Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 259

Tue, 15 Jul 2008

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 01:01:59 -0400
Re: [Avodah] public bet din

On Mon, Jul 14, 2008 at 4:09 PM, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:

> So I reask, how do we know the gemara assumes an audience, rather than
> accusing the eid echad of speaking LH to the dayanim?
> Tir'u baTov!
> -Micha
> -


   1. The judges are profesional skeptics. What they here they are NEVER
   allowed to believe until drish vachakira etc.
   2. A Single witness [outside of mamanos] is guilty of LH/MSR and gets
   makaas mardus becuase he is saying ra but TO WHOM?
   3. Therefore the testimony MUST be by implication heard by outsiders -
   otherwise no LH/ MSR is even shayach

I am just showing the ath te Gmara assumed people would get a "kol" a rumour
if a witnessw testified. That is a presuppposition that seems obvious,

If dayyanim make it a closed session, I don;t have a problem.  I am only
saying that:

   1. There MIGHT be bystanders or outsiders NOT
   2. That ther MUST be outsiders

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avod

Go to top.

Message: 2
From: "Mike Miller" <avodah@mikeage.net>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 10:43:07 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Mixed Singing

On Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 1:21 PM, Mike Miller <avodah@mikeage.net> wrote:
> [I]s there any halachic heter for a mixed singing
> performance?


From Rabbi David Bigman of Ma'ale Gilboa

The article is so self-contradictory, however, that it's hard to
figure out what he was really saying (although it certainly sounds....
shall we say... novel).

Does anyone know if his justification has been published anywhere?

-- Mike Miller
Ramat Bet Shemesh

Go to top.

Message: 3
From: "Simon Montagu" <simon.montagu@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 03:03:41 -0700
Re: [Avodah] Mixed Singing

On Tue, Jul 15, 2008 at 12:43 AM, Mike Miller <avodah@mikeage.net> wrote:

> http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3567666,00.html
> >From Rabbi David Bigman of Ma'ale Gilboa
> The article is so self-contradictory, however, that it's hard to
> figure out what he was really saying (although it certainly sounds....
> shall we say... novel).
> Does anyone know if his justification has been published anywhere?


I saw this reference in a blog this morning, but have not had time to read
the teshuva myself.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avod

Go to top.

Message: 4
From: "Saul Guberman" <saulguberman@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 09:07:28 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Mixed Singing

On Tue, Jul 15, 2008 at 03:43, Mike Miller <avodah@mikeage.net> wrote:

> On Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 1:21 PM, Mike Miller <avodah@mikeage.net> wrote:
> The article is so self-contradictory, however, that it's hard to
> figure out what he was really saying (although it certainly sounds....
> shall we say... novel).
> Does anyone know if his justification has been published anywhere?

You can find the teshuva here http://www.kolech.org.il/show.asp?id=28695
courtesy of
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avod

Go to top.

Message: 5
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 12:38:06 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Mevatlin TT lehotzoas hameis

R' Josh Backon wrote:
> And finally there are many poskim who rule that
> kevurah is only a mitzvat d'rabbanan (see: Rambam
> Hilchot Avel 14:1; Chavot Yair 139).

Do we actually hold this way?

If we do, why would a Kohen Gadol interrupt his d'Oraisa involvement with tzorchei tzibur, merely to do a d'rabanan of mes mitzvah?

Akiva Miller

Click here to find singles for dating, romance and fun.

Go to top.

Message: 6
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 09:38:07 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Kaddish where there is no chiyuv

On Tue, Jul 8, 2008 at 5:34 PM, Rich, Joel <JRich@sibson.com> wrote:

>  S"A O"C 132:2 - Rama says to say a kaddish after aleinu even where there
> is no chiyuv. Recently I was told by a friend that his Rav said this is lav
> davka and really meant the final kaddish which is now after shir shel yom. I
> vaguely remember hearing bshem R' YBS that the kaddish after aleinu is the
> "real" concluding kaddish (vs. kaddish shalem)
>  what are the actual practices out there? Any other  insights on the above?
> KT
> Joel Rich
In Sepharad a mizmor is said BEFORE aleinu and a qaddish ysaom follows and
Aleinu is a closing hymn w/o Qaddish

In Frnankfort, they say mizmorimg AFTER Aleinu but THERE WAS NO ALEINU
KADDISH!  This was changd when Breuer came to America.

In German communites when Arvis follows mincha directly there is NO Aleinu
and NO Kaddish.  this resembles Mussaph when it follows shacharis

In my shul we DID not do aleinu before Qabblas Sahbbos BUT I made an
exceptin if someone had [j]yahrzeit on Friday, I then inserted Aleinu to
enable a Kaddish.

All things considered, the Sephardic model to me is more logical. You say:

   1. kaddish tiskabal
   2. A mizmor
   3. Kaddish yason
   4. Aleinu

--And that is it.  I am not sure of the Rema's Mesorah on thsi one,;it was
not from Minhag Frankfort, although other communites might have been

I hope this helps

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avod

Go to top.

Message: 7
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 07:35:41 -0700
[Avodah] No Right to Mezuzot at Condos

On Tue, 15 Jul 2008 09:30 EDT, R Saul Guberman  wrote to Areivim:
>  http://www.nysun.com/national/no-right-to-mezuzot-at-condos/81659/

> ...The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, 2-1, that the
> condominium association at Shoreline Towers in Chicago did not run
> afoul of the Fair Housing Act when managers removed the religious
> items pursuant to a rule barring the placement of signs, shoes, mats,
> and any other sort of object outside residents' doors.

One of the guys in shiur once asked RDLifshitz about who had the
responsibility of checking the mezuzos in our dorm rooms. Within the
conversation, this very case came up. 

RDL suggested (my memory is that RDL was speaking lehalakhah with no
consideration of lema'aseh) that if the person doesn't have control over
whether or not he can hang the mezuzah, he lacks sufficient baalus over
the condo to require him to hang it anyway.

(That's not to say the decision is moral or consistent with US law. That
topic would have stayed on Areivim.)

Tir'u baTov! 

Micha Berger             The fittingness of your matzos [for the seder]
micha@aishdas.org        isn't complete with being careful in the laws
http://www.aishdas.org   of Passover. One must also be very careful in
Fax: (270) 514-1507      the laws of business.    - Rabbi Israel Salanter

Go to top.

Message: 8
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 12:24:57 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Did Tziporah say Lashon Hara?

On Thu, Jul 03, 2008 at 08:32:16PM -0400, Yitzhak Grossman wrote:
: I have argued that Rambam strongly implies that God *cannot*
: confer prophecy on the unsuitable individual.
: See my "On Divine Omnipotence and its Limitations", Hakirah Volume 2,
: available from: http://www.hakirah.org/Vol%202%20Grossman.pdf  See page
: 160 (page 10 in the PDF) and on.

Just to clarify the discussion....

There are two species of aggadic discussion:
1- Knowing what various rishonim said, because their opinions are Torah,
2- Deciding one's own approach to life.

In this discussion, many/most of us would find the Rambam's position
useful in developing our own derakhim. It depends on two things:

1- The Rambam believes that since Hashem's essence is Emes it is not
curtailing His Omnipotence to say that Hashem can not do the meaningless.
"A stone so heavy even He can't lift it" is simply a meaningless string
of words, like the Rambam's example of a "round square".

This is a topic RYG touches on in his article. Euclidean geometry was
found to be a special case, and not all of its postulates are true
in all possible worlds. (E.g. a triangle drawn on the earth from the
north pole, down to the equator, 1/4 way around the equator and then
back up to the north pole will have angles that total of 270deg, not
180deg. And according to Einstein and well proven by experiment, the
universe is non-euclidean.

Logic is also generalized. Two valued logic, with Aristotle's law of
excluded middle (no middle values) and law of contradiction (nothing can
be both true and false) is also just one special case. Classical logic
doesn't work well in the quantum realm, and they developed a "Quantum
Logic" to address attributes on that small scale.

The Rambam's words, if they are to be accepted, must today be applied
to the larger realm, the set of all possible logics or all possible
geometries. Not to Aristotle's and Euclid's specifically. And so, that
HQBH couldn't make a Euclidian triangle whose angles totaled something
other than 180deg, or one in Lobachevskian space (one which behaves like
the surface of a sphere) of 180deg or less, or.... perhaps stated simply
as one meta-rule. (Which could even be understoof on a Platonic level,
rather than formalism.)

Of course once one sees the need of jumping to the meta-level, I am
curious if there is a need for a meta-meta-level -- im kein ein ladavar
sof -- or, once you break thoguth to discuss systems of systems, you
already covered systems of systems-of-systems (the latter being just
a system of thought just like its members, after all). This brings me
into Bertrand Russell and the oddities of self-referring sets, but if I
had in that direction, truly ein ladavar sof, and people will be bored
well before then.

The Ramchal, FWIW, did not accept the Rambam's limitation of Omnipotence,
and believed that logic was a nivra. That HQBH was therefore not bound
by logic. My only problem with the Ramchal's position is pragmatic. Once
you say logic isn't a useful tool in underandig HQBH and His actions,
all conversation is impossible. Even vehalakhta bidrachav becomes
impossible. And yes, the Ramchal has to be speaking about His actions
if he is rebutting the Rambam's notion of no round squares.

2- That nevu'ah is the ability to see higher realities. This is different
than the Ramban et al's position that nevu'ah is a message granted by
the Almighty. (Look ma, no hyphen!)

(Is that enough chiluqim for a non-Brisker to make in one email?)

On this second topic, see my discussion of the subject in
the first two pages of Mesukim miDevash for parashas Mishpatim
<http://www.aishdas.org/mesukim/5764/mishpatim.pdf>. Also related is the
Rambam vs the Ramban on whether Avraham's nevu'ah consisted of seeing
angels, or if his nevu'ah was interrupted so he could serve the "men"
who arrived. See also http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2004/11/aspaqlaria.shtml
on whether the aspaqlaria of nevu'ah is a lens (to see beyond the self)
or a mirror (to see one's soul as it interacts with higher realities,
as per Yesodei haTorah 2:5).

I would argue that since most of us believe the Ramban's version of
the story in Va'eira and accept his question on the Rambam (rather than
the Abarbanel's answer) that majority implicitly believe the "message"
version of nevu'ah. We'll see if people change their minds as this
discussion makes their decision explicit and conscious.

Regardless of utility in my building my own derekh, I'm not sure RYG's
claim about shitas haRambam is necessarily so. To repeat the top quote:
: I have argued that Rambam strongly implies that God *cannot*
: confer prophecy on the unsuitable individual.

In the article (fn 21, starting on pg 160, 10th pg of PDF) RYG quotes
the Moreh, 2:33. Here are a couple of quotes (Friedlander's translation,
for ease of cut-n-paste):
> For we believe that, even if one has the capacity for prophecy, and
> has duly prepared himself, it may yet happen that he does not actually
> prophesy. It is in that case the will of God [that withholds from him
> the use of the faculty]. According to my opinion, this fact is as
> exceptional as any other miracle, and acts in the same way. For the
> laws of Nature demand that every one should be a prophet, who has a
> proper physical constitution, and has been duly prepared as regards
> education and training. If such a person is not a prophet, he is in
> the same position as a person who, like Jeroboam (1 Kings xiii.), is
> deprived of the use of his hand, or of his eyes, as was the case with
> the army of Syria, in the history of Elisha (2 Kings vi. 18)....
> There are, however, numerous passages in Scripture as well as in the
> writings of our Sages, which support the principle that it depends
> chiefly on the will of God who is to prophesy, and at what time; and
> that He only selects the best and the wisest. We hold that fools and
> ignorant people are unfit for this distinction. It is as impossible for
> any one of these to prophesy as it is for an ass or a frog; for prophecy
> is impossible without study and training; when these have created the
> possibility, then it depends on the will of God whether the possibility
> is to be turned into reality....

This last sentence is a translation of the one upon which RYG bases his
take on the Rambam.

Here's another way to read the Rambam. I'm not saying it's more
convincing, just that it's not enough less valid than RYG's to be
ignorable. I instead look at earlier sentences.

The comparison to Yerav'am. Does the Rambam consider giving sight to the
blind to be meaningless? I would presume that this is among the unnatural,
but logically meaningful. Like his take on yeish mei'ayin. (Which big
bang theory posits may not be unnatural after all.)

Also, the Rambam writes that "depends chiefly on the will of God who
is to prophesy". Not "who among the qualified". That Hashem "*selects*
only the best and the wisest".

I therefore could see that when the Rambam says it is impossible for a
fool or ignorant person to be a navi, he is sasying that it defies teva,
not that it is illogical or meaningless. There is nothing philosohically
meaningless about being handed an ability -- whether it's physical vision
or the chazon of a navi -- that was created yeish mei'ayin.

And so, I could see a paraphrase of the last sentence as: Beteva, man
prepares himself for nevu'ah and gets it. Even if he has the "sight",
HQBH could still withhold the vision from him. And if he doesn't have
the capacity, he can't ("natually" can't) get nevu'ah. Naturally, one
would need to prepare for prophecy, and then HQBH chooses whether he
has a chazon.

But supernaturally, Hashem could in theory select whomever He wished.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             The waste of time is the most extravagant
micha@aishdas.org        of all expense.
http://www.aishdas.org                           -Theophrastus
Fax: (270) 514-1507

Go to top.

Message: 9
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 13:11:25 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Halachic Texts: More Background

On Fri, Jul 11, 2008 at 12:14:57AM -0400, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
: > 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? ...

It's the product of a perusal of Maaseh Rav. However, if you're convinced
that the Gra poses a problem to normative halachic process, despite the
large acceptance of his ruling as a valid eilu va'eilu (if not accepted
by too many as /their/ "eilu"), the burden of making a survey would fall
on you.

I'm trying to defend the normal stance, by defining halakhah
descriptively. You're defining halakhah prescriptively and then compaining
that people don't fit that prescription. I have been arguing for over
a year now that this is simply proof that your presceiption is wrong.

Descriptively, we see teshuvos that work in senifim lehakeil (in some
domains, eg much of EhE, nearly all teshuvos qualify). We find poseqim
who usually follow mimetic precedent except in this case or that. The
SA follows the rov of his triumverate of codes, except when he doesn't.
These say to me that there are very few algorithmic rules of pesaq, and
far more matters that heuristically give weight to this shitah or that.

:> 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?

You're arguing that something doesn't fit halachic process by appealing
to halachic process. You instead need to appeal to the virtues of the
artgument itself -- not who held it.

IS not wearing a tallis gadol during shema arguably wrong? Certainly --
midevar sheqer tirchaq. But if you're wearing a tallis qatan, is it
definitely wrong, well, is it so simple that he's not practicing what
he's preaching when he says the third pereq?

: > 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?

A shitah that can be shown to be internally flawed isn't settled law.
You're just reinvoking what I tried to dismiss in #1.

: 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?

Let's invoke the same three criteria:
1- How is the pesaq not to internally flawed?
2- Are you textually equal to a rishon?
3- 3 you actually have -- there was no formal nimnu vegamru. Which reduces
the rov who do not allow you to do so to a factor that may be outweighed
by another. Not a rule that removes the option from the table. (See below)

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

: Who says?

I should have been more clear. When I said "isn't really a rule",
I should have better emphasized the word "rule". It's still a factor
on the poseiq's pro-vs-con sheet. What I meant was that it's not an
algorithmic rule, making it impossible for other factors to bring it back
into discussion. When there is a formal head count, such as in Chananya
ben Chizkiya ben Guryon's attic, azlinan basar ruba is an actual rule
(given all the details and caveats to the rule in Mes Horios) not a
factor to consider among others.

:    1. The Beis Yosef in YD 101 says there IS and tha's how he rejects the
:    Rif

And yet the SA violated his own rule of nimnu vegamru in numerous

:    2. MB uses Rov acharhoim in MANY places as HIS sources in Sha'ar
:    Hatziyyun such as BE'tzitzis

And he also violates it in many places. Such as the tzeirei in

Because saying that it carried the day in one din or antoher doesn't
mean it's the factor that will always carry the day.

: 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
: on!

In which case, when did they turn iut into common practice. As the ghetto
walls were falling and people no longer could rely on the mimetic lifestle
of the past now that they were more mobile.

You held me to the date the emancipation actually hitthe ghetto, as
opposed to the general air of openness that forced the need for Chassidus.
Then you delay the actual acceptance of this change in din to the next
generation. Thereby moving the actual halachic change to after the
walls fell.

But that's tangential. If there was enough openness in the Gra's day
that the Besh"T needed to inspire the masses, there was already enough
decay of mimeticism to warrant a greater interest in texts.

: 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?

My current poseiq humors my own desire to stick to minhagim I can be
explained. So he will pasqen for me differently than he would for himself.
I have the advantage of coming from a very mobile heritage, and have no
multigenerational minhagim. Which is untrue of my rav.

: 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.

... or you listen to the past year of debate, and stop asking me to
accept an either-or.

1- The argument that RER is a throwback can't be supported. Just because
there is no objective metric doesn't mae the claim any less obviously

2- When we speak of weighing factors, the factors have to be real. You
can't invent a koach chakhamim. No one ever in the history of halakhah
granted Sanhedrin, never mind a contemporary "musmach", the power to do
hafkaos on a case-by-case basis nor without the husband doing any

One can only select among eilu va'eilu, not invent ideas of whole cloth.

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

Quite likely. But it would still be obvious he had broite pleitzes.

: 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]

I have nothing against your #2. I have something against your saying that
this is the only way to go, when you shift from arguing in favor of the
Maharil's perspective on precedent to arguing against the correctness
of other weighting schemes.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             A wise man is careful during the Purim banquet
micha@aishdas.org        about things most people don't watch even on
http://www.aishdas.org   Yom Kippur.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                       - Rabbi Israel Salanter

Go to top.

Message: 10
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 10:52:44 EDT
Re: [Avodah] ra-ah - da-ah (from areivim)

From: Zev Sero _zev@sero.name_ (mailto:zev@sero.name) 

> ....the 
>  g'mara is describing the excellent vision of the bird in question.... 
> That's on the literal level. Homiletically, IMNSHO this phrase  very 
> aptly describes those who live in chu"l and are constantly harping  on 
> things in Israel. [--RSM]

>>The problem with this homiletics game is that it is just a game;  the
darshan is really giving his own view, not the gemara's, so nobody  is
obliged to accept it.  But some people are left with the  impression
that this is the gemara's or the medrash's view, and cite it (as  was
done on Areivim) as if it had some authority.

Zev  Sero  

What does the Gemara actually say?  What is the context in which this  bird's 
vision is discussed?

--Toby  Katz

**************Get the scoop on last night's hottest shows and the live music 
scene in your area - Check out TourTracker.com!      
-------------- 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 259

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 >