Avodah Mailing List

Volume 26: Number 202

Thu, 15 Oct 2009

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Michael Poppers <MPopp...@kayescholer.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 19:25:38 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Birkat Cohanim on Hoshana Rabbah

In Avodah V26#200, RDIC wrote:
> The davening on Hoshana Rabbah takes on some but not all the
of Yom Tov. Were any specific criteria used to determine which parts were
changed to YT and which were left like a chol day? Specifically, in nussach
askenas, we _add the extra tehillim in p'sukei d'zimra_ (emphasis added
--MP), but don't say
Nishmat.... <
IIRC, Abie Katz (Beurei Tefillah) recently spoke to the topic of whether
p'suqei d'zimrah (PdZ) were added to YT davening or, instead, removed from
y'mei-chol davening and, IINM, demonstrated the latter.

All the best from
--Michael Poppers via RIM pager
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Message: 2
From: Michael Poppers <MPopp...@kayescholer.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 21:39:30 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Birkat Cohanim on Hoshana Rabbah

In Avodah V26#201, RDrYL wrote:
> I still recall what happened one year (some time between 1968 and
1973) when I was living in Elizabeth, NJ. On HR Rav P. M. Teitz,
ZT"L, took huge Hoshanos.  They were at least 6 feet tall and looked
even taller. <
My arovos bushes (planted many years ago from clippings given me by my
father-in-law sh'l'y't'a') have yielded "20 amos"-size stalks for at least
the last few years.  This year, one of the community-shul rabbis (Rabbi
Jonathan Schwartz of Adath Israel), the SHaTZ at AI's HR minyan, used a few
of those stalks for his chavitah ("beating" -- I didn't learn the Hebrew
word until I started used R'Artscroll's machzor for the Chag :)...RAF,
what's the word Roedelheim uses, aftelagen?).

All the best from
--Michael Poppers via RIM pager
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Message: 3
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 00:39:29 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Hekker for Sukkah on Shmini Azteres

The Gemara Sukkah 47a discusses what to do on Shmini Atzeres, and seems to
come to the conclusion: "V'Hilchasa: Maysav yasvinan, bruchi lo m'varchinan
- And the halacha is that we do sit, but we do not bless."

This statement is the source of all my problems: Why is there a Bal Tosif
problem if there's a vadai halacha to eat in the sukkah? Why do I need a
hekker if I *do* have kavana to be mekayem this halacha? These problems
(bal tosif, hekker) would indeed exist if there was a genuine safek about
the status of Shmini Atzeres, but I see no problem, because there is no

In discussing this topic offlist with someone, an idea suddenly occurred to me:

Is it possible that the word "V'hilchasa" in the above-quoted gemara is a recent addition?

Is it possible that Chazal DID NOT actually come to any definitive
conclusion about what to do on Shmini Ateres? If the word "v'hilchasa" was
not originally part of the gemara, and "maysav yasvinan, bruchi lo
m'varchinan" was merely another suggestion on how to deal with this
situation, then I can easily understand why the poskim raise issues like
Bal Tosif and Hekker.

Does anyone know if this idea was ever suggested by someone other than me? That is to say, by someone who actually knows some Torah?

Akiva Miller

Best Weight Loss Program - Click Here!

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Message: 4
From: Michael Poppers <MPopp...@kayescholer.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 22:48:44 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Hekker for Sukkah on Shmini Azteres

In Avodah V26#201, RAM wrote:
> But it seems to me that this Yehi Ratzon destroys the hekker. No one
would say this Yehi Ratzon on a day when there's no mitzvah of Yeshivas
Sukkah....It seems that the idea of the omission of Layshev being a hekker
contradicts the custom of saying the Yehi Ratzon on Shmini Atzeres. <
Stated this way, I would disagree w/ RAM, at least insofar as the minhag
chutz laAretz is concerned.  I'll quote what (as per the Roedelheim
machzor, which records it in the volume for Shmini Atzeres) I say on Shmini
Atzeres in order to try to explain why: "Y'hi Ratzon...k'sheim sheqqiyyamti
v'yashavti bassukkah zo...."  In order to say "qiyyamti v'yashavti," I, as
a chutznik, first have to fulfill divrei CHaZaL that on Shmini Atzeres one
"sits [but does not bless]" -- I _do_ have a mitzvah [d'Rabbanan] and won't
say the "Y'hi Ratzon" until I've "fulfilled" it.
In the same digest, RSF responded to RAM:
> The Yehi Ratzon is l'maaseh, a tefilah you make upon leaving the Sukkah
the last time that year. Regardless of the reason why, l'maaseh you are not
leaving the Sukkah until after Shmini Atzeret (if that is your minhag). It
would not make sense to say the Yehi Ratzon and then go back into the
to have another meal. <
This explains the "yashavti," but it implies that one could say the "Y'hi
Ratzon" before Shmini Atzeres even chutz laAretz if one knew one would not
be able to sit in one's sukkah from that point through the end of Shmini
Atzeres -- it's a minor, and possibly theoretical point, but I'm thinking
that if one has his own sukkah, he nevertheless shouldn't say the "Y'hi
Ratzon" under those circumstances until the end of Shmini Atzeres, at which
time one can say the past-tense "qiyyamti [to the best of my ability]"
w/out hesitation.

All the best from
--Michael Poppers via RIM pager
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Message: 5
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 03:17:26 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Hekker for Sukkah on Shmini Azteres

> A common explanation for why Leshev Basukkah is not said on Shmini Atzeres
> in Chu"l is that the absence of the bracha serves as a hekker regarding
> the mitzvah status. This appears, for example, in Aruch Hashulchan 668:2

There are roughly 3 schools re: sitting in the Sukkah on SA in Chu"l

From right to left
1 BY-GRA-KSA etc.
    Sit in Sukkah during SA with every Humra of the first 7 days [iow
    even nap] - only omit the brachah.
2 Mordechai-Levush-Derech HaHayyim
    ONLY sit in Sukkah during SA, when it is patently obvious a brachah
    would otherwise be triggered during the first 7 days. [IOW Seudos YT]
    Otherwise sheina, snacks etc. should not be done because the absence
    of a brachah is not apparent. The concern is possible bal tosif
    [or perhaps meich'zi k'val tosif]
    Don't sit in the Sukkah at all during SA. Apparently Bal Tosif is
    a real concern unless one would sit in a really warm climate for
    pleasure "areivah lo"

AISI, only the middle position has a shaychus to hekker. And AIUI,
the Rema would probably hold this way because Mordechai and Levush do.
Thus, it is a good question re: the Rema - why not do yehi ratzon at
end of hoshana rabba?

Lesheeta 3 that is probably what is done.

Lesheeta 1, this would be minor "blasphemy" since Sukkah on Shmini is
the same except for the brachah.

Lesheeta 2, maybe we can say that this might be taking hekker too far -
lest people following 2 slide into 3 by doing the yehi ratzon on Ho"R
one may be tempted to not sit at all on SA.


Nishma-Minhag : Message: Sukkah on Shmini Atzeres baGolah - To sit or Not to Sit? 

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 6
From: "Chana Luntz" <ch...@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 22:35:07 +0100
[Avodah] minhag simchat tora

RSN writes:

>  3. Auctioning off every honor of the day* to the highest 
> bidder

Standard practice in many Sephardi shuls all year round, and certainly on
Simchas Torah (it is how they get by with minimal if any membership dues).

>19. Calling up any boy who can read for an 
> aliyah* 

Done in many Sephardi shuls all year round and certainly on Simchas Torah.
On Simchas Torah, because the layning tends to be read over and over again,
so that everybody can be called up, for sure at one point that particular
portion will have been read by an adult (ie post bar mitzvah) so nobody
worries.  The rest of the year, (I think) it is mostly done as a repetition
of what has been previously layned by an adult (ie post bar mitzvah) - but
see ROY's various teshuvos on calling up a boy of six and up in Yachave Daat
(he permits, certainly on Shabbas, and at a push on weekdays as well).



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Message: 7
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 02:34:03 EDT
Re: [Avodah] minhag simchat tora

In a message dated 10/12/2009 , Saul.Z.New...@kp.org writes:

>> a blog  not normally allowed  here  lists  the  following as 'shtick'  
done  on  simchat   tora.  any additions?
    1.  High Holiday tune for the first Maariv*  
    2.  Show tunes, or old standards, for the Chazan's part of Maariv.  
    3.  Auctioning off every honor of the day* to the highest bidder  
    4.  [snip]  
    5.  Completely removing the mechitza during hakafot*  
    6.  Putting a shtreimal on the person leading the hakafa* (You don't 
usually  wear a shtrimal and a talis simultaneously, but the joke has more 
bite (not  that its all that funny in any case) if the person being forced to 
don the  shtreimal isn't hasidic) 

My shul doesn't allow "shtick" and does not even  allow alcohol.  Our shul 
is a Litvishe shtibel, our rav the biggest talmid  chacham in town.   We 
have by far the best dancing in town (my town  being North Miami Beach), the 
most spirited, the most intense.  That's  because we are the shul with the 
most serious learners, the ones who really LOVE  Torah.  Our rav would not 
allow people to treat Simchas Torah as a joke or  a Purim party, not that anyone 
would want to.
A couple of notes:  We do auction off kibudim, that's not  shtick.  I think 
all shuls do that?  Certainly the big kibudim  like Chasan Torah and Chasan 
Also the mechitza is taken down so the women can see the dancing, although  
tables are placed to form a physical barrier between the men and the  
women.  The rav feels strongly, and I concur, that the women should feel  and see 
the simcha and the love felt by their men for the Torah, whose learning  
the women are supporting (even if only by encouraging their husbands to be  
kovea itim in the evenings)  The ladies' section is absolutely packed on  
Simchas Torah (although I myself go only for a short time) -- the more  
right-wing the shul, the more the ladies get into the spirit of Simchas Torah  and 
find the dancing inspiring and enjoyable, even if only vicariously.   The 
younger women especially enjoy seeing the little tots on their fathers'  
shoulders during the hakafos.  That is not shtick, that is love of Torah  and joy 
at seeing the Torah passed on to the next generation with so much  
--Toby  Katz

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Message: 8
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 16:32:48 +0000
[Avodah] OverSize Hoshanos

Wouldn't really large aravos-hoshanos (say 4-6 feet) constitute "meich'zei
k'yuhara"? Or at least violate Hatznei'a Leches?

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 9
From: dbm...@aol.com
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 17:57:04 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Loazim and Shmitchiks

>At the beginning of the ArtScroll Chumash with Rashi, there is? a 
Publisher's Preface which contains one paragraph about Rashi's? French:
"Another often neglected area is the "lo'ez" in which Rashi uses an Old ?
French word or phrase to translate the Torah text.? A dearth of knowledge? of 
Old French has led many educators to dismiss these comments with, "Well, ?
Rashi is just giving the French translation," as a result of which Rashi's ?
intended nuance is often lost....For this edition, every foreign word used
by Rashi has been thoroughly researched.? To assist the reader, the modern?
French and English equivalents are given...."
>First of all, I would like to say that I appreciate (and am amazed by!) ?
the? astounding scholarship and research that had to have gone into this ?
endeavor.?? I wonder how on earth R' Yisrael Isser Zvi Herczeg (the? main 
translator) and his collaborators went about doing this?!

Not to take away from their responsible decision not to neglect the
lo'azim, very litttle astounding scholarship and research needed to take
place, since the astounding research and scholarship has already taken
place a century ago or more. R' Yisrael Isser Zvi Herczeg did not need to
become experts in Medieval French. They needed to read books by experts in
Medieval French. Notably, they almost certainly consulted books like Arsene
Darmestere's "Les gloses fran?aises de Raschi dans la Bible" (1909) or
David Blondheim's "Les gloses
 fran?aises dans les commentaires talmudiques de Raschi," 2 vols.
 (1929?37); or even more likely, the Hebrew versions of the researches in
 those volumes, such as the Otzar ha-Loazim by Moshe Catane. Interestingly
 enough, it was discovered (I believe this conclusion preceded them) that
 the lo'azim in Rashi are actually the chief extant source for Old French
 of the period he lived in. Our literature preserved that which there's
 didn't, perhaps something along the lines of how the originally Jewish
 apocryphal books were preserved by the Church (in translation) but not the

Furthermore, several of the Chumashim from the 19th century, and even
earlier, include the modern equivalents of the lo'azim. Certainly the
earlier editions of Rashi, including Silbermann, also took a crack at it. 

So "has been thoroughly researched" most probably means "I sat in the
[NYPL, JTS Library, JNUL, borrowed volumes] and learned what the words
mean," as opposed to original research in the languages and medieval French
texts. Not to take anything away from the Artscroll Rashi edition, which is
one of their best products, for sure.

>Second of all, it has long struck me that Jews are expected to know other ?
languages and that the knowledge of other languages besides Hebrew enriches ?
one's understanding of Loshon Hakodesh and of Torah. ?

No kidding! Although it seems to me that you can prove almost anything and
its opposite from citing sundry Talmudic and rabbinic sources, the
statement on the part of Rabben
u Hakadosh that in Eretz Yisrael one should speak either Greek or Hebrew,
rather than Syriac, or the statement of Rav Yosef that in Bavel one ought
to speak Hebrew or Persian, but not Aramaic (Sotah 49b and parallels) comes
to mind. In fact, here I wonder what the Chasam Sofer, who explained the
Yiddish language as arising via deliberate distortion of the German,
because of a prohibition on speaking gentile languages that is found in the
Yerushalmi, had to say about Sotah 49b.

In addition, the medakdekim indulge in quite a lot of comparative
lingustics. And if all the Rabbis with names like "Merwan" don't seem
reliable enough, consider that Rashi too resorts to Arabic to explain

>Third of all, what is this "lo'ez"?? I typed the word exactly as it ?
appears in the preface to the A/S Chumash.? However, in the actual text of ?
Rashi, the Hebrew word is vowelized "la'az" -- not "lo'ez."? It is spelled?
lamed, ayin, zayin, with a shmitchik between the last two letters --
indicating? that the word is not a word, but an abbreviation.

>Since [Silbermann] holds that the word is not an abbreviation, you
>would expect the? Silbermann Chumash to print the word "la'az" without
>the shmitchik, but in fact,? the word is spelled /with/ the shmitchik
>between the ayin and the zayin, just as? if he'd never written that

>The pasuk in Tehillim cited by R' Silbermann is the famous "Betzeis Yisrael 
?miMitzrayim, Bais Yakov me'am LO'EZ" where the ArtScroll 
"lo'ez" as? "of alien tongue."
>It would appear that the author of the [unsigned] Publisher's Preface? of 
the ArtScroll Chumash, like R' Silbermann, regards the word? Lamed-Ayin-Zayin 
as a word and not an abbreviation, since he transliterates? it "lo'ez" and 
not "la'az."
>But both Chumashim consistently vowelize the word as "la'az" and keep? the 
>What do you make of this? ?

The shmitchik doesn't indicate that the word, or all words, are
abbreviations. The Hebrew marking we're calling shmitchik indicates any of
many kinds of emphases, being that Hebrew doesn't have italics or bold or
anything like that. A perusal of many old seforim and letters will easily
show that the use of " to mark an abbreviation is only one of it's
functions. As an example, the names of the letters of the Aleph Beis are
spelled with the smitchik, e.g., Ale"f. While I'm sure homiletical reasons
can be given for that (see Shabbos 104a), it seems pretty clear that the
names of the Aleph Beis aren't abbreviations. La'az is a perfectly normal
Hebrew word. However, many have thought that the word must be an
abbreviation, and a fitting one has been found: "leshon ovdei avoda zara,"
although I'm not sure how this will work for the Tosaphists who didn't
consider Christians to be ovdei avoda zara.



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Message: 10
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 18:54:35 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Loazim and Shmitchiks

dbm...@aol.com wrote:
>  However, many have thought that 
> the word must be an abbreviation, and a fitting one has been found: 
> "leshon ovdei avoda zara,"

I've never heard of that one, and it has the disadvantage of needing
an extra letter.   I've always heard it as "leshon am zar" or "..am zu".

> although I'm not sure how this will work for 
> the Tosaphists who didn't consider Christi ans to be ovdei avoda zara.

They didn't?  Most if not all of them certainly did.

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: 11
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmo...@012.net.il>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 18:01:40 +0200
[Avodah] Software license limited to one country?

Would appreciate some legal/halachic advice

I am interested in purchasing a computer program from a licensed dealer 
in America. However I just spoke to a representative of the company and 
he said that the license is valid for using the program only in the 
country of purchase. Thus he said I am not allowed to take my laptop out 
of the country with the program. The program costs twice as much in 
Israel as it does in America $1000 vs $2000.

Am I required to comply with this licensing agreement - which doesn't 
apply to any other computer program I have ever bought? Other programs 
have such conditions as I must purchase a different copy for each 
computer or that I can't use it for commercial purposes - but none limit 
my geographic use.

I seem to recall that in secular law there is a doctrine of common use. 
You can't rent out an apartment which stipulates that pictures can not 
be hung on the walls - if that is commonly done. Does this violate such 
an requirement?

Question 1) Has this licensing requirement ever been upheld by a secular 
court ?
              2) Does halacha require complying with such a license?
              3) If I violate the license, does that mean I need to 
return the program without being compensated for my purchase price?

Daniel Eidensohn
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Message: 12
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 19:59:13 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Hekker for Sukkah on Shmini Azteres

On Tue, Oct 13, 2009 at 12:39:29AM +0000, kennethgmil...@juno.com wrote:
: This statement is the source of all my problems: Why is there a Bal
: Tosif problem if there's a vadai halacha to eat in the sukkah? Why do
: I need a hekker if I *do* have kavana to be mekayem this halacha? These
: problems (bal tosif, hekker) would indeed exist if there was a genuine
: safek about the status of Shmini Atzeres, but I see no problem, because
: there is no safek.
: Is it possible that the word "V'hilchasa" in the above-quoted gemara
: is a recent addition?

Very likely, actually. According to those who believe the gemara's final
form was still open as late as the 9th cent CE, the gemara's "hilkhita"
is actually citations from the Halakhos Gedolos! It is true that the
Bahag matches every pesaq in the gemara prefaced "hilkhita", but that
would also be true if he held those declarations were biding statements
in an already-closed gemara.

The late-chasimah theory (which gives an amazing subtext to the story
of the four captives) is explained in the tail (last couple of paragraphs
before the footnotes) of
<http://www.daat.ac.il/DAAT/toshba/hatalmud/a15-2.htm>, the section titled
"Rabanan deSiyuma".

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             The trick is learning to be passionate in one's
mi...@aishdas.org        ideals, but compassionate to one's peers.
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 13
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 20:20:35 -0400
Re: [Avodah] train switch conundrum

On Mon, Oct 12, 2009 at 09:01:48AM -0400, Rich, Joel wrote:
: Any sources on the diversion of the train to kill one instead of 5
: (besides the chazon Ish)?
: Any compendium discussion?

See RARaffet-Rothkoff's series of shiurim on the subject:

Along the way, he gives the following painful case:
    During Lebanon I, a handful of soldiers are sent into a building. They
    make it to the top, and radio back that the building was empty. So,
    the army sends in a far larger number of soldiers.

    The building was rigged.

    At the time it blew up, there were 5 soldiers near the top, and
    dozens near the ground level.

    This is the question posed the rav serving as chaplain: Do they
    try to save the men at the top of the rubble? Or do they bulldoze
    away the top of the heap in order to maximize the number of people
    they're likely to save? But the latter choice means actively killing
    the men on top.

RARR left the question open, but I think he was intentionally leading
us to conclude that you can't actively kill one even to save many.

I can think of two possible sevaros:

1- Mi yichyeh umi yamos is in HQBH's hands. The question is therefore
more about the person facing the decision than the people who may be
saved or killed because of his choice. IOW, the only real issue is
choosing to be a killer.

2- Every life is of infinite value. 100 times infinity is no greater
than infinity. You can't weigh out lives and compare their infinities.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             You will never "find" time for anything.
mi...@aishdas.org        If you want time, you must make it.
http://www.aishdas.org                     - Charles Buxton
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 14
From: Michael Kopinsky <mkopin...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 21:19:47 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Software license limited to one country?

On Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 12:01 PM, Daniel Eidensohn <yadmo...@012.net.il>wrote:

> Would appreciate some legal/halachic advice
> <snip>

Can you get a copy of the licensing agreement? It may be relevant whether
they call it a license, or a lease, or what have you.

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