Avodah Mailing List

Volume 26: Number 254

Tue, 15 Dec 2009

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Steven J Scher <sjsc...@eiu.edu>
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 11:35:39 -0600 (CST)
[Avodah] anarchy/libertarianism

A recent reference on Areivim to some of our kehilla as libertarians has 
returned my mind to contemplating a question that I have been thinking 
about on and off for a year or two:  Is it permissible to be an anarchist 
or a libertarian?

First a note: The way I am using these terms, both refer to political 
philosophies that reject government, and may in fact see government as 
inherently bad.

The difference between the two -- although it may not 
really be relevant for the discussion here -- is that libertarians tend to 
more or less favor the status quo power relations in society, and wish to 
see government removed from any impediment to the playing out of those 
relations.  Private power is fine, but public power is not.

In contrast, anarchists wish to see the status quo power structure overturned.
Anarchists are interested in eliminating any kind of power, whether it be 
economic power or governmental power.  They strive for a rejection of all 
hierarchies.  (Although, some anarchist philosophies do have a role for 
the power of social censure).

So, the question is whether either of these philosophies, are halachically 
acceptable.  I suspect that, at least in their pure forms they are not, 
but my Torah knowledge is far 
too limited to be able to say this with any confidence.  I turn, 
therefore, to the wisdom of Avodah to hear what people have to say about 

There are a few things that I do know about that I think are relevant:

1) Prof. Shalom Rosenberg (Hebrew U), writing in one of the volumes of the 
Orthodox Forum series, states that he believes that Jewish society will 
ultimately be anarchistic.  However, it seems that he is talking about 
yemai mashiach... at the very least it seems to be that he is referring to 
a time when all Jews are yiras shemayim.  The bulk of his essay is on 
democracy, and accepting democractic decisions even if we disagree with 
them (I havn't read most of this essay closely).

2) More relevant is Devarim 17:14-15, where, according to some 
opinions, HaShem commands us to have a king.

3) This contrasts, though, with Shmuel's reluctance to appoint a king, and 
with HaShem's statement that the people's desire to have a king is a 
rejection of Him.

4) Abarvanel, at least, argues that a king was not necessary.

Of course, all of this may only be relevant when we have re-established a 
Torah state.  Is there anything relevant to what we can advocate for in 
current society -- whether in a Jewish, but non-Torah state, or in 
non-Jewish states?  And, is an anarchist society a possibility for the 
messianic age?

I await your responses eagerly.

- Steve

Steven J. Scher              sjsc...@eiu.edu         Listen to WEFT 90.1FM
Department of Psychology     217-581-7269            www.weft.org
Eastern Illinois University
Charleston, IL 61920            "V'od shehaya efshar lehem b'lo basar"
USA                             "Furthermore, they could have gone without
                                 meat [altogether]" -- Rashi to Exodus 16:8

Go to top.

Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 14:13:50 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Dishwashers 1

On Fri, Dec 04, 2009 at 04:09pm GMT, rabbirichwol...@gmail.com wrote:
: In an offlist dialogue we discussed how precise analogies must be
: in halachah

It was really more about the precision of categories. You can't just say
that just because P is true of X, it's also true of Y.

The case was where I asked RRW:
> A small amount in a taaroves made by a nachri is batul. Is the same
> true when a nachri, with aforethought, destroys a food's tzurah?

Which is really a different thing than RRW's example here:
: For a highly imprecise analogy, consider that we use the Babylonian
: "yardstick" for v'sein tal umatar all throughout the golah even though
: we are only "Bavel" by not being EY! Our agricultural climate is very
: different

Here it's not about the question of making analogies across halakhic
categories. (RRW is making a loose analogy?)

It seems ritualized away the direct point of the mitzvah, making it
about the timing in Bavel as an archetypal mitzvah. Conveying the
message via rite rather than directly.

I think someone similar (but only by analogy) to RRW's discussion with
RnCL. On Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 05:31pm GMT, rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
: Why not test "bishul" DIRECTLY!

RnCL already expressed her belief that "bishul" here isn't really
cooking, it's derekh bishul as defined by a shiur that was halakhah
leMoshe miSinai. Thus, we're not supposed to be dealing with cooking,
but with something defined ritually.

BTW, related could well be the question about the AhS and RMF on whether
one cooks the tea leaves. Even though the chemistry is the same as if you
soak the same leaves longer in water that isn't yad soledes bo, perhaps
the fact that the shiur is met and actually does hasten the process,
it gets a chalos sheim bishul without actually cooking. Efshar lomar.

Certainly something along those lines must be invoked to permit adding
something to a keli shelishi that contains water so hot it was rarely
found in a 1st cent CE home even on the kira.

Abstracting from physical reality to chalos sheim.

Getting back to where my off-list discussion began, on Fri, Dec 04,
2009 at 06:11pm GMT, rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
posted to Avodah:
: We have a presumption that Pogeim is ONLY a bedi'avad Not a lechatchilah.

Which is why I didn't know how we can lump it and a nakhri commiting
bitul together, since the latter *is* described by the gemara as mutar

Also, if I am to compare bitul a"y nakhri with kol de'efshar levareir,
then it what sense is it lekhat-chilah? To put it another way, birur of
doubt and bitul are different things. Here there is no doubt.

The second major room for leniency is meisiach lefi tumo. Here we /could/
discuss efshar levareir, and whether experimental evidence that they do
lie can undo our ability to rely on such sichah.

This is my bottom line list of problems on this thread, and why I
haven't just dropped it:

1- We see a strong shift from what Chazal said we require, which we
still see WRT beer (as one example) with what we today in Israel and
the US say we require.

I don't mean require a qulah, I mean lekhat-chilah. IOW, one leaves the
gemara believing that such food is no less kosher than 100% shechutah

When did this happen? Why? Where are the subsequent teshuvos? It would
seem to post-date the IM, but the only support I have gotten was
"major posqim hold". We're living our lives by these rules -- am I alone
in wondering where are the mar'eh meqomos?

2- I have a hard time with the hard line taken by a number of posters
given how many qehillos manage on "lists". Including RSBA, RAF and RnCL.
We're not talking only the O-lite or even only a particular wing
of O. And even today, where there is talk of moving to symbols -- the
discussion has more to do with the reliability and usability of symbols;
I haven't seen anything about the lists being a problem because of
relying on qulos.

LBD and Kedassia, relying on qulah upon qulah as one of our chaveirim
described it? Do we really want to imply that?

Could it be that the existence of hechsheirim removed the very umdena
that would have originally made them redundant? IOW, now that the food
has a hechsher, there is no bitul a"y nakhri, since there is conscious
attention that it's accomodating the Jewish market, and we also are
efsharim levareir far more? But in a world without hechsheirim, there
really is far less need to bother setting them up?

3- How much of the shift is due to timtum haleiv? Are we saying: Yeah,
it's mutar, but we want to avoid spiritual damage.

And if so, does something that is mutar lekhat-chilah cause timtum
haleiv? Is timtum caused by eating tarfus or eating issur?

Much of what motivates me in this discussion is my mindset (is it due to
Litvisher roots?) having a problem with assigining negative metaphysical
power to something that the gemara tells me is as okay as if it wasn't
there, or that worrying about such a milsa delo shechikhah is unnecessary.

I also have a problem trying to believe Chazal would tell me it's
unnecessary and yet it is still damaging.

IOW, this goes back, in part, to my "does a mezuzah really protect?"

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Despair is the worst of ailments. No worries
mi...@aishdas.org        are justified except: "Why am I so worried?"
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

Go to top.

Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 14:20:49 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Auspicious times in Halocho

On Sun, Dec 06, 2009 at 06:12:16PM -0500, Michael Kopinsky wrote:
: Lest you say that the pasuk is only brought to support a halacha whose
: "real" reason is zerizin makdimin, I'll point you to Brachos 29b, where R'
: Chiya bar Abba in the name of R' Yochanan advocates davening as the sun as
: about to set, citing the same pasuk. In that case, and by extension on 9b as
: well, Yira'ucha im shemesh is not about zerizin makdimin, but about davening
: as the sun is rising/setting.

Davening with the sun, so that one's spiritual and physical rhythms are
in sync, has psychological power. It could be that Chazal are speaking
of good times to daven because of very tangible reasons - kavanah aids.

I am actually developing a theory (which is surprising, given my
ignorance of this neck of machashavah) that according to the NhC,
everything we ascribe to metaphysical effects only have metaphysical
effects via their impact on a person (NhC 2:6). Thereby eliminating
the chiluq I just made -- by eliminating spiritual mechanics divorced
from maaseh -> neshamah -> metaphysics.

It would also eliminate timtum haleiv when doing something mutar,
perhaps only if never finding out otherwise, as well as render a mezuzah
with a valid chezqas kashrus but physically flawed as protective as
an unflawed mezuzah.

For that matter, it would explain why Eliyahu haNavi has no need to
clarify who is a mamzeir. Because something physical (ancestry) that
no one in the world knows can't possibly have a metaphysical effect

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             A life of reaction is a life of slavery,
mi...@aishdas.org        intellectually and spiritually. One must
http://www.aishdas.org   fight for a life of action, not reaction.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            -Rita Mae Brown

Go to top.

Message: 4
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 17:44:58 +0000
Re: [Avodah] the teshuvah is from 1955

> I understand that part of RZS concern is that the companies are no longer
> able to identify where their ingresients come from but will nevertheless
> answer questions misleadingly to best suit their own ambitions.Is there
> anyone who can support the contention that there is far less reason to
> rely on a letter provided by a food manufacturer today than there was
> 50 years ago.Does Reb Moshe Teshuvah expire since it is 50 odd years
> old? Are there any Poskim who have expressed such a concern?

My YD rebbe R Yoseph Weiss expressed this explicitly in shiur [circa 1976]
re: hechsher of vegetable oils, that what used to be deemed reliable is
no more

I don't know if this teshuvah was related, just that from the 1950's to
the 1970's things changed which matches RZS's point AIUI.

Sorry, I don't recall the details fuzzy recollection about cleaning out
nonkosher oils ..

Gutn Hanukkah
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Go to top.

Message: 5
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 19:14:02 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Hanukkah I and Hanukkah II

Let me concede the only question that bothers me is shluchin for kislev
in the Mishnah

All the rest are really about either mis-perceving my point or applying
structures that are irrelevant to my point.

> We have a machloqes BH and Beis Shammai about how many neiros to light
> which day. Clearly neir Chanukah was part of Chanukah 1

No disputing that lighting was done early and often
And probably was done all along
[Misperception of my point]

> In any case, RH 19b explicitly says that Chanukah and Purim were the two
> holidays not anulled when megillas taanis was. So, how can you say
> Chanukah was anulled, but reinstated?

Slight Misperception it was not so much halachically annulled it was
metzius annulled.

As for Bavli it Probably
Saw it as
A Now not bateil
B Later reinstated
C Bavli was unaware of my hypothesis which as in any case EY-oriented
and only addressing 70 or 135 until 225.

Nowadyas it's indeed not bateil. Maybe the bittul was considered a
rejected hava amina when it became re-instated.

> Seifer haMaskil's answer to why there is no Mesechtes Menorah -- there
> was no reason to document the dinim a second time, as they already
> appears in Megilas Taanis. The Behag says that zignei Beis Shammai uBH
> wrote these laws in megillas taanis. But this is tangential, as we have
> other evidence of a mitzvah in Chanukah I

Don't know why you like that Maskil better than this Maskil!  ;-)

There was a mitzvah of lighting in Hanukkah I. It was simply not part
of any formal 7 derabbanan's until much later.

The mere presence in the Megillas Taanis simply makes no sense to me to
omit it in Mishnah

There are probably thousands of halachos in [the earlier proto-] mechilta
sifra and sifrei that bore repetition in Mishnah.

Rebbe had Tannaitic material he omitted. What caused that ommission?

A no more independence
B no more mizbe'ach

On halachic changes...
> But the
> halachic reason: we didn't have a beis din greater than AKhG, so it
> wasn't even an option!

Bateil is bateil see below. It's not a repeal. It's a form of obsolescence.

Did people light anyway?

Yes, but people also eat latkes or play dreidel now and there may even
be a mention in halachic literature, but it's not normative!

I guess It could become normative as a minhag shenispasheit

See SA regarding NOT making Kiddush in shul any longer for bittul of a
Talmudic practice. This aiui opposes Ran who says say it anyway even
though orchim are no longer in shul.

Also see literature on Raabiyah's bittul of hasibba and Tosafos's point
that our hasibba is nowadays different.

See also changes in nusach of orignal 4 questions from mishna's zli,
shaluq umvushal.

Also See halachic literature of how SA made brachah on Ner Hanukkah in
shul - what changed from ner ish uveisso?

Also see Artscroll Mourning in Halachah of how Baruch Dayan Ho'emes is
recited now @ levaya and no longer a p'tira or sh'miyya.

Also see how meturgeman is no longer applicable to laining anymore
despite Talmud considering it normative.

As far as motives go, this is not a contest.
We know that Baruch Dayan Ho'emes has moved. We can only GUESS @ the
motive for moving it. I can speculate many reasons

Here is a simple model

Hanukkah I

Popular custom

Hanukkah II
Minhag shenispaheit and restored as normative for entirely different


I actually originally posted and posited this about ten years ago 1999.
One C rabbi recently objected to my hypothesis because he said the oil
story is but a "bubbe maaseh." I said: "maybe so but prove it!". IOW
that kind of cynicism is possibly true but unfounded. But we do have
kushyos why the mention is late.

He also said "how can you celebrate independence when that came 20+
years later?"

I repllied: "July 4 and 5 Iyyar came long before the wars of independence
were completed..."

He then asked "letaamaeich it should be day that matisyahu rose up
to rebel!"

I answered "ein hachi nami, the analogy is flawed, nebertheless the tzad
hashaveh is the war neeed not be over to have a date to celebrate."

OTOH now that I have made some sense out of conflating Bavli, History
and W-T, I'm getting attacks from the Right that my stance is Halachically
radical C"V.

Maybe that indeed is the perception, but I find it quite anti-radical
myself. So if you perceive this as halachically radical, note it is not
at all intended that way whatsoever. Then ask yourelf, what pre-conceived
notion makes you feel this way?

As a friend noted to me, if you are geting disputed from both Right
and Left, it probably means you're on the right track! [Or is that Left
Track? ;-)]

Gutn Hanukkah
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Go to top.

Message: 6
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 2009 19:32:02 -0500
[Avodah] Three Gems from RSRH

[I folded three RSRH snippets sent in the past week into one post. -mi]

Subject: Two Kinds of Fools
Date: Sun, 06 Dec 2009 04:51:03 -0500

The following is from RSRH's commentary on Bereishis 37

        34 Ya'akov rent his garments and put sackcloth upon his loins,
        and he kept himself in mourning for his son for many days.

    There are two kinds of fools. One of them changes his mind all
    the time. Everything is unclear to him. He says "yes" one minute
    and "no" the next, according to his mood. He is the foggy-headed,
    fantasizing fool: the avil. In contrast to him is another kind of
    fool: the narrowminded person, who, once he has formed an opinion,
    sticks to it and cannot be convinced he is in the wrong; he is the
    obstinate fool, the k'sil.

I must admit that I have met my share of both kinds, however, it seems
to me that today the second kind proliferates. Please see
"My Mind Is Made Up. Do Not Confuse Me With The Facts!" The Jewish Press,
August 25, 2004 pages 7 & 77.

Date: Tue, 08 Dec 2009 12:22:18 -0500
Subject: How a Chocham Looks at the World

The following is from the commentary of RSRH on Bereshis 40
        7 So he asked Pharaohs court officials, who were with him in
        custody in his masters house: Why are you looking so grim today?

    Unless we are entirely mistaken, Scriptures purpose here is to
    indicate Yosef s extraordinary genius, his Chochma. He noticed that
    they were distraught, had no idea yet about what, and so he asked
    Pharaohs court officials . . .

    An ordinary persons way of looking at the world and at things differs
    from that of a Yosef. An ordinary person sees only in general
    categories. A Chocham , on the other hand, sees the uniqueness
    and individuality of every person and of every thing. An ordinary
    person speaks with businessmen, with learned people, and so forth. A
    Chocham is ever mindful of the person with whom he is speaking,
    always cognizant of this persons special qualities and relationships.

    Yosef never forgot for a moment who and what these men were and
    for what purpose they were there; he kept their whole situation
    sharply defined in his mind. They were Bamishmor (in this respect,
    the Egyptian Pharaoh differed, for the better, from his later Persian
    counterpart: Pharaoh did not, when angered, issue an irrevocable
    order; see Daniyel 6), and the next day they might be set free. Also,
    they were Ito, together with him there.

    Perhaps Yosef had a vague idea that, since these men were only being
    detained pending an investigation, they might later have a favorable
    influence on his fate. Perhaps he sensed that they had been brought
    together with him in this place by Divine providence.

    Precisely because he remained ever aware of the person and all his
    connections, he heard all their words and saw all their actions
    their dreams, too in connection with their individual personalities;
    and through each unique personality, he was able to understand and
    evaluate everything he saw and heard.

Date: Sat, 12 Dec 2009 19:32:02 -0500
Subject: Danger to be Feared by a Jewish Minority

The following is from the Collected Writings of RSRH, Volume II, Kislev
IV, pages 246 - 248. This essay deals with the Jews being a minority
and how this is both a plus and a minus.


    There is one other particular danger which is to be feared by a Jewish
    minority. It is what we would like to call a certain intellectual
    narrow-mindedness. This danger becomes especially acute the more
    closely a minority clings to its cause and the more anxious it is to
    preserve that cause. We have already pointed out that, by virtue of
    its weak position, a minority depends for its survival on whether
    it can further and foster within all its members the spirit of
    the cause it represents. In order to prevail, a minority must be
    wholly imbued with the truth for which it stands. We have already
    noted that such intensive spiritual concern with its cause is the
    essential prerequisite for the minority's survival and have hailed
    this concern as the most significant advantage that a truth stands
    to gain when its guardians constitute a minority.

    However, precisely such complete dedication to its cause may easily
    lead the minority into intellectual one-sidedness. This may well stunt
    to a degree the development of the minority's unique intellectual
    life, Furthermore, it may make that minority incapable of representing
    its cause effectively to the outside world. Thus, such one-sidedness
    in a minority may do grave damage to the very cause that the minority
    seeks to preserve and to promote. The richer the minority's cause,
    the more will the minority treasure it. But then it may easily come
    to regard all other knowledge in "outside" domains as unnecessary,
    or even as utterly worthless. It may reject all intellectual activity
    in any field outside its own as an offense against its own cause,
    as an inroad upon the devotion properly due to that cause and an
    infringement on its prerogatives.

    Such a one-sided attitude does not stop at mere disregard for other
    intellectual endeavors. Once this attitude has taken hold in a Jewish
    minority, that minority will be unable to form a proper judgment and
    a true image of those intellectual pursuits which are not cultivated
    in its own ranks but pursued mainly by its opponents. Then, as a
    result of simple ignorance, the minority will begin to fear that
    which at first it merely neglected out of disdain. Consequently the
    minority will begin to suspect the existence of an intrinsic close
    relationship between these "outside" intellectual pursuits and those
    principles to which the Jewish minority stands in opposition.

    Indeed, the minority may come to regard these "outside" pursuits in
    themselves as the roots of the spiritual error which it deplores in
    the majority. Eventually it may reach a point where it will fearfully
    shun all intellectual endeavors other than those directly related
    to its own philosophy as an enemy of its cause and as a threat to
    the purity and loyalty of its adherents. Rather, it has cause to
    regard all truth, wherever it may be found on the outside, as a firm
    ally of its own cause, since all truth stems from the same Master
    of truth. Finally, the minority should not regard all disciplines
    that are compatible with its own principles as enemies. The cause
    represented by a Jewish minority is not purely theoretical but also
    involves the practical life of its adherents.1t demands the dedication
    of all aspects of life to the realization of its principles. It can
    have real, true existence only to the extent to which it can mold
    and dominate the most varied facets of everyday living. Thus, it
    is only natural that such a minority must attach maximum importance
    to the realization of its principles in practice. Indeed, it will
    have to recognize its adherents by the extent to which the latter
    fashion their lives in accordance with its principles.

Go to top.

Message: 7
From: Arie Folger <afol...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 21:50:29 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Kashrut and Shabbos (was: Kashrus and Shabbas)

R'n CL asked:
> But RYDS is positing an intrinsic halachic distinction (something that
> halachically happens).  Does he see this double threshold in the rishonim,
> or does he understand this to be a chiddush of the Rema?  Who are the people
> following when they are noheg like this?

It has been a while since I learned this, but I vaguely remember that
this is based on a Terumat haDeshen. Possibly quoted in the Darkei
Moshe heArukh.
Arie Folger,
Latest blog posts on http://ariefolger.wordpress.com/
* The Warmongering Laboring Amazons
* But is it Still Pork?
* Glaubensweitergabe ? Ein Videovortrag
* How Trustworthy is the Fish Monger or Fish Restaurant?

Go to top.

Message: 8
From: Alan Rubin <a...@rubin.org.uk>
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 21:21:40 +0000
[Avodah] How to light the Menorah

As far as I recall, ever since I started using oil for the menorah 
(probably the last 25 years) I have been using oil for the shammas as 
well. It can be a bit tricky lighting with a shammas and I usually end 
up spilling some oil.

What does the panel think is preferable:

1. using a candle as the shammas

2. switching to the sefardi minhag of using another candle to light both 
the main lights and the shammas

I did find this quote from Rabbis Barclay and Jaeger's book 'Guidelines 
to Chanukah'.

 > 119. Should one use oil or a candle for the /shamash/?

 >* According to the Ashkenazic custom mentioned above, it is customary 
to use a candle for the /shamash
 >/ for practical reasons; it is much more convenient to kindle the 
lights with a candle than with an oil light.

 >* According to the Sephardic custom, one may use either a candle or 
oil for the /shamash/, since this light is
 > not used to kindle the others.

 > * Some opinions recommend using a candle for the /shamash/ if the 
main lights are oil, in order to make it
 > clear that it is not included in the number of Chanukah lights.

Alan Rubin

Go to top.

Message: 9
From: Saul.Z.New...@kp.org
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 11:46:07 -0800
[Avodah] missing players


whether it's  channuka  I    or  channuka  II   --- whether  celebrating 
restoring the temple, or the Nes of the oil ---   chazal  clearly 
underemphasized the major  player -- the non-Orthodox jews of the day; and 
the civil war  that they were involved in....

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avod

Go to top.

Message: 10
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 15:11:31 -0500
[Avodah] Fwd: Why was the Hanukkah Revolution led

For some reason, this won't get through Avodah's spam filter. Hopefully
as a forwarded email, it will work.


----- Forwarded message from rabbirichwol...@gmail.com -----
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 18:45:06 +0000
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Subject: Why was the Hanukkah Revolution led Specifically by Kohanim?
To: avo...@aishdas.org

[Note: I might have posted this in years gone by...]

Q: Why was the Hanukkah Revolution led specifically by Kohanim?

As per my chaveir R. Joel Stern:
A: Because of the gzeira of "tibo'eil lehgmon". For Yisroelim and Leviim
This was bad - but survivable

For Kohanim it meant that every wife would thereby become a "zona-hallah"
[even an anussah] and in a single generation the k'hunah would have been
history. Hence the sense of urgency - davka for Kohanim.

Gutn Hanukkah
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Go to top.

Message: 11
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 18:45:06 +0000
[Avodah] Why was the Hanukkah Revolution led Specifically by

[Note I might have posted this in years gone by...]

Q: Why was the Hanukkah Revolution led specifically by Kohanim?

As per my chaveir R. Joel Stern:

A: Because of the gzeira of "tibo'eil lehgmon". For Yisroelim and Leviim
This was bad - but survivable

For Kohanim it meant that every wife would thereby become a "zona-hallah"
[even an anussah] and in a single generation the k'hunah would have been
history. Hence the sense of urgency - davka for Kohanim.

Gutn Hanukkah
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Go to top.

Message: 12
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 16:19:32 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Why was the Hanukkah Revolution led Specifically

I guess it wasn't spam blocked, just very delayed! Sorry for yet another
duplicate. Now, taking off my mod hat...

On Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 06:45:06PM +0000, rabbirichwol...@gmail.com wrote:
: A: Because of the gzeira of "tibo'eil lehgmon". For Yisroelim and Leviim
: This was bad - but survivable

I just posted something about this on Areivim. That conversation drifted
Avodah-ward anyway...

In Maaseh Chanukah par. 6 (which can be found in Otzar haMidrashim (NY,
1915) and more classically, in Otzar Tov cheileq 1, Beis haMedrash
cheileq 5), the war is described as being triggered by the wedding of
Matisyahu's daughter Channah. (Not being confused with Channah of the
7 sons of Maccabbees II, which BTW is a less Jewish source than Makabiim

Chanah's wedding couldn't be hidden from the hegemon, being that the
kohain gadol's family is famous. She came to her wedding nude, taunted
her brothers that this outrages them, but the fate that evening does
not? She then asks them to follow in the footsteps of Shim'on veLeivi
defending Dinah's honor, and the war begins.

Something that happened in that Areivim discussion is that I learned
(against my expectation) that this story isn't common knowledge. It was
something I was taught in HS, so I thought everyone old enough to be
taught about such matters knew.

Before I was such age, I was taught that the reason why there is a minhag
for women not to do melakhah the first 30 min that the neiros burn was the
the story of Yehudis killing Holifernes, the opposing general (in a manner
much like Yael killing Siserah). BTW, Yehudis is described as Yochanan
kohein gadol's daughter, ie Matisyahu's sister. (Assuming "kohein gadol"
in Al haNissim modifies "Yochanan" rather than "Matisyahu". Otherwise,
who knows which Yochanan was Matisyahu's father?)

However, when I was told about the hegemon claiming droit de seigneur,
I was also taught that /this/ was why Chanukah was so special for women
in particular, and thus the lack of melakhah.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "And you shall love H' your G-d with your whole
mi...@aishdas.org        heart, your entire soul, and all you own."
http://www.aishdas.org   Love is not two who look at each other,
Fax: (270) 514-1507      It is two who look in the same direction.

Go to top.

Message: 13
From: "Simi Peters" <famil...@actcom.net.il>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 2009 00:46:58 +0200
[Avodah] generation lists

Does anyone know of an accessible, complete list of the generations of the
Tanaim and Amoraim?  It could be part of a book, a separate book, a
pamphlet, article, or whatever (including an online resource).	It can be
in English or Hebrew--either is fine.  The main thing is that it be
complete (or as complete as possible) and (preferably) that it should be
fairly easy to locate a particular name on the list.

(I am taking advantage of my husband's continuing subscription to the list for this query; I hope that's okay.)

Kol tuv,
Simi Peters
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avod

Go to top.

Message: 14
From: Richard Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 18:24:23 -0500
[Avodah] Chanukah Candles

There's a very fascinating reason why some use the formula for the first Chanukah candle brocho: l'hadlik ner Chanukah (omitting the shel).
Chanukah candles are not to be used for any benefit other than for Chanukah and its significance.

In other words, on Shabbos the candles are lit so that we don't have to eat
in the dark and we are able to see where we are going. Therefore, it is ner
SHEL Shabbos, the candle for (of) Shabbos. Conversely, one is not to
benefit at all from the light of the Chanukah candles. Hence, it is not a
candle FOR (shel) Chanukah but rather is a Ner Chanukah, a 
Chanukah candle.
May your Chanukah Candles (not the Candles FOR Chanukah but the Chanukah Candles) be radiant and luminous.
And may their significance continue throughout the rest of the year.


Go to top.

Message: 15
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 19:14:34 -0500
Re: [Avodah] generation lists

RnSP asked at 2:46pm PST:
> Does anyone know of an accessible, complete list of the generations of
> the Tanaim and Amoraim?  It could be part of a book, a separate book,
> a pamphlet, article

(The html version didn't preserve the table's details, just the names.)

Claims to include "all the zeqeinim harishonim, tannaim, and amoraim
mentioned in the Talmudic-Midrashic literature." Although many of the
rare names aren't assigned a generation, perhaps because it can't be

Although a flowchart of who taught who might be far far more useful.

I was just looking at a parallel page for geonim

Why? Becuase I got it in my head that it would be really interesting to
map every link in the chain from MRAH to myself. It proved to be
relatively easy, since a number of people do it for RCBrisker, and from
there to R' Shimon Shkop, R' Dovid Lifshitz to me took no thought.

HOWEVER, here's the problem. It would allegely have 129 links in that
chain, meaning that MRAH was my rebbe^128. Much of those generations are
the geonim of Pumbedisa, and that's counting after Rav Mari, the last of
the savoraim before R' Chana Gaon. The problem is that I'm listing every
gaon -- 46 (36%) in that stretch of 380 or so years alone. Now that's
the successorship, and many of the geonim only led for 10 or so years.
What I could use is a rebbe-talmid chain, not the leader list.

(BTW, does anyone else find this concept as amazing as I do, to actually
track the people involved in your mesorah, no handwaving?)

RRW and the Yekkes might be happy to know that I'm a talmid^21 of the
Maharil. We're long lost brothers!

Tir'u baTov!

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


Avodah mailing list

End of Avodah Digest, Vol 26, Issue 254

Send Avodah mailing list submissions to

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

You can reach the person managing the list at

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Avodah digest..."

< Previous Next >