Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 412

Wed, 10 Dec 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Tue, 09 Dec 2008 11:44:33 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Insects in our salads

Michael Makovi wrote:
> 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).

The Noda Biyhuda (If I'm not mistaken) suggested as a limud zechus that
"afilu be'elef lo batel" implies that it is batel in more than 1000.
The Mezritcher Maggid is reported to have said that although the Noda
Biyhuda meant it only as a limud zechus, he was mechaven to the way they
pasken in Yeshivah shel Maalah.

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: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 12:56:42 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Insects in our salads

There is a metzi'us difference between now and my childhood...

They eliminated DDT etc... which would kill everything, and now use more
targeted insecticides. These are aimed at getting rid of the bugs that
would harm sales. Fewer smaller bugs are getting killed.

In the days before insecticide, there were more larger bugs, keeping the
nearly (but not quite) invisible ones' population down.

For bugs too small to have an impact on sales, they live in a golden era.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             The mind is a wonderful organ
mi...@aishdas.org        for justifying decisions
http://www.aishdas.org   the heart already reached.
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 13:01:28 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Questions as a Result of the Flatbush Lakewood

On Tue, Dec 09, 2008 at 12:45:47AM -0500, T6...@aol.com wrote:
: 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.

The benei hanevi'im were certainly the talmidim studying to be nevi'im.
I agree.

Now, how about finding people who were studying to be the sarei mei'os and
the sarei asaros etc... that Yisro has Moshe set up? Bichlal, I always
wondered why pointing to "rabbanim min hatorah minayim?" more people
don't go to parashas Yisro in addition to "kol asher yoruchah" (which
al derekh peshat is judicial, not legislative -- look at the context).

Proof of people studying for nevu'ah is not proof of people studying

Speaking of which, what did Sheim and Eiver teach? The 66 dinim of the
7MBN? For 14 years?! Philosophical theology, as the Rambam seems to
assume? In any case, the word "yeshiva" is a bit of a stretch.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger You cannot propel yourself forward
mi...@aishdas.org by patting yourself on the back.
http://www.aishdas.org -Anonymous
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 13:12:54 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Truth about the Sheva Brochos

On Mon, Dec 08, 2008 at 10:12:38PM -0500, Cantor Wolberg wrote:
: 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.

I recently heard R' Yonasan Sachs speak about this at a 7 Berakhos.

There is a machloqes R' Tam and the Rambam as to the purpose of panim

R' Tam holds that panim chadashos add to the joy of the event. Therefore,
Tosafos use the medrash on Tehillim (92:1) "Mizmor shir leyom haShabbos",
where HQBH is described as calling SDhabbos a "panim chadashos" to wave
the requirement on Shabbos. The SA (EhE 72:8) says YT too. The Rosh
(Kesuvos 1:13) requires the panim chadashos be someone whose presence
actually does add joy.

The Rambam holds the point is that new people are giving the couple a
berakhah. The Shittah Mequbetzes says that Rashi says that the panim
chadashos need not be anyone special to the couple. In contrast to the
Rosh -- and therefore quite likely in agreement to the Rambam.

However, the Rambam would require the panim chadashos be an adult who
did not even hear the berakhos at the wedding. The Rosh says only if
they weren't at any meal. Again, this is leshitasam, as a berakhah made
at the chupah is a berakhah.

The Chasam Sofer presumably holds like R' Tam, since he allows a woman
to be counted as panim chadashos -- as long as her presence adds to the
joy of the meal.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "I hear, then I forget; I see, then I remember;
mi...@aishdas.org        I do, then I understand." - Confucius
http://www.aishdas.org   "Hearing doesn't compare to seeing." - Mechilta
Fax: (270) 514-1507      "We will do and we will listen." - Israelites

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Message: 5
From: JoshH...@aol.com
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 14:53:40 EST
Re: [Avodah] chosson and kallah are not allowed to work for

In a message dated 12/9/2008 10:08:04 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
avodah-requ...@lists.aishdas.org writes:

However,  I believe the chosson and kallah are not allowed to
work for the whole  week.

Rav Yosef Ibn Kaspi,on parshas Vayeishev,notes that on the pasuk 'Vayana  
vayeitzei hachutza' re Yosef, the Targum translates chutz as shuk. Following the  
Targum, he continues,some people understand the midrash which says that the  
chosson should not go to the shuk all seen days to mean  that he shouldn't  go 
outsideall week, as if, adds R Ibn Kaspi, he was an aveil.He  adds,'ve-ulei 
le-rabim kein hu.'
**************Make your life easier with all your friends, email, and 
favorite sites in one place.  Try it now. 
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Message: 6
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Tue, 09 Dec 2008 16:14:10 -0500
[Avodah] Horaas Shaah

One often hears Torah Im Derech Eretz (TIDE) being labeled a Horaas 
Shaah. RSRH did what he did because of the times that he lived in. 
However,  TIDE is really not the "true" Torah way.

Rabbi Shelomo Danziger  turns things around. On page 106 of his essay 
Rav S.R. Hirsch -His TIDE Ideology,  he writes

"We should go our own way, convinced of the correctness and relevance 
of TIDE as the ideal Torah system, as the l'Chatchilah. We should 
promote it as such vigorously, no less aggressively than the 
nonHirschian Yeshiva world and Chassidic groups, who see themselves 
as l'Chatchilah and others as b'dieved. We may respectfully grant the 
usefulness, and indeed, the hidden blessing of the non-Hirschian 
approach as a Horaas Shaah."

May I suggest that you read the entire essay at 
http://www.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/rsrh/danziger_tide.pdf before commenting?

Yitzchok Levine 
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Message: 7
From: "Michael Kopinsky" <mkopin...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 16:16:55 -0500
Re: [Avodah] RSRH: A Time-Honored Jewish custom

On 12/3/08, Ira Tick <itick1...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I actually wondered recently how Eliezer did not violate the rule that a
> man must see his intended before kiddushin can be made.  I am of course
> assuming, and could be very wrong, that when Eliezer gave her the rings, he
> was acting as a shliach for Yitzchak to affect kiddushin on his behalf.

I would like to see discussion somewhere on whether giving those rings was

But even if they were, and Eliezer did indeed violate the rule, so what? Is
Eliezer bound by a rule in the Gemara which is either advice or at most a
d'rabbanan? Yes, it's important advice based on Chazal's knowledge of human
nature, but is it absolute? No.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with someone a while back about what
it was that Eliezer did when Avraham told him "Sim na yad'cha tachas
yereichi." According to many meforshim, Avraham told him to hold the milah
as a chetfza shel mitzvah, similar to how in Halacha, litigants are told to
hold a sefer Torah or tefillin while making a shevuah. "Ah," he asked, "but
we know that it's assur to touch one's eiver, how could Eliezer have done

His mistake was taking a d'rabbanan harchaka that he knew l'maaseh, and
assuming it was universally true. I wonder if you're making the same

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Message: 8
From: Noah Witty <nwi...@optonline.net>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 00:58:47 -0500
[Avodah] Chalav stam (moved from Areivim where it was: "Is

RMF, ztz"l, has four chalav yisrael/chalav stam teshuvos. If you follow 
them by the dates, it is remarkable how his language, meaning choice of
words, shifts and slides towards a nuanced chumra as the chronology 
roles forward--perhaps some of it due to the person/institution asking
the question, indicating special/different circumstances--while still 
adhering, as I recall, to the basic notion that we may without doubt 
rely upon the government's oversight.

For literalists, you might want to contact the O-U and inquire why/how 
they give hashgacha on take-out fleishiks (might apply to fish as well)
that, in fact, does not have 2 chosamos.  I called and was told that the 
purpose of the chosamos was to make the package tamper-evident. I am
puzzled by the circumvention of the literal words of the gemara--but we 
know that about 600-800 years ago Tosafos already did this for clapping
hands on Shabbos and YT. 


Noach Witty
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Message: 9
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doni...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 12:00:22 +0200
[Avodah] Practical Psak: Circular Menoras

Pursuant to the threads about the process of Paskenin.

The Gemora clearly states one can fill a bowl with oil, surround it
with wicks, cover it and use it for a Chanuka Menora (Chanukia in
modern Hebrew).

The Shulchan Aruch paskens this (271:4), the Remo is more reluctant
though he allows a circular Menora.

The Biur Halocho bring a Rsh"l who says that round is not Hidur Mitzva.

Contemporary authors make it sound like [semi-]circular Menoras are no good.

Why is it that a lone opinion is championed, especially when it's a Chumra?

- Danny, trying to get back to basics

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Message: 10
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doni...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 12:20:21 +0200
[Avodah] Practical Psak: Washing before/after Kiddush

Pursuant to the threads about the process of Paskenin.

In 271:12 the Shulchan Aruch paskens one must wash after Kiddush. The
Remo says that the accepted Minhag is to wash before Kiddush.

The SA follows the Tur who follows the Rambam. The Remo follows the
Rosh, Mordechai and others.

Reading the Tur is eye-opening and somewhat disconcerting. He states
that his father (the Rosh) washed before Kiddush and then goes on
about how wrong that is and makes it clear that he doesn't follow his
father's Minhag!

It's also clear that many of the early commentators had never heard of
somebody actually washing before Kiddush, (besides for reading about
it in the Rambam).

The underlying argument seems to be how to learn the Gemoro, with the
"revolutionists" spearheaded by the Tur wanting to do it according to

This puzzles me since we often pasken davka to prove a point, like the
Nussach of Hamotzi, which should be Motzi if you want to "play it

Also puzzling is the fact that everybody seems to pasken that the
above argument applies to the MeKadesh whereas the MeSubim should wash
beforehand. Somewhere along the line this detail seems to have gotten
lost by those who wash after Kiddush.

How could the Tur reject his father's way of doing things? Compare
this to the Beis Yosef's analysis of the Nussach of Kaddish (in Siman
55) where he writes (maybe more than once) that we don't change a
Nussach based on a Sevoro, no matter how good the Sevoro is.

- Danny, trying to get back to basics

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Message: 11
From: "Moshe Feldman" <moshe.feld...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 15:10:57 +0200
[Avodah] Seeing the Swiss Alps

R. D. Schoemann wrote on Areivim:
> I'd rather see pictures and remain in the Holy Land. It's warmer,
> cheaper and faster.
> As somebody who actually saw the Swiss Alps (and even spent a week
> skiing on them as a teenager) all I can say is that the hills and
> mountains in Eretz Yisroel are just as lovely if not more so.

The gemara in Moed Katan 14a says that one is not permitted to leave
EY for the purpose of sightseeing.

On Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 6:03 PM, Prof. Levine <llev...@stevens.edu> wrote on
>  His [RSRH's] writings reveal a poetic soul that never ceased to be
> delighted by the wonders of creation. Typical of his attitude is the
> remark attributed to him, upon returning from a visit to Switzerland. "Now
> can answer properly when Hashem asks me in the world of truth, 'Did you
> also My Switzerland?'

As RSRH did not live in EY, we don't know whether he would have said
that had he lived here.  I have never heard an EY gadol encourage
people to leave EY in order to see the wonders of nature.  I also note
that David HaMelech wrote Barchee Nafshee about the wonders of EY.

On a personal note, I have done a good amount of mountain biking in EY
and have found the views to be spectacular.  There is a tremendous
amount of topographical variation in such a small country.

Kol tuv,
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Message: 12
From: "Moshe Feldman" <moshe.feld...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 16:58:46 +0200
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Seeing the Swiss Alps (Was OU Kashruth

I wrote:
>> The gemara in Moed Katan 14a says that one is not permitted to leave
>> EY for the purpose of sightseeing.
> This is paskened (impliedly) in SA OC 531:4 (see MB sk 14 at end).

On Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 10:51 PM, Prof. Levine <llev...@stevens.edu>
wrote on Areivim:
> Yes, but to go to the Swiss Alps to see them through the eyes of RSRH might
> be considered a Torah exercise, not a sightseeing trip.  Please see
> http://www.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/rsrh/wandering_jew_259_60.pdf
> especially the bottom of 259 and 260.

Of course it could be considered a Torah exercise.  After all, kol
maasecha yi'heyu l'shem shamayim refers even to a dvar ha'reshus.

However, the halacha is that one may not leave EY for a dvar reshus.
According to some (based on the simple interpretation of the Rambam
Hil. Melachim 5:9), one may leave only to marry, learn Torah or earn
money, but for no other mitzvos.  According to others (cited in
Yechave Daas 5:57), one may leave to perform any mitzvah.  However,
according to Yechave Daas (see also  Rav Kook Shu"t Mishpatei Cohen
147), there is a difference of opinion whether going to visit graves
of tzadikim constitutes a mitzvah, even if it is a positive thing.
That shows that a dvar ha'reshus which is done l'shem shamayim does
not constitute a mitzvah for the purpose of leaving EY.

Certainly, the gemara MK 14a, which says that one is penalized for
leaving EY l'tayel in Chu"l, does not distinguish between whether or
not one has proper kavannah l'shem shamayim while being metayel.

Kol tuv,


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