Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 253

Fri, 11 Jul 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 14:54:49 -0700
[Avodah] public bet din

Are the proceedings of a (monetary) bet din - either today or
when there was real semicha - open to the public?

One person questioned this on the basis that hearing each person's
claims against the other would lead an observer to lashon ha-rah,
either accepting the claims of someone else being a rasha or even
passing it along.

I am not aware of any plave that says that monetary bet din procedures
are closed to non-participants. This began from a sugya that says that
bringing a person who seems to be a second witness to court but
in reality is not is a form of a lie.

Eli Turkel

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 18:01:46 -0400
Re: [Avodah] public bet din

On Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 02:54:49PM -0700, Eli Turkel wrote:
: I am not aware of any plave that says that monetary bet din procedures
: are closed to non-participants...

Me neither. What about LH -- attendees who don't need to know about the
baal din's unreliability will learn LH. Or worse, motzi sheim ra if
someone isn't around to hear the person was found to be dealing honestly,
and just heard the accusations.

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 18:01:46 -0400
Re: [Avodah] public bet din

On Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 02:54:49PM -0700, Eli Turkel wrote:
: I am not aware of any plave that says that monetary bet din procedures
: are closed to non-participants...

Me neither. What about LH -- attendees who don't need to know about the
baal din's unreliability will learn LH. Or worse, motzi sheim ra if
someone isn't around to hear the person was found to be dealing honestly,
and just heard the accusations.

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 4
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 19:13:34 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Likut Atzomos

From: David Riceman _driceman@att.net_ (mailto:driceman@att.net) 

>>Akiva Blum wrote:
> ....The Tiferes Yisroel in pesachim  says that people would bury their dead 
in a temporary grave, and after >the  meat had rotted, the bones would be 
reinterned in their ancestral cemetery. Can  anyone point to a >source, and 
perhaps also an explanation for this  practice?

>>See Martin Goodman, "Rome and Jerusalem", p. 248.  It's well  documented 
archaeologically and in literature.  Goodman says "there is  no certain 
explanation." <<

David  Riceman

I thought they did not "bury their dead in a grave" but kept the bones in  
some kind of container until the flesh decayed, after which they buried the  
bones.  The pile of bones would take up much less space than a whole body,  and 
in a city where space for burial was scarce (old Y-m, 2000 years ago) and it  
was also hard to dig a grave in rocky ground, there would be a big  advantage 
to having graves as small as possible.  They also used to bury  the bones of 
several people in the same small plot.  I may be wrong about  all this, it's 
just dim memories and impressions.

--Toby Katz

President Reagan talked with the Soviets while pushing ahead  with the 
deployment of Cruise and Pershing missiles in Europe. He spoke softly ?  after 
getting himself a bigger stick.  --Mark Steyn

**************Get the scoop on last night's hottest shows and the live music 
scene in your area - Check out TourTracker.com!      
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Message: 5
From: "David E Cohen" <ddcohen@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2008 12:00:24 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Likut Atzomos

There have been tragic circumstances in recent history in which the dinim of
likut atzamos have been relevant.  In the following article, R' Yaakov
Koppel Reinitz (my next-door neighbor) recounts his childhood memory from


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Message: 6
From: Celejar <celejar@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 19:33:43 -0400
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Attention Kohanic Listemembers:

On Tue, 08 Jul 2008 12:58:12 -0400
[Someone on Areivim wrote that one may not wear clothing containing
Sha'atnez even to to try it on.]

Actually, trying on is a Mahlokes; Rema (YD 301:6) cites a lenient

Bein Din Ledin - bdl.freehostia.com
An advanced discussion of Hoshen Mishpat

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Message: 7
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 23:08:26 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Fiat Money & Halachah

On Wed, Jul 9, 2008 at 1:16 PM, Zev Sero <zev@sero.name> wrote:

>  Fiat money, like life insruance is an astraction.
> No more than silver-as-money was an abstraction in Chazal's time and
> through most of history.
> --
> Zev Sero

This is nonsense to me.  Can you make a menorah out of $50.00 bills? You Can
make a
menorah out of 50 dollars of silver.

Paper money is merely money TO YOU because you grew up with it. If it wer
new to you as it was to the fisrt generattion you would be shreing
Gevaltabout unprecednt halachic innovations.

At any rate see today's Kitzur Yomi re: pidon habein [145] and that silver
is kosher but banknotes are not. Today we do NOT have US governmnt money. We
had Federal Reserve Banknotes.  Banknotes are fiat money but not Intrinsic
money. The distinction is signifcant in many halachic issues.  Can you gie
machaztis hadhshekel with fiat paper moneyh?

And if in Chazal's times silver was an abstraction, how does the requirement
for Kolbon work?! The whole point is that any coin might be missing some
minor amount of silver [probably from usage]. If the money is an abstraction
a Kolbon is sillly. What's the point? So we see in Halcha that Haazl deemd
silvber coins NOT as fiat money for the purpose of Sheklaim but a wieghted
monetary instrument with sintrisic value. [money=monetary, etc.]

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 8
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2008 00:14:57 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Halachic Texts: More Background

On Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 4:19 PM, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Jul 08, 2008 at 12:02:04AM -0400, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> :
> : G
> :    1. Once the Ga'onim required lechem mishan the sugya had to be
> :    retrofitted to match noramtive Halacha AS PRACTICED  OR
> :    2. The Rosh [and others} might have realized that the Talmud never
> :    EXPLICITLY required lechem Mishan on YT, but it was always assumed to
> be
> :    there -  albeit IMPLICITLY. This Sugya must have not held it to be
> :    noramtive, and Behag would have concurred.  But the sense of Shab as
> awhole
> :    might have beeen otherwise
> I want to draw attention to the words RRW capitalized in possibility #1.
> There are two kinds of precedent: mimetic and textual. IOW,
>    1- the weight of halakhah as it has been practiced by centuries vs
>    2- the weight of halakhah as sefarim have described it for centuries.
> The latter would usually / always? intersect with a third issue:
>    3- an informal azlinan basar ruba -- the long history of pesaq
>    means that a poseiq-counter is bound to find that the majority hold
>    that way.
> When dealing with the question of throwbacks, we need to speak of all 3.
> 1- The Gra only violated mimetic precedent when he believed it to
> be provably wrong.

Is this a fact?  have you surveyed all of the GRA's objections to status
quo? is this a nimnu v'gamru? --smile--

> It would seem he holds that mimetic precedent really only has enough
> weight to stick with existing practice even if the practice seems valid,
> but weaker than the one you would otherwise choose.

I don't get this. Posqim have uniformly required tallis gadol for all
inlcuding Rema and Mishna Brura. how come this status quo is not subject to
revision as a minahg Ta'us?

> 2- If it's possible for someone to be assessed at being at a rishon's
> level, then the textual precedent issue is null. Moreso, it's entirely
> reversed -- he would be like a later rishon, and halakhah kebasrai.

This has nothing to do with a Rishon's level. It has to do with settled
law.  Rabbeinu Tam is on a Rishon's level, too  is that mean I may make a
bracha on his Tefillin INSTEAD of Rashi's? if not why not?

Alternatively may I eat hametz after hatzos on erev pesach beusase the ba'al
hama'or paskens it's a valid form bf bi'ur/? If not why not?

> 3- There isn't really a rule of rov poseqim when no one enters the room
> for nimnu vegameru.

Who says?

   1. The Beis Yosef in YD 101 says there IS and tha's how he rejects the
   2. MB uses Rov acharhoim in MANY places as HIS sources in Sha'ar
   Hatziyyun such as BE'tzitzis
   3. Kaf Hachayyim rejects GRA because Rov acahronim use 3 matzos. ayein
   4. Maggid Mishnah supports the Rambam's p'sak on Bracha on Neros Shabbas
   [hil. Shabbbos 5:1] as based upon Seder Rav Amram Ga'on AND Rov Acahronim -
   albeit HIS acharonim are not ours.
   5. Rabbi Yochanan uses the term  "v'nahagu ha'am" to argue on a Tanna in
   a Mishneh [pesachim 103/104

Ther are many more. Aruch Hashulchan constantly uses Rov Posqim, although he
radically dissents re: Fasting ONLY until sheki'ah nad not Tzeis and I on't
get it because Tur, Mechabeir and Rma all pasken tzeis to finish off a

But gneerally, AhS actully SAYS taht Rov Posqim is a determining factor

> On Mon, Jul 07, 2008 at 11:33:11PM -0400, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> : The GRA did not jsut rule against minhag he ruled against widely accepted
> : P'sak. This is tantamount to What R. Eliezer Hagaodl did with his rayos.
> I
> : fail to see any hilluk in how the GRA rejected the consensus of Posqim
> and
> : Rabbi Eliezer rejecting the consensus of his peers.
> R' Eliezer's raayos weren't formal process vs precedent, it was miracle
> vs formal process. The tanur shel achnai story speaks to the inviobility
> of process -- even HQBH doesn't trump the rules. Not the relative
> importance
> of two elements of that process.

No, the story says that you cannot go against the Rov because of the
importance of Acharei Rabbim lehatos.  This is emphasized by Rosh re: CHAD
biTREI is bateil EVEN re: hametz andh matza on Passover because acharei
rabbim TRUMPS the rule of hamesz eino baeil afilu be'elef which he applies
only inthe cases  nosein Ta';am. Otherwise, Acharei Rabbim lehatos is a
mitzva fro mthe Torah to follow.

[But Rema DOES exempt following one's rebbe in Choshen Mishpat 25 so the
immediate Talmiddim of the GRA woud probably be exmpet from my rants]

> ...
> :> One could attribute this to today's poseiq not being a throwback. Thus,
> :> he has neither lesser wisdom nor precedent to confine him.

Rabbi Eliezer's greatness is not the issue.  it is goign agains the Rov.
making some posqim on a higher madreiga than others is a bit tricky.
Certainly the Chayei Adam did not perpetuate the GRA's unqiue psakkim into
mainsteam hlacha, even though hhe was a big fan.  See below that I am NOT
atttckign the GRA for stating his position, I am attacking those who FOLLOW

> : So who says WHO is a throwback.  Is Rambam a Trhowaback? Tosafos? Tosafos
> : essentially jsut did waht the Talmud did, except in France. They
> : dialectically threw texts together ina eiseive and urminhu style.  Soes
> : folowing Amoraic Style give Tosafos Amoraic power?  some say yes!  That
> is
> : how Tsoafos can be mevateil mayyim acharonim and the issur of clapping on
> : Shabbos
> We don't refrain from mayim acharonim because of Tosafos. Tosafos
> post-date and try to justify the practice as being derived from some
> (unknown) pesaq, by showing it isn't necessarily a minhag ta'us

Who says?  Tsoafos might be justifying it in HIS day, but now we do it
BECAUSE of Tsoafos.
I posted on this. I called my Yekke friend on this and he said the heter to
skip it is IN THE GMARA. I said it is not. He siad the BOYS ONTHE PAGE -
meaing the fct taht Tosafos said it ON THE PAGE was his reatonale. This
fellow is a prety big lamdan and studedi fro YEARS with R. Yaakov

Aderabb, I questioned RMF/IM orach chaim #2  100 re: dancing because RMF
wonders how come people dance on Shabbos agaisnt a Mishna? The answer is
simply they follow Tsoafos!
But I noticed that Rema is only reluctant to go along with this. [see Orach
chayim 339]

Consensus tells us who is a throwback. The same concept of consensus
> you're worried about protecting on a practice-by-practice level.

Youcannot have it both ways. if consensus says GRA is a trhowback than ti
MSUT habe noramative power. BTW, I don't know where the consensus is that
the GRA is a throwback. Sounds like a post facto justification for MANY
upsetting statemetns - kind like your take on mayyim ahcaronim

> ...
> :>: Nah.  Gra dies 1797, Napoleon invades Russian Emptire in  1812 The
> ghettoes
> :>: only BEGAN collapsing 15 years after Gra's passing.
> :>: Gra knew his pesakkim were private.  He never even tried to popularize
> :>: them.  Those who reached back to the GRA to create a new Halachic norm
> :>: really wer quite radical to abandon Minhag Avos.
> :> These two paragraphs largely cancel
NO they cancel each other out this way
GRA deviates from settled law and status quo - let's say about 200 times...
BUT he keeps it to himsef and WARNS people NOT fo follow his p'sak [witenss
chayei Adam]
But his talmiddim take HALF of wat he says and uncacnels it. Maybe the GRA
would have bee nalaremed if he knew Maa'seh Rav would be published  Read
A Friend of mine was telling people to follow RYBS's minhaggim and the Rav
said  to him: "Who told you to spread th Gospel?" IOW wah'ts the point of
chaing OTHER people's Minhaggim. BTW, one Rav in Teaneck holds THE RAV as
greater than the Kessef Mishanh, talk about throwbacks!

BTW, I am not sure aboutthe fasicnation wtih tthe GRA's hiddushim. I show
about 5-10 things "wriong" with current paractice

   1. issur of Zli keidar
   2. no Tallis for bachurim
   3. No issur Of music in Sefira
   4. Zecher/Zeycheri

And I'm considered a radical!  The GRA says about 200 things are wrong and
he is a Ga'on!
I guess to be promoted to become a throwback will require me to upset
naonther 150+ plus status quo practices in order to earn any respect for the
first dozen of so!

> I think we're being overly precise. The fall of ghetto life started well
> before the actual fall of the ghetto. which was the motivation for the
> birth of Chassidus.

Says you. But I am not buying.  I claim that the revolutionary spirit of the
18th century was a prelude to the revolutionary spirit of the 19th centruy
nd had little to do with gheetoes. The Zeitgeist in many communioties was
out with the old and in with the new.

Ironicaly the LEAST ghetttoized commmunity ,viz. Germany, -had frum Jews sho
stuck with the Minahgim of Irishonim it was the STILL gehtto-ized communites
of Eastern Europe that abondoned the Minhag of Asheknaz taht was perpetuated
in Cracow by Rema,etc.

Ironcially a current Yekke is more like the Rema than the average Jew from
Cracow. It is intersting to note that pre-HOlocaust Cracow had very few
palces daveing Ashekanz but NO ONE would dare mess with Asheknaz in the
Remu's shul. I wonder why?

> Similarly, the shift to Gra-style or Besh"t-style
> pesaq etc... also took a span of time. Overlapping and slightly behind
> the span in which the culture shifted.

Shifts are shifts. I claim that once you start shifting you create slippery

What bothers me is NOT that shifts were proposed but that Jews found it so
easy to abandong Minhag Avos. But why shouold I be surprised?  how many
Ashkenazim in Israel who speak modern Ivrit still daven in the old havaras
AShkenaz? I acatulyl met a few yekkes that do.  But most gave up their
ancestral Ivir quite readily - accept possibly for some Yiddish speaking

> :> That's not the question. The question is whether what the Gra said still
> :> within the eilu va'eilu of halakhah.
> : Wlle whose eilu v'eilu do you accept?
> My rebbe's. Like any other matter of pesaq.

Have yo uasked your rebbe if he considers' the GRa's positions as being -
say a little bit agaisnt status quo? And does your rebbe use 2 matzos or 3
at the Seder. And why2  Does he pasken like Gmara over posqim?

FWIW, I am not questioning the GRA's right to argue. Rabbi Elizer was in
eilu v'eilu and so was Shammai and his Bayyis.  What I am syaing is if you
can overturn sttled psak then why NOT follow Beis Shammai? his was Eilu
v'eilu par excellence!

> : Rabbi Rackman's hafka'as Qiddushin?  Arguably not as radical as you would
> : think.
> Sidenote:
> Who before RER had a case-by-case hafqa'as qidushin with no maaseh? All
> the precedent cases were:
> 1- taqanos, a general rule "we invalidate any marriage where the chasan
> does does XYZ" and
> 2- involved a maaseh related to qiddushin (that otherwise would be
> valid, eg meqadeish bashuq) or gittin (that otherwise wouldn't, such as
> if he renegs on the get before the shaliach leholakha gives it)

Good point. But if you throwback and forget precedent why NOT re-interpret
fro mscracth! That;s the whole point! You either accept settled law as
normative or you allow Rabbanim/Posqim to read into Autoritative texts as
they deem fit.
The Meharshal's position was that you can go back to Talmud and ingore
Codes.  And thsi is the foundation for Golnkin's masorti movement In israel
NOT the Positive Historical School,but the ability to overthrow normative
practice via re-investigation of sugyyos in the Bavli!

> ...
> : But you are missing my entire point.  I am not saying the Gra created
> yesih
> : mei'ayin I AM saying he opened a can of worms /p[androa's box/ slipery
> slope
> : etc. ready-made for future abuse against the system.
> : Even if every argument is 100% trued ,he destabilized it.
> It seems the potential for that seems to also go into the consensus,
> That the person in question is so clearly sui generis that they had no
> such fear.

Maybe. But that is OK for his immeiatge cirlce or hevra. For the average Yid
to jump on the bandwagon I posit is NOT an assertion of the GRa's greatness
but an assertion of KEIN Titosh toras Imecha, it's a fig-leaf fro radical
shitck within a quais halachic framework

> And in practice, giving the Gra authority in this way didn't leave us,
> 300 yrs later, with an unstable system.

I beg to differ but not online. let me say this, the 18th century set-up the
19th century and hameivin yavin

> In fact C, the "halachic" movement that is outside of normative pesaq,
> needed to turn to Historical School, an offshoot of German R, for its
> historical underpinnings. It couldn't find anything within O.

First This is an over-simplification. I used to thin that the C movement was
ONLY from the less radical R movement. That is not 100% true. It also
contained the far left of the neo-Ortho's and my source is Judaism as a
Civlization by M Kaplan

Secondly see about Golinkin above. Reform Judaism STARTED by sighting Gmara
and ignoring Posqim. M Kaplan said the same, he liked Gmara and detested
posqim  [from the ORtho bio of M kaplan]

[I am also working on a hypothesis that Z. Frankle and H. Graetz were of two
differnt minds re: Tradition. Suffice ti to say, that Frankel was more
respectful of Tradition than was Graetz.

I spoke with a bar-Ilna guy about this and he said there was a BIG
difference betwen the 2. This was weeks after reading the Hirsch Bio. I
thinnk Hirsch missedthe subtlety of the differnce and lumped all rebels
together. This was unfortunate but ein kan mekomo

BTW, I do NTO know waht Z. Frankel was like  as a person. Maybe he was a big
rebel inhis person. I am only looking at his publicatoins as best as I can
and mostly throught wndary sources/.

> ...
> : But the GRA is a somebody. and by showing that not dozens but operhaps
> : hundreds of minhaggim, psesaqqim and mietmietcs are questionable if not
> : wrong is even MORE disturbing.
> Dozens. Maaseh Rav isn't that big.

Yyou are right Mas'aseh Rav does not ahve 200 changes. It actaully has ONLY
303 paragraphs!

RYBS's lists 100 differerences in Customs in the YK machazor. I assume most
are based upon the GRA and that the Mas'seh RAv is not exhaustive anyway.

> : Maybe in 200 years from now, my proposals wil seem like old hat too!
> Of course they will. We will have a beis din gadol mimenu bechokhmah
> uveminyan, and all the authority of real nimnu vegamru of a body sitting
> on Har haBayis that can make binding taqanos etc... BB"A!
> Tir'u baTov!
> -Micha

My point is that if the GRA lived today, you would find him to be far more
distrubing to status quo than Wolpoe.

You seem to quibble with every minor point I have against accepted rpactice
but find it cool that the GRA goes agasint perhaps 303 prevalent practices
pertaining to his period.

But The GRA and I have something in common,

   1. The GRA wants to throw out some.much of Ashkenaic Rishonic practice in
   favor of a More Talmudic practice
   2. I want to throw out some of Ashekanzic Acharonic practice in favor of
   a more Ashkenazic Rishonic practice. {KAJ has bee naccused of davening
   "minhag Rishonim]

Example Tur spedifices do NOT change MoshavYekaro to Kidei Kevodo. I didn't
find much dissent inteh nos'ei Keilim. But Gra makes this change anyway

   1. The GRA probably would have liekd to go back to the era of of the Rif
   2. For me I would prefer maybe the Maharil-Rema,  because they raithfully
   practices the OLD Oral Asheknazic tradition.

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