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Volume 25: Number 295

Thu, 14 Aug 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Gershon Dubin" <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 13:42:04 GMT
Re: [Avodah] King/Kenig

Similarly, an adon is the base upon which all rests;  a "herr" is a master.


-- "Doron Beckerman" <beck072@gmail.com> wrote:
One of my Rabbeim once pointed out a difference in outlook between the
Torah and other cultures. "Kenig" means something like "Kol Yachol", which
is the essence of how the king was perceived, whereas in Lashon Hakodesh
the word is "Melech" - which means something like he who takes counsel.  
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Message: 2
From: "Gershon Dubin" <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 14:30:36 GMT
[Avodah] Mesei Midbar

We are in those days that the mesei midbar thought they would still be dying, even in the last year.  Which brings me to the question:
Did everyone die when they reached 60?  
Or did some die younger and some older, with the net-net being that all who
were 20-60 at the yetzias mitzraim were dead by the time they were ready to
enter E"Y.
If the former, only those who had turned (would be turning?) 60 during that year should have dug graves;  everyone else would have known they still had time.

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Message: 3
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 12:31:32 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Tisha B'Av on Sunday

R'n TK:
By no stretch of the imagination can a major meal be called a "public
display /of mourning/."? A better question might be, isn't this hachana

Do you mean that the not eating is Hachanah? I had the question the other
way - can you tell someone, "Drink a lot before the Taanis!" or something of
the sort - is that what you meant?


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Message: 4
From: Alan Rubin <alan@rubin.org.uk>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 17:59:02 +0100
[Avodah] Format of Tehillim

The tehillim generally have a verse form whereby almost all verses
consist of two, sometimes 3 phrases. The way that these phrases
parallel each other is an important part of the poetry of the psalms
and being able to appreciate this can only enhance our understanding
of them.

Why do the vast majority of siddurim print most tehillim as if they
were prose? Doesn't this obscure the poetry of the tehillim? An
honourable exception to this is the de Sola Pool siddur which I only
saw for the first time on a recent trip to the States. And even this
siddur ignors the verse structure for most of the tehillim in pesukei

Many of the tehillim are prefaced with words like mizmor or shir.
Shouldn't they be printed like a song?

Alan Rubin

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 11:06:21 -0700
Re: [Avodah] Tisha B'Av on Sunday

On Thu, 14 Aug 2008 03:57:39 EDT, T613K@aol.com wrote:
> By no stretch of the imagination can a major meal  be called a
> "public display /of mourning/."...

I disagree. We all know why we're eating more, and why it's not the usual
seder hayom. Which is sort of my point; by conforming to pro forma
definition of avoiding aveilus berabbim, we are ignoring the fact that in
reality we're turning part of Shabbos into a pre-9 beAv specific thing --
and thus marking aveilus berabbim.

Tir'u baTov! 

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 11:12:15 -0700
Re: [Avodah] Birkas Erusin

On Thu, 14 Aug 2008 04:42:22 GMT, "kennethgmiller@juno.com"
<kennethgmiller@juno.com> wrote:
> On the occasion of my daughter's wedding about 18 hours from now, I'd
> to share a thought which I've had for a long time, but could find no
> support for until a few minutes ago.

Mazal tov!

> But how can we have a Birkas Hamitzvah on a prohibition? It is unheard
> Yes, I'll concede that this is the only such brachah. But this is also a
> very unusual prohibition. All other prohibitions apply from the time we
> were first obligated in mitzvos, or they apply at certain times of the
> or year, and are clock/calendar dependent. As such, the concept of Over
> Laasiyasan sort of doesn't apply, making the bracha a no-go.

Tosefes Shabbos is similar. By making Shabbos early, I create issurim to
avoid. Ta'anis on YK is certainly besheiv ve'al ta'aseh. But the berakhah
is on the neir.

Tir'u baTov! 

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Message: 7
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 11:25:21 -0700
Re: [Avodah] Format of Tehillim

On Thu, 14 Aug 2008 17:59:02 +0100, Alan Rubin <alan@rubin.org.uk> wrote:
> Why do the vast majority of siddurim print most tehillim as if they
> were prose? Doesn't this obscure the poetry of the tehillim?

When written by a sofeir al kelaf, it's written like Ha'Azinu, in two
columns. Of course this means that if you have a 3 or 1 phrase pasuq 
the pesuqim stop mid-line until the next pasuq with an odd number of

I thought that was strange, and obscures the structure. And isn't merely
the whim of publishers.

In AL, I simply lacked the time to do the formatting. What if the two
phrases on that line, in the font I chose, don't fit?

To really answer your question, I think in many cases it reflects the
fact that most people aren't shopping for a siddur based on their
knowledge of what the tefillos mean. In other cases, e.g. interlinear
siddurim (whether to English or Modern Hebrew), it's more like what I
had when I tried doing my mini-siddur -- the technical work is heavy,
especially given the interwoven translation.

Not a Torah answer at all, more Areivim than Avodah, but there it is.

Tir'u baTov! 

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Message: 8
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 14:36:20 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Format of Tehillim

> On Thu, 14 Aug 2008 17:59:02 +0100, Alan Rubin <alan@rubin.org.uk> wrote:
> > Why do the vast majority of siddurim print most tehillim as if they
> > were prose? Doesn't this obscure the poetry of the tehillim?

R' MB: 
> When written by a sofeir al kelaf, it's written like Ha'Azinu, in two
> columns. Of course this means that if you have a 3 or 1 phrase pasuq
> the pesuqim stop mid-line until the next pasuq with an odd number of
> phrases.

Then why don't those Tanach's that specifically mimic the structure of the
page written on the Klaf (like the Koren edition) print it that way? 


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Message: 9
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 13:08:52 -0700
Re: [Avodah] Tefillin On and Off

On Thu, 14 Aug 2008 07:10:03 -0400, Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
> The arm symbolizes physical strength and the head symbolizes the  
> intellect and mind.  Before we can even think, we must possess  
> physical strength....

Before we use that strength, we better think!

Shel yad is first because it's first in the pasuq "uqeshartem le'os al
yadekha, vehayu letotafos bein einekha. That's the reason in Menachos 36a

Tir'u baTov! 

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Message: 10
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 16:17:52 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Hilchos Birkat Hamazon

On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 06:37:16AM -0400, Cantor Wolberg wrote:
: The following is documented:
: My questions are:  Is it credible that stepping on bread crumbs can  
: lead to poverty...

For a mystic, there is no question -- You can't understand metaphysical
causality. (Though Chazal knew far more than we can.) 

For a rationalist -- one has to seek symbolic / pyshological import.

Someone who takes the gift of hamotzi lechem min ha'aretz for granted
will be pushed into a situation where he can more easily feel the full
amount of G-d's gift to us.

: Second halacha above:  I always liked the idea of removing or covering  
: knives before Birchas since it is compared to weapons. However, to give,
: as an example, a mentally disturbed...

It's about shulchan domeh lemizbeiach and "ki charbekha heinafta aleha
vatechaleleha" (Semos 20:22). IOW, it's not just the notion of weapons,
it's trying to recreate the feel of being at the mizbeiach. At least
long enough to bentch.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where
micha@aishdas.org        you are,  or what you are doing,  that makes you
http://www.aishdas.org   happy or unhappy. It's what you think about.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Dale Carnegie

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Message: 11
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 17:10:28 -0400
Re: [Avodah] KSA, MB, AhS, Chayei Adam and other codes

On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 09:18:38AM -0400, David Riceman wrote:
: This is a lovely hiluk, but its not germane.  RER's observation, IIUIC, 
: is that tav l'meisav is deduced from the observations that (a) women 
: marry for status, and (b) women's primary route to status is through 
: their husbands.  Nowadays women have an equally viable route to status 
: through careers, so that deduction is no longer applicable (ad kan RER).

RER makes a number of claims.

Even if tav lemeisav is no longer true, it doesn't mean his action is
okay. That's what I was saying besheim RARR and RAL -- RYBS's primaty
objection was NOT about tav lemeisav being an exitential permanent fact
of human nature since the eitz hada'as. Just that people remember his
philosophically interesting point.

It extends the set of kinds of flaws a man can have, but only those flaws
that existed at the time of the wedding. Otherwise, nistapchah sadeha. See
IM EhE III:45 -- he requires a ta'am hagun for why, if a personality
flaw existed, they stayed together. And in that case it was only 7 weeks!

Although the canonical IM on the subject is EhE I:79-80.

So, if one is annulling a marriage because the guy is a jerk, you have
to prove he was always an intolerable jerk and there was a reason why
she stayed with him despite that.

But RER not only invokes meqach ta'us, he also invokes hafka'as
qiddushin as a 2nd snif. The problems with that I already discussed at
greater length.

Note to RRW:
    So, no matter how much value you give the project of matir agunos,
    there is no way to
        a- take a meqach that wasn't a ta'us at the time
        b- make a hafkaas qiddushin that isn't a set rule "whenever
           X,Y" and
        c- that isn't invalidating qiddushin or validating a bad get.

    Even with a heuristic, there are limits, and eilu va'eilu isn't endless.
-- end note --

: To me this reads as though RAL/RYBS is adumbrating a principle: any 
: hiddush which negates large amounts of halacha is, ipso facto, 
: incorrect.  If so, why shouldn't it apply to the "general Brisker belief 
: that only halakhah can create halakhah"?

Because non-halakhah isn't a chiddush. What we're saying is that if
RER's method works, since it's obvious, and would be a better solution
than the steps the gemara took, why didn't the gemara take it? Remember,
a key part of the question is "Are we smarter than Abayei veRava, the
Rambam or the Shagos Aryei?"

What are you asking? If an archeologist with today's equipment can
identify the maqom hamizveiach, why didn't the Shagos Aryei? Or,
if not knowing the maqom hamizbeiach means no qorbanos, why did
Rebbe write an entire seider qodshim instead of destroying all trace
of the location?

I don't see the parallel.

The way I put it last time was: Lo ra'inu eino ra'ayah doesn't work
when it's a yard-across disc that someone claims is right in front of
your face. At some level of obviousness, their not taking that choice is
proof against the choice.

The question would be on heter iska -- if it works, why wasn't it done

One reason is that the heter iska is oly about a century or two newer
than the ubiquity of banking on ribis.

A second may be that it's simply not that blatantly obvious.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When a king dies, his power ends,
micha@aishdas.org        but when a prophet dies, his influence is just
http://www.aishdas.org   beginning.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                    - Soren Kierkegaard

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Message: 12
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 14:15:10 -0700
[Avodah] shkia according to SA

> One famous example is the definition of shekia. SA paskens like Rabbenu Tam
> that it means a second shkia "72 minutes" after sunset.  Most ashkenazim
> and sefardim pasken like the geonim, gra, SAHarav that it is astronomical sunset

The Mechaber changed his mind in Hil' Milah.>>

I would appreciate it if others could look at SA YD 266 8,9

I am on travel without easy access to a SA

I have looked at
which has a detailed discussion of the gemara, rishonim and poskim of
when shekia occurs.

They bring down the SA both in OH 261 and in YD 266:9 which discuss
shekia and they
assume that in BOTH places SA is paskening like Rabbenu Tam.

Similarly in the various achronim they bring it seems to assume that SA paskens
like RT and the only question is whether our minhag is to override SA
and hold like
the geonim.  The conclusion is that some sefardim hold only like the geonim.
ROY holds basically like the geonim (ie against SA!!) but says one can
be machmir
on motzei shabbat and it is a legitimate minhag

Among the Ashkenazim there are the 2 sefardi minhagim plus a third
that paskens like
SA (RT) both for chumra and for kulah.

None of the sources in this article seem to allow for a contradiction
in SA itself

Eli Turkel

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Message: 13
From: David Riceman <driceman@att.net>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 17:38:33 -0400
Re: [Avodah] KSA, MB, AhS, Chayei Adam and other codes

Micha Berger wrote:
> RER makes a number of claims.
I'm hazy on the details, but I do recall that RYBS's comment on RER came 
several years before anyone introduced mekah ta'us into the equation.  I 
suspect one of us has the history mixed up, and maybe we should verify 
that before we continue the discussion.

David Riceman

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Message: 14
From: "Doron Beckerman" <beck072@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 22:24:32 +0300
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] secular studies

First let me state that I found that Rav Wolbe in Alei Shur vol. 2 page
612 states matter-of-factly that both opinions are talking about someone
who is Torasu Umnuso. So, I retract my concession. :) But, on to the
issues raised.

> So, your insistance that only the highest level is relevant is not at all
> what Nefesh HaChaim says.

I insisted nothing of the sort. I said that he must be thinking in Eisek
HaTorah, and I stated openly that this does not necessarily mean horeving
over a Ketzos.

> Also, it would mean that no Jewish person could become a doctor, and
> we know that during the time of Rav Yishmael there were Jewish doctors,
> so it obviously couldn't be his meaning.

It would mean that someone not planning on training himself in utilizing
his Kochos Keihim, or not a genius who is able to multi-focus, should
perhaps choose another profession according to the Nefesh Hachaim.

Look, it is in any event crystal clear from the Nefesh Hachaim that he
is talking about someone, within Rabbi Yishmael, who is going to spend
the barest minimum time possible, K'dei Chayav Mamash, in pursuit of
a livelihood and not more. I think that militates strongly in favor of
my initial contention that he is agreeing with the SA Harav, and that
people not planning on the route to Torah greatness have nobody talking
to them in this Gemara.

That's how the SA Harav paskens in any event, that there is the level
of the Rabbi Yishmael people and the level of the people who won't be
great in Torah who can spend the bulk of their time in their Melachah,
be Koveia Ittim and support Torah study with their money.

> But if the doctor says a prayer before hand; learns the topic to the
> best of his ability, does it with the intention of keeping VeRafo Yerapeh
> - then all his actions are taken to be acts of Torah.

That's true, but that's not the Nefesh Hachaim's Rabbi Yishmael.


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