Avodah: Volume 28, Number 134

Wed, 13 Jul 2011

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
  1. Re: women and tefillin (Rich, Joel)
  2. Re: Parshas Balak and the root "Kuf Beis" (Micha Berger)
  3. Re: Reincarnation (was Women and Tefillin) (Micha Berger)
  4. women and tefillin (Joseph C. Kaplan)
  5. Re: women and tefillin (Micha Berger)
  6. Re: women and tefillin (Micha Berger)
  7. Re: Consumer alert:minhog scams on the rise! (Meir Shinnar)
  8. Women and tefillin (garry)
  9. Re: Women and tefillin (Micha Berger)
  10. Re: Wearing Tefilin On A Toupee (garry)
  11. mitzvat aseh she-ha-zman grama (Eli Turkel)
  12. Re: soup (kennethgmil...@juno.com)
  13. Re: Women and tefillin (garry)
  14. Re: Women and tefillin (Micha Berger)
  15. WOMEN AND TEFILLIN (Richard Wolberg)
  16. Re: Women and tefillin (Zev Sero)
  17. Re: Women and tefillin (Micha Berger)
  18. Re: soup (David Riceman)
  19. True Peace (Prof. Levine)

Message: 1
From: "Rich, Joel" <JR...@sibson.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 14:55:50 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] women and tefillin



> Are you suggesting that the mere presence of tzitzis on a garment, no 
> matter how feminine, is enough to render it "kli gever"?

-------------------------------------
Well if kli gever is societal based (which is how I was taught), and the only people in the world who wear tzitzit are men, then why not?
KT
Joel Rich
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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 15:59:45 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] Parshas Balak and the root "Kuf Beis"


On Sun, Jul 10, 2011 at 09:03:16PM +0000, kennethgmil...@juno.com wrote:
: The unusual root "kuf beis" (or some 3-letter variation of it) appears
: several times in Parshas Balak, and I'm curious if there is some kind
: of connection or lesson in this.

The language in Balaq is unique in a number of ways.

Moshe wrote his sefer, parashat Bil'am, and Iyov. -- BB 14b

The difference in style might show that this parashah was the one Moshe
originally wrote as a separate text, and afterward HQBH had him redact
it into the Torah.

There is also evidence of other books that HQBH redacted into the Torah:

"Zeh sefer toledos Adam" (Bereishis 5:1) is taken by Bereishis Rabba
25:1-4 to be literally a book.

In Shemos 17:14 Hashem tells Moshe to write a book and recite it to
Yehoshua. The Ibn Ezra identifies this with the sefer Milkhamos Hashem
of Bamidbar 11:26. R' Qafih, in a footnote in his translation of R'
Saadia Gaon, argues that RSG said they were two different books.

Shemos 24:4 refers to seifer haberis. On the famous machloqes where R'
Yochanan mishum Rebbe says that "Torah megillah megillah nitenah" Rashi
(Gittin 60a, "kesov alai") says "mitekhilah nikhtivah megilas bereishis,
vehadar megillas Noach, vehadar megillas Avraham -- vehainu deqa'amar
bemegilas Avraham 'kesov alai'". Perhaps implying that some of those
megillos might have even predated Moshe, and HQBH dictated to MRAH how
to fold them into Bereishis.

But even without going that far... the first gemara I cited does imply
that parashat Bil'am is a separate text, which could explain its distinct
language.

Tir'u baTov!
-Micha

-- 
Micha Berger             Our greatest fear is not that we're inadequate,
mi...@aishdas.org        Our greatest fear is that we're powerful
http://www.aishdas.org   beyond measure
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Anonymous




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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 16:12:08 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] Reincarnation (was Women and Tefillin)


On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 09:33:45AM -0400, T6...@aol.com wrote:
: The Talmud may have talked about reincarnation, but not explicitly.   

I promise you that if Rav Saadia Gaon claims that reincarnation is an
alien idea first being imported into Yahadus in his day, it's not in
the gemara even implicitly.

"Pinchas zeh Eliyahu" is said by Reish Laqish, but the earliest source
I could find for this quote is Yalqut Shim'oni. So, those in favor of
gilgul could simply argue that RSG didn't have that quote. But to say
a gaon didn't know all of shas be'al peh???

: It is at least a plausible inference in such cases that  the person who 
: lived later is a reincarnation of the earlier person or in some  sense shares 
: the earlier person's soul or a spark of the former's  soul.

The latter two aren't what RSG objects to.

I also suggested many years ago (v10n134, Mar '03) that R' Saadia
Gaon's problem is with reincarnation of a particular aspect of the soul,
something which made the belief more Greek / Hindu and about a cyclic
view of life and history. But PERHAPS gilgul haNESHMAH where the word
is "neshamah" in a Nara"n sense of the term (and RSG discusses Nara"n
in Emunos veDei'os) would not have bothered RSG.

See <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/getindex.cgi?section=G#GILGUL>
and <http://bit.ly/oKh7e5> (or
http://www.aishdas.or
g/avodah/getindex.cgi?section=C#CLASSICAL%20AUTHORITIES%20WHO%20OPPOSED%20B
ELIEF%20IN%20GILGUL%20NE)
for previous iterations of this topic.

Tir'u baTov!
-Micha

-- 
Micha Berger                 Life is complex.
mi...@aishdas.org                Decisions are complex.
http://www.aishdas.org               The Torah is complex.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                                - R' Binyamin Hecht




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Message: 4
From: "Joseph C. Kaplan" <jkap...@tenzerlunin.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 16:44:21 -0400
Subject:
[Avodah] women and tefillin


"> RZS: Are you suggesting that the mere presence of tzitzis on a garment, no
> matter how feminine, is enough to render it "kli gever"?

RMB: Why not? If my plucking gray hairs could be beged ishah..."


Me: IOW, if a woman was wearing a cape that was clearly made for, and worn
by, women only such that it would be an issur for men to wear it, if it was
altered to have four corners it would still be a women's garment unless she
put tzitzit on it which would then transform it into a beged ish which
neither she nor a man could wear? Sounds strange to me.

Joseph Kaplan

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 17:11:06 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] women and tefillin


On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 04:44:21PM -0400, Joseph C. Kaplan wrote:
: IOW, if a woman was wearing a cape that was clearly made for, and worn
: by, women only such that it would be an issur for men to wear it, if
: it was altered to have four corners it would still be a women's garment
: unless she put tzitzit on it which would then transform it into a beged
: ish which neither she nor a man could wear? Sounds strange to me.

It would be, but not impossible.

You are assuming, though, that keli gever necessarily refers to the cape.
I mentioned plucking gray hairs to show that the concept is not limited
to whether a particular garment is mens' or women's.

So no, I'm not insisting that the cape is transformed into a keli gever,
just that wearing it that say is a violation of the issur if women
generally don't and men generally do.

Tir'u baTov!
-Micha



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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 17:11:06 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] women and tefillin


On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 04:44:21PM -0400, Joseph C. Kaplan wrote:
: IOW, if a woman was wearing a cape that was clearly made for, and worn
: by, women only such that it would be an issur for men to wear it, if
: it was altered to have four corners it would still be a women's garment
: unless she put tzitzit on it which would then transform it into a beged
: ish which neither she nor a man could wear? Sounds strange to me.

It would be, but not impossible.

You are assuming, though, that keli gever necessarily refers to the cape.
I mentioned plucking gray hairs to show that the concept is not limited
to whether a particular garment is mens' or women's.

So no, I'm not insisting that the cape is transformed into a keli gever,
just that wearing it that say is a violation of the issur if women
generally don't and men generally do.

Tir'u baTov!
-Micha



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Message: 7
From: Meir Shinnar <chide...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 18:47:27 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] Consumer alert:minhog scams on the rise!


>
> Speaking of those mar'eh meqomos, on Thu, Jul 07, 2011 at 06:57:12AM
> +0000, REMT wrote:
> :> ... you repeat what I feel is the wrong half of the Rambam's phrase,
> :> yes it's "sheKOL hanimna'os", but the Rambam continues "mechuyavei
> :> hametzi'us". What are the "necessities of existence" if not the laws of
> :> nature? He doesn't speak of paradoxes and laws of logic..<
>
> : I don't understand "mechuyavei ham'tzius" to mean "necessities
> : of existence." I believe it means "must necessarily have happened."...
>
> I really doubt that, in general, and moreso in the Rambam in particular.
> To use classical philosophical terms, you're saying "mechuyavei hametzius"
> are non-contingent events. However, leshitaso, all of metzi'us is
> contingent.
>
> IMHO,
> ? ?mechuyavei: necessitated by
> ? ?metzi'us: empirical existence
>
> Aside from that, R Dr Shinnar and I finally agree on our understanding
> of a point in the Rambam. If that's not proof we found amito shel davar,
> what is? Seriously, though, he showed that in Igeres Teiman the Rambam
> makes the point more clearly referring to physics.
>
> Tir'u baTov!
> -Micha

While RMB and I finally agree on something in the rambam, in the
particular phrase that REMT has chosen, I think REMT is closer to the
truth.  The rambam is contrasting the fool, who views every impossible
story as not being merely true - but Mechuyav hametziyut - non
contingent events - even though the rambam himself does not even
believe in non contingent events - but this reflects the greater folly
of the fool.  What is not clear just from this quote is the status of
those who only view some impossible stories as being merely true - as
REMT points out - but I think it is made quite clear from the general
tenor of the hakdama to helek that except for some specific exemptions
- they are part of the fools camp.  For those who do not like relying
on general tenor, this is quite explicit in the maamar techiyat
hametim (not iggeret teiman).

Meir Shinnar



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Message: 8
From: garry <g...@garry.us>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 19:48:33 -0700
Subject:
[Avodah] Women and tefillin


On 7/12/2011 5:51 AM, From: Micha Berger<mi...@aishdas.org>
>> In both of REMT's cases, there is actually strong reason for a woman
>> /not/  to fulfill those particular mitzvos:
>>
>> At some point during the period of the tannaim (I think during the
>> Tosafists' era in particular), the time men wear tefillin was strictly
>> curtailed. Related to our recent discussion of how much kavanah our
>> rabbis think we are capable of today. Until then, men with desk jobs or
>> who learned all day were wearing tefillin all day as well. Since we lack
>> the necessary yishuv hadaas to think about tefillin for that many hours,
>> we now curtail our tefillin-wearing to the minimum necessary so that we
>> may say Shema without looking like a pack of liars.
>>
>> For men, the minimum is during Shema, and we stretch that to the rest
>> of Shacharis. For women, the minimum is zero.
>
except, perhaps, for women who say Shema. If they say it, the same 
minimum would seem to apply, for the same reason.  Of course you could 
argue Shema is another zman grama mitzvah with a strong reason for women 
not to fulfill it (because then they'd have to put on tefillin and so 
on....)
Also, the ancient ruling that we lack the kevana to wear tefillin except 
when absolutely necessary was made regarding men.  Is there any 
authority that modern women are similarly disqualified?  I don't think 
this can be assumed, especially because women are on a higher  madrega 
than we are.



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Message: 9
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 22:54:39 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] Women and tefillin


On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 07:48:33PM -0700, garry wrote:
>>> For men, the minimum is during Shema, and we stretch that to the rest
>>> of Shacharis. For women, the minimum is zero.

> except, perhaps, for women who say Shema. If they say it, the same  
> minimum would seem to apply, for the same reason.  Of course you could  
> argue Shema is another zman grama mitzvah with a strong reason for women  
> not to fulfill it (because then they'd have to put on tefillin and so  
> on....)

The arugment I was making was that since women aren't mechuyavos in
tefillin, it isn't mechezei keshiqra for them to say Shema without
tefillin on. Thus, they don't have the impetus men do to wear tefillin
for Shema (and the surrounding tefillos).

> Also, the ancient ruling that we lack the kevana to wear tefillin except  
> when absolutely necessary was made regarding men.  Is there any  
> authority that modern women are similarly disqualified?  I don't think  
> this can be assumed, especially because women are on a higher  madrega  
> than we are.

The need for kavanah I would think is inherent in the qedushah of the
tefillin. So I can't see why the gender of the person wearing it would
matter.

If you mean (as the last sentence implies) that one can't assume women
would have a similar problem with kavanah, that distinction isn't made
WRT Ashrei and Birkhas Avos. When they discuss no longer following
chazal's pesaq about repeating Ashrei if "Poseiach es 'Yadekha'..." is
said without kavanah, because we aren't likely to do much better the
second time anyway, does anyone say that women /are/ likely?

Tir'u baTov!
-Micha

-- 
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: 10
From: garry <g...@garry.us>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 19:50:10 -0700
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] Wearing Tefilin On A Toupee



> On 7/12/2011 5:51 AM,From: "Prof. Levine"<llev...@stevens.edu>
>>
>> If someone wears a toupee, must he take it off when putting on
>> Tefilin Shel Rosh? The Tshuvas HaRashba (1:30), which is not in
>> accordance with the other Rishonim, proves from the Yerushalmi that
>> having a Chatzitza, a separation between your head and your Tefilin
>> Shel Rosh, is not a problem.  It is only a problem by Tefilin Shel
>> Yad.  However, says Rav Menashe Klein (Mishneh Halachos 6:8), that at
>> best the Rashba only holds this B'Di'eved and even so he concedes
>> that the Rishonim before him disagreed.  Furthermore, the Rashba says
>> that his opinion is L'Halacha but not L'Maaseh.
>>
>> Another possible heter says the Mishneh Halachos is a Pnei Aryeh (6)
>> who says that if you put white powder in your hair, it is not a
>> Chatzitza since it is for beauty, and anything put in the hair for
>> aesthetic purposes in not a chatzitza.  Similarly, says Rav Menashe
>> Klein, maybe a toupee, which is meant to enhance your appearance, is
>> also not a chatzitza.  However he dismisses this argument saying that
>> you cannot compare powder, which disappears and a toupee, which is 
>> very thick.
>
Unlike users of powder, many people who wear toupees are very 
embarrassed about it.
Before requiring them to show it to the world  whenever they daven with 
a minyan on weekday morning,
kavod habriot should be considered.  This is a mitzva aseh,
and although I don't know whether the prohibition of a chatzitza is 
d'oraita,
  it sounds from the discussion that it's d'rabbanan, and disputed as well.




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Message: 11
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2011 09:58:39 +0300
Subject:
[Avodah] mitzvat aseh she-ha-zman grama


<<BTW, can anyone point me to a complete list of all the Mitzvos Aseh
Shehazman Graman? Thanks. It might be worth a separate thread, if
there are disputes about it.>>

The Mishnah already gives a partial list

Yes there are a number of disputes about how to define zman grama and
its application to women

Some examples:
Birchat haChamah
Kiddush haLevanah
Brichat haIlanot
Sefirat HaOmer


-- 
Eli Turkel




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Message: 12
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2011 04:26:58 GMT
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] soup


R' David Riceman asked me:

> What makes you think fruit eaten as an appetizer shouldn't get
> a bracha? See Hayei Adam 43:2.

I honestly don't know what situation Hayei Adam is discussing there. But
I'm confident that whatever he's talking about, it isn't appetizers.
Because appetizers are discussed in Hayei Adam 43:6:

"One who eats salted leemanash [lemons?] during the meal without meat, this
comes to draw out his desire for food, and therefore does not need a
bracha. And this principle applies to anything that one eats or drinks to
draw out his desire for food. And the same for one who drinks whiskey at
the beginning or middle of the meal. And it seems to me possible that the
same would apply to pickles, not to say a bracha, because it is considered
a need of the meal."

Please note his specific inclusion of drinks. Soup might not be an appetizer, but if it is, then the Hayei Adam would say to make NO bracha on it.


> What bothers me is that you are proposing that we scrap an
> entire halachic category.

I see why you say that. But from my perspective, all I'm saying is that
according to the way we eat, there are no situations or foods which fit
that category. (Incidentally, a few minutes ago, I noticed the Mechaber
177:2 doing this too. He described the halachos of a category, and then
said that it doesn't apply to "us", because "we" don't eat that way.)

Okay, let's look into this category a bit deeper.

Mechaber 174:7 (and many other poskim) explains:

1) If one drinks a mashkeh during the meal, then
2) the mashkeh is considered part of the meal
3) because it's not normal to eat without drinking.

I am very bothered by the logic of those three clauses. In my view, the
halacha would have been simple and clear with just the first two. So why
was there a need to state the third? It must be that if it WAS normal to
eat without drinking, then the mashkeh would NOT be considered part of the
meal.

I don't get it. Why is a mashkeh not considered part of the meal? If this
halacha was only about water, which has no nutritional value, then I would
understand it clearly. But the halacha is about ALL drinks, not just water.

There is a big difference between bread and wine. Drinks are covered by
hagafen, but NOT because they enhance the wine; they are covered "because
wine is Rosh and Rishon of all drinks, and they are tafel to it." (MB
174:2) If Chazal had said that "Bread is the king of foods, and wine is the
king of drinks," then I might understand that they intended to mean that
bread is the king of *solid* foods.

But they did NOT say that bread is the king of foods, and hamotzi does
*not* cover the other foods because of bread's special status. No, the idea
is that when one eats a meal, the focus is on the bread, and other foods
are covered because they are enhancing the bread.

Again, to review: Wine will cover orange juice and Coca Cola even though
they never even pretend to enhance the wine. But bread will cover meat and
gravy and potatoes ONLY because they DO enhance the bread. It is a whole
different mechanism. And in the case of bread, it can be enhanced even by
other foods which are not actually eaten together with the bread.

The question I'm trying to answer is: If the potatoes -- which I am eating
*separately* from the bread -- ARE considered to be enhancing the bread,
why doesn't that logic apply to orange juice? Why does orange juice need
the special logic of "no one eats without drinking"?

(I think that an answer is starting to appear in my mind. I am writing it
now, not to bore anyone, but in the hopes that there might be some silent
lurkers who share my views, and want to understand R' Riceman better.)

A few days ago, I sought my wife's input on some of this. I said, "I don't
understand what they mean when they say that an appetizer enhances one's
appetite. Were you ever hungrier after the appetizer than before?"

She answered, "Not hungrier. But the appetizer gets me in the mood for
eating." I had major trouble understanding that. To me, the appetizer is
not *preparation* for eating. It *IS* eating!

But I am finally starting to come around. It seems that when people talk
about "the meal", what they often mean is "the main course". And "the main
course" refers to what is in the plate, not what is in the glass. And I
suppose that's why drinks are not automatically considered part of the
meal, but are covered only because of the need to drink. This also explains
why first courses and last courses will require their own bracha unless a
good reason can be found to exempt them.

In closing:

1) I'm starting to understand why drinks might need a bracha during the
meal. But the poskim give lots of reasons to exempt them, and I can't think
of any examples they left out.

2) Similarly, I can understand that soup is a separate course from the main
course, and that reason alone is enough for it to need its own bracha. But
I think the rules of appetizers should apply to soup.

3) If something genuinely enhances the appetite, it will be covered by
hamotzi. This applies to pickles, olives, fruit cups, and I don't know why
it would not apply to soup as well.

Akiva Miller


____________________________________________________________
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Message: 13
From: garry <g...@garry.us>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 20:37:53 -0700
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] Women and tefillin


On 7/12/2011 7:54 PM, Micha Berger wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 07:48:33PM -0700, garry wrote:
>> Also, the ancient ruling that we lack the kevana to wear tefillin except
>> when absolutely necessary was made regarding men.  Is there any
>> authority that modern women are similarly disqualified?  I don't think
>> this can be assumed, especially because women are on a higher  madrega
>> than we are.
> If you mean (as the last sentence implies) that one can't assume women
> would have a similar problem with kavanah, that distinction isn't made
> WRT Ashrei and Birkhas Avos. When they discuss no longer following
> chazal's pesaq about repeating Ashrei if "Poseiach es 'Yadekha'..." is
> said without kavanah, because we aren't likely to do much better the
> second time anyway, does anyone say that women /are/ likely?
Since we know that women's understanding and so forth are superior to 
men's, it seems tenuous to to discourage them from a practice solely by 
assuming that their kavana will be the same as men's, especially when 
the assumption is based entirely on silence in respect to kavana on a 
different matter.



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Message: 14
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2011 06:52:19 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] Women and tefillin


On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 08:37:53PM -0700, garry wrote:
>> If you mean (as the last sentence implies) that one can't assume women
>> would have a similar problem with kavanah, that distinction isn't made
>> WRT Ashrei and Birkhas Avos. When they discuss no longer following
>> chazal's pesaq about repeating Ashrei if "Poseiach es 'Yadekha'..." is
>> said without kavanah, because we aren't likely to do much better the
>> second time anyway, does anyone say that women /are/ likely?

> Since we know that women's understanding and so forth are superior to  
> men's, it seems tenuous to to discourage them from a practice solely by  
> assuming that their kavana will be the same as men's, especially when  
> the assumption is based entirely on silence in respect to kavana on a  
> different matter.

But we do assume a similar lack of concentration when it comes to
davening. Why would you assume tefillin is different than Birkhas Avos.

BTW, I am aware that a more frequently given explanation is that of
(e.g.) the Arukh haShulchan 38:6, that women have a harder time maintaining
a guf naqi.

BTW, the thread
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/getindex.cgi?section=W#WOMEN%
20TALIS%20AMP%20TEFILLIN>
(Jun-Aug 2003) is rich in sources.

Tir'u baTov!
-Micha

-- 
Micha Berger             Good decisions come from experience;
mi...@aishdas.org        Experience comes from bad decisions.
http://www.aishdas.org                - Djoha, from a Sepharadi fable
Fax: (270) 514-1507




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Message: 15
From: Richard Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2011 07:48:45 -0400
Subject:
[Avodah] WOMEN AND TEFILLIN


In my life, I would say the one thing that stands out more than anything is a person's modesty and humility.
I received the following very informative link from one of Avodah's unpretentious and ingenuous true scholars.

http://images.ou.org/ja/summer11/75-76.pdf


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Message: 16
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2011 09:02:34 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] Women and tefillin


On 12/07/2011 11:37 PM, garry wrote:
> Since we know that women's understanding and so forth are superior to men's,

What is this "and so forth"?  We know that women are (in principle and
on average) superior to men in binah, but inferior in chochmah and da'at.

-- 
Zev Sero        If they use these guns against us once, at that moment
z...@sero.name   the Oslo Accord will be annulled and the IDF will
                 return to all the places that have been given to them.
                                            - Yitzchak Rabin

                    
                




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Message: 17
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2011 09:29:06 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] Women and tefillin


On Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 09:02:34AM -0400, Zev Sero wrote:
> What is this "and so forth"?  We know that women are (in principle and
> on average) superior to men in binah, but inferior in chochmah and da'at.

Chokhmah? News to me. Could you point me to a source?

I developed a whole thing on binah vs da'as and gender differences
<http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2008/06/gender-differences.shtml>. I would
be interested to know if it needs retraction.

Tir'u baTov!
-Micha

-- 
Micha Berger             Nothing so soothes our vanity as a display of
mi...@aishdas.org        greater vanity in others; it makes us vain,
http://www.aishdas.org   in fact, of our modesty.
Fax: (270) 514-1507              -Louis Kronenberger, writer (1904-1980)




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Message: 18
From: David Riceman <drice...@optimum.net>
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2011 10:37:47 -0400
Subject:
Re: [Avodah] soup


Let me start by thanking RAM, both for nudging me to review hilchos 
berachos more carefully, and for inciting me to think about philosophy 
of psak.

RAM:

<<But I'm confident that whatever he's talking about, it isn't 
appetizers. Because appetizers are discussed in Hayei Adam 43:6: "One 
who eats salted leemanash [lemons?] during the meal without meat, this 
comes to draw out his desire for food, and therefore does not need a 
bracha. And this principle applies to anything that one eats or drinks 
to draw out his desire for food. And the same for one who drinks whiskey 
at the beginning or middle of the meal. And it seems to me possible that 
the same would apply to pickles, not to say a bracha, because it is 
considered a need of the meal." Please note his specific inclusion of 
drinks. Soup might not be an appetizer, but if it is, then the Hayei 
Adam would say to make NO bracha on it.>>

There are two issues here.  The first is that the Hayyei Adam's specific 
examples are all things which dehydrate you when you consume them.  They 
are "appetizers" in the very specific sense that they make your body 
want more fluid in the mouth.  That's not true of fresh fruit.

I don't know of any experimental evidence, and I certainly don't think 
that people can eat more when they start the meal with fruit; in fact, 
since one of the cues the body uses to indicate satiety is the volume of 
food contained in the stomach, I would expect that fresh fruit make you 
eat less.

The second problem is, as I said before, that fresh fruit is, indeed, a 
food that the halacha clearly indicates requires a separate bracha.  The 
Hayyei Adam lists variants on fresh fruit, but he doesn't ignore this 
basic rule.  You do, by classifying food by function rather than type.  
In fact, you then go further and, rather than classifying it 
physiologically, you say, citing your wife:

<<the appetizer gets me in the mood for eating.>>

But, im kein, nasata d'varecha l'shiurin.  Of two people at the same 
table eating the same fruit cup, one might say a beracha and the other 
might not.  This wouldn't bother me, since I'm an anarchist, but in 
hilchos berachos we often say batlah da'ato etzel kol adam, which 
shouldn't apply if the category is psychological.  So I find your 
analysis discordant.
> <<all I'm saying is that according to the way we eat, there are no 
> situations or foods which fit that category.>>
This is a half truth.  Hazal already expanded the category from "bread" 
to "staples", and they thought about meals centered around staples.  
Incidentally, it's not just Jews who did this.  Xenophon, in the 
Memorabilia, cites Socrates as recommending the same style of meal.

It's true that we no longer design a meal around a single (may I say 
"granular" or is the pun too awkward?) staple.  You, yourself concede, 
however, that

<<It seems that when people talk about "the meal", what they often mean 
is "the main course". And "the main course" refers to what is in the 
plate, not what is in the glass.>>

But then the category fits our style of eating quite well.  Soup, fruit 
cups, the fish course, desert (not made of mezonos) all fit the category 
of "not part of the meal".

So why don't we make a beracha on soup?

David Riceman





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Message: 19
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2011 10:28:15 -0400
Subject:
[Avodah] True Peace


The following is from RSRH's commentary on Bamidbar 25:12

12 Therefore proclaim it: Lo! I give to him My covenant: Peace.

Here, the realization of the supreme harmony of peace is entrusted
by God precisely to that spirit and to that activism which thoughtless
people ? anxious to mask their passivity and neglect of duty as ?love
of peace? ? like to brand and condemn as ?disturbances of the peace.?
Peace is a precious thing for which one is obligated to sacrifice everything,
all of one?s own rights and possessions, but one may never sacrifice
for it the rights of others, and one may never sacrifice for it what
God has declared to be good and true. There can be true peace among
men only if they all are at peace with God. One who dares to struggle
against the enemies of what is good and true in the eyes of God is ?
by this very struggle ? one of the fighters for the bris sholom on earth.
Conversely, one who, for the sake of what he imagines to be peace with
his fellow men, cedes the field without protest and allows them to stir
up strife with God makes common cause ? by his very love of peace
? with the enemies of the bris sholom on earth. What saved the people
was not the apathy of the masses, nor even the tears of sorrow shed
by those who stood idly at the entrance to the Tent of Appointed Meeting.
It was the brave act of Pinchas that saved the people and restored
to them peace with God and His Law, thereby restoring the basis for
true peace.
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