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Volume 28: Number 12

Fri, 21 Jan 2011

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2011 17:28:08 -0500
Re: [Avodah] yayin mevushal

On Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 09:58:06AM +0200, Eli Turkel wrote:
: RSZA paskens that pasteurization is not enough to make wine yayin mevushal
: as it doesnt affect the taste of the wine.
: RMF says it is yayin mevushal and that is the heter these wine companies
: use.

RMF is at IM YD 2:25, 3:31.

AIUI, ROY (Yabia Omer 8 YD 15) and RSZA (Minchas Shelomo 1:25) are
arguing bedavqa because pasturization is in a sealed vat. So that not
only doesn't the taste change, but the wine vapor returns to the wine
and no volume is lost. It would seem the Shach defines mevushal by that
change of volume, not taste. RSZA mentions WRT taste that the fact that
wine connoseurs can tell the difference is insufficient. Which means that
today, with finer kosher wines and people who learned to appreciate them,
there is a question as to whether enough people became vinophiles for
RSZA's uqimta not to hold. But again, if you aren't concerned about the
Shach and volume.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When you come to a place of darkness,
mi...@aishdas.org        you don't chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org   You light a candle.
Fax: (270) 514-1507        - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

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Message: 2
From: David Riceman <drice...@optimum.net>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2011 18:02:00 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Brain Death


<<But I believe that this is *not* the case. Torah Jews *do* believe in 
Techiyas HaMeisim. It *is* possible for one who is dead to live again.

However, please recall what I quoted from Igros Moshe regarding a
decapitation. He wrote that such a person is "meis mamash", even though
there*is*  a method by which he can be brought back to life.>>


<<All science can do is describe in great detail various medical states.
Halakhah tells us which of those states are in the set we call "chai", and
which are in the set we call "meis". The machloqes is in the definition of
the chalos sheim chai.>>

Does this mean that a surgeon who removes a person's heart in order to
transplant a new one is a murderer?  Isn't the body in the intermediate
state "dead"(RAM) or doesn't it have a "chalos sheim meis"(RMB)?

Introducing hazakah solves this problem neatly, since hazakos can change
depending on circumstance (e.g. being on the operating table in the middle
of a heart transplant operation contradicts the presumption of death).	I
don't see how, according to your explanations, we can permit such

David Riceman

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Message: 3
From: "Prof. Levine" <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2011 17:19:26 -0500
[Avodah] A Look at Rabbi Hirsch's Commentary

Please download the Word document at 
http://www.biu.ac.il/JH/Parasha/eng/ytro/847Gan.doc for an evaluation 
of RSRH's commentary on the Chumash by Dr. Tova Ganzel of Bar-Ilan's 
HaMidrashah and Department of Bible. Her concluding paragraph is
The Bible-critical edifice built in the 19th century still stands 
firm.  Therefore, Rabbi Hirsch's commentary on the Torah is no less 
relevant than it was in the past.  Hence Rabbi Hirsch's ideas, 
including those that stemmed from polemics below the surface of his 
commentary on the Torah, still hold pride of place.

Yitzchok Levine 
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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2011 18:59:59 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Brain Death

On Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 06:02:00PM -0500, David Riceman wrote:
> RMB:
>> All science can do is describe in great detail various medical states.
>> Halakhah tells us which of those states are in the set we call "chai", and
>> which are in the set we call "meis". The machloqes is in the definition of
>> the chalos sheim chai.

> Does this mean that a surgeon who removes a person's heart in order to
> transplant a new one is a murderer? Isn't the body in the intermediate
> state "dead"(RAM) or doesn't it have a "chalos sheim meis"(RMB)?

It doesn't mean anything in particular... I'm specifying what I believe
to be the terms of the question, not an answer.

> Introducing hazakah solves this problem neatly, since hazakos can
> change depending on circumstance...

It does. But. In order to have a chazaqah, one has to have a known state
that you're presuming holds. (Either because it used to, what the Sheiv
Shemaatsa calls as "chazaqah demei'iqarah", or because of a law of nature
/ human nature, "chazaqah desvara").

Are you saying we all agree as to what that known state is? If so,
what is it?

I was suggesting that R' Tendler's and the CR's position is based on
defining life in terms of the ability to have a self-caused heartbeat,
whereas the majority opinion is based on the ability to have a heatbeat,
regardless of what is making it beat.

RMT's argument for brain stem death is based on the brain stem being the
source of the signals that cause heartbeat. Not because of the role of
the brain in thought, consciousness, or it being "the seat of the soul".

However, he objects to the persistance of the majority opinion on the
grounds of:
    We underestimate the effort needed to understand the advances in
    biomedicine, people who are trained - doctors, etc. - have trouble
    keeping up with the field. Our rabbis enter the field at its most
    advanced stage, without the background necessary to understand it.

    The idea that greatness in Torah is adequate to make up with this
    deficit in education, is erroneous. Lo bashamaim hi - the Torah is
    down on the earth....

This is as though the issue were one of chazaqah, of knowing when the
norms of teva allow us to assume something (whatever that may be),
then RMT's objection would be correct.

However, how I understand things, no one is speaking of chazaqos. Rather,
they don't require the heartbeat on its own in order to be chai. Knowing
the mechanisms better doesn't change the point of dispute.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             It is a glorious thing to be indifferent to
mi...@aishdas.org        suffering, but only to one's own suffering.
http://www.aishdas.org                 -Robert Lynd, writer (1879-1949)
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2011 19:18:06 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Brain Death

I recommend seeing

R' Zvi Flaum's response to R' Shabatai Rappaport's talk. RSR holds of
brain-stem death. (He is also R' Tendler's son-in-law, BTW.) I can't
find his talk, even after looking through the obvious locations on
hods.org. RZF argues against.

Interestingly, RZF assumes that RMT and RSR are positing brain stem
death as an alternative to the centrality of heartbeat (and breathing
and motion of limbs). This is IMHO in error; RMT argues that having a
brain stem cause the heartbeat is part of the definition of heartbeat
and not a different criterion.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Education is not the filling of a bucket,
mi...@aishdas.org        but the lighting of a fire.
http://www.aishdas.org                - W.B. Yeats
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 6
From: Simon Montagu <simon.mont...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2011 16:01:54 -0800
Re: [Avodah] Yizkor/Hazkarat Nefashot

On Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 7:49 AM, Rich, Joel <JR...@sibson.com> wrote:

>  The Rama in 3 places (O"C 621:6(yom kippur),Y"D 249:16(tzedaka) and O"C
> 284:7(shabbat)) mentions the custom of hazkarat nefashot.  The S"A is silent
> on the matter but the Bet Yosef -O"C 621:6(yom kippur)-gives all the sources
> for it(mordechai, rokeach) even though the Tur has no mention.  Any thoughts
> on the significance of the mechaber's not bringing this down in the shulchan
> aruch even though he documents it in the beit yosef?
Because it wasn't the minhag?
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Message: 7
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2011 01:17:31 GMT
Re: [Avodah] paskening mashiach

R' Saul Newman posted a link to a blog which said...
> that a certain document was buried along with Rav Mordechai
> Eliyahu ZT"L. This document was the proof and Pesak Din,
> according to the Rav and a number of other Kabbalists, that
> we deserve to be redeemed now. This Pesak Din was made many
> years earlier than the Rav's passing. The document was buried
> together with him in order for him to use this verdict and
> present it before the Heavenly Court to persuade HKB"H to
> redeem us now.

I have so many questions on this that I don't know where to start. But here's two anyway:

(1) If this Pesak Din was made so many years ago, was Hashem unaware of it
for all this time, that the Rav zt"l needs to present it personally? (How's
he going to take it along, anyway?)

(2) Rabbanim much greater than Rav Eliyahu zt"l have paskened against
Hashem on other issues and got nowhere; why does he think this will be
different? (Example: IIRC, Beis Hillel and Beis Shammai paskened that we'd
be better off not having been created.)

Akiva Miller

DIY Homemade Solar Panels
How to Make Very CHEAP Solar Panel and Save Money on Electricity Bills

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Message: 8
From: Rich Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2011 21:18:13 -0500
[Avodah] Further Insight into Yayin Mevushal

Yayin Mevushal and Non-Observant Seder Guests
by Rabbi Chaim Jachter

This week we shall complete our discussion of wine related issues with a
review of the status of Yayin Mevushal (cooked wine). This is quite
relevant for those of us who invite non-observant relatives and/or friends
to the Seder. The question as to whether wine touched by a non-observant
Jew is rendered non-kosher is subject to considerable debate and merits a
full essay. The commonly accepted approach was articulated by Rav Hershel
Schachter, who felt that we should follow Rav Zvi Pesach Frank?s strict
opinion (Teshuvot Har Zvi Yoreh Deah 105) regarding this isuue (for further
discussion see Teshuvot Yabia Omer 1:11,2:10, and 5:10 and Techumin
25:381-391). Thus, if non-observant Jews will attend one?s Seder, then all
the wine served should be Mevushal. Rav Schachter made this comment at a
recent Orthodox Union seminar on grape juice and wine that we have been
citing in the past few weeks and shall continue to cite in this essay.
Many are familiar with the rule that we can be more lenient regarding wine
touched by a Nochri or non-observant Jew if the wine is Mevushal. In this
essay, we will explore the source of this Halacha, its parameters, and its
application to the contemporary setting. We shall particularly stress the
vigorous debate among contemporary Poskim as to whether pasteurizing wine
renders it Yayin Mevushal.

Yayin Mevushal ? Tamudic Background
The Gemara (Avoda Zara 30a) cites Rava, who believes that the restrictions
concerning Nochrim touching wine do not apply if the wine is cooked. The
Gemara (ibid.) quotes a striking anecdote that demonstrates the application
of this Halacha. The Gemara relates that Shmuel and a Nochri named Avlet
were sitting together and cooked wine was served to them. Avlet took his
hand away from the wine so as not to render it forbidden to Shmuel. Shmuel
thereupon told Avlet that he need not worry, as the wine was Mevushal.
Rashi (ad. loc. s.v. Harei Amru) writes that this Gemara teaches that we
may drink Yayin Mevushal that was touched by a Nochri. Tosafot (ad. loc.
s.v. Yayin Mevushal) add that this constitutes normative Halacha. Rambam
(Hilchot Maachalot Asurot 11:9) and Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 123:3) codify this
rule as well.
The Rosh (Avoda Zara 2:13) wonders why the fact that the wine is cooked
eliminates the prohibition of wine touched by a Nochri. After all, he
explains, the reason Chazal instituted this prohibition was to prevent
intermarriage (see Avoda Zara 36b and Tosafot, Avoda Zara 29b s.v. Yayin).
Why should cooking the wine eliminate concern for intermarriage? The Rosh
suggests that since cooked wine is relatively uncommon, Chazal did not
apply their edict to an unusual circumstance. Indeed, we find in many
places in the Gemara that Chazal do not issue edicts regarding highly
unusual circumstances (see, for example, Bava Metzia 46b). Not
surprisingly, the seemingly ubiquitous nature of Yayin Mevushal today has
led many to question whether this leniency continues to apply in the
contemporary setting.

The Parameters of the Yayin Mevushal Leniency
Rav Zvi Pesach Frank (Teshuvot Har Zvi Y.D. 111) notes that the Rambam (ad.
loc.), Tur (Y.D. 123), and Shulchan Aruch (ad. loc.) clearly indicate that
the leniency of Yayin Mevushal applies only to wine owned by a Jew that is
touched by a Nochri. However, this leniency does not apply to wine owned by
a Nochri. Thus, Rav Frank forbids drinking cooked wine that was produced by
a Nochri owned company, despite the fact that the wine making process is
entirely automated and no Nochri ever touches the grapes after they are
placed in the machinery. Rav Hershel Schachter stated at the OU grape juice
and wine seminar that Rav Frank?s ruling is accepted as normative. We
should note that Rav Akiva Eiger?s comments to Y.D. 123:3 (s.v. DeAf Al
Gav) seem to strongly support Rav Frank?s ruling.
There is considerable debate regarding how much the wine must be cooked in
order for it to be categorized as Yayin Mevushal. The Rosh (ad. loc.)
writes that once the wine is heated it is classified as Yayin Mevushal. The
Rosh cites the Raavad, who writes that this was the opinion of the Geonim.
The Rashba (Torat HaBayit 5:3, citing Ramban) and the Ran (Avoda Zara 10a
in the pages of the Rif s.v. Yayin Mevushal, also citing the Ramban) write
that wine is not considered Mevushal until some of the wine is lost in the
heating process. The Encyclopedia Talmudit (24:367) cites a number of other
dissenting opinions among the Rishonim regarding this matter.
The Shulchan Aruch (ad. loc.) rules in accordance with the Rosh and the
Geonim, while the Shach (Y.D. 123:7) rules in accordance with the Rashba
and the Ran. Rav Moshe Feinstein (Teshuvot Igrot Moshe Y.D. 2:52 and see
3:31) and Rav Ovadia Yosef (Teshuvot Yabia Omer 8:Y.D. 15) rule that the
wine need not be boiled in order to be defined as Mevushal. They believe
that if the wine is heated to 175 degrees Fahrenheit (or 80 degrees
Celsius) it is certainly regarded as Mevushal. On the other hand, the
Tzelemer Rav is often quoted as requiring wine to be boiled in order to be
classified as Mevushal. This ruling seems to be based on the opinions cited
in the Darkei Teshuva (123:15) and the Gilyon Maharsha (Y.D. 116:1).

Is Pasteurized Wine Classified as Yayin Mevushal?
Three major Israeli Poskim argue that pasteurized wine is not considered
Mevushal. Rav Yosef Shalom Eliashiv (Kovetz Teshuvot 1:75) rules that,
based on the information provided to him, pasteurizing wine is a standard
procedure in contemporary winemaking. Accordingly, he rules that the Yayin
Mevushal leniency does not apply to pasteurized wine. This is based on the
aforementioned comment of the Rosh that the basis of the Yayin Mevushal
leniency is the fact that cooked wine is an unusual commodity. Chazal, Rav
Eliashiv argues, did not establish the Yayin Mevushal exception when such
cooking is common practice.
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Teshuvot Minchat Shlomo 1:25) argues that the
cooking involved in the pasteurization process qualitatively differs from
the cooking of wine discussed in the Gemara, Rambam, and Shulchan Aruch. In
the traditional process, the wine was cooked in open vats, thereby causing
alcohol to evaporate and the wine?s taste to be noticeably changed.
However, pasteurization involves a momentary heating of wine (or grape
juice) in sealed pipes that causes little noticeable change in the taste of
the product. Seemingly, the sole purpose of the pasteurization is to
eliminate bacteria.
Rav Shlomo Zalman argues that although wine that is pasteurized is
technically considered cooked, since it is heated and some wine does
evaporate (although it returns to the wine since the process occurs in
sealed pipes), it cannot be considered Mevushal, because the taste is not
noticeably changed. Rav Shlomo Zalman cites the Rashba (Teshuvot 4:149 and
Torat HaBayit and Mishmeret HaBayit 5:3), Meiri (Avoda Zara 29b and 30a),
Knesset HaGedolah (123, Haghot Beit Yosef number 16) and Sedei Chemed
(Maarechet Yayin Nesech) who all state that the leniency regarding Yayin
Mevushal stems from the fact that the taste of the wine is altered by the
cooking process.
Rav Shlomo Zalman notes that there were those who responded to him that
wine experts can in fact tell the difference between pasteurized wines and
non-pasteurized wines, which is why wineries in France do not permit their
products to be pasteurized (except for wine marketed to Kosher consumers
who specifically want Yayin Mevushal). Rav Shlomo Zalman responds that the
Halacha regarding this matter is determined by what most people discern,
not by experts. Indeed, we find that in general the Halacha is determined
by the perception and abilities of most people and not of experts. For
example, the Gemara (Shabbat 74b and see Tosafot ad. loc. s.v. Chochmah
Yeteirah) teaches that spinning wool while it is yet on a goat?s back
constitutes an unusual activity (a Shinui) and therefore does not
constitute a Biblical violation, despite the fact that this is a routine
activity for a number of extraordinarily talented people.
In a more modern application, Rav Hershel Schachter reports that he once
told a dentist that his Tefillin were sufficiently square since they
appeared square and a simple measurement indicated that they were square.
Despite the dentist?s protest that based on his experience with fillings
that must be perfectly square he knows that his Tefillin are not perfectly
square, Rav Schachter told him that the latter?s eyesight is the equivalent
of a precision instrument, and the status of Tefillin as square is
determined by what most people perceive and measure. Similarly, Rav Shlomo
Zalman believes that the inability of non-experts to distinguish between
pasteurized and non-pasteurized wine is the only relevant consideration
(also see TABC?s Bikkurei Shabbat pp.15-16).
One might respond, though, that Rav Shlomo Zalman?s assertion regarding the
perception of non-experts might be valid only regarding Israelis in the
1980?s (when Rav Shlomo Zalman published his Teshuva). Today, however, many
people have developed sophisticated appreciation for wine and it seems that
many ?amateur? wine drinkers readily perceive the difference between
pasteurized and non-pasteurized wine, and will specifically choose a
?non-Mevushal? wine when they wish to drink a fine wine.
A major Sephardic Poseik, Rav Ben Tzion Abba Shaul (Teshuvot Ohr LeTzion
2:20:19), also rules that pasteurized wine is not considered ?Mevushal?. He
reasons that because the evaporated wine returns to it (since the
pasteurization occurs in a sealed vat), it fails to meet the Shach?s
definition of ?Mevushal?. Rav Ovadia Yosef responds that the evaporated
portion of the wine that returns has lost its status of wine and it is no
longer considered wine when it returns. Thus, technically speaking, the
quantity of wine has been reduced in the pasteurization process (we noted
earlier that even Rav Shlomo Zalman essentially concedes this point).

Defending Common Practice to Regard Pasteurized Wines as Yayin Mevushal
Rav Hershel Schachter noted at the OU seminar that the prevailing custom in
America is to be lenient about his matter, following the ruling of Rav
Moshe Feinstein (ad. loc.) and other major Poskim in America. Indeed, Rav
Ovadia Yosef notes that common practice in Israel is also to be lenient
about this matter. In fact, even Rav Shlomo Zalman acknowledges that many
are lenient regarding this issue. Although he expresses some hesitancy
about it, Dayan Weisz (Teshuvot Minchat Yitzchak 7:61) endorses the common
practice to be lenient ?since this has become the prevailing practice with
the consent of eminent Halachic authorities.?
Dayan Weisz and Rav Ovadia Yosef (Rav Shlomo Zalman also concedes this
point) do not share Rav Eliashiv?s aforementioned concern that pasteurized
wine has become common practice. They believe that even though ?cooking?
wine today is commonplace, it is irrelevant. When Chazal established these
Halachot, they reason, cooking wine was uncommon, and we are not authorized
to enact new rules (see Rosh, Shabbat 2:15 and Teshuvot Yechave Daat 2:49)
or alter Chazal?s edicts. Moreover, Rav Ovadia notes that the Rosh cited by
Rav Eliashiv does not appear to constitute normative Halacha, as indicated
by the Taz (Y.D. 123:3) and Rav Akiva Eiger (ad. loc.). Most importantly,
Rav Eliashiv specifically writes that his ruling applies only if the
information provided to him was accurate. Rav Shmuel David (Techumin
14:421) notes that Rav Eliashiv?s ruling needs to be revisited, since many
wineries outside of Israel do not pasteurize their wines. Indeed, kosher
wine expert Mr. Feivish Herzog of 
 Kedem wines stated at the OU seminar that Rav Eliashiv was indeed provided
 with inaccurate information. He explained that wine does not have to be
 pasteurized for health reasons (the alcohol eliminates concern for
 bacteria), and usually only Kosher wines are pasteurized to create Yayin
 Mevushal. For example, Mr. Herzog explained, Gallo and Taylor wines (these
 are popular non-kosher wines) do not pasteurize their wines except in the
 case of a bad grape harvest. Accordingly, cooking wine appears to be
 uncommon even today, and even according to the Rosh?s explanation of the
 Yayin Mevushal, the leniency remains applicable.

The common practice to regard pasteurized wines as Mevushal is based on the
rulings of many of the twentieth century?s leading Poskim. Moreover, Rav
Shlomo Zalman?s strict ruling appears to emerge from a reality that has
changed since the time that he wrote his Teshuva, and Rav Eliashiv?s strict
ruling seems to stem from incorrect information provided to him.
Furthermore, Rav Weisz notes, one may be lenient regarding non-observant
Jews, since there is considerable debate as to whether a non-observant Jew
touching wine renders it non-kosher. Accordingly, it seems that one may
invite non-observant relatives and friends to the Seder without concern
regarding the wine, as long as the wine is marked as Mevushal.


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Message: 9
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2011 11:40:22 +0200
[Avodah] R Chiya Raba

<<We have no reason to believe the CI had any notion of missing years or
questioning the counting of the Seder Olam. So I continue insisting he
didn't mean the year 4000 exactly, even though he apparently meant the
moment of the siyum hamishnah, precisely.

Taking this idea even further to its logical conclusion... Not only could
R' Chiya argue with Rebbe one day, but not make the same argument if he
waited a year before speaking up -- Rebbe himself couldn't change his
mind from what he said before finishing the mishnah! That too would be
an amora -- a statement from the alpayim yemos hage'ulah arguing with
with one from the alapayim leTorah.>>

Why assume the Mishnah was finished in one moment.
Did they have a siyum hashas afterwards? I assume it was a process
and in fact later people are included in the Mishna.

The gemara constantly quotes beraitot and never concerns itself when it was
Only if it is from the tosephta of R Chiya and R. Oshiya which was
presumably written
after the Mishnah.

Sorry but the concept that Rebbe could not disagree with a Mishna after this
siyum hashas is too big of a chidush for me. Any hint of such an idea
your interpretation of CI?

Eli Turkel
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Message: 10
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2011 11:46:43 +0200
[Avodah] brain dead

<<Your proof (if I understand it correctly) works on the presumption that if
someone had a heart transplant, then he is already dead, and so it would be
allowed to "kill" him. "Ayn k'tila achar k'tila", as it were.

But I believe that this is *not* the case. Torah Jews *do* believe in
Techiyas HaMeisim. It *is* possible for one who is dead to live again.>>

I believe there was at least a discussion whether someone who had a heart
needed to remarry his wife, halitza and questions of inheritance. etc

As far as I know no one in practice applies to such a patient any of the
of a dead person

Eli Turkel
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Message: 11
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2011 11:50:55 +0200
[Avodah] le-dovid

On Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 12:43 AM, Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org> wrote:
> This would also explain why the minhag (as well as that of saying LeDavid
> in Ellul and 10 Yemei Teshuvah) has such legs. Regardless of the source,
> the content makes sense to gedolei harabbanim who know real, kosher,
> qabbalah.

The saying of LeDovid H' Ori VeYishi apparently predates the Chemdas Yamim,
according to R' SZ Leiman.  >>

Though it does not predate Chemdas Yamim by very much. This is still
one of the examples of relative late additions to the tefilla that became
Anyone know when shirat hayam was added to the morning davening.
This is more serious as otherwise it is a hefsek between Boruch Sheamar
and Yistabach which is why sefardim say hodu before boruch sheamar

Eli Turkel
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