Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 178

Mon, 12 May 2008

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doniels@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 14:13:41 +0300
[Avodah] Dishwasher for meat and milk

I have a non-frum [Sefardi] college who wants to know what is the most
lenient halachic opinion regarding using the same dishwasher for
Milchig and Fleishig.

Any pointers?


- Danny, not a Rabbi, but at work I sometimes wonder... :-)

Go to top.

Message: 2
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 07:16:41 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Heter mechira

Michael Makovi wrote:
>> R' EMT wrote:

>> if, during Pesach, the purchaser should come to our door with his
>> shtar in hand and ask to take possession of the items sold to him,
>> I imagine that we would turn them over.

> In fact, this happened on a certain Israeli kibbutz; the Arab drove up
> with a convoy of cargo trucks, and they took *everything*. And they
> didn't stop him. The rabbi of the kibbutz decided to do a "real" sale,
> and so he found a real live Arab, and this is what happened.

And?  Was there a problem?  Why would anyone object to this?

>> Now imagine that the sheik who purchased EY comes to an olive grove
>> during Pesach and tells the once and future owner that he is going
>> to have all the trees chopped down, then and there, and pave it over
>> for a parking lot.  Do you imagine that the sellers would stand idly
>> by and let him do it?  If not, then again his refusal indicates that
>> the sale was never meant.
> So just as you sell your chometz to a gentile whom you trust to not do
> anything like what happened to the kibbutz, so too, you sell EY to a
> gentile whom you trust to not do anything funny. Maybe sell EY to a
> pizza boy in NY, for example.

Not the point.

1. There is no need to "trust" the goy not to take the chametz.  If he
decides to take it and not sell it back, let him.  Most sellers would
rather have the money anyway.

2. If the goy came to chop down the trees, I have little doubt that the
farmer *would not let him*, would call the police, and the Arab would
have to go to court to enforce his rights.  (Which would make for an
interesting test of the Israeli judiciary.)  It's true that "Devarim
shebelev einam devarim", but that principle has limits; if the context
makes it obvious that there was no meeting of the minds then it's void
(e.g. a sale that takes place on stage, in front of thousands of
witnesses, would still be void if it's in the script).  When it's
obvious that the seller would react like this to the buyer taking
possession of the property, how real can the sale be?

3. I've said this before: if I were the king of Saudi Arabia, I'd
find the Arab who owns all the farmland in EY, and give him enough
money to sell me the land, and then I'd go to the Israeli Bagatz
and demand my rights.  Is there an Arab who'd refuse the money?

4. BTW, if the goy takes the chametz and doesn't pay, he can be sued
for the money, but the chametz is still his.  His ownership doesn't
depend on his payment.  And in the forms I've seen there's a Jewish
arev kablan, so the owner of the chametz won't even have to sue the
goy; he will go after the AK for payment, and the AK will sue the goy.
If the heter mechira is done in the same way, then if my intention was
simply to cause disruption I wouldn't even need the Saudi billions.
A mere million or two to bribe the "trustworthy" original purchaser
(that pizza boy in NY, say), and if the farmers want their land back
they'll have to first go to the AK for payment, then he'll have to
sue the original purchaser, who will then have to sue me, and
eventually they can take the land as payment for the debt, but that
will take considerable time, by which time I can have paved over the
fields and built "settlements" for hundreds of thousands of Arabs.

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                                                  - Clarence Thomas

Go to top.

Message: 3
From: "David E Cohen" <ddcohen@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 16:57:58 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Daas Torah and Zionism

Regarding the question of how we should view the opposition by many gedolim
to the establishment of the State of Israel, in light of the fact that it
has since flourished, R' Yitzchok Levine asks:
> What does this mean for the concept of Daas Torah and for
> the idea that gedolim can see things more clearly than the
> average person? 

Even nevi'im are not granted perfect knowledge of all future events, and I'm
not so sure that "chakham adif minavi" is referring to ability to predict
the future.

Personally, I am a religious Zionist.  However, given my general way of
looking at things, I suspect that had I been around 110 years ago, at the
beginning of the Zionist movement, I probably would have sided with those
who opposed political Zionism.  Having been born into a world in which the
State of Israel exists, though, I think one's spiritual view of a phenomenon
of such tremendous historical proportions, such a tremendous change in the
manner in which Hashem relates to am Yisrael, cannot be neutral.  One must
either say that it is "ma`aseh satan" or that it is a tremendous gift and
opportunity for am Yisrael to maximize its potential, and hopefully a
significant step on the road to the ge'ulah sheleimah.  Since I find the
first possibility very difficult to accept, I go with the second.

I do not take this as a sign, though, that I must readjust my general
hashkafah to bring it into line with a way of thinking that would have led
me to have supported political Zionism 110 years ago.  Perhaps I would have
been *correct* to have opposed it then, but Hashem, for reasons of His own,
decided to bring about a partial ge'ulah through those who were acting

It is also important to note that "ein somechin al hanneis."  Perhaps, given
the geopolitical situation in 5708, as well as the expected negative Divine
response to an attempt to establish a Jewish state, it made a lot of sense
to oppose the establishment of the State of Israel.  However, it was
established anyway, and barukh Hashem, the State miraculously survived and
flourished, shelo bederekh hateva.  Ashreinu shezakhinu lekhakh!


Go to top.

Message: 4
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 11:05:42 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Court retroactively revokes conversions

Richard Wolpoe wrote:

> Came Rav Parness [not RRW!} and said if the propsetive Ger  says: "I 
> accept but K know the flesh is weak and I  might or am likely to 
> sin..."  ka mashma lan it is still an OK kabbalah.
> What this Ger is saying is he accepts Mitzvos but realizes that  he is 
> subject to human frailty and  if if is for Te'avon he is OK. That is the 
> hiddush here.

But this is not a chiddush.  Every ger knows that he is likely to sin,
and probably has a good idea of which sins he's likely to have the most
difficulty with.  He's accepting the *yoke* of mitzvot, the obligation
to keep them, not guaranteeing that he will actually do so, all of the
time.  Note the language of the lecture a ger is given: "yesterday if
you broke Shabbat or ate chelev you did nothing wrong, but now if you
do so you will be punished with stoning or with karet."  This implies
that both we and he accept that he's likely to be nichshal, and what
he's accepting is that if he does so he'll be punished, just as every
Jew is.  Essentially he's choosing a Jew's Genenom over a goy's Gan
Eden, "baasher tamuti amut vesham ekaver".

There's a teshuva in IM dealing with this exact question: a woman
admitted years after her conversion that *in the mikveh* when she
was accepting the yoke of mitzvot she intended to do an avera, once.
RMF ruled that this wasn't a problem, because she knew and accepted
that what she intended to do was an avera, and that she would be
wrong to do it, and intended after that one occasion never to do it

What's not acceptable is if he doesn't accept this, and thinks he
continues to have the right to do these things.  And one sign that
this might be the case is if he appears to make no effort at all to
keep them, even immediately after the conversion.  If he goes straight
from the BD to Red Lobster, it's pretty obvious that his promises were
lies.  But if he restrains himself for a while, and eventually gives
in and guiltily sneaks off to indulge his taavah, that makes him no
different than any Jew with a yetzer hara.

(OTOH if he goes directly from Red Lobster to the BD, that's a sign
that he means the promises he intends to make.  I knew a ger who on his
way to the mikveh stopped off somewhere for one last fling.)

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                                                  - Clarence Thomas

Go to top.

Message: 5
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@sibson.com>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 10:38:03 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Dishwasher for meat and milk

I have a non-frum [Sefardi] college who wants to know what is the most
lenient halachic opinion regarding using the same dishwasher for Milchig
and Fleishig.

Any pointers?


- Danny, not a Rabbi, but at work I sometimes wonder... :-)
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.

Go to top.

Message: 6
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 11:48:49 -0400
Re: [Avodah] "There's Hope for Everyone"

On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 11:58:39AM -0400, Cantor Wolberg wrote:
: Reb Micha wrote the following:
: Truth is, universal love with no differentiation is the same as
: non-love. Picture this marriage proposal:
: Tom: Cindy, will you marry me?
: Cindy: But Tom, do you love me?
: Tom: Of course, I love everyone!
: Here's the weakness of the argument (as I see it).
: The Torah talks about love FOLLOWING marriage.  So when Tom says he  
: loves everyone, that's ONE kind of love. But the love that follows  
: marriage is the special kind as alluded to in the Torah.

That's not a flaw in my argument, it's a gap between ahavas rei'im and
ahavah for the entire world - love and agape. That doesn't change the
fact that one should love one's own more than others. Otherwise, it
isn't really love.

If anyone would have followed up on my request that they check out RSS,
they would have seen/remembered that he doesn't make them different
in kind.

Rather, all love is "kamokha". The trick of being a baal chessed is not
submerging that self-love, but realizing that one is part of a greater
whole. One loves one's family as an extension of oneself. One's extended
family more than strangers. One's /am/ more than other amim, etc... Thus,
love is properly supposed to include everyone, but in ever diminushing
amounts as one gets further from oneself.

This balances universalism and particularism quite beautifully. Im ein
ani li, mi li? Ukeshe'ani le'atzmi -- in a constricted sense of "I" --
mah ani?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 22nd day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        3 weeks and 1 day in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Chesed sheb'Netzach: Do I take control of the
Fax: (270) 514-1507                 situation for the benefit of others?

Go to top.

Message: 7
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 12:36:18 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Sholom Aleichem [was: Tinok Shenishba]

On Thu, May 08, 2008 at 11:46:05PM -0400, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
:> Why is assuming that mal'akhim have bechirah more AZ than assuming
:> people do and asking them?Tir'u baTov!

: The premise aiui is that believing that mal'achim have independent power is
: a form of kefira itself even if ou do NOT avail yourself of their
: attributed powers!  Almost like saying someone accepts "shituf" but goes to
: the Top of the Pantheon. ...

Complicate that picture with the history of AZ, that historically it
started with worshipping things like mal'akhim as a way of honoring
the King by honoring His entourage, and then it grew to neglecting the
relationship with the king.

However, all you did was justify my reluctance to say "barkhuni".
Perhaps if the nusach was to ask Hashem to have these mal'akhim bless me,
I wouldn't have a problem saying it.

But lefi normal people, who can say the words "Barkhuni leShalom"
without feeling uncomfortable, wouldn't one be compelled to say that
mal'akhim with bechirah is not inherently more problematic than people
with bechirah?

You are making my problem more acute, rather than helping me reconcile
myself to my minhag to the point of my being capable of following it.

: OTOH it would seem to be to be kosher afaik if one were to daven to HKBH and
: ask: "Please send Repha'el to heal me."

Or, to send Af Beri to make it rain. (As per the nusach of tefillas Geshem.)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 22nd day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        3 weeks and 1 day in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Chesed sheb'Netzach: Do I take control of the
Fax: (270) 514-1507                 situation for the benefit of others?

Go to top.

Message: 8
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 13:37:08 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Court retroactively revokes conversions

On Thu, May 08, 2008 at 07:54:45PM +0300, Daniel Eidensohn wrote:
: Rav Uziel said that there is no need to require acceptance of mitzvos - 
: and he didn't limit this to Israel while Rav Goren did.

I didn't see either of the acharonim cited the way you did.

The MU speaks about "ameikh ami"... That in chu"l this could only be done
through qabbalas ol mitzvos, but with a Jewish civilization, one could
join the nation without QOM. That QOM was merely the only avenue left
in the golah. I don't see how that sevara dismisses the long history
of requiring QOM, as much as locking it into a corner that excludes a
Jewish society.

: >Also related is R' ChO Gradzensky (Achiezer 3:26, already cited in this
: >thread) which says a geir who converts with the intent of being a mumar
: >letei'avon bedavar achas is bedi'eved mequbal as a geir.

: Achiezer however says that as a minimum the ger must keep Shabbos and 
: kashrus

I read his words the way RMM did -- that a ger who doesn't keep shabbos
and kashrus is presumed not to accept ol malkhus Shamayim. The effect
is the same; he must keep them. But not mishum ol mitzvos. Also, if it
is a birur, what if we were mevareir another way (and didn't need to

As for the MU, I have my own problem following his argument. Someone
who joins EY now proved less passion to join the Jewish people than
would someone who was giving up life as a nachri in Eastern Europe
to move into shtetl life and accepting the authority of the vaad 4
aratzos, the inferior lifestyle, the Yiddish language, different dress,
separate culture.... That was a major sacrifice for the sake of joining
the community. Life in Israel for people from many countries is a step
*up* in standard of living. And yet we don't see a history of poseqim
not requiring QOM for the East European. Do we?

: >Not sure what either have to do with a BD that doesn't sufficiently screen
: >qabalas ol mitzvos for people who are simply *beshitah* "meqabeil ...
: >chutz midavar echad" (to quote Bekhoros 30b).

: Don't understand why you insist that being certified by a kosher beis 
: din gives a person a clean pass...

I don't. I'm saying that if the BD is kosher and all the other pro forma
were followed, one has to apply the Rambam, Issurei Bi'ah 13:14. He
is a geir, but "vechosheshin lo ad sheyisba'eir tzidqaso". Sounds like
the guy is presumed a geir with a question mark, and stays in that state
until we can prove his geirus was with proper intent.

If this cheshash is real (and not a long shot of one woman who was
questioned in order to avoid her childrens' mamzeirus), then I think
the halakhah wouldn't allow blanket acceptance or blanket annulment.
Rather each case would need to be checked, and until they're checked,
the presumption is Jewish.

I have no idea what "geir ... vechosheshin" means lemaaseh. Count them
toward a minyan but don't marry them? But that's a question in the
Rambam. Anulling all sight unseen seems to be exactly the opposite of
the Rambam's pesaq.

And it uncomfortably feels like another case where halakhah is weilded
without regard to whom it is being weilded against. We all know well
other cases where a rav tried to bring someone else to ruin without
asking questions of them (or actually reading their book).

Prof Sperber's article was recently cited on list. He says this
phenomenon is both real, and a product of a shift from getting pesaq
from rabbanim to getting it from rashei yeshiva, who will be closer to
ivory tower academics than would rabbanim of communities.

: *Igros Moshe 
: <http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/04/r-moshe-feinstein
: -ztl-invalidating.html#_ftn1>(Even 
: ha-Ezer 4:78): *Concerning a woman who was married by a Conservative rabbi 
: - in Houston who is known to openly violate Shabbos - to a man who was born 
: in San Salvador to a non???Jewish woman. The Conservative rabbi there 
: claimed that he converted her together with two local men who were open 
: Shabbos violators because he said that no one observes Shabbos in El 
: Salvador...

Not sure what this has to do with the case at hand. I assume no one is
claiming R' Drukman's BD includes mechalelei Shabbos befarhesia.

On Fri, May 09, 2008 at 05:18:44PM +0300, Michael Makovi wrote:
: In other words, the only thing remarkable is that he is admitting his
: frailty, and yet his gerut is kosher. It is b'vadai that had he NOT
: admitted his frailty, and then violated, he'd be a kosher ger.

I dunno.

Someone who admits frailty at the conversion court sounds more like "I'm
not even going to try at this one" than the usual accepting in the passion
of the moment of conversion to try, but failing when the situation arises.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 22nd day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        3 weeks and 1 day in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Chesed sheb'Netzach: Do I take control of the
Fax: (270) 514-1507                 situation for the benefit of others?

Go to top.

Message: 9
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 15:25:36 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Ta'am of eating matzah

On Tue, May 06, 2008 at 10:46:37PM +0300, Michael Makovi wrote:
:>  So I'm not clear exactly what meaning the words "our calendar" have
:>  without a beis din hagadol defining it.

: I suppose we could say the general method of going by the new moon,
: and then reconciling it with the solar calendar according to a certain
: method....

Well, there is the perfect method...

Would Hashem use dechuyos?

And what about our estimations:
    Would He use the molad, ie the mean time between new moons, or the
    actual moment?
    Would he use the actual equinox or tequfas R' Ada?

But this is off point.

We know Hashem makes the earth spin, and keeps the earth and moon
in their orbits, and thus keeps the calendar in that sense. But I was
arguing that the gap between astronomy and calendar is the Jewish people
sanctifying months.

However, since that post, RMK pointed out that the months of the year
were counted beforehand, in the pesuqim telling us dates of events in the
mabul. Thus, months were assigned to specific years, implying a calendar,
before haChodesh haZeh lachem.

But was this /our/ calendar?

I would say that's a consequence of the machloqes R' Eliezer and R'
Yehosuha as to whether the "chodesh hasheini" of 7:11 was Marcheshvan or
Iyyar. If Marcheshvan (R' Eliezer), then it does not look like Hashem
maintained a predecessor to our calendar. According to R' Yehoshua,
where the first month was already Nissan, perhaps. (See RH 11b-12a)

According to R' Eliezer, definitely not. The chodesh hasheini of
Bereieshis 7:11 was Marcheshvan, not Iyyar. Whatever the calendar was,
it was different in kind to ours.

According to R' Yehoshua, possibly. That seems to be the masqanah of the
gemara, identifying R' Yehoshua's pre-Torah months with how non-Jewish
scholars do it.

Mequbalim tie the whole machloqes to chessed (Nissan) vs din (Tishrei).
Which was the world created under -- olam chessed yibaneh, or bereishis
bara E-lokim (Hashem-as-Dayan)? Similarly the mabul.

I see in the machloqes a tie to how to understand "kol hamatzil nefesh
achas"... R' Yehoshua seems to be implying that we got the original
calendar, Nissan based, as given Adam. We didn't so much get a cvalendar
as become the soul inheritors of the original. Perhaps a portrayal that not
only speaks of the elevation of Avraham, but the reduction of the other
nations from Adam's pedestal through their building Migdal Bavel. And
in that worldview, Adam could be brought as a prooftext for the limited
connection of "nefesh achas mi[Benei] Yisrael".

Ironically, I just turned R' Yehoshua's shitah, which the mequbalim
hold stresses chessed, and made it elitist...

On Wed, May 07, 2008 at 12:03:48AM -0400, R Richard Wolpoe wrote:
: 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

But what about the shetei halechem of Shavuos (Vayiqra 23:17)?

A more fundamental question:
When a mitzvah is an os, does it stand on its own, or does HQBH presume
we know the history? And how much history beyond what we're given in the

Your proposal would imply that for millennia, non academics got
next-to-nothing out of all the work of bal yeira'eh bal yeimatzei.
I find it hard to believe that a mitzvah ledoros depends on something
from Egyptian culture that is not ledoros and not even mentioned in
the chumash.

I realize this same question applies to a number of the Rambam's
explanations (eg basar bechalav) but I bet I'm not alone among the
chevrah here who those explanations never sat well with.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 22nd day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        3 weeks and 1 day in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Chesed sheb'Netzach: Do I take control of the
Fax: (270) 514-1507                 situation for the benefit of others?

Go to top.

Message: 10
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 15:30:55 -0400
Re: [Avodah] interruptions to prayer

I got this on another email list. I do not recall if the precise mar'eh
maqom was posted here when we discussed it.


: 1. Quick Quote from Rabbi Shlomoh Zalman Auerbach
:     Posted by: "Derech Emet" derechemet@yahoo.com
:     Date: Sun May 11, 2008 1:07 pm ((PDT))

: Rabbi Shlomoh Zalman Auerbach, Halichos Shlomoh, 1:95-96:
:    It is better to pray Shemoneh Esrai sitting down than to stand in the
:    aisle of an airplane, both because of concentration and consideration
:    of others.

: SOURCE: Page 107 of Relevance Pirkei Avot by Rabbi Dan Roth,
: info@relevance.co.il year 2007, Feldheim Publishers.

Go to top.

Message: 11
From: "Simon Montagu" <simon.montagu@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 18:39:18 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Dishwasher for meat and milk

On Mon, May 12, 2008 at 2:13 PM, Danny Schoemann <doniels@gmail.com> wrote:

> I have a non-frum [Sefardi] college who wants to know what is the most
> lenient halachic opinion regarding using the same dishwasher for
> Milchig and Fleishig.
I'm not sure exactly what the question is here, and a request for
clarification got moderated down, but in "Issur veHeter" by ROY's son R.
Yaakov Yosef, he says that "yesh al ma lismoch" to use a dishwasher for meat
and dairy utensils simultaneously, "veyesh mahhmirim" to do them separately
"velishhot beinatayim me`et le`et".

There is a long footnote with sources, which I can scan if anyone is
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-ai


Avodah mailing list

End of Avodah Digest, Vol 25, Issue 178

Send Avodah mailing list submissions to

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

You can reach the person managing the list at

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Avodah digest..."

< Previous Next >