Avodah Mailing List

Volume 26: Number 146

Sun, 26 Jul 2009

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 18:23:52 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Tzeni'us and gender roles

> That's the major societal change I believe is assur to undertake without
> a real cheshbon hanefesh. If it's made and they reach a different
> conclusion than I currently hold, it would bother me far less.

Circa 1975 YU's SOY - attended by many onlookers - was debating whether
the purim hagigah should be co-ed or male only (stag?)

The Righties wanted Men only
The Lefties wanted mixed

One high-minded Wilsonian type demanded of the Council and of the large
crowd attending:
"The issue is not what is best for ME whether the hagigah is co-ed or not!
The issue is what is better for Purim!".

IOW which model will be superior in honoring or observing the holiday

Same here
What model better serves the Torah and the Community itself?

Does engaging more women in rabbinical-style (kinda like kosher-style :-)
leadership roles enhance the community more?
Or does the embracing of contemporary but non-Torah values pose a
potential for greater damage?

That is the question!

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 16:57:44 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Shabbos Hazzon, Lecha Dodi

On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 11:29:17AM +0000, kennethgmil...@juno.com wrote:
: R' Rich Wolpoe posted five excellent reasons why it is okay to sing Lecha Dodi to the tune of Eli Tzion on Shabbos Chazon.

Which you also recommended in previous iterations of this topic.

More humorous:
We are maqpidim to sing Lekha Dodi to the tune of the closing lines of
Eli Tziyon.

for previous related Avodah discussions.

: For several other reasons, I refer interested readers to
: R' Baruch Schwartz's 1997 post in Mail-Jewish, available at
: http://www.ottmall.com/mj_ht_arch/v25/mj_v25i64.html

Interestingly, R' Baruch Schwartz said it's the nusach for "benei
veisekha kevatchilah..." on Yom Tov. And SBA says the tune is also used
in Tiqun Chatzos. So maybe my joke (above) about the last two lines of
Eli Tziyon isn't /that/ far off.


Micha Berger             Zion will be redeemed through justice,
mi...@aishdas.org        and her returnees, through righteousness.
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 3
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 17:15:03 -0400
Re: [Avodah] bathing during the 9 days

rabbirichwol...@gmail.com wrote:

> Minhag X may have triggered minhag Y 
> But just because Minhag X has been subsequently been abandoned proves
> NOTHING one way or the other about Minhag Y NOW!
> Take this to its logical extreme and you could unravel most minhaggim!
> Extreme Example:
> Given that bigamy was an issue for R Gershom's era due to people still
> fulfilling yibbum it was banned.
> But since we subsequently abandoned yibbum in favor of halitza - therefore
> other bigamy is now OK!

Waitaminnit, where did you get the idea that ChDrG was motivated by a
problem related to chalitzah?   If it had been, then ein hochi nami.

In any case, what RMS is saying here is that the minhag of the 9 days
is not just derived from shloshim but is in fact to be noheg din
shloshim.  Whatever we don't do in shloshim, he says, we also don't
do in the 9 days.  It used to be the minhag not to bathe in shloshim,
and therefore it was also the minhag not to bathe in the 9 days; since
(he says) we now do bathe in shloshim, therefore there's no reason to
avoid it in the 9 days.

Zev Sero                      The trouble with socialism is that you
z...@sero.name                 eventually run out of other people?s money
                                                     - Margaret Thatcher

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Message: 4
From: "I. Balbin" <Isaac.Bal...@rmit.edu.au>
Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2009 19:19:12 +1000
Re: [Avodah] washing in nine days

a) Rav Soloveitchik effectively has a different view to Reb Moshe (and  
others) in that in contradistinction to R'RW there is no existential  
minhag aveilus for the nine days! Rather THE minhag is that of Shloshim.

b) RRW: There is a machlokes achronim in respect of the "equality" of  
TB and YK. It seems the majority view is that they are not on the same  
halachic wave length, viz a Choleh Shein Bo Sakono does not have to  
eat L'shiurin on TB. Check out the machlokes acharonim regarding what  
they can eat. Do they have to be mistapek b'muot or can they eat "what  
the require"

c) Baruch Hashem I have had no clue about Dinei and Minhogei Shiva. Is  
it the case today that  people are Istenis and even during shiva they  
brush their teeth, and do some sort of cleaning of themselves or do  
people mamash have zero washing etc The reason I ask is that if things  
have changed and that practice has also lessened (and I don't mean  
that people hve long showers etc)  then would this not imply that such  
things are now muttar even on Tisha B'Av

d) I have never been zoche to understand why acharonim doesn't now  
consider brushing teeth as in the same category as cleaning dirt from  
one's person.

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Message: 5
From: Shlomo Pick <pic...@mail.biu.ac.il>
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 2009 01:39:49 +0300
[Avodah] aveilus of bein hamezarim on shabbos

To your question of the tune of eli ziyon to lecho dodi.

The answer, who sings it to eli ziyon.  Minhag hagra and ba'al hatanya and
many others is to sing lecho dodi as you would do any other shabbos for
there is no aveilus on shabbos.

A proof from the eicha niggun?

Well our ba'al korei, harav Shlomo Kanyevski, R. Hayyim Kanyevski's son did
not change any trupp at all, neither the possuk eicha of the tora reading
nor in the haftorah. I asked about it, and he said that's the way he did for
his father and his grandfather, and they were following the chazon ish who
was following the vilna gaon - no signs of aveilut at all!

Those who are noheig aveilut should not be wearing their best shabbos finery
on Shabbat chazon, per the posekim who say so.

Shavu'a tov






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Message: 6
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 22:03:21 +0000
[Avodah] Three Weeks and Private Aveilus

Premise: Halachah kdvivrei hameikel b"aveilus

Question: Why are we not meikel like Sephardim to observe only shavua
shechol bo (or like Teimanim who allow meat and wine up to s'udah

A: Because Ashkenazim have traditionally treated aveilus derabbim as
stricter than aveilus deyachid. (Source R Dr E Kanarfogel - RDEK). And
as the trend is to give heterim for yechiddim this was not extended to
the 3 weeks.

This has something to do with history of Crusades etc. But especially
NOW - given the relatively recent holocaust - there is even more reason
to more.

Q: What about R Moshe Soloveichik?

A: IIRC he died before the Holocaust. Maybe he would have been more
machmir had he lived to witnessed the latest Churban!

Q: What's Your Proof?

A: Rav Schwab et. al. Opposed a yom hashoah. Rather they chose to lumpe
the sho'ah with tisha b'av and even added a kina. Certainly sounds
reasonable to think that they would either add a stringency or avoid a
leniency as part of that "lumping process"

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Message: 7
From: Shlomo Pick <pic...@mail.biu.ac.il>
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 2009 10:57:11 +0300
[Avodah] ?????: aveilus of bein hamezarim on shabbos

I don't know who the gedolei haposekim were in camp aguda circa 1966. but
from the posekim in the responsa literature, eg. Chasam sofer, vol. I, no
158, it's clear that the minhag of changing or not changing dress was a
communal affair and clothing was not an "individual based minhag". then
again in frankfort and other place they didn't come to shul on shabbos in
shorts, baseball hats, red pants, white blazers, sneakers, sandals without
socks, and who knows what not.
I don't have to explain every chassidische minhag, just pointed out that the
problem of aveilus bezibbur on shabbos has found some resolutions, and not
"veyesh leyashev bedochak".
Oh, last nite we also did Kiddush levanah as per minhag hagrah.
May this week of shavua she chal bo tisha b'av be incomplete and if we have
to complete it, let it be the last one.

-----????? ??????-----
???: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com [mailto:rabbirichwol...@gmail.com] 
????: Sunday, July 26, 2009 6:15 AM
??: Shlomo Pick; Micha
????: Re: aveilus of bein hamezarim on shabbos

Those who are noheig aveilut should not be wearing their best shabbos finery
on Shabbat chazon, per the posekim who say so.
Shavu?a tov

Lav davka

When I was @ camp agudah in 1966 they specifcally said that not changing
clothes was based upon the premise that the average Jew's Shabbos clothes
were not much different than his weekday clothes in the time of the Rema et.

Besides, rejecting the GRA's and the bal hatanya revisions does not mean we
reject any and all revisions

Also the nusach revisions are public and based upon Minhag Ashkenaz and the
clothing is individual based minhag

Therefore Apples and oranges 

As pointed out, you cannot equate one minhag with another

Leshitashcha those hassidim who adopted Sephardic practice should follow the
machaeir and no longer hold the nine days or qitniyos!

Shavua Tov
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Message: 8
From: David Riceman <drice...@att.net>
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 17:49:26 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Tzeni'us and gender roles

Micha Berger wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 08:29am EDT, R Dr Meir Shinnar wrote:
> : 1.  The discussion started with a discussion of RHS's psak (not mussar  
> : schmooz) that a public role inherently required a violation of  
> : tzeniut, and required a mattir in the form that someone had to to do  
> : it - and only someone obligated could violate his tzeniut.  We are now  
> : told that we shouldn't focus on halacha - this is hyperlegalism - this  
> : is a matter of mussar.  I take it that you are not willing to defend  
> : the halachic nature of this psak any more.
There are plenty of professions which entail a public role: professor, 
physician, lawyer; and plenty of others which accord public roles to 
prominent members of their profession (my wife, for example, is a famous 
electrical engineer).  Rabbi Schachter teaches at a school many of whose 
students choose to enter professions which entail either an inevitable 
or probable public role.  Does he rule that it is assur for them to 
enter those professions, or to achieve prominence in them? Surely there 
are more private ways to earn a living!

David Riceman

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Message: 9
From: Meir Shinnar <chide...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 17:56:01 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Tzeni'us and gender roles

> On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 08:29am EDT, R Dr Meir Shinnar wrote:
> : 1.  The discussion started with a discussion of RHS's psak (not  
> mussar
> : schmooz) that a public role inherently required a violation of
> : tzeniut, and required a mattir in the form that someone had to to do
> : it - and only someone obligated could violate his tzeniut.  We are  
> now
> : told that we shouldn't focus on halacha - this is hyperlegalism -  
> this
> : is a matter of mussar.  I take it that you are not willing to defend
> : the halachic nature of this psak any more.
> Well, I think to better articulate what I'm saying, let's break it  
> into
> two levels.
> I see the mussar effect of the activity as the metzi'us about which  
> is pasqening. Not that there are dinei tzeni'us, but that the  
> existence
> of a fundamental mussar concept of tzeni'us causes halachic outcome.
> Thus one shouldn't be trying to analyze tzeni'us on a halachic  
> level. As I
> wrote, being a shocheit does make one more capable of dealing with  
> blood,
> whether the shechitah is a qiyum asei or not. That was the point I was
> centering on. Hutrah vs dechuyah isn't the right discussion, because
> we're still discussing psychology on "what do we expect will happen
> to our personalities" terms.
> After the mussar is resolved, then on can ask what that reality  
> demands
> in terms of a halachic response. The halakhah involved is either the
> Ramban's qedoshim tihyu "bemah shemutar lakh" or the Rambam's  
> lehidamos
> bidrakhav (quoting the list of mitzvos asei preceding Hil' Dei'os).

The issue with this formulation is as follows
1)  I am not sure what you mean with your statement about not  
analyzing tzeniut on a halachic level.  The issue wasn't trying to  
apply some novel halachic hakira - or even standard halachic  
terminology (hutra or dechuya was suggested by others)- but to subject  
the concept to a rigorous analysis - both conceptually, as well as in  
terms of our understanding of what communal and Jewish norms have been  
- both been on a practical level, as well as on an ideal level.  This  
analysis concluded that the notion of tzeniut suggested by RHB and  
defended by you, while having precursors in, say, Christian and Stoic  
ideology, has no basis in Judaism - which has rejected the denigration  
of public service at its core.

2) the issue of the ramban's kedoshim tihyu or lehidamot bidrachav -  
there are issues where the application of that standard is quite clear  
(naval bireshut hatorah). THere are others where it is quite difficult  
and subjective - I would argue that a woman engaged in public teaching  
of torah, chaplaincy, etc - is engaged in lehidamot bidrachav, and is  
actaully part of kedoshim tihyu bemah shemutar lach ( as she doesn't  
go into alternate, higher paying jobs using her skills (see RM  
Broyde's article in the Jewish Week, republished on Hirhurim, where he  
talks about he used to counsel intelligent women who were intstead in  
serious learning to go into secular law...)  The issue that needs to  
be answered is why this violates those parameters - and this is not  
clear at all...

> : 2.  WRT mussar - there are different values.  Yes, there is a large
> : mussar literature on the danger of being seduced by honor and  
> power -
> : and the need to train oneself against them.  What there isn't in
> : mainstream Jewish literature is the implication that public  
> service is
> : something to be avoided unless there is a particular requirement...
> Except RHS holds that being asked to be chazan etc... is a precedent
> for that very thing. That accepting being chazan is only something you
> should do when the minyan would otherwise be stuck.

The problem is that this halahca of a chazan is something we don't  
follow in general - and even you don't follow it.  This is on two  
1) In terms of kibbudim, most shuls are not makpid on this issue of a  
hazan (and it was suggested, with good evidence, that the issue is not  
one of tzeniut, but derech eretz).  We don't also follow it in most  
other issues - as has been pointed out, at a wedding, we would not be  
stuck if we only had two other people under the huppa as edim, mesader  
kisddushin etc- but we call other rabbanim as well, even though we  
wouldn't be stuck without them.....If this is a real halacha of  
tzeniut, we need to be consistent - as it would apply far more broadly.

2) In terms of public policy, we do want to encourage people to do  
things for the community - not just when the community is stuck.  No  
organization would survive or be founded if the response of everyone  
was call me if you really need me, and would be other wise stuck.    
Nothing new would ever be done.  Eg, you admitted that you support R  
Jungreis, because of the good that she does.  When she started out,  
how did we (or she) know that she would have a good effect?   She  
wasn't fulfilling a role that the community recognized as needing, nor  
did it recognize her as the one that it needed.   If today someone  
wants to go and emulate her, how does she know that she would be  
successful and that the community would otherwise be stuck? That is  
why the traditional response has been to encourage involvement in the  
public sphere - including areas where we didn't know whether there was  
a real need.  It is a model that is not viable for the Jewish or other  
community - and has never been followed - and never should be followed.
> : Your approach, which places individual self fulfillment ahead of the
> : needs of the community, is problematic - and without precedent...
> But it doesn't! It says that personal need bows to the needs of the
> community. What it doesn't allow is violating personal need without
> proving that the community gains from the violation.

> When the minyhan needs a chazan, go, be a chazan.
the issue is determining what the community needs..  You are viewing  
maharat etc as a means of personal fulfilment of the individual - and  
I (and RCL had a similar response) view it as a response to the needs  
of the community - which was initiated by the Mara D'atra of that  
community in response to those needs.
But in general, as above, this is a view that is against traditional  
jewish thought.  If I have a new idea to start a hesed organization,  
do we say we don't know whether we need it, so don't start it??  We  
encourage people to become publicly involved.

> I think this entire self vs community dichotomy is off target. It's
> about self refinement as a halachic end. In the case of tzeni'us,  
> that's
> vs the community, but that's only one instance of a more general idea.
> But since the community "wins" even in my model, it isn't placing the
> individual first.

It is precisely that you place self refinement as the fundamental goal  
and sole measure that is problematic, rather than communal needs.    
Furthermore,  the community does not win in your model, because the  
initiative to identify new needs and solutions is stifled.

> : 3.  You emphasize that the issue is the accomodation of the  
> individual
> : women's desire for religiosity, and focus on the maharat as  
> violating
> : kadesh et atzmech bema shemutar lakh - viewing it as a form of self
> : expression and realization.  This reflects (IMHO) a complete
> : misunderstanding of the issue - and reflects, again a bias for the
> : individual self perfection over the community.  The issue is quite
> : different - and is intrinsically a communal issue - and one of  
> tzorche
> : tzibbur (properly understood).  The issue is that we are now dealing
> : with a community (which reflects all of its members) which has
> : undergone major structural changes - and the issue is of addressing
> : the spiritual/religious/halachic needs of that community - where  
> many
> : of the women today routinely live, outside the shul, a very public
> : life....
> And again, the question is whether that should be a given.
> Do we accomodate this structural change or resist it? Isn't that the
> entire question? You're assuming the change, and then asking "Now  
> what?"
> I wouldn't.
> W
WADR, you misunderstand the issue.  The structural change has  
occured.  Yes the question is to accomodate or resist it.  However,  
resisting it has to be systemic - one has to oppose the change in  
social roles for women.   If you want to be consistent, you have to  
oppose the role of women in the workplace, be against women lawyers,  
etc.   that suggests a consistent vision.  (It has its own problems,  
but at at least it is consistent).   I have not seen that approach in  
the MO community, and very little in the American haredi community.   
The question therefore is, if the structural change has occured, and  
we are accomodating it (perhaps even encouraging it, but the norm is  
at least to accomodate it), what is the proper religious and halachic  
response?  One can argue about the details of any proposed solution,   
but to resist religious and halachic accomodation while being  
comfortable with social accomodation is, ultimately, to argue that  
halahca and religion are and should be irrelevant.  You can't  
accomodate the social and economic sphere, and just resist on the  
religious sphere.

RMB and I have disagreed on many issues - but his opposition has  
normally been cogent.  For the first time, I confess that I am truly  
puzzled by his dedication to this model of tzeniut - which seems  
(IMHO) to be so profoundly immoral and without basis.   I understand  
opposition to some of the innovations, but do not understand his  
support of this issue.

Meir Shinnar

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Message: 10
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 2009 03:03:43 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Tzeni'us and gender roles

Old TK: 

> If I had dismissed the *halacha* (women can't be  witnesses in court) on 
>  grounds that the *halacha* was  "incompatible with modern, progressive  
> sensibilities," you might  have a point.  That would be a non-Orthodox 
thing  to 
>  do.  However I did NOT say, "The Chinuch only rejects women as  
> because he lived in 13th century Spain."
> What the Chinuch did here was to speculate as to the *reason* for  the  
> halacha.  IIANM, the Gemara itself does not give a  reason.  The  
/reason/ given 
> by the Chinuch is only his  opinion.  The halacha stands  whether or not 
> understand  the reason behind it.  I accept the halacha  but I do not 
> the reason he gives. I believe that his understanding  of women's  
> capabilities was colored by his time and place.   

From: Yitzhak Grossman _celejar@gmail.com_ (mailto:cele...@gmail.com) 

>>  "... But RnTK seems to have no problem  with
rejecting Hashkafos of Rishonim that can be attributed to  their
particular cultures."

So I myself acknowledged the distinction  that RnTK makes here, and
that's why I mentioned the institution of the  Maharat, rather than some
blatant revision of Halachah.  Pace RnTK, its  proponents ought to be
perfectly entitled to argue that any post-Talmudic  Hashkafah regarding
women may be disregarded as having been based upon  someone's
"understanding of women's capabilities" which has been "colored by  his
time and place", and as long as they follow Halachah, RnTK ought  to
have no quarrel with them.  <<

There is a huge difference between   1. accepting or rejecting a  given 
commentary's hashkafic understanding and
 2. changing long-accepted PRACTICE.
Let's look for a moment at this sentence:  

>>But RnTK seems to have no problem with
rejecting Hashkafos of  Rishonim that can be attributed to their
particular cultures. <<
Spealomg of "rejecting hashkafos of Rishonim" -- has there not been endless 
 discussion, even here on Avodah, over the issue of the Rambam and his  
Have there not been many in the past, and even today, who reject part of  
what the Rambam wrote hashkafically?
Do those who reject the Rambam's Aristotelian ideas thereby arrogate to  
themselves the right to change halachic decisions, or even to change any 
custom  or common practice?
As for your contention that I "ought to have no quarrel" with the  
proponents of the Maharat, I just don't see where you get that at all.  I  have a 
list of objections to the Maharat idea as long as your arm.  Just a  few:
1.  As already stated -- disagreeing with a particular  authority's 
/understanding/ of a given law does not give you the right to change  that law or 
to change any minhag, custom or practice.  
2.  The Maharat does not fill any need (pace RMS) that cannot more  than 
adequately be filled by present arrangements.   Any woman who  does not feel 
comfortable asking a rav her shailos can easily find a  knowledgeable woman 
who can answer 90% of the halachic questions that come her  way and who can 
in turn, bring the remaining 10% to a rav.  I myself  answer "shailos" all 
the time, e.g., "Should I have surgery this week?"   (No, postpone it until 
after Tisha B'Av if it can be postponed without  endangering your health.)  
(Actual question.)
3.  Not only does it not fill a need, it contributes to the  denigration of 
Orthodoxy, of halacha, of respect for rabbanim, of yiras  Shamayim.  How 
does it do all that?  By saying to the critics of  Orthodoxy, not, "Come and 
study" but "Yes, you're right, the Torah from the day  it was given and until 
today has been disrespectful and discriminatory against  women, but we are 
now going to fix and correct that blatant injustice."
4.  The liberal churches and the liberal "Jewish" denominations have  
already discovered that when you eliminate the distinctions between male and  
female roles in religious ritual, the men stay away and the religion becomes a  
female religion.  You can't force the men to come.  It is not in  women's 
interest to have a religion that their men stay away from.  It is a  million 
times worth it to let the men  have the public honor of assigned  roles that 
"only men can do" in order to have the men actually show up  at services.  
Men who show up then become better human beings all around  because of the 
influence of religion in general and the Torah in particular (I  guess I 
should say lehavdil -- I don't mean to imply that Torah is just  another 
religion on an a la carte menu).
5, 6, 7, etc -- maybe another time.
--Toby  Katz


**************An Excellent Credit Score is 750. See Yours in Just 2 Easy 
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