Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 170

Thu, 08 May 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 7 May 2008 00:03:48 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Ta'am of eating matzah

On Sun, May 4, 2008 at 12:03 AM, Michael Kopinsky <mkopinsky@gmail.com>

> On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 1:42 AM, Daniel Israel <dmi1@hushmail.com> wrote:
> > I am struck by a different question, however, related to this issue.  We
> > are told that Avraham baked matzos on Pesach.  In the above inyan we see
> > that matzah is connected to leil seder.  So who set the calendar before
> > the mitzvah was given in Parshas Bo?
> >
> The calendar is mentioned in Chumash as early as Parshas Noach (Bereishis
> 7:11, 8:4, among other places).  Thus, the question (at least in my mind) is
> not where did the calendar come from, but rather, what is the chiddush of
> HaChodesh Hazeh Lachem?
> Michael

I have a completely different POV on this matter.  Based loosely upon
archaeology and alleged comments by R. MM Kasher heard from S/A/R High via
my daughter Chana Yocheved...

Hypothesis:  the issur of Hametz is rooted in the fact that this was an
Egyptian delicacy
hence it's issur for BOTH mizbeyach and for Passover....

   1. Hebrews in the Land of Canaan ALWAYS ate matzo, Hametz was "alien"
   2. When HKBH tooks US out of Egypt HE also took EGYPT out of us by
   forbidding this Egyptian delicacy

[Avraham &] Lot had been to Egypt but he reverted to the Hebrew Minhag of
Matza and did NOT make Hametz. Hence Lot was performing a PROTO-yetzias
mitzarayim, or simply NEVER being assimilated to Egyptian culture in the
first place he was actually doing a "super-Yetzia"

Alsol: [I have planned to BLOG this a while ago]

   1. kema'seh eretz Mitzaryyim... becomes a MAJOR" Meta-Mitzva
   2. It answers the Hinuch's puzzlement with the issur of dvash and s'or
   in the korban Minchah - i.e. BOTH are Egyptian delicacies!
   3. It would seem that we really should have zero hametz all year, but
   HKBH reduced it to Passover [anniversary] and to Menachos [except lachmei
   Soda AND shtei halechem...]
   4. While Rashi et. al. seem to point out that Kedoshim is the "Core"
   off the Torah, the actual preface to this core could be a perek earlier in
   Acharei mos
   5. Which is another reason to read this meta-Mitzva on YK
   6. Implicit in this Parsha read on Minhach YK is also the Parsah of
   Kedoshim, but we are mekatzer...
   7. This meta-Mitzva doevtails well with the Rambam's thesis [in the
   Moreh] that much of the Torah has an anti-AZ agenda [i.e.issur Hametz is
   related to Egyptian culture etc.]
   8. This probably further supports Rambam's thesis of Bassar BeHalav
   over Ramban's [see the Hinuch for details] becausue aiui arachaeology
   supports that this was a pagan ritual

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 2
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 7 May 2008 00:46:08 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Standing for Torah reading

On Mon, May 5, 2008 at 9:41 AM, Michael Feldstein <mike38ct@aol.com> wrote:

> I've heard that the reason for standing during the reading of the Aseres
> Hadibros relates to the fact that we are attempting to
> recreate the scene at ma'amad Har Sinai.? Does anyone know a reason why we
> stand for Az Yashir? And can anyone explain a new minhag that has emerged in
> at least one Long Island shul of standing for the reading of Parshas Zachor
> (it seems that it can't be because it's a mitzvah from the Torah to hear
> this portion, as there are plenty of mitzvot from the Torah, such as
> bentching, where we don't stand).
> Michael Feldstein
> Stamford, CT
> ------------------------------

It's about kabbalas pnei hashechina same reason for standing for kiddush
levana as per Sanhedrin [for the exact daf see Artscroll footnotes on
Kiddush Levana]

Here is my short outline on Nishmablog I intend BEH to exapnd it

Nishmablog Article<ht

In Dayeinu we have a line:
> > Ilu Keir'vanu lifeni Har Sinai, Vlo Nasan lanu es HaTorah?
> > If YOU had brought us near Har sinai but had NOT Given us the Torah -
> > Dayyeinu?
> >
> What is the point of going to Sinai without receiving the Torah? What
> value is there to be at Sinai alone without even being commanded by G-d?
> Hint:
>    1. What are the TWO Haftoros associated with the Parsah the Asseres
>    Hadevarim in Yisro?
>    2. What theme have they in common?
>    3. What theme do they omit?
> Given that Ma'amad Har Sinai w/o the Torah has some significance;
> Q: How is that significance manifested in Jewish Practice?
> Hint: What Minhag-in-common is manifest during:
>    1. The Reading of Shiras Hayaom
>    2. The Recitation of Kiddush Levanah
>    3. The Reading of Asseres Hadibros
See also an excellent sefer "minhag avosseinu beyadeinu"

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 3
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 7 May 2008 00:56:35 -0400
Re: [Avodah] (no subject)

On Sun, May 4, 2008 at 7:17 AM, Joseph Kaplan <jkaplan@tenzerlunin.com>

> Two comments:
> 1.  But RAK did NOT consult the Rav on the ban of the Synagogue Council of
> America.

BTW, by "consult" I  did not ever mean to imply that he asked the Rav's
approval or blessing. He just would give him a heads-up as a courtesy.  It
was a matter of Derech Eretz aiui

> 2.  Such pictures do exist bit, interestingly, in a recent Artscroll
> biography of RAK, the picture appears with the Rav cropped out.
> Joseph Kaplan

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 4
From: "Chana Luntz" <Chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Wed, 7 May 2008 10:07:44 +0100
[Avodah] Who is the father redux - from R' Aviner

RJR writes quoting R' Aviner:

> 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.  

I confess I find this position difficult. After all, as R' Aviner
acknowledges, not having the child will cause the mother significant sorrow,
so is it not a matter of weighing the sorrow of the child against that of
the mother?  I know that R Aviner characterises it as "loneliness" and not
"sorrow", but I do not see the basis on which he is differentiating.  And
the mother is here now, and the child is not yet, so why does the child's
not yet conceived future sorrow trump?

>The Torah says over and over: an orphan is unfortunate,
> an orphan is unfortunate. 

This is true.  But we also presumably posken like Beis Hillel that it would
have been better that man was not created than that he was created.  I am
yet to hear anybody argue that because it would have been better if man was
not created, we should not have any more children (well not in the frum
world anyway, I have heard this from non frum Holocaust survivors but even
that is something of a minority position).  If anything the Rabbinic
mitzvah, to the extent it exists, would seem to go against this viewpoint.
So it would seem to me from this that R' Aviner rejects any rabbinic mitzvah
applying to women.  But even so, from where does he derive that while the
normal problems of being "born to trouble" are not enough to require us to
prevent conception, but the additional trouble of being an orphan is?

And what about the position found in Yevamos 65b and accepted by the Amoraim
there that a woman makes a valid claim against her husband if he fails to
provide her with children (giving her the right to a divorce and her kesuba)
because she needs to have children to support her old age? If there was ever
a case of the need for this would this not be it?  Because in every breath
that the Torah says that an orphan is unfortunate, it also says that a widow
is unfortunate, and a widow without a child to support her in her old age is
clearly doubly unfortunate.

And regarding the substantive argument that the deceased man is not
obligated in the mitzvah of being fruitful and multiplying, that may be
true, but the Shulchan Aruch defines the mitzvah (see Even HaEzer siman 1
si'if 6) as only being fulfilled by the grandfather, if his son or daughter
were to die, if they leave behind them children themselves.  So at least if
the grandfather were alive, why would she not be facilitating the mitzvah of
pru u'rvu of the grandfather?

I do also wonder though, if R' Aviner would require a woman married to a man
with an imminent terminal illness to use contraception, on the grounds that
by the time the child is born, it will most likely be an orphan?  The same
arguments should seem to apply.

> Joel Rich



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Message: 5
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 7 May 2008 14:40:21 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Rosh Hashanah 32b There's Hope For Everyone

> So that might be a good reason to view the pasuk, v'ahavta l'rayecha
> komocho, as "your neighbor" extending beyond a Jew.
> ri

My personal approach is one of the following:

a) The Torah was given to be kept in davka Eretz Yisrael; to keep it
in chutz is simply practice for the real thing in EY. Therefore, it
would make sense if the Torah's legislation is truly concerned with EY
only, both hashkafically and in terms of halachic feasibility. (Rabbi
Moshe Shmuel Glasner in haTzionut b'Ohr haEmuna, and Rabbi Eliezer
Berkovits in one of his writings, both say that the Torah is not
concerned with Shabbat observance being feasible in chutz; it is a
chiyuv, but it is your own problem, not God's or the Torah's, if it
isn't feasible.) Perhaps then, the Torah legislated ahava only for the
Jewish neighbor and for the gentile ger toshav neighbor; where in EY
is there a non-ger-toshav gentile neighbor? So in chutz, when we meet
such a gentile but find no chiyuv for loving him, it is simply because
he is not part of the Torah's EY scope. It is simply a technicality, a

b) The Gemara says v'ahavta l'rayacha kamocha = Jewish neighbor, but
perhaps this is a drash and not a kabbalah. Rabbi Hertz in his chumash
takes the pasuk to refer to Jew and gentile alike, and (Rabbi?)
Abraham Cohen in Everyman's Talmud makes a vague statement that
whether the pasuk means Jews only or gentiles too is an open question;
he makes a reference to various (non-beit-midrash) literature and says
that in any case the Gemara drashes that it means only a gentile. If
we follow Drashot haRan, Sefer haChinuch, Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Glasner,
etc., that a drash from Chazal doesn't mean the drash is objectively
correct, then we can suppose, hypothetically and with no effect on
halacha l'maaseh, that we are to love gentiles too. This would
certainly fit better, IMHO, with what we know about all humanity being
God's children, etc. (queue Ben Azzai). Of course, all the same,
perhaps this pasuk's interpretation is in fact a Sinaitic kabbalah - I
don't know; tzarich iyun.

I suspect both of these will meet with intense opposition and controversy.

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 6
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Wed, 7 May 2008 18:29:56 -0400
[Avodah] Heter mechira

I'm curious what some of your reactions are to the concept of heter  
mechira. It should be pointed out that the Gemara is replete with  
examples of avoiding a Halachic prohibition by transferring title of  
ownership of a particular item (Maaser Sheni 4:5, Tosefta Pesachim  
chapter 2, Beitzah 17a, and Nedarim 48a). In fact, the Gemara  
(Bechorot 3b) even encourages selling an animal to a non-Jew before it  
gives birth for the first time to avoid the restrictions regarding a  
Bechor. Moreover, Mechirat Chametz has developed into a yearly routine  
in observant communities, though it is not quite the same.

Kol tuv.
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Message: 7
From: Michael Poppers <MPoppers@kayescholer.com>
Date: Wed, 7 May 2008 21:02:30 -0400
Re: [Avodah] levayah minhagim

In Avodah Digest V25#138 (yes, I'm way behind, but I'm plugging away :-)),
RSBA replied to "der Baseler" RAF:
>> Men and women remain
separate at funerals, with women staying further away from the grave while
the men fill it. Then, once the men retreat, after the shurah, which is
for men by men, women are free to come to the grave. <<
> That is exactly as we do it here. Obviously this was the Minhag in many
parts of Europe. <
What RAF describes was done at the l'vayah & graveside for Avi Mori a'h' by
the Chevra Kadisha of K'hal Adath Jeshurun ("Breuer's").

In terms of q'riyah, a lady from the KAJ Chevra will help an onenes and a
man from the Chevra will help an onein.

All the best from
--Michael Poppers via RIM pager
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Message: 8
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 7 May 2008 22:08:25 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Passover and Circumcision in the Desert

On Tue, May 06, 2008 at 11:50:35PM -0400, Michael Kopinsky wrote:
: > Doesn't it mean that piquach nefesh is docheh?

: Ein hachi nami (l'chorah).  But the fact remains, we don't see anywhere that
: klal Yisrael did not put on tefillin in the midbar, that they didn't bring
: the korban tamid, or that they ate treif.  The only mitzvos that were davka
: neglected were the two that are chiyuvei kares.

Which is why I continued:
> Which might be a bit of a chidush here, when you think of it in terms of
> olam hazeh vs olam haba. However, if it's dechuyah (and kol shekein if
> it's hutrah), there is no qareis and thus one can still get both worlds.

Kareis (at least, in the opinion of numerous rishon) is a cessation of
existence. The ultimate denial of olam baba. And yet, we started out
correctly choosing saving lives with no risk of kareis.

That was my attempt to say why these two.

We should do our job, and leave concerns about sechar and olam haba to
the RBSO.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 17th day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        2 weeks and 3 days in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Tifferes sheb'Tifferes: What is the ultimate
Fax: (270) 514-1507                              state of harmony?

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Message: 9
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Wed, 7 May 2008 21:53:07 -0400
[Avodah] Standing for Parshas Zachor

Reb Shrink wrote: I believe the default position for the performance  
of all Mitzvot D'orayta or D'rabbanim is to stand, unless there is a  
reason to sit.??

Not always.  If you are sitting when you come to the krias Sh'ma, you  
must remain seated.
You sit for the Seder.
You sit for tachanun.

Kol tuv.

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Message: 10
From: "Moshe Feldman" <moshe.feldman@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 11:45:31 +0300
[Avodah] Court retroactively revokes conversions

On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 8:47 AM, <T613K@aol.com> wrote on Areivim:
>> It is the rabbis who run conveyor-belt pseudo-conversions who cause
the trouble, not the Bais Din that tries to clarify the status of
converts who never accepted and never intended to accept ol hamitzvos.
 We have had experience with such rabbis and such converts.  It
doesn't matter that some of these rabbis are Orthodox.  There are
definitely Orthodox rabbis out there who are converting people they
have no business converting.

I understand that many RZ rabbis follow the view of Rav Goren zt"l
that in EY the rules of conversion are different than in Chu"l.
Specifically, Rav Goren held that in Chu"l kabballas ol mitzvos is
me'akev because there is no national identity in Chu"l and we fear
that they had converted for an ulterior motive and that they will
revert to their gentile roots once that ulterior motive disappears.
However, in Israel, the view of the Yerushalmi is to be followed that
the ikkar of geirus is joining the Jewish people, and in EY there is
no chashash that they will go back to being goyim.   For more
discussion, see http://www.daat.ac.il/mishpat-ivri/skirot/194-2.htm
(which cites a lenient view of Rav Unterman as well) and

While I personally am uncomfortable with this view, I respect the
rabbanim involved and consider this to be an issue of eilu v'eilu
divrei elokim chayim.

Kol tuv,


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