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Volume 27: Number 1

Fri, 01 Jan 2010

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 2009 17:58:25 -0500
Re: [Avodah] how to reconcile

On Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 10:48:57PM +0000, rabbirichwol...@gmail.com wrote:
: I don't read the 2 years as punishment 
: at all 
: And so this was really a Teaching a Lesson...

Mah beinaihu?

Isn't the point of every Divine punishment to teach a lesson?

In my own philosophy, such as it is, since the worlds will eventually
reach the state of Kulo Tov, any action that runs against that eventual
equilibrium will naturally have negative consequences. It can't have
nitzchiyus, or else we wouldn't reach Tov.

So, the worlds pull back to their goal state, and the person who tries
to fight that will inherently suffer. However, that suffering is in a
way that can pull him back to that goal state too.

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 2
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 2009 19:59:17 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Seeing G'zeiros Everywhere

RDR drice...@att.net 
> How would you say "organization" in Rabbinic Hebrew? 
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 3
From: "Tal Moshe Zwecker" <tal.zwec...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Jan 2010 01:51:23 +0200
Re: [Avodah] how to reconcile

Thanks for the welcome. I do off course realize that it is possible that 
they do not reconcile. However rather than assume that, (since the Kedushas 
Levi often quotes Rashi and Chazal and here fails to) I assume that he is 
not differing with their interpretation since he does not say that.

I am not sure I understand what you were trying to tell me though, the 
Rashi/Midrash Chazal imply the lesson here is: trust in Hashem rather than 
in human beings (I agree with you it is on some level a problem since we are 
often told we need to make an effort as you said some hishtadlus)

The KL implies the lesson is the same, trust in Hashem and do nothing.

However they go about it in different ways.

Rashi / Chazal according to the simple reading imply Yosef did something 
wrong and was punished for it.

KL implies Yosef did the right thing.

Perhaps it is just the KL using his famous trait/attribute of being dan 
lekaf zechus - giving others the benefit of the doubt and seeing the good 
side in people. In other words rather than imply and interpret Yosef's 
actions in a bad light perhaps he is davka learning it this way.

The KL does this often (limud zechus) for example with regards to Am Yisroel 
sleeping before Matan Torah he says they did so to rest up before the big 
event and with the Chet HaEgel (where Hashem says He will never forget it in 
each generation) KL learns this is a positive thing since it allows Hashem 
to compare each generation against that one, they were idol worshippers so 
no matter where we are we are doing better.

RRW its a nice reading of Rashi and the Midrash, thanks for the chidush, but 
simple peshat does imply it was a punishment. Though I like your explanation 
based on Abravanel.

Thanks for your help
Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
VoIP: 516-320-6022
eFax: 1-832-213-3135
join the mailing list to keep updated about new projects here:

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Message: 4
From: Saul.Z.New...@kp.org
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 2009 17:47:52 -0800
[Avodah] how to reconcile

and i forgot who brings  down, had the sar mashkim brought it up to paroh 
,  yosef would have been just  another freed  prisoner, who amounts to 
nothing in life......

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Message: 5
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 2009 23:33:23 +0000
Re: [Avodah] how to reconcile

> Mah beinaihu? 
> Isn't the point of every Divine punishment to teach a lesson?? 
1 Blame 
2 Guilt 
3 does it apply to others 
As I explain it Yosef is blameless, but he inadvertantly set himself
up. G'zeira shema he might take out the wrong lesson
#3 is key. BY YOSEF he had to know that sar Hamaskim was not a factor 
OTOH By others meihacha teisis we should be so careful? 
So it matters if Yosef's ordeal is for g'dolei baalei emunah or for stam
vanilla menschen. I say Yosef was on the madreiga that Huzqaq to wait
Also when discovering this and re-reading Rashi, we can see both HKBH and
Rashi in a more compasionate light -- not nitpicking people, but molding
them for greatness. 
The gefeel to me is very different! 
If Yosef "goofed" then Mommies and Daddies may feel license to scold
the kids for lacking emunah.
If Yosef was being groomed for greatness, then the approach for the kids
might appear like discipline -- but it would come from Hessed and not
from Din.
But ein hachi nami, most punishments -- especially for tzadikkim -- are
indeed lessons. Here the word punishment is popular but not in Rashi. I
wonder what the original Midrash says.
Think of Hillel "m'karvan leTorah" viz. students of my classes got a
warmer-fuzzier feeling about Torah when I showed then this hilluq.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 6
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@Kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Fri, 1 Jan 2010 00:00:44 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Seeing G'zeiros Everywhere

RRW writes:
> Rn Chana:
> "halacha Moshe m'Sinai, "
> Ironic choice of words here
> R Shimshon of Sens [Rash] proves that several cases Of HLMM cannot be
> taken lliterally. FWIW This was posted on avodah this past year

And there are endless discussions amongst the rishonim and achronim as to
whether things are d'orisa or d'rabbanan.  That does not mean that there is
no difference between a d'orisa and a d'rabbanan, or that the distinction is
irrelevant.  In fact the very fact that these terms can be and are fought
over is precisely because they are meaningful and important distinctions.
Not that the one should in fact be called the other and blurred into one

> [email #2 -mi]
> Rn Chana:
> > This is a standard deconstructionist theme, that words are ultimately
> > empty of meaning. If you want to get into deconstructionism and
> Humpty
> > Dumpty (which was Lewis Carol's version of it, "words mean whatever
> > I say they mean"), you can do so, but at that point there is no point
> > talking about halacha, and you might as well go off and join the
> Reform.
> > After all, as I pointed out "melacha" is certainly an elusive word,
> > if you want one, so why not go on what one "feels" Hashem wants when
> he
> > wants us not to do melacha -- and whatever feels right in terms of
> your
> > understanding of the word is what you should do (or not do) on
> shabbas.
> Why not see this as complex rather than deconstructive?

Because of the consequences, ie what is then concluded.  Melacha is, agreed,
a very complex concept.  But that does not mean that you and I can then look
at something and decide off our own bat that it is a melacha if it isn't (or
vice versa).  Saying something is not a melacha when it is has the obvious
consequence that if you act on what you say you will be over an issur
d'orisa.  But even saying something is a melacha when it isn't is (a) almost
certainly over on baal tosif and b) if you were then to bring a korban for
your violation of the non melacha b'shogeg you would be bringing chullin to
the azarah.

> A Chaveir just sent me this offline.
> I will BEH take a look at these articles soon
> Meanhwile the Chaveir wrote
> > I looked in the local beis medrash, and there's an article in the
> > Encyclopedia Talmudit titled "Gezera", in volume 5. It has a section
> > titled "sugei (types of) gezeira" from columns 533 to 537.

Yes, and as you note below the second to last paragraph in this section
deals with the question about whether there can be a gezera today, and
quotes the identical sources to those quoted by ROY.  That is the point I
was trying to make.  Not so much that ROY himself said it, I am more than
happy if you can find an achron of similar stature who disagrees.  The point
I was trying to make was that there are rishonim and the Beis Yosef who say
that we cannot make gezeros today, and as far as I am aware, nobody
disagrees.  If you prefer to get those references from the Encyclopedia
Talmudit then that is fine.  It is not that ROY is "my favourite gadol" and
that I can't see how anybody could hold differently.  What I like a lot
about ROY is that he is encyclopaedic - he does for you what the
Encyclopaedia Talmudit does (and sometimes more, I have found numerous times
where he brings more sources than the Encyclopaedia Talmudit, but I very
rarely find less).  But if you are more comfortable with the Encyclopaedia
Talmudit I am happy to quote that instead. You still have a problem with how
to deal with the rishonim and Beis Yosef.

> Also See Enc. Talmudit vol. 5 column 540
> 3 eras delineating "sof g'zeira":
> > One opinion: Only up thru AKHG and BD hag'dolim see fn 163 tshuvas
> Rav
> > Sar Shalom Gaon - tshuvos hag'onim "chemda g'nuzah" 77
> Not to be gozeir after the g'onim fn 164 Maggid Mishneh hametz umatza
> 5:20
> And some say even the g'onim lacked this right after the Talmud Fn 165
> [Rosh shabbas ch. 2 siman 20;
> Tiyuvta on RRW? Maybe so or maybe no

That is precisely what I was trying to say quoting ROY, but am happy to
quote the Encyclopaedia Talmudit.

> Ok, assuming the above is correct then how can my colleague also be
> correct?
> Namely:
> > A beit din can decide to enact a ban on anything it thinks needs
> > to be banned, and the ban is only enforceable in the community which
> > recognizes the beit din as its authority for such matters, and only
> to
> > the extent that that beit din has the power to enforce its rulings or
> > to the extent to which people follow the ruling anyway in the absence
> > of enforcement power
> [EG g'zeira against bigamy and qitniyyos on Passover Also how can these
> posqim nullify a 'mishnah brura' {pun intended} of "asu s'yag
> letorah"!?]

Because these are not gezeros, they are something else.  This is where I get
back to the fact that precision is important, and just as it is important to
know the difference between a d'orisa and a d'rabbanan, it is important to
know the difference between what is a gezera and what is something

Partly of course this is because the consequences can be different.  For a
real genuine gezera, there is little question that one who violates it is
poretz geder and is liable b'yadei shamayim to be bitten by a nachash (see
eg Encyclopaedia Talmudit page 533 the first full paragraph on that page)
and one is permitted to call such a person an averan. 

It is not at all clear that this is true of many of the other types of
things that you keep wanting to call gezeros that I am insisting aren't.  In
particular, as you can see from what your Chaver said above "the ban is only
enforceable in the community which recognizes the beit din as its authority
for such matters and only to the extent that the beit din has the power to
enforce its rulings ..."  If there is no such power, is such a person an
averan?  Are they liable to death by way of snake bite? Are they Poretz
Geder? Almost certainly no.

So what is the correct terminology for what your Chaver is describing?  I
would have thought it was probably a form of takanat hakahal.  Which, as
always, stretches only to the kahal under its control.  I agree that
Menachem Elon's Mishpat Ivri is a masterly presentation of the powers to be
found under takanat hakahal.

Nobody is suggesting (not ROY, not me) that takanot hakahal cannot exist
after the time of Shas or the geonim.  My fundamental concern is that to
call a takanat hakahal a gezera is wrong in the same way as to call a
d'orisa a drabbanan or vice versa is wrong, or to mix up different types of
d'orisa (note that it is pretty universally agreed that if a witness is
giving somebody hasra, if they tell them the wrong lav then the hasra is not
valid and thus the person is patur from mitas beis din or malkos or whatever
penalty they would otherwise be liable for.  Precision is a torah value and
it matters.  It is wrong to give something the wrong label, especially when
there are different kinds of consequences).

Similarly I believe you are also confusing gezeros with the concept of
minhag (minhag k'din hu).  While some of the cases you cite are in fact
takanos hakahal, some of them are minhagim.  Kitniyos is a classic but
numerous others of these are minhagim.  You spend a bit of time in one of
your postings arguing that ROY is being inconsistent in arguing that
Ashkenazim still can't eat kitniyos on pesach.  But ROY is only being
inconsistent if you say gezeros equals minhagim.  ROY would hold, as I am
arguing, that gezeros and minhagim are different things and it is important
not to confuse the two.  Minhagim are binding, including ones that came into
existence post shas.  Gezeros are not.  The classic distinction between
gezeros and minhagim is that gezeros are top down, and minhagim are bottom
up.  Minhagim are things that the people (or a group of people, such as the
Ashkenazim) have accepted upon themselves and that acceptance becomes
binding on future generations.  It is not something that any rabbi has
decreed, at most a rabbi can document it.  The issue then becomes are there
circumstances where a rabbi can mevatel a minhag if in fact that minhag is
baseless, based on mistaken assumptions, or is detrimental to spiritual
growth.  This is a complicated issue which is in and of itself discussed in
the poskim.  But if you confuse minhagim with gezeros you are also going to
get very confused as to how if it is possible to reverse it. For a gezera
you get into questions of needing a beis din greater in number and in wisdom
(or possibly, as per Tosphos and some others, if the reason for the gezera
as stated in Shas is no longer applicable).  For minhagim you are looking at
other considerations (but certainly if the minhag is completely abandoned it
would seem to have become null and void, which is by no means necessarily so
for a gezera).  Whether you are over poretz geder if you are over on a
minhag, and which minhag, is also a complicated question, but there is
definitely an argument to say not (given the source and the way it is
generally used, although there are exceptions). But if you don't maintain
the definitional differences between minhag and gezera, then none of these
discussions can take place (and the discussions that do take place would
seem to be endlessly contradictory), ie you just end up with a confused

Your example regarding judging is I think, something completely different
again, ie yet another completely different issue and if I have the time to
do the research I will try and post on it specifically, but I may not have
the time as it will involve my relooking up a whole bunch of partially
remembered sources.

And of course a further question is one of applying gezeros (but it is not
just a question of gezeros) to modern issues.  There are issues of how you
deal with a microphone or tape recorders (CD player etc), is it a klei shir
and hence within the gezera or not.  But this is no different to issues of
how to deal with electricity, and filament light bulbs.  The posek looks at
a new technological development and says - is this something that eg
violates a d'orisa on shabbas?  That is not them "making a new gezera"
regarding light bulbs, that is them applying their knowledge of what is
havara or bone or whatever it is to the modern technology and seeing if it
fits.  When they do precisely the same in relation to a rabbinic
prohibition, that does not suddenly involve them making a new gezera.  They
are applying the old gezera in the same way they are applying the d'orisa.
Again this does not involve new gezeros, but a number of the cases you bring
when you see gezeros everywhere fit within this category.

And again, this kind of applying of the old gezera has a different
consequence to that of minhagim and that of takanos.  Because just as when
applying the d'orisa, if they agree that a filament light bulb is indeed
havara, then if there was a beis hamikdash and one did classic havara
beshogeg, one would bring a korban, so too if one turned on a filament light
bulb.  Similarly if they decide that a microphone is a klei shir, then the
consequences will be the identical consequences as if one had indeed played
a Talmudic era musical instrument on shabbas.

So perhaps to articulate my concern about what you are doing more clearly, I
believe you are confusing a whole bunch of different halachic concepts, with
different parameters and different consequences and different histories and
trying to call them all by the one term, gezera, which has a specific
meaning.  And you are then trying to argue, by mishmashing these different
concepts together, that actually we have a whole lot more halachic freedom
than we actually do. Ie not only are you not being precise in the way that I
believe one is halachically required to be, but you are then arguing for
consequences that are both wrong, and (except that I don't believe anybody
is really going to take you seriously) potentially dangerous.  And no, I
don't think it is me or ROY who is being "revisionist" [or perhaps even a
radical revisionist] and that people like you are actually supporting a
restoration of a more traditional approach - or at least, the traditional
approach that it seems to me you are really calling for is to go back to the
time of the Talmud and open up all the questions again.  That is something
that I have heard calls for at times, but not within the Orthodox world.
The Orthodox world is governed by the history of psak as it has developed
over the last 2000 years, and in particular how it developed amongst the
rishonim.  And if the rishonim say we don't make gezeros, I don't believe
this is something that can be overturned by us now, at least absent real
smicha and a Sanhedrin.

But that does not mean that we cannot make takanos, that we do not have
minhagim, that we do not have psak.  But each of these have their own rules,
which are different rules to that of gezeros, as they are different
categories within the halacha.  Within them is still much room for
creativity, but in my view it assists no-one to get these concepts confused.



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Message: 7
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Jan 2010 00:55:41 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Seeing G'zeiros Everywhere

R' Rich Wolpoe wrote:
> G'zeira is about s'yag or policy and could take into
> consideration k"vod RMF or RYDS and another non-rigorous
> considerations and requires no such rigor, but I would love
> to see it so labeled.
> If you want to term this NEITHER p'saq NOR g'Zeria but a
> third kind of "animal" fine.

I have long wondered about where we draw the line between making a new
halachah or minhag, as opposed to setting policy. A new halachah will be
binding upon all subsequent generations, but a policy is clearly dependent
upon the current situation.

In previous generations, they did not have subscriptions to magazines like
Kashrus Kurrents or Jewish Homemaker, to name just a few that were
available in paper form prior to the proliferation of our current websites.
They had seforim. Besides word-of-mouth, publication in a sefer was the
only way this information got around.

May we eat dried fruit on Pesach? Let's see the Rama 467:8 --

"Dried figs (26), and dried grapes (which are called raisins, whether large
or small) - it depends on the minhag of the place. Some are machmir not to
eat them, and some are meikil, and therefore the minhag in these countries
is to be machmir not to eat any dried fruits, unless it is known that they
were dried in a manner such that there is no fear of chometz (28). Sugar -
it is assur to eat it or even to possess it (29)."

Mishne Brura 26: "There is a fear that they spread flour on them when
drying them. Grapes are usually dried in an oven near the bread, or after
they've removed the bread from the often. There are places where they do
not spread flour on them, and they dry them in the sun, and this is why he
wrote that it depends on the minhag of the place."

Mishne Brura 28: "Such as when it is known to a person that [the fruit] was dried in the sun, or in an oven after it was kashered."

Mishne Brura 29: "because there is a fear that they mix the flour into it.
The Acharonim agree that [the sugar] which we call "hat sugar", which is
made like a hat, it has been clarified by investigating with experts that
they do not mix flour into it. Nevertheless the minhag is to sell it
l'chatchila... And the sugar which has a Ksav Hechsher from the rabbi of
the place where it is made, the minhag is to eat it l'chatchila. However
sugar which is made very fine has a greater chance of being chometz, from
flour being mixed in...

I could quote much more of this, but I hope this will be sufficient to give
you an idea of what I mean. Honestly: Do these quotes sound like a judge
who is rendering a legal decision? Or do they sound more like valuable

To me, they sound like advice. Important advice, to be sure. Advice that
one would be foolish to ignore. But still, I do not see how this can be
spun off into some new halachah (or binding minhag) forbidding us to eat
dried fruit - Even in a time and place where it was well known that flour
was indeed used to dry fruits, I do not understand how this could possibly
be binding upon future generations.

Yet, the Rama did use words like "minhag", "machmir", and "meikil". And Rav
Eider (Halachos of Pesach, page 53) uses the above as his source, when he
writes "Some communities did not eat dried fruit (e.g. dried figs, raisins)
during Pesach. The basis for this minhag is that flour was spread on the
fruit during the drying process. In addition, the ovens used for drying
were also used for chometz. Where there is proper supervision, it is

I am confused. Are the MB and Rav Eider saying that if there is proper
supervision, then one may violate the minhag? Surely not! But their
language is confusing.

And I think this is a big part of what R' Rich Wolpoe is trying to dissect.

I will leave it as an exercise for the reader, to consider the differences
- if any - between the above discussion of dried fruit on Pesach, and milk
the rest of the year. Did Chazal actually forbid unwatched milk? Is it
possible that when Rav Moshe wrote that we don't have to actually watch the
milking, all we really need is to know that the milk is kosher, he was
trying to draw this distinction? And just perhaps, those who disagree with
Rav Moshe, their point is that Chazal really did render unwatched milk as

Akiva Miller

Diet Help
Cheap Diet Help Tips. Click here.

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Message: 8
From: Arie Folger <afol...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Jan 2010 10:37:47 +0100
Re: [Avodah] mikva shitos

R' Zev Sero wrote:
> In Europe until the 19th century there was almost no such
> thing as a rain-water mikveh.  Everyone knew that one can
> also make a mikveh from mei geshomim, but nobody did so.

So RAM asked:
> So then how *were* their mikvaos filled? Did they dig deep
> wells? Did they fill it with snow and ice in the winter? Did they
> only use lakes?

The 900 year old miqwe of Worms, in Germany (where Rashi went to
yeshiva), is filled with ground water, which is why it is so deep in
the ground: water seeps in from the Rhine.
Arie Folger,
Latest blog posts on http://ariefolger.wordpress.com/
* Was die j?dische Frommigkeit animieren soll
* Equal Justice for All - even in Israel?
* The Warmongering Laboring Amazons
* But is it Still Pork?
* Glaubensweitergabe ? Ein Videovortrag

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Message: 9
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Jan 2010 10:49:20 +0200
[Avodah] reform and conservative

from daily halacha

1186. One may not count one who denies the truth of Torah Sh'baal Peh
- aka The Oral Torah (and certainly one who denies The Written Torah
received at Sinai via Moshe Rabbeinu) towards a minyan. [One may not
count Conservative or Reform Jews towards a minyan.] Shulchan Aruch
w/Mishnah Berurah 55:11, Piskei Tshuvos 55:21

1187. One should also not answer Amein to a Kaddish made by any of
these people, even at a burial. Piskei Tshuvos 55:21  >>

Obviously the brackets were added by the email editor and is not in
the mishna berura.
Is this agreed to by everyone? It is not what i have seen

Eli Turkel

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Message: 10
From: D&E-H Bannett <db...@zahav.net.il>
Date: Fri, 01 Jan 2010 12:57:49 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Pronunciation of Va-ye-chi

As those on the Mesorah sub-list of Avodah know, the reason 
that vai-hi has a sh'va' nach is that Aharon ben Asher and 
the other ba'alei hamesorah said so. That's what he heard in 
Teveria and recorded.

These early ba'alei mesora also said that there are seven 
vowels in Hebrew.  It was only after R' Yosef Kimchi, 
Radak's father invented the very logical ten vowel system 
that long and short vowels came into being and started to 
determine the sh'va na'/ sh'va nach rules.

As R' Yekutiel Hakohen ben Yehuda (1300-1400s Prague?) 
comments in his 'Ein Hakorei on Vaikhulu hashamaim 
v'ha-aretz in Breishit, Kol hakorei va-yekhulu, vai 

We old fashioned people sometimes prefer to follow the 
oldtimers in some things rather than accept rules made by 
grammarians. We are often annoyed when we feel that these 
rules have caused changes in the pronunciation of words in 
our Torah. It is bad enough that the passage of time and the 
influence of sounds from local languages, etc., have made 
changes without adding others caused by the "corrections" of 


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Message: 11
From: D&E-H Bannett <db...@zahav.net.il>
Date: Fri, 01 Jan 2010 13:32:04 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Hilchos Kaddish

Re:  <<OTOH Tosafos [and others] presume a Yud in sh'meih to 
mean or imply sheim Kah>>

Why not determine the yud or lack of yud in sh'meih of y'hei 
sh'meih rabba from the usage of that word in the Aramaic 
sections of Tanakh.

The word sh'meih appears seven times without a yud. It never 
appears with a yud. That proves something about the spelling 
of words in Aramaic.

But another interesting OTOH that, however, proves nothing. 
One says yehei shmeih with all his "koach".   Koach in 
gematria is 28.  There are 28 words from yehei to b'alma 
(except for the Gr"a). this is why we say min kol during the 
year and mikol when we add a second l'eila.  And, if we add 
a yud in shmeih, there are 28 letters in the response from 
yehei to al'maya (for those who don't add yitbarakh).


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Message: 12
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2009 19:23:49 -0500
[Avodah] RSRH - Vaychi Digest

[Another subdigest of R Prof YL's RSRH's posts of the week. Two entries.

Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2009 19:23:49 -0500
Subject: Not only must the ends be pure, but so must be the means

The following if from RSRH's commentary on Bereishis 49:7. Too bad
that those who get involved in violent demonstrations and think that
hooliganism is Judaism do not study the writing of RSRH. YL

        7 Cursed be their [Shimon's and Levi's] anger for it is fierce,
        and their fury, for it is cruel. I will divide them in Ya'akov
        and scatter them in Yisrael.

    It is most significant that here, at the laying of the cornerstone
    of the Jewish people, a curse is imposed upon any violent outburst
    that runs counter to justice and morality, even if it is intended
    for the common good.

    All other states and nations have adopted the principle that
    any action is legitimate as long as it serves the interest of
    the state. Acts of cunning and violence that would be punished by
    ostracism or execution if practiced by an individual for selfish gain
    are rewarded with laurels and civic honors if they are committed for
    what is alleged to be the welfare of the state. The laws of morality
    apply only in private life, whereas in politics and diplomacy the
    only recognized law is that of national self-interest.

    Here, by contrast, the last will and testament on which the Jewish
    people was founded pronounces a curse on cunning and violence, even
    if they are used for the nation's most legitimate interests, and it
    sets down for all time the doctrine that even in public life and in
    the promotion of the common good, not only must the ends be pure,
    but so must be the means.

Date: Mon, 28 Dec 2009 06:33:04 -0500
Subject: True Wisdom and Morality

The following is from RSRH's commentary on Mishlei, page 55. It points out
the difference between Torah wisdom and all other types of knowledge. YL

    For when wisdom is practiced, not only the end is a moral one, but
    the means which lead to this end must also be morally clean. True
    wisdom rejects at the very start anything or anyone that is immoral
    It is the only science which demands from its disciples as its
    prerequisite a fear of God and purity of morals. Other sciences may
    be satisfied with adequate capabilities and a desire for knowledge,
    dispensing with proof of moral probity, even celebrating as spiritual
    heroes men whose character and behavior, once revealed, can only cause
    blushing. Indeed, where mental genius is concerned, they would like
    to issue a veritable dispensation from observing morality. Not so
    our wisdom, which derives from God's teaching. This can be attained
    only by men of purity, pure spirit and a pure heart. Entrance into
    its hall of knowledge is dependent on fear of God. And since fear of
    God entails hatred of evil, it follows that wisdom hates haughtiness
    and pride, hates the path of immorality and mouths dedicated to
    crookedness. Hence, only the humble and truthful are allowed to
    discover its treasures in truth.

Go to top.

Message: 13
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 1 Jan 2010 01:55:38 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Seeing G'zeiros Everywhere

Just for the record
Re: Chana's recent post I categorically deny [virtually] every conclusion
and accusation

FWIW tonight I consulted a big Sephardic Talmid Chacham and proceeded
to show him SA orach Hayyim 476:1

He had several reactions. Here are 2

1 the posqim [as it turns out Rambam and SA] are not so precise with
the term g'zeira

then after showing him the haqdama to the Rambam about post Talmudic "taqqanot, g'zeirot, and minhhaggim" 

2 he agreed with my defintion and pointed out both Qitniyyot and bigamy.
He then regaled me how the Rosh protested Qitniyyot to which I responded:
"The Hayei Adam calls this al tiitosh torat imecha" and so I follow this
as Minhag Avot.

[We then concurred that it "the g'zeira od qitniyyot" did not apply to
peanuts, corn, peanut oil and corn syrup.]

Now if Rambam and SA are Careless or imprecise, I would not expect any
better of me!

And if they were being precise, then BH I'm following them.

As far as making lists go, this is the definitvie way to use inductive
tehcniques, to make a definition

As far as confusing Taqnana and g'zeira I made such a disclaimer in my
first post. I wish to add that elon shows that the two are different
BUT he opens with an example of where the Talmud contradicts itself and
calls the same thing g'zeira in one ciitation and Taqqnanah in another.
That does NOT mean that they should be always conflated, but his tazonomy
DOES combie them as "haqiqah" [trans = legilation] I really didn't want
to go there, but it seems necessary now.

Also the Rambam in Hilc Hametz and the aforementioned SA OH 476 kinda
conflates minhag hammaqom with g'zeira.

While minhag/g'zeira/taqqnah are not synonymous, it is east to demonstrate
overlap, so EG the defintions would be 3 overlapping circles in a
Venn diagram


Years ago A kashrut agency told me of some changes they would make when
they would take over a given resaurant.
 I asked: "Is this Halachhically required?

They answered "no" [meaning not necessarily] that they had "standards". 

And so I say that any standard that is beyond halachah and that is
absolutely required by an agency anyway is g'zeira upon the community
of food purveyors AND upon their mashgichin.

Bottom line again
If it's a s'yag
And it's limitted in scope [say community or even region] and it's
halachically permitted, but a policy is made against it, it's a g'zeira.

Now you need not have a nice simple model lile mine. And if you choose
another taxonomy or leicography - well it's a free society!

I posit that if we all used these kinds of models that p'saq would be
more clean, crisp, clear, self-evident, talmud-like, and imho would
engender less resistance! A Gaon might gozeir no burials on YT sheini
and a given community could say "fine for his followers but we have a
different minhag or BD here"

Same EG were a community's BD gozeir "our eruv goes down once or twice a
Year g'zeira shema yishkechu toras hotza'ah"

Good Shabbos
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile


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