Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 300

Tue, 19 Aug 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 20:57:54 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Geirut

On Monday, 18. August 2008 17.35:52 avodah-request@lists.aishdas.org wrote:
> R'n CL (on Areivim):
> If kabalas ol mitzvos is an intrinsic requirement for giyor, then it could
> not be done for a minor, because a minor does not have daas, and hence is
> not capable of kabalas ol mitzvos.

Not necessarily. It would mean that the da'at of Beit Din stands en lieu of 
the qatan's da'at, just like beit din can appoint an apotropos who is 
qualified to make decisions requiring da'at en lieu of the minor orphans.

Alternatively, it may be that qabalat 'ol mitzvot is a requirement similar to 
the obligation to bring an 'olah scarifice upon converting: when impossible 
it need not be done. Bringing the sacrifice is impossible when the Beit 
haMiqdash isn't standing, having da'at is impossible for a qatan.

Arie Folger

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Message: 2
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 14:50:52 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Bracha on Megillah

Micha Berger wrote:

> I could see a reason not to buy a kelaf, since it shows an expectation
> that one would be mourning enough 9 beAv's to justify the investment.

When Moshiach comes Eicha will no longer be part of Tanach?  The shul
might not get quite the use out of it that was anticipated, but it's
not as if it will be useless and worthless, ch"v.  IMHO it's also
possible that since the four tzomot will turn into yamim tovim, one
of the rituals of the holiday of Tish'a Be'av will be the reading of
Eicha, in a mode of "hayinu kecholmim".  If that happens, then the
investment will continue to pay off.

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

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Message: 3
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 15:04:57 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Bracha on Megillah

R' Joel Rich:
> Actually IIRC R'YBS stated the minhag was to get rid of the kinot books
> every year for just this reason.

"Get rid of"?


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Message: 4
From: "Chana Luntz" <Chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 21:35:25 +0100
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] jews?

RZS writes:

> Why?  AIUI, we (the BD or the parents) accept ol mitzvot on the minor's
> behalf. 

The adoptive parents have no halachic status vis a vis this non Jewish child
- so how do you get to what is effectively a form of shlichus in which they
act on behalf of this child?  And Beis Din - look at how complicated the
issue is for Beis Din to separate a Jewish child b'yadam from treifos and
neveilos -  and this goes way beyond that.  

> We assume that if he had daat he would have agreed to accept
> it, so we do it on his behalf, subject to his approval when he grows up.

BTW though, even this opens up a relatively simple way of dealing with the
issue faced by the State of Israel - get Beis Din to convene every year and
accept ol mitzvos for every minor born to an Israeli who came in under the
law of return (or whatever criteria you want to use to make sure you catch
whomsoever you want to catch).  If they had been doing this since the
creation of the state - we would have a *much* more limited problem today.

> Or, in the case of the father, he has total reshut over his child, and
> can accept ol mitzvot on his behalf, substituting his own daat for his
> child's.

A non Jew does not have this halachic status vis a vis his child (after all,
in many ways halachically, we don't even recognise his child as his) and
adoptive parents have even less, probably at most a dina d'malchusa dina
form of reshus.
> > We don't hold like that.  We don't even *require* them at bas or bar
> > mitzvah to make a formal acceptance (although some do).  To uproot
> > the giyor, they have to make a formal protest - without that, they
> > are Jews.
> They don't have to make a formal protest, they just have to not be
> keeping mitzvot. By continuing to live as if they were obligated in
> mitzvot, they signify their assent to the commitment that was made
> in their name.

Source? - the Shulchan Aruch seems to say precisely the opposite:

Yoreh Deah siman 268 si'if 7 "And whether he was a minor megayered by his
father or by beis din he is able to protest when he becomes a gadol and
[then] his din is not like a Yisroel mumar, but rather like a non Jew".

Si'if 8:  "in regards to what are we speaking, when he does not conduct
himself as a Jew [noheg minhag Yahadus] when he becomes a gadol, but if
conducts himself as a Jew when he becomes a gadol then he is no longer able
to protest."

That is, if he is keeping mitzvos (clearly the most stringent version of
what noheg minhag Yahadus means) he cannot protest and decide to be a goy.
Only if he is not noheg minhag Yahadus does the option of protest exist.

> Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's

RIS then writes:

> If giyur is valid without kabbalat ol mitzvot, than why is giyur by a
> Conservative beit din, which includes mikveh and (for males) milah, not
> valid?

However you want to go on kabbalat ol mitzvot, there is no question that one
of the outcomes of the sugya in Yevamos 45a and following is that for a
valid conversion you need three kosher dayanim.  That, BTW seems to be the
basis for the nullifications that has sparked all of this off - if the
dayanim in question are not kosher, then all the conversions they do are not
valid, no matter whether there was in other ways the most perfect of
requirements.  A conversion beno u'bein atzmo (ie a private conversion, no
matter how sincere, involving tevila and mila) is not a conversion.  And
similarly a conversion in front of somebody not kosher to be a dayan does
not count for anything.

> - Ilana

Then RTK writes:

>But no (or few) poskim would perform a gerus on a child being adopted by
>non-observant Jews who will not raise the child to be Torah-observant.

Agreed - that is the general policy.  Remember converts who are not going to
be observant are generally considered not to be good for the Jewish people,
so if we put people off conversion, that is not a problem.

>  So SOMEBODY has to be mekabel ol hamitzvos it seems to me

This though does not follow in logic.  The fact that you might choose, on
public policy grounds, not to do something, does not mean that halachically
it cannot be done.

> -- if not the child (since he's not a bar da'as), then the parents who
>will raise and educate him.

This on the other hand postulates the idea that a parent, any parent (and
even someone with non halachic status as parent) has the power to do more
than just raise and educate - they are able to effect life changing status
decisions upon a child.  Now there are halachic cases of this: the main one
is the power of a father to marry off his minor daughter (ie substitute his
daas for hers).  This changes her from single to married, without her
consent, and she is stuck with it (to the extent that having relations with
somebody other than her husband carries the death penalty).  To a lesser
extent, the father also has the power to sell her as a slave - but this
power to change her status disappears on her majority so it is not really
comparable.  The rabbis also gave a mother and brother the power to marry
off a minor girl without her consent (rabbinically), but with her then
having the ability to protest on majority - and this would seem to be about
the closest halachic scenario to what you are suggesting.

But all of this is specifically limited to the blood relatives of the child.
The biological father (but not an adopted father) by Torah law, the mother
and brother (but not an adopted mother or brother) by rabbinic law.  It was
not even extended to Beis Din to allow them to marry off an orphan minor
girl.  So to be suddenly handing out a general power to substitute for the
daas of a child to whomsoever has some sort of secular powers in relation to
such child, seems a truly extraordinary chiddush - far more radical than
suggesting that kabbalas ol mitzvos is, ultimately, just not an instrinsic
requirement, at least in the case of a minor.



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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 18:09:49 -0400
Re: [Avodah] KSA, MB, AhS, Chayei Adam and other codes

On Fri, Aug 15, 2008 at 04:34:29PM -0400, Yitzhak Grossman wrote:
:> But speaking a little more broadly... Hafka'as qidushin was never invoked
:> the way RER did, with (1) no maaseh on the part of the husband, and (2)
:> in a case by case fashion. He's taking an idea that historically was a

: As I have previously pointed out, perhaps "almost never" but not
: necessarily "never"; see Darkei Moshe EH end of Siman 13....

DM on Tur 7:13 cites the case of a group of women who were captured in
Austria. The gemarah doesn't allow an eishes ish who was penuyah return
to her husband, and yet these women were allowed. The Rama suggests
that the rabbanim were mafkiim qidushin. R' Herzog says that wouldn't
have been sufficient, except as one half of a sefeiq sefeiqa. The other
safeiq being, not every shevuyah is raped. AND, this case is permitting
the lav of marrying a kohein, not eishes ish -- the stakes are lower. As
the Rama points out, they were going to live with the kohein either way;
so the stakes were really low -- do we find some way for them to do it
in a manner that might be beheter. As the Rama puts it "LEIS MIN DINA,
ela tzorekh sha'ah" (emphasis mine, of course).

It would also be worth seeing the Terumas haDeshen he cites.

Aside from that, the Rama's solution is beyond my comprehension. A
shevuyah who was never married can't marry a kohein either. Mah yo'il?

This is far from a stellar source, given that the Rama doesn't mention
it in the Mapa and he explicitly says it's not din. But you're right
that I was unaware of an important source.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "The worst thing that can happen to a
micha@aishdas.org        person is to remain asleep and untamed."
http://www.aishdas.org          - Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv, Alter of Kelm
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 18:11:01 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Bracha on Megillah

On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 03:04:57PM -0400, Moshe Y. Gluck wrote:
: > Actually IIRC R'YBS stated the minhag was to get rid of the kinot books
: > every year for just this reason.

: "Get rid of"?

Bury. 10th of Av, in the afternoon, the qinos would be buried, with
wishes that they would never need mass publication again.

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 7
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 18:30:35 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Bracha on Megillah

> On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 03:04:57PM -0400, Moshe Y. Gluck wrote:
> : > Actually IIRC R'YBS stated the minhag was to get rid of the kinot
> : > every year for just this reason.
> : "Get rid of"?

R' MB:
> Bury. 10th of Av, in the afternoon, the qinos would be buried, with
> wishes that they would never need mass publication again.

And then they would be dug up next year? Or would new ones be
printed/bought? And which Kehillos had this Minhag?


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Message: 8
From: "Chana Luntz" <Chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 23:45:58 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Geirus

RMYG writes:

> Maybe the lack of Kabalas Ol Mitzvos (KOM) of an adult is a repudiation of
> the Geirus, because it's like the Geir is saying, "I want to be a Jew and
> not listen to Hashem." While the lack of KOM of a child is not any sort of
> repudiation of the Geirus, because - like you say - the Katan has no Daas,
> anyway. So it isn't that KOM is required, as much as that lack of KOM - by
> a
> Gadol - is contradictory to the Geirus process, intrinsically. If this is
> true, we can't get away from the requirement of KOM by a Gadol.

Part of the problem here is that once you start talking about KOM, you also
then need to define what it means.  This is a problem because the gemora in
Yevamos 45 and on discusses KOM (for a free person, and for a slave), but it
is certainly not clear from that sugya that this means what we are taking
KOM to mean, as this seems there more to be a discussion about coming of
one's one free will rather than being coerced (although this might have
modern implications if say the Russians did not want to convert).

What we take KOM to mean in our discussions is closest to what is stated in
Bechoros 30b "oved kachovim sheba l'kabel torah chutz m'dvar echad ain
mekablin".  There though, the statement is a) that they are not to be
accepted (ie l'chatchila), not about what happens if they do get accepted
(whether by mistake or not).  And b) further, it is not exactly clear the
extent to which this statement translates into halacha l'ma'ase (especially
given its absence from the codes - given the clear cut nature of this
statement, one would have expected, if it was halacha l'ma'ase, then it
would have headed the list of requirements in the Shulchan Aruch). If you
take the viewpoint of an REB, then you say that while this non acceptance is
a good general policy decision, because of the problematic nature of
converts, it is one which can be overridden in circumstances where the dayan
feels there are reasons to do so - such as in the case of Hillel accepting
the convert who was explicitly only prepared to convert if he could be cohen
gadol, actions which clearly involve numerous issurim.  As the Shach puts it
in Yoreh Deah siman 268 si'if katan 23 -  "from here [ie the case of Hillel
accepting the convert] can be learnt that all is according to what is seen
by the eyes of the beis din" (see the sources he quotes there).  On the
other hand, explicit statements in the gemora, whether then brought
explicitly in the Shulchan Aruch or not, carry quite a lot of weight.

But even more, this is before we get into the modern day question about what
happens if the convert claims to be coming to accept the whole Torah, but
show by their actions that they don't (the classic modern case of the
potential ger who flies into Israel, has an appointment before Beis Din on
the Friday on which they complete the conversion procedure, including making
a statement of acceptance of all the mitzvos and then flies back to chutz
l'aretz on the immediately following Friday night on the return flight which
they had already booked when they flew in to convert - pretty hard to argue
that they ever had any intention about being shomer shabbas, not matter what
they said in front of beis din).  In order to render a decision here, you
clearly need to extrapolate to rule out a conversion on the basis of
actions, when none of the cases (except perhaps that below of the Kusim)
deal with actions in this way (or to the extent they do, they seem to point
to actions as not invalidating the conversion, see the immediately preceding
sugya in Bechoros).

But let's throw in yet one more case to further show the complexity.  Take
the case of the Kusim.  All over the gemora there is a machlokus as to
whether they were gerei emes or gerei arios - true converts or converts
because of lions.  But seems that this is a question of fact, if they were
in fact gerei emes, then they are to be treated as renegade Jews, if they
were gerim due to lions, then they are not.  So something must be able to
invalidate a conversion, which presumably was done in front of a proper beis
din etc, because otherwise how could they be having the machlokus?  But then
again, what the Kusim seem to have wanted to do is tried to add Hashem to
their pantheon of gods, if you like, right from the beginning (which is why
Tosphos seem to have a problem with the very idea that they could have been
considered a true convert, based on the pasukim).  And it is hard to be sure
what else, beside lion fear (and/or mamash avodah zara as per Tosphos),
falls within this category.

The case of the katan is far simpler, which is why I brought it - to avoid
all this.
> KT,



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Message: 9
From: "Ira Tick" <itick1986@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 02:31:03 -0500
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] jews?

I'm not certain that it has any valid halachic connection to gerus, but the
following story may have some value for understanding the concept of
kabbalas ol mitzvos:

R Aryeh Rottman, Dean of the American-chareidi "Yeshiva Mercaz HaTorah" in
Israel, told me that when he served as a Rav in Miami Beach, FL, he slowly
brought a middle aged couple back to Torah observance, with just one hitch.
The husband told R Rottman that he refused to accept life threatenting
illness as the drawing line for violating shabbos in connection with
refuah.  "If my wife has a medical problem, or is in any pain, I'm driving
her to the doctor, Rabbi"  he said.  R Rottman wanted to know if this man
could be considered a "Shomer Shabbos" for halachic purposes involving
kashrus, etc.  R Rottman asked R Aharon Kotler if the man was considered a
shomer shabbos.  R Kotler said it was apparent that this man had in mind to
accept the mitvos and halachos of shmiras shabbos, but could just not fathom
that G-d would want him to forgo seeing a doctor unless the situation was
life-threatening.  Therefore, the man's shmiras shabbos is acceptable enough
to consider him a "shomer shabbos," even though he denied a halacha that he
knew was in the Torah.  The man was not considered a Yisrael Mumar or a
"mchalel shabbos" individual.  (Obviously the man would still be mchalel
shabbos, at least bshogeg, whenever he drove on shabbos, as am I if I forget
the halachos of borer).
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Message: 10
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doniels@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 07:20:18 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Bracha on Megillah

>For similar reasons, there was initially rabbinic resistance to
>hard-cover bound sifrei Qinos, saying there was meaning in using the
>cheap staple-back ones.

There still are plenty of Yidden who throw their Qinos into Geniza
every year after 9 B'Av.

The yearly sale of new Qinos books (softcover) is a big business here
in EY. Outside many shuls you are offered a wide selection of new

B'Nechomas Tzion,

- Danny, who uses his Opa's Qinos which is so old that the translation
is in Gothic script [Blackletter, as per RAF]

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Message: 11
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doniels@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 07:27:57 +0300
Re: [Avodah] 10 shevatim

RTK posited
"When they came back to E'Y after 70 years  they no longer lived in
specific tribal areas and probably most of them had  already forgotten
exactly which tribe they belonged to by then."

I am not convinced, as the 2nd chapter of Ezra specifically mentions 2
families which had lost their Sefer Yuchsin... implying that rest of
the 42,360 people had their lineage records intact.

That said, not a single tribe (besides for Cohen [and Levi]) is mentioned, IIRC.

- Danny, who happens to be reading Sefer Ezra at the moment.

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Message: 12
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 14:59:46 GMT
Re: [Avodah] bracha on megilla

R' Eli Turkel wrote:
> I don't think we ever say a beracha on a minhag that
> is not mentioned in the gemara.

This question comes up every once in a while on these pages. I has vague memories of these brachos being mentioned:

-- Al Mitzvas Tefilin
-- L'hadlik Ner Shel Yom Hakippurim
-- Al Mitzvas Tzitzis
-- Baruch Hashem L'Olam / Yiru Eineinu (in maariv)

Akiva Miller

Hit it out of the park with a new bat. Click now!


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