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Volume 28: Number 91

Fri, 10 Jun 2011

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Allan Engel <allan.en...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2011 20:47:13 +0100
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Oh, Oy, Ow

And the 'oh' (to rhyme with 'low') sound is really the sound of a qometz and
a shuruk.

On Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 8:34 PM, Harry Maryles <hmary...@yahoo.com> wrote:

The Yekke pronunciation of ?Ow? is really the sound of a patach and
shuruk.... We are thus left with the sound of the American ?Oh? as the most
probable pronunciation of the Cholum.
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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2011 16:04:05 -0400
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Oh, Oy, Ow

On Tue, Jun 07, 2011 at 12:34:24PM -0700, Harry Maryles wrote:
: Rabbi Hamburger's Shorshei Minhag Ashkenaz makes the argument...

: The Charedi (or Chasidic) "Oy" is not really correct because that
: pronunciation requires that a Yud be added to the Cholum. The Litvishe
: (and Lubavitcher) pronunciation "Ay" (as in pronouncing the letter "A"
: in the English alphabet) is especially incorrect because that sound is
: obviously just a tzeirei. The Yekke pronunciation of "Ow" is really the
: sound of a patach and shuruk. (It should be noted that Rabbi Hamburger
: is a Yekke.) We are thus left with the sound of the American "Oh" as the
: most probable pronunciation of the Cholum.

(In the below, /x/ notation means "the sound 'x' makes in English in my
part of the world. Not IPA symbols.)

By that argument, the Sepharadi and Israeli less rounded variant is
more probable. We Americans tend to add a /w/ sound at the end of our
long /O/s. That too is a dipthong. Maybe it belongs on a cholam malei,
but not in general.

Problem with /ei/ or /oi/ is that they lend themselves to being rounded
with a /y/, not a /w/. As in the vav-yud digraph in Yiddish for its
choilam/cheilam. A cheilam malei would more logically have a yud as
the eim hamiqra, not a vav.

: What accounts for all these variations in dialect? Good question. I
: have always wondered how different dialects of the same language evolved.

Well, we know we started with something like 12. For example, sheivet
Ephraim had no distinct sound for shin, and thus "sibboles". So, we have
an evolving chulent of variations.

There never was reason to develop loyalty to a "one right havarah" as
our communities mixed and remixed ever since the loss of the territory
mei'eiver laYardein.

Add drift due to people not repeating the sound /exactly/ the same,
which happens in every language. And then, once we got into galus, the
similar sound of the host country's language might take over, if there
is one similar to the sound they used to make.

But I think the Litvisher cheilem is of the first type, a variant that
didn't get that mutated over the years among one of the older havaros.
There are parts of Teiman that have the same /ei/ sound.

I was wondering, though, if the sound wasn't originally the German /ue/
or /oe/, distinct from the sound Litvaks use for zeirei and plausibly
rounded with a /w/ so as to keep with the kesiv malei.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 49th day, which is
mi...@aishdas.org        7 weeks in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Malchus sheb'Malchus: What is the ultimate
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            goal of perfect unity?

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2011 16:06:33 -0400
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Oh, Oy, Ow

On Tue, Jun 07, 2011 at 08:47:13PM +0100, Allan Engel wrote:
: And the 'oh' (to rhyme with 'low') sound is really the sound of a qometz and
: a shuruk.

I think more Israeli /o/ plus /w/ than something as flat as a qamatz
and something as vowelized as a shuruq.

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2011 16:40:24 -0400
Re: [Avodah] kimu v'kiblu, purim,

On Thu, Jun 02, 2011 at 06:14:26PM -0700, Harvey Benton wrote:
: 1. Why is the Torah binding if given to us by force? The answer often given is 
: that we re-accepted it during the times of Purim. What then was the Torah's 
: status upon us in-between Har Sinai, and the times of Purim? 

That answer isn't just often given, it's the next line in the gemara
(Shabbos 88b). Rava presents it as an answer.

I discuss that medrash and Purim's relationship to Shavuos at
<http://www.aishdas.org/asp/1996/03/purim-5756.shtml>. A snippet:

    Purim happened at a critical time in Jewish history. The last people
    who remembered the miracles of the first Beis Hamikdash were already
    old and dying. Until Moshiach, we won't see fire descend from the sky
    to consume the karbanos, the scarlet wool turn white on Yom Kippur,
    the Urim veTumim, light up prophetically. The last of the prophets
    (until the return of Eliyahu) were aged. Tzoraas no longer punished
    those who spoke lashon hara.

    To a certain extent, until this generation, Hashem still "held
    the mountain over our heads". The threat of punishment for sinning
    was tangible.

Thus, I think the whole compulsion model is only partially accurate.

The Ramban on that gemara suggests that during bayis rishon, keeping
the mitzvos wasn't because of the beris, but as part of the lease on
the land.

Another snippet, less relevent but a teaser for that web page:
    What the Jews accepted by force in the desert, was finally accepted
    willingly. Just as Yom Kippur is the complete judgment, and Shmini
    Atzeres is only a part, Purim represents the completion of what was
    started at Shavuos.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 49th day, which is
mi...@aishdas.org        7 weeks in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Malchus sheb'Malchus: What is the ultimate
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            goal of perfect unity?

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2011 16:42:48 -0400
Re: [Avodah] the Torah is not Religion

On Sun, Jun 05, 2011 at 02:45:06PM -0400, Prof. Levine wrote:
> The following is from RSRH's Essay Sivan I that appears in his Collected 
> Writings of RSRH, Volume I.  The entire essay is at  
> http://www.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/rsrh/sivan_1.pdf
> One is accustomed to call the Torah "Religion" or Jewish
> Religion, because the word religion describes everywhere outside
> Israel the relationship of man to his God or gods...

FWIW, a google search will show many religious leaders explain that
what's unique about their thought-system is a defining feature that
makes it something other than a religion.

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2011 16:56:31 -0400
Re: [Avodah] women wearing pants

On Tue, May 31, 2011 at 11:46:01PM +0000, Yitzchak Schaffer wrote:
: From: Rabbi Y. H. Henkin
: Sent: 05/30/11 03:30 PM
:> See Bnei Banim vol. 2 p. 211 par. 38, and vol. 4 p. 141 (concerning pisuk raglayim).

: Thank you very much! Available at:
: http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=21434&;st=&pgnum=212 
: http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=20023&;st=&pgnum=141 
:  respectively.

The latter discusses pisuq raglayim in particular.

According to RYHH, it's about ishah tesoveiv gever and the like. That
pisuq raglayim is about horseback riding (or riding a bicycle with a
hight crossbar), not pants. (See Pesachim 3a a discussion of men riding
horses "merkav" whereas women are "moshav". Also, the Me'iri sham.)

I thought it was derived from the end of parashas Yisro, "velo saaleh
vema'alos al mizbechi, asher lo sigaleh ervasekha alav." (20:22) And
lest we think this is specific to the qedushah of the Mishkan and BhM,
Chazal (quoted by Rashi) invoke a qal vachomer in the reverse -- "umah
avanim halalu she'ein bahem da'as..."

This is why I asked why bedavqa women, since the source is about kohanim
(a bunch of men) doing the avodah. RYHH's source is gender specific,
but it doesn't explain why the Chazal I was looking at isn't halakhah.
IOW, one does not exclude the other.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 49th day, which is
mi...@aishdas.org        7 weeks in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Malchus sheb'Malchus: What is the ultimate
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            goal of perfect unity?

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Message: 7
From: Harry Maryles <hmary...@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2011 13:36:04 -0700 (PDT)
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Oh, Oy, Ow

On Tue, 6/7/11, Allan Engel <allan.en...@gmail.com> wrote:
> And the 'oh' (to rhyme with 'low') sound is really the sound of a
> qometz and a shuruk.

I disagree. The kometz/shuruk sound would be Awe-oooh.


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Message: 8
From: eliez...@aol.com
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2011 16:30:36 -0400 (EDT)
[Avodah] Kol, winemaking and besomim

Although the Gemara uses it literally, meaning that talking around open
wine can spoil it and talking while compounding besamim is beneficial, I
heard a homiletic explanation, as follows:  There are physical pleasures
and spiritual pleasures.  While there is an appropriate time and place for
physical enjoyment, one should not become infatuated with it.  Enjoy it,
but don't talk so much about it.  Spiritual pleasures, on the other hand,
ought to be discussed and publicized.  Besamim is the paradigm of spiritual
pleasure- kol haneshama.  Wine, of course, is wine.  Enjoy it, but for
goodness sakes, don't talk so much about it.


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Message: 9
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2011 21:40:33 +0300
[Avodah] Ruth and Chesed

Our rabbi gave a drasha stressing the elements of chesed in Ruth and Boaz
and comparing it
by varous similar words to the story of Eved Avraham and Rivka which also
stresses chesed.

Boaz asks his servants who the strange woman was and they tell him that she
returned from Moav with Naomi. Boaz then allows Ruth to mix with his workers
and collect whatever she wants and Naomi comments on the great chesed.
Since Boaz now knows that Naomi is in town and is a close relative I would
have expected him to invite them for meals, perhaps give them money to start
over with (seems Boaz was rich) etc. Why is allowing Ruth to be with the
other poor people gleaning but with special privileges that she can drink
water with the workers, collect more of the leftovers such a chessed?

Eli Turkel
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Message: 10
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2011 21:25:11 +0300
[Avodah] pikuach nefesh

<<RET wrote:

2. A pilot who is mistakenly firing on friendly troops. Can one shoot down
the plane

CM responds:

I think, that of all the cases listed, this is the easiest one to
differentiate. He is clearly a rodef, unlike all the other cases. If the
question was not about the pilot but about the others in the plane, the
argument (though less simple) can still be made that they are part of the
crew that make the rodef function.>>

However, R Elyashiv disagrees. He says that since the pilot thinks he is
killing the enemy and doing a mitzva he can't be considered a rodef.

An interesting question connected to Chaim's remarks concerns the 9-11
tragedy and especially the plane going to the Pentagon. Assuming the US
government had found out the plot could they have shot down the plane with
the innocent passengers to save the twin towers or the pentagon. Here
clearly the plane was a rodef but there are bystanders.

For the case of a terrorist holding captives R. Zilberstein left it as a
safek if one could kill the terrorist when others would also be killed

Eli Turkel
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Message: 11
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2011 21:30:44 +0300
[Avodah] pikuach nefesh

<<IMHO  this is against R' Moshe (I"M  C"M 2:73) and R'SZA (M"S Tnina (2-3)
86)  both  of which state iiuc  once you start you can't switch - there's an
element of zchiyah by the choleh (although I can't tell you where that
theory comes from)>>

R Zilberstein also agrees that once a person is on a machine one cannot
remove the patient to save someone else. A number of times he has advocated
putting these machines on timers (say once a day)
and then one is not required to renew the clock.

Sorry I wasnt clear. The case of R. Zilberstein was a doctor holding a wound
to prevent excessive bleeding. He felt that leaving such a patient for one
with a better chance of living was only grama and so allowed while pulling
the plug is direct murder.

Eli Turkel
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Message: 12
From: Ben Waxman <ben1...@zahav.net.il>
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2011 11:34:45 +0300
Re: [Avodah] pikuach nefesh

There was an actual case like this involving a soldier from Efrat. His
parachute got tangled up with his officer's chute. In this case, the
soldier himself cut himself free and fell to his death, and thereby saving
the life of his officer.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Eli Turkel 

  All the conclusions were preceded by perhaps (Nireh or Yitachen)

  a. The paratrooper is allowed to cut the cord from the other parachute to save his own life
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Message: 13
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2011 09:11:11 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Halachic Analysis: The Hillary Photo Controversy

I fear there are many of you I still didn't convince that geneivas
daas has nothing to do with whether the person being fooled is harmed
by the misinformation.

So, here is something from R' Yehoshua Pfeffer's discussion
of the permissability of hiring a performer to do a magic show

    It is forbidden to steal the heart of creatures, even the heart of
    a non-Jew. How is this so? One may not sell non-kosher meat to a
    non-Jew, under the pretense that the meat is kosher... one may not
    plead insistently with one's fellow that he should dine with him,
    in the knowledge that he will not do so... one may not open numerous
    barrels in someone's presence, feigning that he is opening them in his
    honor, while in fact he must open them for trading purposes. This, and
    anything similar -- even a single word of deception -- is forbidden;
    rather, one's tongue should be true, one's spirit sincere, and one's
    heart pure of all corruption and crookedness.

    According to certain authorities, the prohibition of deception is
    a Torah transgression, derived from the instruction not to steal,
    which includes all forms of theft (even "theft of the heart"). Thus
    Semag (Negative Commandment 155) and Shulchan Aruch Harav (Onaah 11)
    note that the prohibition is a Torah law, whereas Semak (262) and Bach
    (Choshen Mishpat 228) write that the prohibition is of rabbinic nature
    (Rambam makes no mention of the prohibition in his Sefer Ha-Mitzvos).

    One way or another, Chazal note the special severity of geneivas
    daas. Tosefta (Bava Kama 7:3), as cited by Ritva and other rishonim,
    states that of several forms of theft, geneivas daas is the most
    severe. Ordinary theft relates to the most external part of man:
    his possessions; geneivas daas strikes at the innermost layer of
    the human heart.

    Not Every False Impression is Deception

    However, not every case of incorrect representation is considered
    deception. The Gemara (Eiruvin 100b) teaches that a man should
    appease his wife by telling her of his intention to buy her an
    exquisite garment, thereby expressing her stature as deserving of
    such grandeur. Ultimately, however, he reveals the truth: he lacks the
    means to purchase the gift. The original declaration is not considered
    deception because of the intention: not to deceive, but to flatter.

    A similar application is found in one of the halachos referred to
    in the above citation from Rambam, which teaches that one may not
    repetitively invite another to one's house in the full knowledge
    that he will not come. The essence of this prohibition is that the
    inviter gives a false impression of a burning desire to serve and
    wait upon the invitee. Through creating this impression, the inviter
    hopes to extract future favors from the other.

    If, however, one invites another to be one's guest, once again in the
    full knowledge that he won't accept, but for the genuine purpose of
    honoring the invitee, no prohibition is transgressed. On the contrary,
    it is considered good manners to offer a guest a cup of tea or a
    glass of water even when one is entirely sure that he will decline
    the offer. The prohibition of geneivas daas is a matter of deception;
    when the intent is purely positive, there is no prohibition.

    Differing Views of Different Generations

    According to Bach, deceptive magic tricks thus transgress a full Torah
    DECEPTION [emphasis mine -mb], mentioned by Rambam. Shach (Yoreh De'oh
    179:17) cites the ruling of Bach, and concurs, as does Chayei Adam
    (89:6) and Mishnas Chachamim (47; see also Pischei Teshuvah Yoreh
    De'oh 179:7 and Darkei Teshuvah 37).

    Chayei Adam adds that one who orders and pays for such a magician
    would thus transgress the prohibition of placing a stumbling block in
    front of the blind. He further states that it is likewise prohibited
    to view a magic show in which such tricks are presented.

    Harav Moshe Feinstein zt"l, however, finds this ruling most difficult
    to accept (Iggros Moshe, Yoreh De'oh 4:13). It is implausible,
    he reasons, that mere sleight of hand should involve a Torah
    prohibition. Surely, he continues, we find that individuals gifted
    with wondrous powers are permitted to make use of them...

    Being wary of disputing those who prohibit it, Iggros Moshe thus
    concludes that if he would be asked, he would attempt to shy away
    from answering the question; were he unsuccessful, he would permit
    the performance of "magic tricks," provided the magician declares that
    his acts are perfectly natural, and involve no supernatural phenomena.

    In a similar vein, Harav Betzalel Stern (Betzel Hachochmah 4:13)
    cites several Rishonim who imply that the prohibition of deception
    of the eye applies solely to the use of supernatural powers such
    as witchcraft. Based on a statement of Chinuch (mitzvah 250), the
    Kloisenberger Rebbe (Divrei Yatziv, Yoreh De'oh 57) also writes (in
    a speculative rather than Halachic manner) that one may be lenient
    concerning the matter, provided the magician makes it clear that no
    supernatural forces are involved.

    Harav Moshe Sternbuch (Teshuvos Ve'hanhagos 1:655) also mentions,
    in the name of the Chazon Ish, that NO PROHIBITION APPLIES WHEN THE
    AUDIENCE IS AWARE THAT IT IS ONLY A TRICK [emaphasis mine -mi].

    True Deception?

    Based on the above introduction concerning the prohibition of geneivas
    daas, we might explain the different opinions based on changes in
    the general attitude of people towards magic tricks.

    Whereas in medieval times supernatural forces were widely believed
    in, today (certainly in the Western world) they are largely
    dismissed. While in generations past the first impression of an
    audience would be to see a magic trick as a supernatural phenomenon,
    today's audience will be largely unmoved, thinking more of how the
    trick was done than about supernatural powers.

If the audience are children who won't rule out actual magic, or ancients
for whom actual magic was a real possibility, a magic show would be
geneivas daas.

And a magic show is no more relevant to the audience's life than who is
in a newspaper photo.


Micha Berger             A cheerful disposition is an inestimable treasure.
mi...@aishdas.org        It preserves health, promotes convalescence,
http://www.aishdas.org   and helps us cope with adversity.
Fax: (270) 514-1507         - R' SR Hirsch, "From the Wisdom of Mishlei"

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Message: 14
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2011 07:24:28 -0400
[Avodah] Parshas Bahaloscha: Rav Shamshom Rephael Hirsch -

 From http://tinyurl.com/3rdtc64

Parshas Bahaloscha: Rav Shamshom Rephael Hirsch - Rioting Over Food?

After travelling a few days in the midbar, certain elements of Bnei 
Yisroel got a craving for meat and complained to Moshe. Moshe spoke 
to Hashem and Hashem sends them an abundance of meat with which they 
stuff themselves with and die. However right in middle of this 
narrative Hashem tells Moshe to gather seventy men on whom Hashem 
will grace them with the spirit of Moshe. Why do these pasukim 
interrupt right in middle of this seemingly non related story?

Rav Shamshom Rephael Hirsch answers that Bnei Yisroel were 
complaining about there physical conditions and their hunger for 
materialism. To this Hashem told Moshe that it is not meat that they 
lack that is causing them to revolt, it is their lack of 
spirituality. They feel empty but don't understand the true cause. 
Gather seventy representatives and feed their starving souls with 
Torah and Mitzvos. Then their appetites will be satiated with the 
true pleasure of dveykus in Hashem and they will no longer riot over food.

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Message: 15
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2011 11:08:14 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Yom Tov Sheni for Olim LeReget to the Beit

[Continuing a thread from 2 years ago at
or <http://bit.ly/mtp2YM>]

In <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol26/v26n227.shtml#03> I got the
dates for Abayei (who repeated "minhag avoseihem beyadeihem") and Hillel
Nesi'ah, and they do overlap. Abayei was nifrar in 335 CE, Hillel II
was nasi 330-365.

A data point proving some fixed calendar was in use before R' Hillel II.
Y-mi Eiruvin 3:9 (top of vilna ed 26b):
    R' Avohu went to Alexandria, and told them to take their lulavin
    [on the first day] on Shabbos. R' Ami heard and said, "Can R' Avohu
    come to them every time?" R' Yosi sent them a letter [pasqening],
    "Even though you have for yourselves the order of the holidays,
    do not veer from your father's minhag from which your souls rest."

R' Avohu held that the only reason one doesn't take lulav on day
1 on Shabbos, as opposed to asei docheh lav, is because of sefeiqa
deyoma. Since he was there that year, and therefore they didn't have a
safeiq, he held they should take lulav. R' Ami was afraid about causing
confuction in future years, and R' Yosi tells them to stick to minhag.

But notice R' Yosi mentions their posessing "siderei mo'ados". So we
see that in their day, there was already a precomputed calendar.

R' Assi was niftar circa 320, but certainly before Hillel's nesi'us.
He, R' Ammi and R' Yosi are 3rd generation, the time we're discussing
is late 4th (Abaye) through early 5th (Hillel nesi'ah).

The concept of a precomputed calendar must be older than Hillel II even
according to those who disagree with R' Bachaye and R' Chananel.

This isn't a chiddush according to the rishonim who say that the notion
of a precomputed calendar (although perhaps not one based on all the
current rules) dates even back to bayis sheini. E.g. Rabbainu Bachaye
(Shemos 12:2) who says the iqar was always al pi hacheshbon, and (I
presume) re'iyah is part of the ritual, not the determination of the
date. Which is why they would close for eidus or pay people to stand
out to be eidim as needed. But it is a data point.


Micha Berger             Man is capable of changing the world for the
mi...@aishdas.org        better if possible, and of changing himself for
http://www.aishdas.org   the better if necessary.
Fax: (270) 514-1507            - Victor Frankl, Man's search for Meaning

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Message: 16
From: "Rich, Joel" <JR...@sibson.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2011 11:15:25 -0400
[Avodah] Yizkor

Any idea on how yizkor got tied to shalosh regalim given that Vsamachta is
directly in opposition to the emotions of yizkor? (I have one source with
an answer but it's not overly satisfying-and the original minhag ashkenaz
was clearly not to say it on shalosh regalim)
Joel Rich
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