 
ACADEMY IN AMERICA? by Shnayer Z. Leiman)

Please note the part that I have put in bold.

Would that all idlers came to realize that 
begging in America is a worthless enterprise. 
Would that they all returned home en masse in a 
boat, leaving just the truly impoverished and 
unfortunate, who really cannot work. Then Jewish 
money would no longer flow to those who, by 
taking money, deprive the truly poor, those who 
previously?until these men came and snatched the 
bread out of their mouths?had always been supported.

This charity work?to give aid to every wayfarer 
and all who stretch out their hands?provides 
little benefit, and serves no laudable end of the 
sort that all Israel might exalt in (see Author's 
Note C). It rather causes cheaters and idlers to 
multiply. Ultimately the burden falls only on the 
truly poor, who are far more needy.

Note C. We have elsewhere expanded on this point 
and shown from various authors and sources that 
the rabbis considered charity that does not lead 
to any good and laudable end to be mere 
squandering. They placed it at the opposite 
extreme from sustenance, the form of charity that 
God desires. The author of the Sefer Hamidos [The 
Book of Ethical Qualities, also known as The Ways 
of the Righteous (New York, 1969), p. 308] says 
that the squanderer is one who befriends the poor 
actively but not intelligently. What he means is 
that he does not make his contributions sensibly. 
A generous man does no good unless he is 
secretive about his gifts, giving only to the 
upright and honest; not to the hypocritical and wicked.

The gaon [Aryeh Leib Gunzberg], author of the 
Ture Even, says that generosity is an excellent 
attribute in man, requiring him to look at his 
fellows with a compassionate eye in order to find 
those basic needs that he lacks. This can be 
accomplished through deed, speech, and thought. 
Deed involves giving charity with one's own hand 
in the form of money, and physically helping 
those who need assistance. Speech involves 
speaking softly, pleasantly, and comfortingly, 
even if one cannot afford to provide basic needs. 
Thought involves thinking out a way through some 
pleasant means of achieving an end equally 
glorious and praiseworthy both to donor and to 
recipient. For every good deed that is 
accomplished without proper intelligence is 
unwanted by God; He has no desire to accept it.

The Keli Yakar [the commentary of Rabbi Solomon 
Luntschitz] at the end of [the biblical portion] 
Mishpatim [Exodus 23:5] wrote, based on a 
rabbinic homily, that one is required to help out 
only an ox prostrate under burden, not one that 
sat down of its own accord. From this one learns 
that a poor man who stands idle and does not 
support himself through his own labors, whatever 
work he is strong enough to perform, need not be 
given aid. (See also for enjoyment's sake 
Maimonides Commentary on the Ethics of the Fathers, [presumably 4:5],)

In our article, ... which appeared last year, we 
wrote as follows: "Many here believe that all 
influence, righteousness, and charity flows from 
among our enlightened brethren. Their lips utter 
the words `compassion,' `mercy,' 'righteousness,' 
and `pity' only to adorn the heads of innovators 
and reformers. They look upon Orthodox Jews here 
with scorn and contempt, as if to say that the 
Orthodox take no part in works of goodness and 
charity. But in fact such is not the case," as we 
expounded in detail. We concluded with the words 
"now as always the excellent attributes for which 
Jews have continually been praised remain in 
force. But we still complain about the great 
split that divides them, leading to their charity 
being spread to the winds. Theirs are not 
continuing ongoing activities, nor do we find 
among all the goodness and charity that they 
perform a single freestanding concrete project 
that can be seen, boasted about, and called their 
own. Were this not the case, if God would send an 
angel of salvation to bind all the disparate 
factions into a single unit to cooperate for a 
single purpose, then the money now dispersed 
could, without in any way being added to, favor 
all those dear ones who have now no part in it. 
Thousands of sick, unfortunate, and poor wretched folk could be aided."

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Message: 4
From: "Joshua Meisner" <jmeisner@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 16:02:40 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Passover and Circumcision in the Desert

On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 9:40 AM, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
>  I wondered about shitas haTosafos, since according to either opinion,
>  the women could form chaburos without any men in them. So why wouldn't
>  they have brought the qorban?

Mishneh L'Melech (Hil. K.P. 5:6) derives that milas avadim is m'akeiv
a woman from bringing the korban pesach.  Would the same thing apply
by milas banim?

Alternatively, the Korban Pesach is not shechted if any fewer than 50
"b'nei adam" are participating, based on a drasha of "k'hal adas
Yisroel" (Rambam Hil. K.P. 1:11 based on Pesachim 64b).  Perhaps this
count doesn't include women? (While it would seem like there would
vadai be at least 50 men out of 600K+ who would be eligible to shecht
the korban pesach, this question would apply even if we leave aside
the question regarding the women).

The Tos' cited by RMB explains that the reason why they didn't offer
the KP was because "rubam areilim", which appears to imply that even
if a mi'ut is eligible to offer, they are still drawn after the rov
and do not offer, but this would go against the gemara on Pesachim
64b.  The closest analog I could find is the halacha stated in Hil. KP
7:4 that if rov are ineligible to offer (for reasons other than tum'as
meis) on Pesach Rishon, t'mei'ei meis do not offer on Pesach Sheni.

Shabbat Shalom,


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Message: 5
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 16:14:03 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] Who is the father redux - from R' Aviner

On Fri, May 2, 2008 12:44 pm, David Riceman wrote:
: Who are you citing?

Sorry, I intended to reject this post with the comment:
> See the subject line.

Clicked the wrong button.


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Message: 6
From: "Meir Shinnar" <chidekel@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 16:36:41 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Avodah Digest, Vol 25, Issue 163

>  >>>... it was quite the norm for people - including prominent rashe yeshiva
>  - to walk on the boardwalk, either in Long Island or in Miami Beach... one
>  of our former chaverim confessed that he knew the rashe yeshiva who walked
>  on the boardwalk, ..
>  >>
>  There is nothing wrong with walking along a boardwalk when there is no one
>  on the beach or the weather is too cold for sunbathing.

yes, but they walked when the beach was full of beach goers.....that
was what so shocking to this former chaver..

>  >>>This position was given to my father by a prominent (MO) rav, as they
>  were together in the swimming pool in a hotel at Miami Beach - the rav would
>  understand the basis for being machmir, but not the basis of those who
>  walked the boardwalk, where the level of zniut was far worse than in a hotel
>  swimming pool of elderly Jews...
>  The taaneh of this MO rav is 100% correct. But meanwhile, he personally is
>  being oyver a serious aveireh.
>  Maybe your father should've heeded Chazal and told the rabbi of this.
>  "Bemokom sheyesh Chilul Hashem ein cholkin kavod larav".

>  >>>WRT to RMB's point about changes in swimming attire, while this may be
>  true of the garb of the 1890s, it was not true of the swimming attire of the
>  1920 and for sure 1930s - and people kept coming both to marienbad, as well
>  as the beaches at Trieste - the swimming attire of the 1930s was not very
>  different than that at a family friendly pool or beach today.
>  Very possible. And you can be sure that not a single recognized rav/RY/rebbe
>  in Marienbad EVER went to the mixed waters.
Actually, that is not correct.  That is the problem with much of the
discussion - many have so internalized the current perspective on
mixed swimming that they are so sure  that no one could possibly have
a different halachic perspective - so any one who does is "being oyver
a serious aveireh" - and thus one is being motzi la'az on rabbanim who
are fully aware of the shulchan aruch, and are quite medakdek on it.

The MO rav involved, while a major talmid chacham, may not be suitably
recognized by the olam, as he is MO - but my father was taken mixed
swimming  by a major litvish rosh yeshiva, who would be recognized by
everyone here....

Meir Shinnar

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Message: 7
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 16:55:29 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Letter of RSRH

On Thu, May 1, 2008 at 1:32 AM, <T613K@aol.com> wrote:

>   From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
> As for austritt, I don't see what the Holocaust has to do with it or why
> it would change anyone's mind on that subject.  Reform and Conservative
> remain outside of halacha and nothing the Germans did changes that.  I've
> heard people say, very emotionally, "How can you not consider me Jewish?
> Hitler would have killed me!"  -- because of a Jewish grandparent, say.
> Nevertheless, if the person is not Jewish, he's not Jewish, and if something
> is not halachic, it's not halachic.  Hitler is not our posek.
> The famous psak forbidding joint membership in a body that includes
> Orthodox and non-Orthodox clergy was issued after the Holocaust IIRC.
> *
> *
> *--Toby Katz
> =============*

This si not a matter of WHY but of historical facts.  During the Nazi era
allJewish communities co-operated [it could be construed as hor'as hsa'ah
but read on before jumping to any conclusions]

If you beleive that God works through history this WHAT trumps your Why.
Maybe HKBH was NOT pleased with Austritt and gave a draconian reason why.

Think of Austrit in the time of Mordechia and Esther. We know that there
were non-frum poeple then, too but Haman did more than all of the nev'i'im
put together

Do you think Rabbiner Hirsch would have protested that Esther was asking
non-frum Jews to join in a fast with frum Jews?  {as weknow any ta'anis
tzibbur w/o ersha'im is not a tzibbur!]

It is also interesting how ideology trumps reality [emess?] we really think
that since ideology was X so the facts on the ground MUST have matched. Kind
of like Assuming that Yaa'kov Avinu MUST have worn a Yarmulka or Shtreiml
[take your pick]

Those Ortho Groups in the USA that voted for co-operation with non-Ortho's
did so during the post Holocaust universe.  And since RYBS demadned that we
co-operate ONLY klapei Hutz the  facts on the ground were quite conducive to
such a decision.

Although Rav Aharon Kotler Z"L was oposed to co-operation he never shut out
the Rav. In fact his grandson assured me that he consulted the Rav on any
major communal decision.  I guess this is not politcally correct to
publicize that RAK might have actually considered the  Rav's input as worthy
but you CAN se pictures of them sharing the dais  at  Hinuch Atzma'i

As an aside:

Reminds me of Rav Dovid Lifshutz Z"L at  MO functions he was a Rosh Yeshiva
at YU at Agudah Fucntions he was the Suvalker Rav. Or tAr RMF's levaya 3
major YU figures were all introduce w/o references to YU itself [quite a
feat I might add [FWIW the 3 were 2 R. Tendlers and R. Nissan Aleprt Z"L]

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 8
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 17:12:02 -0400
Re: [Avodah] kaddish

On Thu, May 1, 2008 at 2:18 PM, Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com> wrote:

> >
> >>>I have also seen poskim that object to the minhag of splitting a
> > minyan so that 2 people can be shliach tzibbur at the same time<<
> >
> > KSA 26:15 says to split the Amud, with the 2nd person taking over at
> ashrei
> > Uvo LeZion.
> >
> > SBA
> >
> that is the common minhag for schachris. I meant more micha and maariv
> which
> can't be split.
> I know of one person who ran from minyan to minyan trying to find a
> place he could
> be shatz during the 12 month avelut
> --
> Eli Turkel

FWIW I was Rav at a nursing home recently.  We had Hyahrzeit for Mota'ei
Shabbos. but by big co-indience a SHIVA hiyyuv was there, too! I had the
unpleasant taks for informing the yahrzeit that the Shiva trumps.

We were able to bafely muster 20 men and split the Minyan in 2, a split
worthy of Shlomoh Hamelech himself

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 9
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 17:35:18 -0400
Re: [Avodah] The Return of Chometz

On Thu, May 1, 2008 at 6:12 AM, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:

> And some pe'ulos are simply mnemonic. Like the bracelet one switched
> from wrist to wrist every time you lose patience with someone. (R' Perr
> of Yeshivas Derekh Aysan beat Operah by decades on that one, although
> he used a rubber band. Admittedly, he has no marketing opportunity in
> his version...)
> Itwould be rare, though, outside the context of a va'ad, for someone to
> say "we *all* should". Different people need work in different areas,
> and different people respond to different kinds of work.
> Tir'u baTov!
> -Micha

I don't know the origin of this but it is a classic Beharioral-school
techinque to use a rubber band. Maybe Skinner came up with that one, It's
been in the self-help worldat LEAST since the 1970's

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