Avodah Mailing List

Volume 26: Number 14

Sat, 17 Jan 2009

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 19:08:41 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Birkat Hachamah

On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 06:43:40PM -0500, Gals...@aol.com wrote:
: We will say "Birkat Hachamah" , IY"H, on April 8th.
: This is done every 28 years, first counting from Adar 22.
: My question is, why Adar 22?  If Adam was born (to Rav Yehudah) on Friday, 
: Nisan 1, then the Me'orot were created on Wednsday, Adar 29th. Then why do we 
: count from Adar 22?

As RZS mentioned in his post, it's because the day is determined not by
the Hebrew date, but by Tequfas Shemu'el, which will always match the
same Julian Date -- Wed, Mar 26th Julian, which in this century is on
8 April Gregorian.

The idea is that it is when the sun returns to its place, thus the
solar year. It's an approximation, using 365-1/4 days per year. The next
more accurate estimate that we use, Tequfas R' Adda, would make birkhas
hachamah too rare to be meaningful -- every 2,068,417 years. Even rounded
to the nearest cheileq it would be over 907k years. And ANY year to day
ratio is an estimate -- the real number is irrational.

So, we are simply marking when the 365-1/4 day estimate for a year
brings us back to Wed. 365-1/4 days = 52 even weeks, with a remainder
of 1-1/4 days. The 1-1/4 days only add up to an even number of weeks
after 28 years (28 * 1.25 days = 35 days = 5 weeks).

Nothing to do with Hebrew date, except for the Hebrew date of the first
Mar 26 Julian, back at maaseh bereishis.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             For a mitzvah is a lamp,
mi...@aishdas.org        And the Torah, its light.
http://www.aishdas.org                   - based on Mishlei 6:2
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 2
From: Harvey Benton <harveyben...@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 17:06:39 -0800 (PST)
[Avodah] Midrashim, Elu VeElu, and History

1. The concept of Elu VeElu Divrei Elokim Chaim is well known.	My question
is how does it relate to historical (non-Halachic) Chazals's such as
Midrashim, Gemmoras and Zohar's.  If competing Chazals present a historical
description of events in different, non compatible ways, how do we then
hold from Elu VeElu? 

For instance Avraham coming with many men (gem. of Eliezer) v. Eliezer
alone. Or which exact species was eaten in Gan Eden (Etrog, wheat, grape,
etc.,).  Many such examples exist.  (Note: The gemmara (Shabbas 63b) does
not say Elu VeElu Divrei Elokim Emes.)

2.  Far-fetched and fantastical Midrashim are usually thought to be
illiciting deeper meanings.  Do any acceptable Meforshim think otherwise;
i.e. do any Meforshim believe that Any and ALL Midrashim must be taken
literally and at face value?  HB

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Message: 3
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 03:11:17 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Threats Against A Judge

I wrote: 
> 1) It seems to me that the prohibiton against murder DOES
> require mesiras nefesh by its very nature: "Who knows whose
> blood is redder?"

R' Micha Berger commented:
> I fail to undertand what you're saying. How does your
> question make shefichas dam more about mesiras nefesh than AZ
> or gilui arayos? What the question you quote shows is why one
> should be moseir nefesh, why this made it to the list of 3.
> But how does it define the very nature of refusing to kill?

It is because both murder and mesiras nefesh involve a loss of life. Therefore one can easily get into a logical discussion about when they conflict.

But AZ and arayos do not involve a loss of life. Therefore weighing them
against mesiras nefesh is going to be a more complicated discussion. The
discussion *can* take place, but it will be more involved than the simpler
case, which I will present now:

R' Zev Sero's response to my comment was:
> It is perfectly logical to put self-preservation above the
> duty not to kill others. My blood may not be redder than yours
> on an absolute scale, but it's redder to ME. My first duty is
> to myself and my own, and therefore if preserving my life, or
> those of my children, means taking yours, then that is what I
> will do.

RZS is treating self-preservation as an important factor in these decisions. I don't. Self-preservation is a desire and an instinct, not a moral imperative.

"It is perfectly logical to put self-preservation above the duty not to
kill others." Logical? No, sir. Logic is impartial. Killing is either okay
for all, or wrong for all. Logic will not allow killing to be okay for me
but wrong for you.

There are many factors which must be weighed when deciding whether an
action is Right or Wrong. But my personal negios must not be among them. If
murder is reprehensible, then it is reprehensible regardless of which side
of the gun I'm on. Who says my blood is redder? I have no right to save my
life at someone else's expense!

The case of a rodef is different. His actions cheapen life, and it is not
unfair to value his life according to his valuation. The result is that yes
indeed, my life *is* more valuable, and he forfeits his.

Or have I misunderstood the whole "whose blood is redder" argument?

Akiva Miller

PS: In the course of writing the above, I recalled a recent discussion very
relevant to this very question. I remember a discussion about a criminal
who has been justly sentenced to death, by a proper Beis Din, for a crime
which he did commit. If he has an opportunity to escape, should he do so?
Perhaps the Torah *does* recognize self-preservation as an absolute value?
Anyone remember where that discussion was?

Click for a free comparison of top mortage lenders.  Save now.

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Message: 4
From: Gals...@aol.com
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 22:11:50 EST
Re: [Avodah] Birkat HaHammah

Joseph Mosseri wrote:
> I clearly remember Birkat HaHammah in 1981 and at the time we were 
> taught that this berakhah is recited once every 28 years when the sun is 
> in the exact position it was in when it was created at the time of 
> Ma'aseh Bereshit.
Birkat Hachama is not cited according to the Jewish Calendar. By the way, 
She'elat Tal Umatar B'Shemonesre in the Galut, also is not according to the 
Jewish Calendar (see Artscroll Siddur).
Birkat Hachama is indeed cited every 28 years, but not 28 Rav Adda years, but 
28 Mar Shemuel years.
The Shana of Rav Shemuel is little longer than the Shana of Rav Adda. (Rav 
adda Shana is 19 year cycle, including 7 leap year). Rav Shemuel Shana is as 
stated by Zev Zoro here, is 365.25 days.  This is the same as the Julian Calendar 
was (est 46 BC). Because the Gregorian Calendar (est 1582 CE) is almost the 
same as the Julian (Julian - leap year every 4th year. Gregorian the same 
except of every century that not divided by 400. 1901 not leaped year, 1904 - 
leaped year, 1900 - not leaped year, 2000 - leaped year, 2100 not leaped, etc). 
> As we know from Bereshit 1:14-19 this happened on the 4th day. According 
> to tradition Bereshit began on Rosh Hodesh Nisan

Chagim we go according to our "normal" Jewish calendar (Rav Adda). Tekufot - 
according to Mar Shemuel.
As mentioned, the two occasions we use Tekufot is for starting to cite Tal 
Umatar (60 after Tekufa), and Birkat Hachama.
For Tekufot we dont hold like Rav Eliezer, but according to Rav Yehuda, who 
said that the world (the man) was created in Nisan.
The best source in my opinion is the Tosafos to Masechet R"H, daf 8:
Man was created on Friday, Tishrei 1st. At the 3rd hours of the day (2 hours 
after 6:00 AM), he was ordered not to eat from the known tree, at the same 
time he was ordered Lekadesh Hachodesh. It means that the molad was 6 hours 
earlier, ie, 14 hours after Thursday 6:00 PM. This is molad VID. From this you can 
calculate Molad BaHaRad, and 6 month later, Molad Nisan Yetzira. This is 
Wednesday, Nisan 1st.
Without going to many calculations (but you can ask me if you want details), 
and because of the differnet in the length of Rav Ada to Mar Shemuel year, the 
Tekufat Nisan Yetzira is about week earlier, Wednsday, Adar 22nd (6 pm of 
At that time if we want to know what the date was according to the Julian 
Calendar, it was March 26th, 3760 BC. Because the Julian year (Calendar) is 
identical to Rav Shemuel year, then it was easy to remember that it is the same day 
and month every 28 years - March 26th.
in 1582 when they switched to the Gregorian, they added 10 days, so if we 
wanted to keep the same Rav Shemuel date, we had to adjust to the Gregorian and 
add 10 days, it means that now it would be April 5th.
The since 1582 until now the gap increased by 3 more days (for the reasons I 
said above about the leap years).  which is April 8th.
What I dont know to tell you, and I hope others will help here, who was the 
first source that said March 26th
(I think that Abudharam is the first source to say that the question of Tal 
U'Matar will start November 22nd).
Kol Tuv
**************Inauguration '09:  Get complete coverage from the nation's 
capital. (http://news.aol.com/main/politics/inauguration?ncid=emlcntusnews00000
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Message: 5
From: Michael Poppers <MPopp...@kayescholer.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 00:09:54 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Age of "Ancient" Minhagim

(Still way behind in digest reading, so please excuse me if this thought
has already been mentioned in a recent digest.)
In Avodah Digest V26#3, RYG noted:
> The widespread custom of the bride and groom not seeing each other for
the week before the wedding is apparently of quite recent origin. <
An "ancient"-minhag favorite :( of mine: b'nei mitzva not wearing a talis
[gadol] until they're ba'alei batim (i.e. married).  Not only is it a
relatively-recent phenomenon that many take for granted nowadays, but it's
downright improper (e.g. see BH 17:4, quoted in MB 17:10, as well as MhSh
ad loc.) in an era when most parents can afford to buy taleisim for their
sons (and do purchase talisei qatan for those sons even years prior to age
13 mishum chinuch).

A guten Shabbes and all the best from
--Michael Poppers via RIM pager
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Message: 6
From: "Micha Berger" <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 09:23:45 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] Our Attitude towards Segulos

On Areivim, we are discussing the article in the Yated that RYL
preserved at
<http://www.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/yated/segulos_nose.html>, "
On Thu, January 15, 2009 4:56 pm, R Daniel Israel wrote to Areivim,
"Right Under Your Nose" by R' S Binyomin Ginsberg (Dean, Torah
Academy, Minneapolis, MN, USA). That article opens (quoting RYL's
teaser on Areivim):
> I must begin by making it very clear that I am a firm believer in the
> effectiveness of segulos. I have tried some in the past and will
> continue using them in the future. ... Having said this, I think that
> it is important to take some time and reflect on how we view segulos
> and make sure that they don't contradict some other part of
> Yiddishkeit. Specifically, I think that our children can become very
> confused by segulos and that can potentially be a source of dangerous
> questions of kefirah and the like.

In that thread (on Thu, Jan 15 at 2:56pm PST), R Daniel Israel wrote
some observations about the article, and in forming my rely, I found
it really belongs here. The jist of that I'm about to say is that I
have a hard time ascribing anything to metaphysical forces other than
the Ratzon of the Meitiv lehativ. And so, my inclination is to spin
things so that segulos are within sechar va'onesh, they represent
Divine aid in one's tafqid in life. However, with a segulah, the aid
frequently takes a known form. This is the same approach I took in the
"mitzvah of mezuzah protects" discussions we have had over the years.

Yes, my position requires what I am admittedly calling "spinning" the
meqoros. However, I find myself incapable of understanding why the
Borei would create other forces that simply get in the way of the
tachlis of the beri'ah. Physical forces are tools by which bechirah
makes sense -- I can accomplish things and plan (at least
statistically) ahead only because the world follows patterns of
behavior. Metaphysical forces lack that role.

And so, let the spinning begin!

: 1) The author refers to the segulah for finding a lost object by
: giving tzedakah on hehalf of R' Meir Baal Hanes.  He calls this a
: "proven segulah."  I have indeed heard many amazing stories, but in
: what sense is this "proven"?  (I ask semi-rhetorically, this is re-
: opening somthing that has been discussed here at length.)

: (I also note that it would seem that the segulah, which is rooted
: in the Talmud, doesn't actually have anything to do with any
: specific organization.  One could give to any tzedakah that goes to
: aniim in EY and have kavannah that it is on behalf of R' Meir.)

You're right. And in fact, there are numerous tzedaqos named for R
Meir for this reason.

As for "proven", I would refer to the Avodah thread about ancient
minhagim. The segulah of giving money while invoking the memory of
RMBHN's relationship with the borei withstood the test of centuries.
People find it of value, whether or not it is proven to work.

Also, I intentionally switched from RDI's "on behalf of". "E-laka
deMe'ir aneini" doesn't say we're doing it as RMBHN's shaliach.
Rather, we are asking HQBH, remembering how R Meir related to Him. If
we could establish that relationship, even by a tiny incremental
amount, we wouldn't need the tiqun caused by losing things.

And in the previous paragraph, I spun things further, trying to take
the feel of magic out of the segulah by giving it a sechar-va'onesh

Bekhol zos, it's better "leshareis es haRav al menas shelo leqabeil
peras". But mitokh shelo lishmah ba lishmah. If the fact that the
sechar is more predictable helps motivate a mitzvah, better than

: 2) The author writes:
: "A child once asked me to explain how wearing a red string on one???s
: hand works to prevent an ayin hara. I stopped myself from
: responding with what was really on the tip of my tongue. I was
: going to tell him that when he explains how an ayin hara works, I
: would explain how the red string works. My response was obviously
: different."

: What is so wrong with that answer.  (Yes, it needs to be phrased a
: little more gently, and accompanied by a more detailed explanation,
: but the basic answer would seem reasonable to me.)

Ayin haRa is also amenable to a sechar va'onesh spin. AhR, as it
appears in Avos, refers to jealousy. Doing things that provoke
jealousy, with no care to how one's good fortune is paining others, is
not how HQBH wants that berakhah used, and thus can cause someone to
lost it.

SheTir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "Man wants to achieve greatness overnight,
mi...@aishdas.org        and he wants to sleep well that night too."
http://www.aishdas.org     - Rav Yosef Yozel Horwitz, Alter of Novarodok
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 7
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 09:01:16 -0500

The Chasam Sofer asks why should all rabbis have the title of rabbi  
precede their name, whereas with Moshe, his name preceded his title:  
Moshe Rabbeinu. He answers that even before matan Torah, Moshe was the  
greatest of the rabbis, whereas all the other rabbis are great only  
because of the merit of the Torah that Moshe Rabbeinu taught, so  
that's why he was Moshe Rabbeinu and not Rabbeinu Moshe.  Very  
interestingly, the gematria of Moshe Rabbeinu is 613.

The first verse of Shmos: V'aile Shmos b'nai Yisroel haba'im  
mitzraima..." "And these are the names of the Children of Israel who  
were coming (lit., are coming) to Egypt..."
The gematria of Mitzraima is 385 and the gematria of Shechina, the  
Divinity of God, is 385, which alludes to the fact that the Divinity  
of God went into exile with them.

May we be liberated from our private Mitzrayim...

Shabbat Shalom.
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Message: 8
From: Harvey Benton <harveyben...@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 04:16:12 -0800 (PST)
[Avodah] Midrashim and Eilu V'eilu

I apologize: my previous post on Midrashim contained a ref. to Shabbas 63b
as the source for the dictum of Eilu V'eilu. I couldn't find it there; if
someone knows the original source, please post.

Rashi on Kesuvos 57a describes some of the parameters for Eilu V'Eilu in
historical contexts (versus for example machlokes in halacha).	 There are
several Aishdas postings on the this topic but none that I could find
discussing for instance the differing opinions regarding some actual
historical events or artifacts; including:  A. the different ways the
shofar used to be blown in the Temple B. the shape of the Menorah in the
BHamikdash C. the arrangement of the letters on the tzitz of the KGadol D.
What exactly was in the Aron (e.g. jar of man, staff of Moshe) v. what was
placed on the side of it; etc. 

Can we easily say that some of Chazal's opinions on mutually-exclusive
historical events are wrong? Or would that be kefirah? (If we are forced to
hold by Eilu V'Eilu in even these kinds of instances -- we might be forced
as a possible explanation, to have to come up with some multi-dimensional
multi-faceted universe, where differring physical metzuises can exist at
the same time). 

One Aishdas Listing (vol 2, no.47) reads as follows:
Micha Berger writes:
>As already pointed out, eilu va'eilu doesn't work when the topic is history.
Not as simple as it may seem. See Pachad Yitzchok, Igros U'Ksovim, no. 30.
Yisrael Herczeg

Followed by (vol 2, no. 48):
Rav Hutner....
He does not deal with arguments of Chazal concerning
Metzius which are not directly related to halacha ie. what happened historically.
Thus Rashi's (Kesubos 56a)position that historical fact per se is not covered by eilu v'eilu is not contradicted by Rav Hutner.....
Daniel Eidensohn

If someone has access to the Pachad Yitzchak reference brought down by R.
Yisrael Herczeg, and could post what it says regarding these issues, I
would appreciate it.  If the members of Avodah feel this topic has been
previously discussed sufficiently, I apologize for this post..... HB

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Message: 9
From: Arie Folger <afol...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:18:26 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Is smoking mutar?

RZS wrote:
> IIRC R Bleich wrote an article many years ago arguing that there is no
> precedent for the claim that "venishmartem" applies to actions that pose
> no immediate danger, but only increase the probability of developing a
> disease at some time in the future. ?
> None of these are like the risk from smoking.
> AFAIK he has not renounced that position, and nor has our knowledge of the
> metzius changed in that time, so as to invalidate its application to
> smoking.

In a personal communications when I took his contemporary halakhah course, R' 
Bleich opined that we look at the cumulative effect of toxic absorption to rule 
when one becomes obligated to shield oneself from exposure. Thus, whereas the 
first cigarette would not be assur on account of a direct piqua'h nefesh 
(though it may be assur on account of it being addictive and indirectly 
leading to danger), at some point, the cumulative intake of tobacco smoke will 
halakhicly compel the smoker to quit.

The same goes for living in a poluted city.

The statistics must also take into account the probability of the danger 
coming about, and that danger must exceed 50% to become halakhicly actionable. 
Meaning, if after 10 years living on Canal Street in Manhattan (the most 
poluted area), one would have a 20% chance of dying a year early, this would 
not be actionable, as 20% is smaller than 50%. If OTOH, after 20 years living 
there, one would reach a 50% chance of a significantly reduced life expectancy 
(significant being in the eyes of society IIRC), then the chap would have to 
move to a clean air sanctuary.

Ad kan the clarification of R' Bleich's position. Please note that the above 
statistics are made up for the purpose of demonstration only, I do not know 
what the actual mortality rate is from polution exposure on the Manhattan side 
of the Manhattan Bridge.

Good Shabbos,
Arie Folger

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Message: 10
From: "Rich, Joel" <JR...@sibson.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 08:26:52 -0500
[Avodah] hatov vhameitiv/dayan haemet

Gemara brachot 59b gives the example of a son whose father was niftar
says batchila dayan haemet ubasof hatov (due to inheritance).  Has
anyone seen anything on the ordering of these brachot - e.g. is the
chiyuv for dayan haemet somehow chal first? What if one reversed the
Joel Rich
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Message: 11
From: Arie Folger <afol...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:32:47 +0100
Re: [Avodah] One size fits all?

RIBalbin wrote:
> At a wedding, IF it is decided that there will be a Mechitza then I ?
> would expect that there ought to be two dinim/hanhogos
> therein. For the "dance floor" one would expect a Mechitza that was ?
> dense enough and high enough to prevent
> Histaklus, as per one loshen of the Rambam, with the aim being to ?
> prevent men being able to see women
> dancing. What about the other component, where people are sitting. Is ?
> there an Inyan of Histaklus here as well
> because presumably the main reason is a) Shesimcha BIMONO b) prevent ?
> Hisarvus
> Yes, I am aware of Deyos that say say you don't need one etc, and I am  
> not at all saying that you do.
> Rather, I am asking, according to those who say that you do need one  
> for this component, is the Mehus of the
> Mechitzah requirement different for those two sections of a hall  
> (assume all are seated in one hall)

I just attended a wedding where this is precisely what was done: a curtain at 
the dance floor, and plants elsewhere.

> I have noticed that when it comes to "finger food" or "smorgasbord" ?
> prior to the Seuda proper, people who do have
> a Mechitza seemingly rely on no Mechitza and/or men/women being on ?
> either side of a room. Is that a din of Hisarvus (mixing) that they ?
> are "meikel" on (because inside the room they do have a Mechitza)

A kashe oif a maase. There is IMHO no sense to this. It would be far more 
sensible IMO to have a mixed seating but a me'hitza for the Smorgasbord and 
the dance floor, than the opposite. I fear that the reason for the strange 
"minhag" of separate seating but mixed smorgasbord comes from the fact that 
many people want a mixed affair but want to be identified as people having 
separate seating affairs.

Kol tuv,
Arie Folger

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Message: 12
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 13:38:18 EST
Re: [Avodah] Birkat HaHammah

From: "Joseph Mosseri" _joseph.mosseri@verizon.net_ 

>>I  clearly remember Birkat HaHammah in 1981 and at the time we were taught
that  this berakhah is recited once every 28 years when the sun is in the
exact  position it was in when it was created at the time of  Ma'aseh
....According to
tradition Bereshit began on Rosh  Hodesh Nisan hence the 4th day (Wednesday)
of Ma'aseh Bereshit when the sun  was created had to be on the 4th of Nisan.
This berakhah must be recited on  the 4th of Nisan.
What is the source and the reasoning to say that this year  we will recite it
on Ereb Pesah the 14th of Nisan?

Why would you think the *sun* reaches some previous position on the same  
*lunar* date as it did the last time?  
As a matter of fact, the bracha is /not/ recited on the same Hebrew date  
after each 28-day cycle.
(Not that I know what it means anyway, that the sun is in the same position  
as it was on the fourth day of Creation.   Position vis-a-vis  what?  
Background constellations visible on earth?  Place in the  Galaxy?  In the Universe?)
BTW you also seem to be neglecting the opinion that the world started in  
Tishrei.  So we don't even know for sure what date Yom Revi'i of Bereishis  was.

--Toby Katz


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Message: 13
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 13:30:35 EST
Re: [Avodah] Birchot Habanim and Negiah


From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" _kennethgmiller@juno.com_ 

>  I've seen - IIRC, twice - a Rov put his hand on the head
> of an  (unrelated) Kallah to give her a Berachah. I assume
> that they did not  consider it Derech Chibah.[--RMG]

.....Any rav who is close enough to  the kallah to give her a bracha would 
probably have been the Mesader Kiddushin,  or would otherwise have been close 
enough to know whether or not this was a  Chupas Nidah, and I'll presume that it 
was not.

Akiva  Miller

IIRC in the book *The Bamboo Cradle* the father (who adopted a Chinese girl  
and subsequently the family became frum -- if you haven't read it, you should, 
 very inspiring) writes that he was told he could never touch his daughter -- 
 except on her wedding day, when he bensht her I guess for the first and last 
 time.  (There are more lenient opinions re adopted children -- I mention  
this only in the context of a kallah receiving a bracha)  I don't think he  
mentions who gave him that psak.

--Toby Katz

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Message: 14
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 18:37:33 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Our Attitude towards Segulos

Secular spiritualists and others maintain we are what we think we are.	Or
we become that which we contemplate upon.  Or as we visualize urselves, so
we are or we. Become.

Eg think thin and.  U b ecome thin.

We Jews think we are what we DO.  See sefer hachinuch.

It is possible to do otherwise.  We can b reak this paradigm.  The sheiloh is are we allowedto?

IOW let's say. We could abolish theimpact of schar v o'onesh thais ibthe
torah eg the 2nd p. Of shema and sub mit to another paradigm that allows us
to earn w/o being deserving.  Is using this trick mutar?

Tangentially I have long pondered: R Jews vitctims because we see ourselves
that way?  And if we stopped doing that would we be better off and less
victimized?  And if so isfocusing upon martyrdom actualizing a negative
vision? Does THAT violate uvacharta  bechayyim?

Furthermore is affirming "ki chotei ani" perpetuating chait?  Would we
bebetter stating we used tobe a chotei but no longer?  Wouldn't a positiv e
affirmation help us past our limitatuions?

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Message: 15
From: David Cohen <bdcohen...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:44:00 -0500
[Avodah] Birchot Habanim and Negiah

R' Moshe Y. Gluck wrote:
> I've seen - IIRC, twice - a Rov put his hand on the head
> of an (unrelated) Kallah to give her a Berachah. I assume
> that they did not consider it Derech Chibah.

Let me start off by making two educated guesses about this situation:

A) It was probably around the time of the bedeken; in my experience that's
when the brachos are given. If so, it was prior to the kiddushin.

B) Any rav who is close enough to the kallah to give her a bracha would
probably have been the Mesader Kiddushin, or would otherwise have been close
enough to know whether or not this was a Chupas Nidah, and I'll presume that
it was not.

If those two guesses are correct, then the kallah would not have been an
ervah to the rav.

I'm not saying that this is enough to justify the negiah, and I'm also not
saying that it is *not* enough to justify it. My only point is that neither
consideration applies to a father-in-law giving brachos to his
daughter-in-law on a typical Friday Night, and so RMYG's story is not
relevant to answer it.
Akiva Miller

I have to agree with RAM that RMYG's evidence is not applicable, since, as
pointed out, a bracha at the bedken may be a different and unusual
So that leaves the original question: can anyone point to some sources, or
otherwise share some insights?

Shabbat shalom
David I. Cohen
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