Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 343

Thu, 25 Sep 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 12:26:30 -0400
Re: [Avodah] induction cooking

M Cohen wrote:

>> Can there be a blech where the source of heat is the food itself?

> I don't see how a blech is possible, because it's not possible to place
> a blech between the heat source (the pot) and the food.  perhaps b'dieved
> to rely on the opinions that one can cover the knobs (as some do for
> crockpots)

Why is this bedieved?  Covering the knobs is parallel to gerifah; the top
part of the blech that covers the flame is parallel to ketima.  Standard
blechs do both, but only one is necessary.

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

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 12:39:52 -0400
Re: [Avodah] induction cooking

On Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 12:26:30PM -0400, Zev Sero wrote:
: Why is this bedieved?  Covering the knobs is parallel to gerifah; the top
: part of the blech that covers the flame is parallel to ketima.  Standard
: blechs do both, but only one is necessary.

That would have been my take too. Now, given that, and given that
the flame isn't visible, is a blech needed altogether, or is ketima
effectively done by the mechanics of how the food is heated?

IOW, is ketimah covering the flame, or not having a flame to see?

My take from the gemara is in the case where there is no flame to see as
too low or high and therefore no chance of panic to stoke it, requiring
any form of blech is already above the minimum of the din.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             A person must be very patient
mi...@aishdas.org        even with himself.
http://www.aishdas.org         - attributed to R' Nachman of Breslov
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 13:45:18 -0400
Re: [Avodah] mi yamut

On Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 09:50:53AM -0400, Zev Sero wrote:
: >How else would you justify having Sanhedrins for each shevet?

: The same way you justify having one for each city.  Et hadavar hakaton
: yishpetu hem.

Define davar gadol. Is it the severity of the law, the number of people
impacted, or the difficulty of the decision?

Tefillin, for example, was left a machloqes for millenia. Yigal Yadin
found evidence of the machloqes back in the days of a Sanhedrin, and it
lasted into the 12th century (Rabbeinu Tam was born in 1100 CE).

Tzitzis in the days of the Sanhedrin were tied in a wide variety of ways.
The geonim, rishonim and achronim come to many different recommendations
given the conflicting sources.

Havarah wasn't brought to uniformity, or else someone would have taught
sheivet Ephrayim that the shin differs from the sin.

I think we could find evidence of numerous machloqesin that the Sanhedrin
had to have known of but didn't try to bring to uniformity.

Speaking of the court for each sheivet, I once wondered on list
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol17/v17n078.shtml#14> about a
of a mythical Issacharism, what could have become of beris
Sinai in the hands of another sheivet known for their erudition had
their history run differently.

On my blog, I wrote
> I think much of what drives the Torah's laws of inheritance is
> Hashem?s desire for each sheivet to have a distinct derekh avodah,
> and each beis av to have its own subspecies. Without that, there is
> little rationale for choosing one gender over the other, and from
> Chazal until today we find ways to avoid being obligated to do so.

> In fact, most questions must not have gone forward to the central beis
> din in Yerushalayim, the Sanhedrin. Each sheivet had their own judicial
> system as well, and their own high court. Israel was much bigger then
> than once the Greeks and Romans brought more modern means of harnessing,
> modern roads, etc... There was opportunity for much greater variety of
> opinions than those of Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel. Each sheivet had
> the opportunity to forge very distinct implementations of the covenant
> of Sinai. Each evolved according to the rules of halakhah, (in addition
> to the idolatrous and irreligious amongst us) and therefore all within
> the covenant, all of them "the words of the living G-d", but with much
> less frequent need to impose "but the law is according to..."

> The 12 nesi'im, the heads of the tribes, each gave the same gift for
> the inauguration of the Mishkan. And yet, for each day the Torah lists
> the items in the gift again, repeating the same text (or nearly so)
> twelve times. (Bamidbar 7:12-83) The Ramban explains that even though the
> items given were identical, a silver platter, a silver sprinking bowel,
> fine flower mixed with oil, a gold pan, a bull, a ram, a lamb, a goat,
> and shelamim offerings, the intent was distinct. And he goes through
> the gift of each nasi, explaining how he related it to his own tribe's
> history, talents, and culture.

> It's mind-stretching to think how different their expressions of Torah
> would be. Perhaps they would even seem like different religions. ...

(I then go on to speculate why Yehudah's version of the beris was the
one to be revived; why Hashem wanted benei Yisrael to become the nation
called Yehudim.)

Picture the evolution of halakhah that differed from Judah-ism in more
fundamental ways than Ashkenaz vs Sepharad vs etc... One that is far
more alien to us hashkafically than Chassidei Ashkenaz and their

After all, the splits from tannaim onward were all given the Judean
and Levitic courts' traditions. (With a little influence from Binyamin,
Shim'on, and survivors of other shevatim.)

Tir'u baTov!

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

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 14:56:41 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Geirut

The story so far...

I think we're shown that the vast majority require QOM, even bedi'eved.

The Rambam is the subject of a machloqes acharonim. Some understand
him as saying that QOM is a necessary prerequisite for geirus to be
chal. The most noted of the ones we cited, the Bach, says it's only a
lekhat-chilah. But this is the Bach's peshat in the Rambam, not the Bach's
own position lehalakhah, which follows the SA in following Tosafos and
the Rosh in requiring a formal QOM in front of a functioning BD (with
all the rules of mishpat, as RnCL would put it).

This is different than asking what QOM must entail. RnCL reiterated that
part of our discussion in her recent email, so I'll see what I can pull
from that section of RZLifshitz's article.

Beis Yitzchaq (YD 100) concludes that QOM means every mitzvah. His
reasoning is interesting. The BY is unsure what Bekhoros 30b means by
"ein meqabelin oso". He could see both that a BD ought not accept him as
a candidate, a lekhat-chilah (as RMShinnar saw the gemara); and that he
isn't accepted as a Jew (as the gemara seemed to me).

The BY then brings from Rashi (Shabbos 31a). Hillel accepted the geir
who only wanted TSBK. (Not learning like the Rashba.) However, Rashi
then makes a point of showing how this candidates wasn't a case of chutz
midavar echad! So Rashi defuses any chance of using Hillel as a maqor.

Finally, the turns to AZ 64b, the Acheirim who hold that a geir toshav is
someone who accepts every mitzvah but neveilah. Thus, chutz midavar
echad can't be a geir tzedeq!

The Achiezer (III #26) actually agrees, but he dismissed the gemara
in AZ as a ra'ayah. After all, the geir toshav wasn't taval, and it
would seem from Rashi and the Nemuqei Yoseif, not mal either. However,
misevara, the Achiezer couldn't see how QOM could mean anything but --
what is a partial ol mitzvos?

RMF (YD II #124) also rules that the person would not be a geir. He says
(ibid #106) that Hillel's geir accepted TSBP as binding, but considered
it human in origin, and thus it was not chutz midavar 1. Later (in time;
EhE II #4) he adds to this that a lack of qabbalah due to ignorance,
as opposed to active rejection of a law he knows of, is still with
QOM. And similarly (YD III #106 again), rejection of a law he knows
is on the books, but is commonly violated (RMF's case is peritzusdik
clothing.) As well as non-performance of a law mishum oneis (ibid #108).

RMF in summ: QOM is a necessary precondition for geirus, and it includes
not actively rejecting any mitzvah from one's desired behavior. (And as a
side issue, someone who thinks derashos are miderabbanan isn't a kofeir.)

R' Yoseif Goldberg in Shuras haDin (III pg 171) beings a proof from the
Sifra (Qedoshim par 8) on "ke'ezrach mikem yihyeh lakehm hageir hagar
itekhem" (Vayiqra 19:34). The derashah is that just as an ezrach accepted
every mitzvah, so too a geir. He thus concludes that the requirement to
accept every mitzvah for geirus to be chal is min haTorah!

The only choleiq:
RAYK (Da'as Kohein #152) uses Tosafos (Chullin 3b) WRT kusim to conclude
that bedi'eved he would be a geir.

In sum, those who would allow that a candidate who rejected a mitzvah
is still bedi'eved a geir are the Rambam according to the Bach (but not
the Bach himself), and RAYK.

I noticed that RZLifshitz doesn't cite anyone who holds that QOM doesn't
mean accepting mitzvos as an end in itself.

On Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 03:50:05PM +0100, Chana Luntz wrote:
: > position of Tosafos repeated in the SA (above)?

: What it points to is that Tosphos understands KOM as being not equal to
: Bechoros 30b - ie it opens up the meaning of KOM according to Tosphos -
: remember at least one of the arguments on this topic is that while KOM is
: required, it does not mean Bechoros 30b, but wanting to join the Jewish
: people...

Given Rashi, RMF (and the Rashba), we can conclude nothing from the
story of Hillel, including whether it means anything to Tosafos WRT
nidon didan. But in either case, not requiring every mitzvah isn't the
same as saying QOM is about joining the Jewish people.

: Yevamos 47a quoted almost in its entirety [is there any significance to the
: minor differences, or was it a girsa difference] in the Shulchan Aruch  in
: Yoreh Deah siman 268 si'if 2 "when he comes to convert we say to him,  what
: did you see that you come to convert? ...

I still believe that motivation is an issue not as an end in itself,
nor (as RnCL is assuming) as identical to QOM. Rather, ulterior motive
is a factor that if present makes the chance of QOM pretty iffy. And
therefore bedi'eved, if we have no reason to question the QOM, everyone
would accept the geirus.

My position shifted as this discussion forced me to read the sources
from more viewpoints, but I saw no reason to understand this particular
issue differently.

: Rashi's main comments on Bechoros 30b is itself not found there but on
: Shabbas 31a....
: He then explains on "and he converted him"  - that this is not similar to
: "chutz medevar echad shelo haya kofer be torah she baal peh ele shelo meamin
: shehi mepi hagvura.  Ie Rashi clearly understands there to be a maklokus
: regarding the meaning of Bechoros 30b between Hillel and Shammai - so that
: following Hillel it is OK for somebody to be converted in a circumstance
: where they do not believe that Torah she baal peh is from Hashem (and hence
: presumably are not preparing themselves to keep torah she baal peh), so long
: as they are not kofer in it.  From this we can see that he holds that the
: conversion happened before the full acceptance of torah she baal
: peh...

But, as RMF noted, /after/ accepting the bindingness of its mitzvos. Rashi
is making a point of reading an acceptance of every mitzvah into the
story of Hillel's geir.

: I am struggling to see how we can have an anan sahadei undermine and
: completely nullify a shavuah made to beis din, without consequences?  Can't
: you see what this does to the whole judicial process if applied more
: generally?

We're talking in a case of geir qatan, where the original geirus was al
daas beis din, and therefore who made what shevu'ah? The anan sahadi
says that a passive QOM by acting as a shomeir mitzvos at the time the
child becomes a gadol is sufficient.

What about the whole mishpat thing of 3 dayanim meeting during the day?
I don't know. Perhaps that's what was done on the qatan's behalf; that
QOM is in two pieces.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             The Maharal of Prague created a golem, and
mi...@aishdas.org        this was a great wonder. But it is much more
http://www.aishdas.org   wonderful to transform a corporeal person into a
Fax: (270) 514-1507      "mensch"!     -Rabbi Israel Salanter

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 15:02:24 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Assur to own...

On Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 10:09:31PM -0400, Michael Kopinsky wrote:
: I remember hearing somewhere that the only three things that are assur to
: own are chometz b'pesach, avodah zarah, and dishonest weights.
: Is this true?

: The two counterexamples that people have mentioned are
: a) sefarim chitzonim, and
: b) dangerous dogs.

I think there is a difference between an issur in owning something and
an issur -- having a spiritual or physical danger around -- by owning
something. Is it assur to own a dangerous dog, or a shor shenagach, that
is properly muzzled or chained? If you mitigate the danger, is the
ownership assur?

OTOH, even va'aven is assur even if you aren't in sales, and there is no
danger of commiting geneivah with them.

These may be different in another way. I don't know about AZ and dishonest
weights, but WRT chameitz, bal yeiraeh bal yeimatzei includes far more
than baalus.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When memories exceed dreams,
mi...@aishdas.org        The end is near.
http://www.aishdas.org                   - Rav Moshe Sherer
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 15:05:40 -0400
Re: [Avodah] childbirth as a time of sakana

I tend to think of these things using a metaphor from physics.

We didn't realize that "a body in motion tends to stay in motion unless
acted upon" until Newton. In fact, in Aristotle's physics, a body in
motion used up its impetus and stopped. Because in real world examples
(until space flight), the body always is acted upon -- gravity, friction,
etc... The rule couldn't be seen because exceptions were the norm.

But that doesn't make the rule any less true.

As ben Azzai says WRT the promiscuous wife who survives mei sotah,
shehazekhus tolah. In real world cases of sotah, there would be
extenuating circumstances.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Never must we think that the Jewish element
mi...@aishdas.org        in us could exist without the human element
http://www.aishdas.org   or vice versa.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                     - Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch

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Message: 7
From: Harry Maryles <hmary...@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 10:23:36 -0700 (PDT)
[Avodah] Our Father - Our King

As we approach the New Year - the Day of Judgment, it is a time to reflect
on our deeds and to do Teshuva for all our transgressions. We know the
source of all life is God. It is he who determines who shall live and who
shall die.

One of the most poignant prayers reflecting this thought is Nesaneh Tokef.
This is a prayer recited just before the Kedusha prayer in Musaf of both
Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur. It is believed to have been written by Rav
Amnon of Mainz after his body was brutally dismembered by his ?friend? the
Bishop of Mainz. Rav Amnon wrote it and uttered it just before he died on
Yom Kippur day. The full story is contained in the ArtScroll Machzorim of
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

We say this prayer every year. And though we are all sincere while we say
it - once the Yom Tovim are over we hope and believe that God has forgiven
us through our proper Teshuva. We hope and believe that we will live
another year ?in good health and in happiness. And then we get on with our

For those who suffer from serious illness and their loved ones the
possibility of death is more than just a passing thought on Yom Kippur.
This prayer becomes much more meaningful for them and stays meaningful long
after others break their fast post Yom Kippur.

Yesterday at about 6:00 PM CDT we received the news from the radiologist.
My grandson Reuven completed a CT scan earlier this week. The cancer has
returned. Ultimately the aggressive chemotherapy he had did not work. I
hasten to add that this is not a death sentence. But it is obviously a
major disappointment.

The options left for him are entering experimental trials of new cancer
treatments and/or an oral chemotherapy that will slow down the cancerous
growth. I?m not sure of the details yet. The results of the scan are being
sent to renowned pediatric oncologist Dr. Leonard H. Wexler of Sloan
Kettering. My daughter and son in law will then decide on the next course
of treatment

When one looks at Reuven now he is the picture of health. He is happy and well adjusted.

I suppose in part this can be explained by the fact that 6 year old Reuven
does not know the extent of his illness. He has no clue what stage 4
metastatic cancer means. But he has nonetheless gone through many difficult
chemotherapies and surgeries. He has suffered this torturous trek with a
grace uncommon in adults let alone little children. Credit for that goes to
his parents, the Jewish community of St. Louis and the wonderful hospital
staff. Mostly we thank God for granting a happy and upbeat disposition to

My family and I have nothing but pure gratitude for all the prayers said on
his behalf until now by the many who have done so. But now more than ever
Reuven needs our prayers.

Yesterday I had the privilege of hearing Rabbi Yaakov Perlow address the
Talmidim of Skokie Yeshiva - and later the larger Jewish community. Among
other things he spoke of the idea of Tzibur - the community versus the

He pointed out that when asking God to grant our prayers as a Yachid - an
individual - we run the risk of God examining our own individual faults.
But when doing it as a community the individual faults are not as closely
examined. That is the advantage of a praying with a Tzibur over a Yachid. A
Tzibur is defined by a minimum of ten people.

Ve-Ahavtah L?Reacha Kamocha. Ahavas Yisroel. There is an obligation to love
one?s fellow Jew. This is concept of Bein Adam L?Chavero. We are thus
obligated to Daven for one?s fellow Jew as well as themselves on the Day of

Last Motzoei Shabbos the author of Praying with Fire, Rabbi Heshy Kleinman, spoke at a local Shul and related the following.

When it comes to asking God for forgiveness to inscribe us in the book of
life we do so not based on our own personal merit. We do not list a resume
of our religious achievements and say to God, ?Look at me! Look what did
for You, O?Lord. I Davened -prayed three times a say, I was Koveiah Itim ?
set aside times for learning every day, I did G?emilas Chasodim - kindesses
for my fellow man.

No. We do not do that. We instead ask God to look at us like a father looks
at a son. Aveinu Malkenu, our God our King! Chonenu V?Anenu Ki Ein Banu
Maasim?favor us and answer us - for we have no merit. Aseh Imanu Tzedaka
Vochesed V?Hosheainu. Treat us charitably and with kindness - and grant us

We ask that God grant us our needs as a loving father does for a beloved son!

I would add that this is also reflected by the opening prayer of the
Shaliach Tzibur ? the Chazan who represents us to God in prayer a man - our
messenager sent to Daven ? to pray on behalf of all of us. His prayer
begins by negating any Zechus ? merit he may have. Hinnini He?Oni Memaas ?
Behold though I am impoverished of deeds?

Friends, I too am impoverished of deeds. I stand before God trembling and crying - praying for mercy for my family and for all of Klal Yisroel.

Rabbi Perlow said that we must Daven for all of Klal Yisroel as a loving
community. I ask that when in Shul these upcoming days of awe, that we pray
as a community for all of Klal Yisroel and include in their prayers my
grandson Reuven Ben Tova Chaya among all the sick of Israel. Perhaps as a
Tzibur, God will overlook my personal failings and grant the prayers of the
Tzibur for a complete recovery - a Refuah Shelaima - for my grandson,

Want Emes and Emunah in your life? 

Try this: http://haemtza.blogspot.com/

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Message: 8
From: David Riceman <drice...@att.net>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 13:24:33 -0400
Re: [Avodah] mi yamut

>>> How else would you justify having Sanhedrins for each shevet?
> The same way you justify having one for each city.  Et hadavar hakaton
> yishpetu hem.
If your town BD has trouble, are you permitted to go to a closer 
Sanhedrin belonging to another tribe, or do you have to travel further 
to your own tribe's Sanhedrin?

David Riceman

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Message: 9
From: "Rich, Joel" <JR...@sibson.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 15:27:59 -0400
Re: [Avodah] mi yamut


Rich, Joel wrote:
>  IIRC I  heard from a bar hachi that Sanhedrin will not necessarily 
> feel the need to unify all psak (it knocked my socks off).
How else would you justify having Sanhedrins for each shevet?

David Riceman
Ramban is the only source I know that discusses and says that it's for
gzeirot relevant to the special needs of the shevet.
Joel Rich
distribution or copying of this message by anyone other than the addressee is 
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Message: 10
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 12:56:42 -0400
Re: [Avodah] induction cooking

Micha Berger wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 12:26:30PM -0400, Zev Sero wrote:
> : Why is this bedieved?  Covering the knobs is parallel to gerifah; the top
> : part of the blech that covers the flame is parallel to ketima.  Standard
> : blechs do both, but only one is necessary.
> That would have been my take too. Now, given that, and given that
> the flame isn't visible, is a blech needed altogether, or is ketima
> effectively done by the mechanics of how the food is heated?
> IOW, is ketimah covering the flame, or not having a flame to see?

AIUI, gerifah means physically removing the possibility of stoking the
fire; ketimah means deliberately slowing the cooking, thus indicating
that one has no interest in speeding it up, and therefore that one has
no reason to stoke the fire.

> My take from the gemara is in the case where there is no flame to see as
> too low or high and therefore no chance of panic to stoke it, requiring
> any form of blech is already above the minimum of the din.

I don't think it has to do with panicking, but with wanting to get the
food ready quicker.  The fear is that you'll come home from shul and
find that dinner isn't ready yet, so you'll stir the coals to make the
flame hotter.  If you remove the coals then there's nothing to stir;
if you cover them then you've shown that you're in no hurry.

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


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