Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 411

Tue, 09 Dec 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Yitzhak Grossman <cele...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2008 21:43:11 -0500
Re: [Avodah] What's the Truth About Sheva Berachot?

On Mon, 08 Dec 2008 17:14:08 -0500
Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu> wrote:


[Rabbi Dr. Ari Z. Zivotofsky writes:]

> Fact: There is no obligation to have
> festive meals during the week following
> a wedding celebration. However, if
> the chatan (groom) and kallah (bride)
> participate in a festive meal made in
> their honor in which certain conditions
> are satisfied, sheva berachot,
> seven blessings, should be recited.

This is slightly misleading.  As R. Dr. Zivotofsky himself notes in the
course of the article, while there's no obligation to have festive
meals every day, the Rav Pe'alim does say that one should, if he can
afford it.

> Yitzchok Levine 

Bein Din Ledin - http://bdl.freehostia.com
A discussion of Hoshen Mishpat, Even Ha'Ezer and other matters

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Message: 2
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2008 22:12:38 -0500
[Avodah] Truth about the Sheva Brochos

"Fact: There is no obligation to have
festive meals during the week following
a wedding celebration. However, if
the chatan (groom) and kallah (bride)
participate in a festive meal made in
their honor in which certain conditions
are satisfied, sheva berachot,
seven blessings, should be recited."

The main condition as I recall is that there has to
be someone new present. There's certainly no chiyuv
to have sheva brochos for a week for the same participants.
However, I believe the chosson and kallah are not allowed to
work for the whole week.
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Message: 3
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewindd...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 12:40:09 +0200
[Avodah] Insects in our salads

My gemara-shiur rabbi today gave an impromptu shiur on insects in our
vegetables. Here is what he said, from memory. He didn't name exact
sources, as it was impromptu, as I said:

People today are very machmir about checking everything for bugs. To
be sure, some foods are rich in insects, and must be checked; for
example: with broccoli, immersion in water --> tons of insects on
surface; lettuce is insect-rich too. Also, he says, Israeli rice (even
twenty years ago) used to be full of insects, rocks, other grains,

Now, anything invisible sans microscope is clearly not an issue at all
- everyone agrees. But what of well-camouflaged insects that are
indeed mAcroscopic, but cannot be seen as insects? That is, you can
see a dot, but you don't know that it is an insect; or, were you to
put it on a white background then you'd see it, but you cannot see it
while it is on the fruit itself - these cases are serious machlokets.
BUT, there is ample basis to rely on and be lenient with these and
consider them nonexistent as something mIcroscopic.

Moreover, perhaps these tiny insects ought to be m'vatel-ed? Now,
there is a problem: the Gemara says that d'rabanan, an entire beriyah
cannot be mevatel-ed. Now, this is only a d'rabanan, so the problem is
not too serious if we accidentally m'vatel something we shouldn't
have, as my rabbi notes, but all the same, he notes, we aren't
Karaites, and we do want to try to take the d'rabanan seriously. The
Aruch haShulhan argues, however, that not being m'vatel doesn't mean
NEVER - imagine an entire single solitary mite in a sack of ten tons
of flour - can it be that this is not m'vateled??!! The Aruch
haShulhan notes that there were many mites in every one of their sacks
of flour, but no one in Eastern Europe was concerned! Similarly,
chametz can never be m'vatel-ed once Pesah begins, but Rabbi Shlomo
Aviner says that surely, bread crumbs in the Kinneret drinking water
ARE indeed nullified even during Pesah (though some are machmir and
buy drinking water before Pesah so that the chametz is nullified). So
given enough of a proportion, even unnullifiable chametz and beriyot
are in fact nullifed (one rishon apparently names an amount - 1 in
9000 or some such). (An aside: any admixture of insect and vegetable
will be unintentional, so there is no violation of the law against
nullifying l'hatchila. One cannot deliberately put 1 liter of milk
into sixty liters of meat, but here with insects, any mixture is not

And apparently, the Igrot Moshe speaks against being so concerned with
insects (it was apparently a letter with Rav Moshe Feinstein saying
people wanted to paint him as being in the machmir crowd, but they are
wrong, or something). My rabbi's upshot was that one must check to a
reasonable degree with anything suspected of having detectable insects
(such as broccoli and lettuce), but we shouldn't go crazy - with a
strawberry, if you cannot see the insects (they are tiny, barely
detectable dots even for those who know they are there), don't be
concerned, and eat away.

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 4
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwol...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2008 23:35:55 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Sephardi-ism: some food for thought

On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 6:51 AM, Chana Luntz <ch...@kolsassoon.org.uk> wrote:

> RMB writes:
> > IOW, the Sepharadim are complaining that the typical Ashk
> > methodology is different than theirs. More development of one
> > idea and its justifications than of the list of shitos.
> Well it is more than that, because, stepping back from the
> Askenazi/Sephardi divide, the question really becomes - to what extent
> is it appropriate to ignore what has previously been said.  The argument
> for those who list shitos is that we stand on the shoulders of giants,
> so how can we not take what they say into account - and so even if you
> want to disagree based on lomdus, it is important to grapple with those
> of your forebears and contemporaries who appear to say differently (or
> to find comfort from those that disagree).
> Regards
> Chana

To me it's not essential to list every shita every time.

What bothered me in RMF/IM's tehsuva on eating matza ashira erev pesach he
gave the 4th hour as a slam-dunk time limit for matza ashira.  This is a
matter of dispute. RMF imho did not have to mention the dispute in detail. I
would have been OK had he simply said that this is in dispute and *I* pasken
like this!

No secular scholar would be able to state a matter of dispute as a matter of
fact! If a Talmid of mine stated a disputed fact as a matter of Halacha I
would ream him out. MANY times a Talmid has told me that Being Hshmashos
Bgein at Shki'a. I immeidately challnge him waht is his source and what does
he mean by shekia. To say what WE call sh'kia is the beginning of bei
hashmashos is a BIG ahalchic dispute. I would NEVER accept anyone trying to
slip in one shita as a fact when communities TODAY still differ! It might be
a different case if the matter had been setllted 400 years ago!

I do not mean to pick on RMF. This is just an example.  I don't think BY,
would casually mention something like this w/o attirubtion.  Even the Tur in
several places states that Ta'am K'eikar is d'oraisso, but iirc he prefaces
it by saying KAYMA LAN or something like that.

IOW there is nothing wrong with a poseik taking sides. Waht I find
distrubing is either the case where the poseik takes a position as THE
undisputed position or where a poseik outlines a dispute w/o proper
attribution.  [see MB on Zecher/Zeicher. There are 2 yeish omrim w/o any
names at all!]

I hate to think that academics are more machmir on things like "davar
behseim omro" but it sure looks that way.  Again, the ROYs and the Kaf
hachaim's generally DO give a panorama of sources. As does the Darchei
Teshuva on YD.  And in the cases when such tangents would be onerous then
simply mention the conflict and take a side.

If these kinds of things were not important the be'er Hagolah on SA and the
Shaar hatziyun on the MB would never have been written.

Kol Tuv - Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 5
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 13:44:18 GMT
Re: [Avodah] menorah on a plane

R' Micha Berger asked:
> If the staff allows, and one can assume there are Jews
> on the vehicle who could use every little bit of chizuq,
> would RSZA tell the person to light without a berakhah?

Halichos Shlomo 13:3 -- One who travels in an airplane (7), and no one is
lighting Ner Chanuka for him at home (8), should light there on the table,
but not make a bracha (9).

Dvar Halacha 7: And the same halacha applies for a boat, train, etc.

Dvar Halacha 8: Because if they *are* lighting for him at home, he is yotzay in any event (b'chol gavnay), even if they're in different time zones.

Dvar Halacha 9: Even though there's no pirsum to the people of the reshus
harabim, nowadays many people light indoors lechatchila even though there's
no sakana. Granted that this is not his Bayis Kavua, the same way that we
don't need a house that is davka 4 by 4 amos, it is possible that the same
applies on a boat, train, or airplane, so that if he is kavua there m'ays
l'ays (17), he can put it there on the table, and therefore he should light
without a bracha (20).

Archos Halacha 17: It seems that he didn't mean "m'ays l'ays" to mean a
24-hour period specifically, but he meant "for that night". And that's how
he paskened for people who traveled by plane at night.

Archos Halacha 20: This is only for this situation. But a real guest in a
building - even a tank - even if he resides there only for that night,
lights with a bracha. Likewise, other people who light in the house also
say the bracha. If they don't allow him to light a ner (as is usually the
case) he should light a pocket flashlight which has enough power to last a
half hour, after setting it up in a manner in which it is obvious (nikar)
that it is l'shem mitzva, WITHOUT a bracha. RSZA was once asked about a
guest who was returning home abroad; he left his host during the daytime,
and wouldn't return home until the following morning, and they were not
lighting for him at home. He paskened that he should light on the plane as
above, and should also ask a friend to light for him at his home.

On a related issue, Halichos Shlomo 15:3 says: An electric light - if it is
nikar that it is for the mitzva of Ner Chanuka - there are reasons to
wonder (yesh tzedadim l'histapek) if it is kosher for the mitzvah. But one
who has no other choice may light a flashlight - shel menorat libun [[[ I'm
guessing that this means "with an incandescent bulb" ]]] and TO MAKE A
BRACHA on it, provided that it has enough power to stay lit for a half

There are lots of notes on that, which I'll translate if there are requests.

Akiva Miller

Save $15 on Flowers and Gifts from FTD!
Shop now at http://offers.juno.com/TGL114

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Message: 6
From: "Gershon Dubin" <gershon.du...@juno.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 14:16:45 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Insects in our salads

From the OU website:

There is a question that arises regarding checking vegetables whether
insects are considered visible if something can be noticed, perhaps as
dirt, by the unaided eye but only determined to be a bug through
magnification. It would appear at first glance that there is no difference
and this too should be permitted. The same rationale expressed by the
poskim quoted above who rule leniently with regards to checking for insects
with microscopes should apply in this type of scenario as well. Rav Shmuel
Vosner shlita in Shut Shevet HaLevi (7:122) writes that he believes that
insects that appear as specs of dirt to the unaided eye yet are noticeable
as insects under a microscope are not prohibited. This type if lenient
approach has also been quoted in the name of Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzenski

Rav Yehoushua Neuwrith shlita in Shmiras Shabbos KeHilchasa (3:37) quotes
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt?l as ruling leniently; however, Rav Neuwrith
also writes that Rav Shlomo Zalman made mention at a later date that the
Chazon Ish ruled stringently on this matter. Similarly, Rav Yosef Shalom
Elyashiv shlita has been quoted as ruling that microscopes and magnifiers
are an acceptable means to train oneself to identify insects. According to
Rav Elyashiv, if something is noticeable to the unaided eye and can first
be determined as an insect only through magnification, it is still
prohibited since it can be identified as an insect without magnification in
the future. However, if it appears in a manner that magnification will
always be required in order to identify it, the spec should be permitted 


Easy-to-use, advanced features, flexible phone systems.  Click here for more info.

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Message: 7
From: Yitzhak Grossman <cele...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2008 21:38:48 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Questions as a Result of the Flatbush Lakewood

On Mon, 8 Dec 2008 10:24:16 -0500
"Rich, Joel" <JR...@sibson.com> wrote:


> IIRC the Milton quote has a totally different meaning (as only a former
> benchwarmer can understand). I'm pretty sure that the logical conclusion
> of the 2nd paragraph is that whoever davens longer is "more better"
> davening, is not necessarily so.

The quote is, as Rav Aharon Lichtenstein says [0], the "magnificent
conclusion" of Milton's "profoundly religious sonnet 'On His
Blindness'".  The poem is one of the most beautiful and poignant in the
English language:

"Speaking for myself, however, I can emphatically state that my general
education has contributed much to my personal development. I know that
my understanding of Tanakh would be far shallower in every respect
without it. I know that it has greatly enhanced my perception of life
in Eretz Yisrael. I know that it has enriched my religious experience.
I know that when my father was stricken blind, Milton?s profoundly
religious sonnet ?On His Blindness? and its magnificent conclusion,
?They also serve who only stand and wait,? stood me in excellent stead.
I also know? and this has at times been a most painful discovery?that
many of these elements are sadly lacking among the contemners of
culture on the Right."

The poem itself [1]:

WHEN I consider how my light is spent    
  E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,        
  And that one Talent which is death to hide,
  Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present       
  My true account, least he returning chide,
  Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd,
  I fondly ask; But patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
  Either man's work or his own gifts, who best
  Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
  And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:
  They also serve who only stand and waite.

I seem to recall a discussion of the sonnet by RAL himself (as opposed
to a transcription of an address by someone else), as does RnCL [2]:

"Somewhere or the other I have (but unfortunately cannot find) an article by
Rav Aharon Lichtenstein which he wrote on his father becoming blind, and
hence, of course, al pi the straight understanding of the gemora, becoming
patur from mitzvos.  I confess I don't remember the details, although he (or
perhaps it was his father) took great comfort from the statement by Milton
that "They also serve who only sit and wait"."

[0] http://www.vbm-torah.org/archive/develop/12develop.htm
[1] http://www.bartleby.com/101/318.html
[2] http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol23/v23n225.shtml#09

> Joel Rich

Bein Din Ledin - http://bdl.freehostia.com
A discussion of Hoshen Mishpat, Even Ha'Ezer and other matters

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Message: 8
From: "SBA" <s...@sba2.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 16:29:46 +1100
[Avodah] Questions as a Result of the Flatbush Lakewood

From: "Prof. Levine 
Does not the fact that the Torah makes no mention of Yaakov learning 
in yeshiva telling? If these years were more important, then I would 
have expected the Torah to mention Yaakov's learning explicitly. I am 
sure there is an answer, but I do not know it.

Is there ANY place in Tenach where  it mentions learning in a Yeshiva?


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Message: 9
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 00:45:47 EST
Re: [Avodah] Questions as a Result of the Flatbush Lakewood

In a message dated 12/9/2008 12:30:14 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
s...@sba2.com writes:

From:  "Prof. Levine 
Does not the fact that the Torah makes no mention of Yaakov  learning 
in yeshiva telling? If these years were more important, then I  would 
have expected the Torah to mention Yaakov's learning explicitly. I  am 
sure there is an answer, but I do not know it.

Is  there ANY place in Tenach where  it mentions learning in a  Yeshiva?


Well this is one place that, when I read it,  I understood it to be a yeshiva 
(with a dorm and a kitchen!): Melachim Bais,  4:38-44.  It's the story of the 
bnai hanavi'im who were sitting before  Elisha (i.e., his talmidim) and they 
had nothing to eat, and then one of them  went and got some mushrooms from the 
field and made soup but it turned out the  mushrooms were poisonous so they 
couldn't eat the soup, and then Elisha put some  flour in the soup and 
miraculously made it OK to eat.  And then on the same  page is the story of the man 
who came and brought twenty loaves of bread, which  Elisha told his servant to 
serve to a hundred men, and miraculously it was  enough to feed a hundred men.  
What hundred men could that be?  Must  be the talmidim in his yeshiva.

--Toby Katz
Read *Jewish  World Review* at _http://jewishworldreview.com/_ 


**************Make your life easier with all your friends, email, and 
favorite sites in one place.  Try it now. (http://www.aol.com/?optin=n
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Message: 10
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doni...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 12:18:45 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Questions as a Result of the Flatbush Lakewood

> "One of the Roshei Yeshiva eloquently spoke about the years that
> Yaakov spent studying in the yeshiva of Shem V'Ever.

Rashi in the last Posuk of Toldos, as well as the second Posuk in
Veyetze calls it "Beth Ever". Shem was already niftar by then.

In the 4th Posuk in Toldos Rashi refers to it as Beis Midrosho shel Shem.

The Medrash Shir Hashirim (6) says that one who learns Torah in this
world will in the future be brought to the Bet Hamedrash of Shem

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Message: 11
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Tue, 09 Dec 2008 09:42:23 -0500
[Avodah] The Relationship Between Ya'akov and Esav

The following is from the new translation of 
RSRH's commentary on Chumash Bereishis.

32: 29 And he said: Your name shall no longer be 
said to be Ya?akov, but Yisrael, for you have 
become the commanding power before God
and men, since you have prevailed.

vatuchal ? ?since you have been able.? You achieved everything you
wanted. I did not. I wanted to throw you down, but was unable to do
so. You wanted only not to fall, and in that you succeeded.

This has remained the relationship between Ya?akov and Esav to this
very day. With regard to both politics and religion, Esav declares: ?Outside
of me there is no salvation,? and he considers his own existence
threatened as long as, aside from himself, there is a Ya?akov; as long as
there exists, aside from himself, another force claiming its rightful share
in the shaping of the world. To Ya?akov, however, every pure human
value is justified. What is more, he proclaims that every pure human
value can flower and attain significance, if only it will absorb the spirit
he has to offer. Ya?akov?s sole demand in his struggle with Esav is ?blessing
and recognition.?
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