Avodah: Volume 26, Number 217

Mon, 02 Nov 2009

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
  1. Re: mei marom (Micha Berger)
  2. Re: mei marom (Zev Sero)
  3. Re: mei marom (Micha Berger)
  4. mei marom (Eli Turkel)
  5. Re: children at a wedding (kennethgmil...@juno.com)
  6. Children at a Wedding (Joseph C. Kaplan)
  7. Re: Tayshvu K'ein Taduru (David Riceman)
  8. Re: Attending religious services other than Jewish (Yitzchak Schaffer)
  9. What is Emunah? (Yitzchok Levine)
  10. Re: Attending religious services other than Jewish (Zev Sero)
  11. Re: dinosaurs (T6...@aol.com)
  12. Re: mei marom (Zev Sero)
  13. Re: mei marom (T6...@aol.com)
  14. Re: mei marom (Zev Sero)
  15. Re: Children at a Wedding (Akiva Blum)

Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2009 12:25:05 -0500
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] mei marom


On Sun, Nov 01, 2009 at 11:26:05AM -0500, Zev Sero wrote:
: >I have no idea why you say that. The peshetl simply requires someone to
: >note "qoneh olamo besha'ah achas".

. No.  If you think that's all it requires, read it again...

It requires the centurion listening to the dialog between RCbT and his
talmidim, and seeing that as a martyr's victorious death. The reaction
is secondary, and is AFTER the centurion's decision. As long as anyone
calls it qoneh olamo, the result is the same.

: No.  If you think that's all it requires, read it again.  The whole
: How does teshuvah earn OHB?  What did he *do* to earn it? ...

Who said din is about what one does. As we read last week and will again
next Rosh haShanah, din is about ba'asher hu sham. Which teshuvah
changes.

:>Your statement about tzadiq gozeir explicitly relies on the centurion
:>NOT deserving it. He wasn't qoneh olamo -- RCbT so-to-speak forced the
:>issue despite that. Thus, a lack of justice.

: He literally *bought* it.  As for justice, he got in on RChbT's zechus,
: not his own..

Which is not just. You have someone who theoretically is capable of
getting hanaah from ziv haShechinah without actuall developing that
capability within himself. No preparing in the prozdor, but enjoying the
banquet anyway?

Tir'u baTov!
-Micha

-- 
Micha Berger             Rescue me from the desire to win every
mi...@aishdas.org        argument and to always be right.
http://www.aishdas.org              - Rav Nassan of Breslav
Fax: (270) 514-1507                   Likutei Tefilos 94:964




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Message: 2
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Sun, 01 Nov 2009 12:50:08 -0500
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] mei marom


Again, where do you see, anywhere in the story, *any* indication that
the Roman did teshuvah?

Micha Berger wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 01, 2009 at 11:26:05AM -0500, Zev Sero wrote:
> : >I have no idea why you say that. The peshetl simply requires someone to
> : >note "qoneh olamo besha'ah achas".

> . No.  If you think that's all it requires, read it again...

> It requires the centurion listening to the dialog between RCbT and his
> talmidim, and seeing that as a martyr's victorious death. The reaction
> is secondary, and is AFTER the centurion's decision. As long as anyone
> calls it qoneh olamo, the result is the same.

Read it again.  The entire pshetel is not about the Roman's decision
but about RChbT's supposed reaction.

> : No.  If you think that's all it requires, read it again.  The whole
> : How does teshuvah earn OHB?  What did he *do* to earn it? ...

> Who said din is about what one does. As we read last week and will
> again next Rosh haShanah, din is about ba'asher hu sham. Which
> teshuvah changes.

Baasher hu sham is about Yishmael's life being worth saving; he had
not yet done any averos, so why shouldn't he be saved?  But here
we're talking about reward, and what reward had Yishmael or REbD
earned?  To earn a reward you must do something; and yet REbD got
it anyway.  Thus Rebbi's tears.

> :>Your statement about tzadiq gozeir explicitly relies on the centurion
> :>NOT deserving it. He wasn't qoneh olamo -- RCbT so-to-speak forced the
> :>issue despite that. Thus, a lack of justice.

> : He literally *bought* it.  As for justice, he got in on RChbT's zechus,
> : not his own..

> Which is not just. You have someone who theoretically is capable of
> getting hanaah from ziv haShechinah without actuall developing that
> capability within himself. No preparing in the prozdor, but enjoying the
> banquet anyway?

His ticket was paid for, by someone who did more than enough avodah
to get two people in.  Yes, it seems unfair; if it didn't Rebbi
wouldn't have cried.  But that's an emotional reaction; it doesn't
mean there's no din or dayan, ch"v.  It's the same reaction as one
has when a wastrel inherits a fortune; why did he deserve it and not
me?  The answer is that he didn't deserve it, but his father who
worked for that fortune chose to give it to him, so it is justly his.

-- 
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: 3
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2009 15:19:15 -0500
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] mei marom


On Sun, Nov 01, 2009 at 12:50:08PM -0500, Zev Sero wrote:
: Again, where do you see, anywhere in the story, *any* indication that
: the Roman did teshuvah?

So, you're arguing that someone went from killing people for being Jews
(albeit "just following orders") to believing there is an olam haba
worth dying for, but that's not teshuvah. It never crossed my mind that
position was defensible.

...
: >It requires the centurion listening to the dialog between RCbT and his
: >talmidim, and seeing that as a martyr's victorious death. The reaction
: >is secondary, and is AFTER the centurion's decision. As long as anyone
: >calls it qoneh olamo, the result is the same.

: Read it again.  The entire pshetel is not about the Roman's decision
: but about RChbT's supposed reaction.

I did, and have no idea what you're talking about. The vort discusses

: >Who said din is about what one does. As we read last week and will
: >again next Rosh haShanah, din is about ba'asher hu sham. Which
: >teshuvah changes.

: Baasher hu sham is about Yishmael's life being worth saving; he had
: not yet done any averos, so why shouldn't he be saved?  But here
: we're talking about reward, and what reward had Yishmael or REbD
: earned? ...

He didn't do any aveiros yet? Then why did he get kicked out of Avraham's
house?

Besides, there is no mention of actions in "baasher hu sham", just
state.

Moreover, if you look at how the Ran, the Ikkarim, R' Chaim Volozhiner,
for that matter Yirmiyahu haNavi, discuss onesh, one finds it's inherent
in the person. I wrote a sizable amount to prove this point. See
http://aishdas.org/10YemeiTeshuvah.pdf, the first few chapters.

The whole concept of dividing the two notions of zekhus -- merit and
reward -- simply doesn't work either by how reward is historically
defined nor by notions of justice.

...
: >Which is not just. You have someone who theoretically is capable of
: >getting hanaah from ziv haShechinah without actuall developing that
: >capability within himself. No preparing in the prozdor, but enjoying the
: >banquet anyway?
: 
: His ticket was paid for, by someone who did more than enough avodah
: to get two people in.  Yes, it seems unfair; if it didn't Rebbi
: wouldn't have cried.  But that's an emotional reaction; it doesn't
: mean there's no din or dayan, ch"v...

Simply because olam haba isn't fungible.

Tir'u baTov!
-Micha

-- 
Micha Berger             The waste of time is the most extravagant
mi...@aishdas.org        of all expense.
http://www.aishdas.org                           -Theophrastus
Fax: (270) 514-1507




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Message: 4
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2009 23:37:05 +0200
Subject:
[Avodah] mei marom


How does teshuvah earn OHB?  What did he *do* to earn it?  Where is
his life of torah and mitzvos?  Teshuva to get out of gehenom I
understand, but how does it earn OHB?  And yet for Rabbi Eliezer ben
Durdaia it worked, so much that he gets the title "Rabbi".

With proper teshuva teshuva zedonot become zechiot. The whole point of
the two stories of  Rabbi Eliezer ben Durdaia and the executioner of
R Chanah be Tradyon is that one can indeed get a complete olam habah
in one moment

<<  He saw his opportunity and offered RChbT a deal.>>

How does RChbT have the power to make such deals?
I find it clear that the olam habah was earned by jumping into the
fire and not just by removing
the wool from RChbT

-- 
Eli Turkel




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Message: 5
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2009 18:10:41 GMT
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] children at a wedding


Rav Elazar M. Teitz wrote:
> I was taught that the reason for children not attending is
> not for their sake, but for the sake of the step-parent:
> not to be a reminder, at the chuppa, of the mate's previous
> zivug.

What a beautiful answer! One which I can understand, and so unexpected (in
that it is not connected to either parent nor the child) that it just HAS
to be right! I wish you could see the smile on my face. Thank you so much!

Akiva Miller

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Message: 6
From: "Joseph C. Kaplan" <jkap...@tenzerlunin.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2009 17:18:14 -0500
Subject:
[Avodah] Children at a Wedding


I was somewhat behind on my Avodah reading and thus had the opportunity to
read the entire thread (to date) about children at a parent's wedding, and
my reaction, after reading all the posts was, in typical Jewish fashion, a
question: why should there be any minhag at all?  There are so many
differing factors that are relevant in trying to do the best thing for both
the children and the marrying couple; e.g., the age of the children, the
circumstances of the termination of the first marriage, the relationship of
the children to the first spouse (if still alive), the relationship of the
children to the new spouse and, I'm sure, many other factors that I haven't
thought of.  Therefore, since we're talking minhag and not halacha, why
should there be any general minhag?  Wouldn't it be better if the decision
is based on what best for the members of this particular family?  And why
shouldn't that decision be made the way most non-halachic decisions (e.g.,
should someone take a par
 ticular job, move to a particular community, vote for a particular
 candidate, root for a particular baseball team  -- it is World Series time
 -- etc.) are made; that is, ask advice from a wise relative, friend or
 professional (like a rabbi or a psychologist), think carefully about the
 relevant factors, consider seriously the advice that was given, and then
 act like an adult and take responsibility and make a decision?

Joseph Kaplan
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Message: 7
From: David Riceman <drice...@att.net>
Date: Sun, 01 Nov 2009 19:20:57 -0500
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] Tayshvu K'ein Taduru


I spent a little time over Shabbos looking this over.  I ended up more 
confused than when I began, but confused in a more sophisticated way.  
The AhS 639:6-9 (especially 8) discusses RAM's question about achilas 
keva.  Unfortunately he doesn't exactly answer it, but he does find 
sources in Hazal which discuss it.

RCL pointed me to RMF's teshuva, which I also didn't understand.  If I 
wanted to make a case for not travelling on Sukkos I would start with 
the Tosefta at the beginning of the second perek of Sukkah.  The Hasdei 
David there argues, however, that the Rambam (who he understands as 
normative) doesn't pasken like R. Eliezer for the very peculiar reason 
that it doesn't take a whole week to be mesameah banav uvnei beiso.  You 
can, he says, spend a day on that and then move on to other matters, 
like l'hakbil p'nei rabbo b'regel, even if it requires travel.  I don't 
know much about RDP's family, or about Jewish life in Sarajevo in the 
1700s, but I don't think my family would be happy with that arrangement.

What puzzles me about RMF's teshuva is that he finds no value in hana'ah 
on Yom Tov.  As I understand it, however, the kiyumim of simchah that 
Hazal recommend are mostly based on hana'ah (it would be fun to quibble 
about keilim hadashim based on the Rambam's remarks about revenge in 
Shmonah Perakim, but I'm digressing enough as it is) - - basar, yayin, 
egozim, u'klayos.  So if RMF is willing to permit travel for kiyum 
mitzvot (and especially in light of his later tshuva permitting 
sightseeing on HhM Sukkos if you are out of the country at great expense 
and have limited time even in the absence of a mitzva), and if 
travelling for pleasure is a kiyyum of simchas YT, then why isn't it a 
sufficient excuse? (RCL asked a very similar question).

David Riceman



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Message: 8
From: Yitzchak Schaffer <yitzchak.schaf...@gmx.com>
Date: Sun, 01 Nov 2009 13:32:22 -0500
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] Attending religious services other than Jewish


Ilana Sober Elzufon wrote:
> Not to express an opinion on Rabbi Lookstein's decision - but for the
> record, it should be noted that the National Cathedral is
> Episcopalian, not Catholic.

As a former Episcopalian, I can attest that the fundamental ceremonial 
AZ is the same, at least in my experience.  Some E'ians have gone "OTD" 
in terms of the traditional theology, but the ceremonies (at least as of 
10 years ago) remain the same.

-- 
Yitzchak Schaffer
Systems Manager
Touro College Libraries
33 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010
Tel (212) 463-0400 x5230
Fax (212) 627-3197
Email yitzchak.schaf...@tourolib.org





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Message: 9
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 01 Nov 2009 14:03:58 -0500
Subject:
[Avodah] What is Emunah?


The following is a selection from RSRH's commentary on Bereishis 15

6 He had put all his trust in God, and He counted 
this to him as an act of righteousness.

Emunah  is the essence of Judaism; but to define Emunah as ?belief ? is to
empty the term of its true content. Belief is an act of the mind, sometimes
only an opinion. Every believer thinks his beliefs are true, based
on the reasoning and assurances of someone else. Nowadays, religion
is identified with belief, and belief is thought to be the essence of religion.
A religious person believes in principles that cannot be grasped
by the intellect. Thus, religion has been divorced from life and converted
into a catechism of doctrines, a system of faith-slogans, required for
admission to the hereafter.

Rather, V'he'ehmin ba Hashem means: to rely upon God,
in theory and in practice; to take strength in Him and to follow Him.

Thus, V'he'ehmin ba Hashem means to put one?s trust in God; to be in God?s hand
like clay in the potter?s hand. A mymin  casts his burden on God; God is
his Fashioner and Educator, Supporter and Guide. In short, a mymin
entrusts himself entirely to God.

Now here it says of Avraham: V'he'ehmin b'a Hashem. He had entrusted himself
completely and unconditionally to God?s direct guidance. God ?led him
outside?; He raised him above the earthly reality of a natural world
bound by causality, and showed him a concrete reality that emerged
directly from the Will of God. And God said to him: ?So shall your
seed be.? Israel?s creation and existence will depend directly on God ?
without any premises and even against all natural 
calculations. V'he'ehmin ba Hashem:
Just as his descendants will depend on God alone, so did Avraham
precede them with this Emunah and illuminate the way for them.

Yitzchok Levine 
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Message: 10
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Sun, 01 Nov 2009 21:18:18 -0500
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] Attending religious services other than Jewish


Yitzchak Schaffer wrote:
> Ilana Sober Elzufon wrote:
>> Not to express an opinion on Rabbi Lookstein's decision - but for the
>> record, it should be noted that the National Cathedral is
>> Episcopalian, not Catholic.
> 
> As a former Episcopalian, I can attest that the fundamental ceremonial 
> AZ is the same, at least in my experience.  Some E'ians have gone "OTD" 
> in terms of the traditional theology, but the ceremonies (at least as of 
> 10 years ago) remain the same.

But the central part of the mass -- the "transsubstantiation" and the
bread-worship -- is different; AIUI even the "highest-church" Anglicans
do not worship the bread, and regard it as merely *symbolising* their
god rather than actually *being* him.  And of course the lower-church
you get the more removed that part is from AZ, till you get to the
very low, borderline puritan church, where they would deliberately
throw the leftovers in a mokom tinuf, in order to show that they don't
think it's a god.

Or am I mistaken about that?

-- 
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: T6...@aol.com
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2009 00:59:53 EST
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] dinosaurs



 
From: Micha Berger [email protected]_ (mailto:mi...@aishdas.org) 
: I truly believe you  are not thinking logically here at all. Let's 
: say I, an adherent of Shitah  A, believe in dinosaurs -- not only that 
they 
: lived, but that they lived  millions of years ago. Let's say Ploni, an 
: adherent of Shitah B, believes  that I am an apikores. Let's say I also 
believe
: in EvE. Does that mean that  I must now simultaneously believe that there 
: WERE dinosaurs and at the  same time must believe that there WERE NO 
: dinosaurs?! ...  [--TK]

>>That exactly what I'm saying! The resulting paradox means  that when B
says that A's position is outside eilu va'eilu, A is compelled to  say
that it's B's position that is outside. Because to accept that both  are
true would be "not thinking logically here at all." 
.... EvE  says that
both are divrei E-lokim Chaim. Both are true.  << [--RMB]






>>>>>
 
"Divrei Elokim Chayim" IMO means that even the wrong position has  
something in it that is worthy of being studied.   In practice it may  mean that we 
do not at present know for absolutely certain which of the two  opinions is 
correct.  In some cases it also means that a  definitive conclusion cannot 
be reached until Moshiach comes.  It does  not mean that two irreconcilable 
opposites are both true.
 
 
In Aristotelian logic there is something called the Principle of the  
Excluded Middle.   Basically it is the principle that something cannot  be both 
true and not-true at the same time, or that there is something in the  middle 
between true and not-true.  (Of course there are areas where there  is  a 
spectrum of possibilities, but we are talking about things that  simply 
CANNOT have a spectrum -- e.g., whether a person is a mamzer or not,  permitted 
to marry or not)
 
You keep defining "Eilu v'Eilu" as "both are true, even if opposite."   To 
me that is logically impossible. ("I can believe six impossible things 
before  breakfast," said the Red Queen.  But I don't believe that's a mitzva,  
before or after breakfast.)
 
I have already indicated that I don't believe you are defining EvE  
correctly.  I define it as "both have sources, both have reason, both have  merit" 
-- but not "both are true."
 
However, it is possible that your definition of EvE and my definition are  
both true -- IF your definition of EvE is correct.  But, in that case, IF  
your definition is correct --  then that would imply that my definition is  
correct -- in which case your definition is wrong.
 
You know, I'm beginning to see your problem.....
 
 
 

--Toby Katz
==========



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Message: 12
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Sun, 01 Nov 2009 21:11:35 -0500
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] mei marom


Eli Turkel wrote:
>> How does teshuvah earn OHB?  What did he *do* to earn it?  Where is
>> his life of torah and mitzvos?  Teshuva to get out of gehenom I
>> understand, but how does it earn OHB?  And yet for Rabbi Eliezer ben
>> Durdaia it worked, so much that he gets the title "Rabbi".

> With proper teshuva teshuva zedonot become zechiot. The whole point of
> the two stories of  Rabbi Eliezer ben Durdaia and the executioner of
> R Chanah be Tradyon is that one can indeed get a complete olam habah
> in one moment

Three stories.  Three *different* ways to get an instant "Go Directly
To Heaven" pass.

 
>>  He saw his opportunity and offered RChbT a deal.
> 
> How does RChbT have the power to make such deals?

He has more than enough credit to get someone in.  Tzadik gozer vHKBH
mekayem.


> I find it clear that the olam habah was earned by jumping into the
> fire and not just by removing the wool from RChbT

RChbT *promised* him OHB *before* he jumped in, and without any
inkling that he would do so.  So how can jumping in have changed
matters?  Suppose he hadn't, and had somehow managed not to be
executed for his "crime", and had lived a long life of wine,
women, song, and killing Jews.  When he died and showed up at
BD shel Maalah, clutching his "Get Out of Hell Free" card, what
choice would they have had but to honour it?  Could they leave
RChbT forsworn?


-- 
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: 13
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2009 01:06:32 EST
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] mei marom


From: Zev Sero [email protected]_ (mailto:z...@sero.name) 

>>How does teshuvah  earn OHB?  What did he *do* to earn it?  Where is
his life of torah  and mitzvos?  Teshuva to get out of gehenom I
understand, but how does  it earn OHB? ....



He literally *bought* it.  As for  justice, he got in on RChbT's zechus,
not his own. ...  RChbT had  enough credit Above to get two people
(and many more) into OHB, and if he  chose to spend some of that credit
to get this Roman in, that's his  business.  The Roman had something he
needed, so he paid the price  demanded. <<






>>>>>
 
Excuse me, but didn't the Roman sentence himself to death for the sin of  
murder, and throw himself into the fire?  How is that NOT doing  teshuva?  He 
could have (supposedly) gained olam haba just by taking away  the wet 
cotton.
 
Also, if he previously didn't believe in G-d or in schar ve'onesh or  in  
olam haba, and he now does believe in olam haba and in the survival of  the 
soul after death -- does that not show that he did teshuva?
 

--Toby Katz
==========




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Message: 14
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 02 Nov 2009 01:15:29 -0500
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] mei marom


T6...@aol.com wrote:

> Excuse me, but didn't the Roman sentence himself to death for the sin of 
> murder, and throw himself into the fire?

No, he didn't.   There is not even a hint of such a thing in the
gemara.  It is pure fantasy.  I don't know who told you such a
thing, but they were making it up.


>  How is that NOT doing 
> teshuva?  He could have (supposedly) gained olam haba just by taking 
> away the wet cotton.

That *is* how he gained it.  He then committed suicide; the gemara
doesn't say why, but the most obvious reason is that he would have
been killed for his "crime".

  
> Also, if he previously didn't believe in G-d or in schar ve'onesh
> or in olam haba, and he now does believe in olam haba and in the
> survival of the soul after death

What makes you think he hadn't believed in these things before?  He
was a pagan, not an atheist!

-- 
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: 15
From: "Akiva Blum" <yda...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2009 08:11:33 +0200
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] Children at a Wedding


 


  _____  

From: avodah-boun...@lists.aishdas.org [mailto:avodah-boun...@lists.aishdas.org]
On Behalf Of Joseph C. Kaplan

 and my reaction, after reading all the posts was, in typical Jewish fashion, a
question: why should there be any minhag at all?  There are so many differing
factors that are relevant in trying to do the best thing for both the children
and the marrying couple; 
 
On the contrary. Would you be able to tell your child "Sorry, you can't come to
my wedding. My new husband/wife doesn't like you/may not like you/feels
uncomfortable with you around/may feel uncomfortable with you around, etc."
 
Much better to have a fixed minhag. Sorry kid, you can't come, that's the
minhag!
 
Akiva

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