Avodah Mailing List

Volume 28: Number 62

Sun, 24 Apr 2011

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@Kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2011 16:15:07 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Women and Tallis

I wrote:
> : Of course it follows the forms established by the halacha.
> :
> : The minhag is for (a man) to perform the mitzvah of davenning in an
> : enwrapping (probably white with black stripes) thing with four
> corners on it
> : (which for halachic reasons therefore needs tzitzis)...

And RMB replied

> I would have said the minhag is for a man to make a point of performing
> the mitzvah qiyumis with a tallis of that description. If you reduce
> the minhag to the tallis, not the tallis as a way to wear tzitzis, then
> minhag for men wouldn't fit the action of a mitzvah either.

But it is more than that.  It is not just that the minhag is for a man to
make a point of performing the mitzvah qiyumis with a tallis of that
description at random points in the day, unconnected to anything else, it is
that it is the minhag for a man to make a point of performing the mitzvah
quyumis with a tallis of that description *while davening*.  If you see a
man (not some extra pious talmud chacham, but a stam yid) wearing a tallis
gadol - you are going to conclude either that he (a) is davening, (b) is
just about to daven or has just finished davening or (c) perhaps (and
usually at most only on shabbas where there is no eruv) he is going to and
from davening and is wearing his tallis gadol as a way of getting it there
and back so he can daven in it. Now this doesn't have to be the case.  When
I see a man with the tzitzis of his tallis katan hanging out, I do not think
of any association with davening, because there isn't one.  But I do
associate a tallis gadol with davening, and I can't believe that anybody
else out there does not have the same association.  The reason for that
association is minhag.  If the minhag had grown up that a man fulfilled the
mitvah qiyumis with a black and white striped tallis *while eating* or
*benching* then I and you and everybody would have a completely different
association every time we saw a tallis gadol.  But that is not what history
decided, the minhag arose that linked the tallis gadol to davening.  And
that is why the woman in the RYBS story wanted to daven with a tallis gadol
(with or without tzitzis) and not bench in it.

> There is no mitzvah to wear a tallis -- only the tzitzis on it.

Agreed.  And there is no mitzvah to float ones hands over a korban, only to
do proper smicha.  But I do not believe that the nachas ruach that the
Chachimim understood they were giving women by allowing the floating the
hands over a korban could have been achieved by telling them to go and float
their hands over a stam cow, or a chicken or even a dedicated animal that
was yet to be brought to the beis hamikdash. The point was the context.
There is a mitzvah of korban (which women in general are obligated in,
although perhaps, as per the Ra'avid, these particular women weren't in
these particular korbanos) and associated with that is a mitzvah of smicha,
performed as part and parcel of the process of korbanos.  And what the
Chachamim allowed was (certain) women to do what looked like (but wasn't)
the mitzvah of smicha as part and parcel of the process of bringing korbanos
(which may have been the women's own korbanos, or may have been korbanos
that were not halachically theirs, but with which they were associated, eg
via their husbands).  Similarly what happened here was that the woman
performed the mitzvah of davening, which has associated with it (by minhag)
the mitzvah of tzitzis, and what the initial permission from RYBS allowed
was for her to do what looked like (but wasn't) the mitzvah of tzitzis as
part and parcel of the process of davenning.  And from that she got nachas
ruach.  It seems to me that it is hard to find a closer parallel to the case
of the gemora.

> Tir'u baTov!
> -Micha

Moed Tov


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Message: 2
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2011 13:13:23 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Amaleinu - Eilu haBanim

From: Micha Berger _micha@aishdas.org_ (mailto:mi...@aishdas.org) 

>> Someone at the seder pointed out that this derashah, "'ve'es  amaleinu' 
eilu habanim", seems tenuous. Isn't ameilus about toil? Why then  do we
darshen it to refer to the infant boys being taken away and drowned?  <<

My thought:  Mother had to labor to deliver the baby, and her labor  was 
for nothing.
But the standard answer to the question you asked is that the "amal"  
referred to is the work that people put into raising their children.   That 
effort and toil is worthwhile when you finally get to see your  children grown up 
and get nachas from them, but when children die prematurely  there is only 
toil with no reward, only grief and agmas nefesh.  
A question would be, how much work did the parents put into children  
already when they were drowned at birth?  
But an answer would be that "eilu habanim" doesn't only refer to the babies 
 who were drowned at birth -- since that draconian gezeirah was in effect 
for  only a limited time.  Rather it refers to children who were raised for 
some  months or years, maybe even to adolescence or adulthood, and then were 
killed in  various ways, e.g., beaten to death, baked into the bricks the 
slaves made for  buildings, or killed so Par'oh could bathe in their blood to 
cure his tzara'as,  etc.

--Toby Katz

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Message: 3
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2011 19:38:56 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Amaleinu - Eilu haBanim

R' Micha Berger wrote:

> Someone at the seder pointed out that this derashah, "'ve'es
> amaleinu' -- eilu habanim", seems tenuous. Isn't ameilus about
> toil? Why then do we darshen it to refer to the infant boys
> being taken away and drowned?

In the Halichos Shlomo on Pesach, pp 261-2, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach's view is given: (brackets are included there)

<<< In Lashon HaKodesh, Amal is a *desirable* effort, and
therefore it is darshened as the children, for there is both great grief
and effort in raising them, yet a person desires and enjoys it very much.
[And in his handwritten notes, he expanded on it: In Lashon Hakodesh, Amal
can be *either* the effort which a person wants, as in "Adam l'amal yulad"
or "Be ameilim in Torah" and so on, *or* Amal as a term of "avon" (ayin vav
vav nun) as in "V'lo raah amal b'Yisrael". And this is what is meant in
Brachos 17a, "Ashrei mi she'amalo b'Torah", but here the second implication
doesn't apply. And that's why they darshened that it is the Amal Of
Children, which despite being amal, a person does want it.] >>>

And based on the above, in the Hagada I translated for my family, I translated "amal" as "struggle". My full paragraph is:

"He saw our struggle" - A "struggle" is when we work painfully hard for
something, but we know it will be worth it in the end. These are the
children. The Torah tells us Pharaoh's decree: "Throw every newborn boy
into the Nile, but keep every girl alive."

Akiva Miller

Groupon.com Official Site
1 huge daily deal on the best stuff to do in your city. Try it today!

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Message: 4
From: "Rich, Joel" <JR...@sibson.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2011 16:13:41 -0400
[Avodah] Klalei Hatalmud

The gemara in 2 places states:Dachkinan Umukminam masnisan btrei taama
valiba dchad taana, vlo mukminan btrei tannai ubchad taama.  Any ideas why
we would prefer one (2	different cases) over the other(2 different
tannaim) - are we reading Rebbi's mind as to his organizing principle?
Moadim Lsimcha
Joel Rich

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Message: 5
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2011 20:39:04 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Amaleinu - Eilu haBanim

[email #2]

I quoted RSZA's explanation of the word "amal", that it refers to a great
amount of effort, but an effort which is worthwhile. But I neglected to
comment on RMB's second question:

> Why then do we darshen it to refer to the infant boys being taken
> away and drowned?

It seems to me that RSZA, as I quoted him, is explaining "amal" to refer
NOT to the pain we endured at losing our baby boys, but to some effort
which we exerted, which was difficult but worthwhile. Unfortunately, from
my reading of RSZA, he did not seem to specify what effort he was referring
to. My only guess is that Baal Hahagada wants us to expound on the
underground resistance efforts which we were busy on while Paroh was
enforcing those awful gezeros.

Granted, I wish the Hagada was more explicit, but this is not the only case
where it is so coy. Take, for example: <<< "With an outstretched
arm" - refers to His sword. As it is said, "a drawn sword was in His
outstretched arm over Jerusalem." >>> This too, begs to be
explained, why such a scary threat to the Holy City is being mentioned at
he Seder.

I have written before that the Siddur encompasses many styles so that each
person can find something for his mindset therein. (For example, Shemoneh
Esreh is very simple, while the piyutim are very complicated.) Perhaps this
is true of the Hagada as well, including many paragraphs where the peirush
is spoon-fed, but also a few which invite more investigation.

Akiva Miller

Penny Stock Jumping 3000%
Sign up to the #1 voted penny stock newsletter for free today!

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Message: 6
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2011 21:36:14 +0300
[Avodah] tefillin on chol hamoed

<<From http://tinyurl.com/3nkfhyr

We see from this story how firm the great Rav Akiva Eiger was that
one must follow the pesak of the RAMAH and wear tefillin on chol
hamoed, that he got his Chassidishe son in law to do so as well. Rav
Akiva Eiger was aware of those who felt otherwise, but he insisted
that the Pesak of the RAMA must be carried out. And we see the
greatness of the son in law as well.>>

I was confused by the purpose of the story.
R Chaim Soloveitchik was reported to be very much against wearing tefillin
on chol hamoed.
So someone who wants to prove a point can pick his gadol and ignore the

Eli Turkel
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Message: 7
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2011 21:25:42 +0300
[Avodah] ashkenazi minhag

<<One final note regarding the blog post that started the thread:  I greatly
admire the work of Mechon Moreshes Ashkenaz, and have no problem with the
blogger's spirited advocacy of the correctness of the classic Minhag
Ashkenaz.  Those who adhere strictly to Minhag Ashkenaz even in Eretz
Yisrael do so with the full backing of respected posekim, and I have no
problem with that.  However, given the reality that some (though not all) of
the minhagim of the Perushim have been nearly universally accepted by
Ashkenazim in Eretz Yisrael (even if there is not any necessarily any rhyme
or reason to why some were and others were not), the proper policy of a new
Ashkenazi kehilla in Eretz Yisrael is not entirely self-evident.  There are
valid arguments both ways, and I do take issue with the characterization of
the vast majority of Ashkenazim in EY, who do say Hallel in shul, as being
"scared of deviating from the Sefaradi minhag".  In reality, the practice
simply reflects one particular approach to the definition, scope, and
applicability of "minhag hamakom.">>

I would go a step further. Given that there are minhagei of EY I dont
understand the
heter for anyone to say but that is not there original minhag. I dont know
the stand of
Machon Moreshes Ashkenaz. However, there are many halachot that EY accepted
Machaber over the Ramah. Some examples include "shehechiyanu" at a Brit
Milah and
not wearing tefillin on chol hamoed. As far as I know there is no heter for
an Israeli
(not a visitor from chul) to wear tefillin on chol hamoed because that was
his ancestors
minhag. Minhag hamakom trumps that.

<<Regarding RYBS, according to Harerei Kedem (Volume 2, siman 101b), RYBS
that his grandfather R' Chaim held that Hallel should be recited in shul
with a berachah.  This is in stark contradiction to the article in Shorshei
Minhag Ashkenaz (Volume 1, p. 278-9), which paints RCS as a staunch opponent
of the practice.>>

OTOH RYBS brings that his uncle, the Griz, walked out of shul when they said

Hallel Pesach night in shul. This was justified in that one should not be in
shul if one is not particpating. RYBS uses this as a jusitification that one
who has parents should leave when
yizkor is said.

Eli Turkel
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Message: 8
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2011 21:29:01 +0300
[Avodah] women and matza

<<On Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 09:57:50AM +0300, Ben Waxman replied:
> If they really believed that then they wouldn't allow women to eat matza.

The onbious answer is that they concede that it is a chumra. Why is it any
from those that don't rely on the eruv but allow their wives to push the

Eli Turkel
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Message: 9
From: Harvey Benton <harvw...@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2011 14:11:25 -0700 (PDT)
[Avodah] ain Od Milvado v. Bechira

If I understand the concept (chasidically explained to me) of Ain Od Milvado, 
everything, despite its appearance to us, is really Hashem. This would include 
trees, tables, chairs, and following the same logic, our Bechira as well. Also 
following this logic, the result of our bechira (e.g. choosing good or badly) is 
also part of Hashem. 
If so, how can we be punished for choosing badly, when the bechira and the 
result of the bechira, were to begin with really part of Hashem?
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Message: 10
From: Meir Rabi <meir...@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2011 20:05:00 +1000
[Avodah] Whats the source for calling People for an Aliya to

Whats the source for calling People for an Aliya to the T by their name ben
father's name
What is the earliest source and why do we do it?
I believe it is not a universal custom, in some places they just say YaAmod
and point
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Message: 11
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2011 23:22:48 -0400
[Avodah] BaOmer vs LaOmer

Someone who just calls himself "Dan" on hashkafa.com posted this
clip from R' Moshe Mordechai Karp's Hilkhos Chag beChag. See

R' Dan's summary: "the girsa machlokes is taluy on the machlokes whether
the sfira now is min hatorah or dirabanan. min hatorah - Baomer, dirabanan
- Laomer. He showed how it plays through thoughout the poskim."


Micha Berger             Today is the 4th day
mi...@aishdas.org        in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Netzach sheb'Chesed: When is Chesed an
Fax: (270) 514-1507                           imposition on others?

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Message: 12
From: Saul Mashbaum <saul.mashb...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 17:22:49 +0300
[Avodah] Hallel in Shul on Pesach night ? The Ashkenaz Minhag

RYBS himself wrote explicitly that his grandfather R' Chaim was emphatic
Hallel should be said in shul Pesach night. See Shiurim l'Zecher Avi Mori
z"l, Volume I,
page 3.

Saul Mashbaum
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Message: 13
From: Saul Mashbaum <saul.mashb...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 17:09:59 +0300
[Avodah] Women and Matzah


This distinction, **as well as the numerous other exceptions to the rule
of mitzvos asei shehazman gerama** (emphasis mine SM) , led RSRH to suggest
that there is
a second, unstated, criterion -- that the mitzvah must also relate to
man's calling to "mil'u es ha'aretz vikivshuha".

An informative quibble:
In fact, the exceptions to the rule that "mitzvos asei shehazman gerama
nashim pturot" are few
indeed : pesach (sh'chitato vachilato), matza, kiddush on Shabbat, and
simchat yom tov. See Rambam AZ 12:3.

R Asher Weiss indicated in his shiur yesterday that women may also be
obligated min haTorah in sippur y'tziat mizraim.

Saul Mashbaum
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Message: 14
From: Richard Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 06:28:47 -0400

My recent submission on "Covering Eyes for Sh'ma" inspired me to write the following poem:

The words of the Sh'ma cross every Jew's lips
From birth until death ? never fail.
We cover our eyes to block everything out
And the spirit of God we inhale.
With each single word may our lives be enriched
Doing that which we know to be right.
It is then we uncover the meaning of prayer; 
Through action our souls will ignite.
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