Avodah Mailing List

Volume 28: Number 232

Mon, 14 Nov 2011

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 09:49:48 -0500
[Avodah] Mezuza On The Home Of A Mixed Married Couple

 From http://revach.net/article.php?id=4503

Someone offered a mezuza to a Jewish man living with a non-Jewish 
woman.  The man agreed to pay for it and hang it up on his door.  Rav 
Moshe Shternbuch was asked (3:327) if it was worthwhile to help him 
at least keep this one mitzva, despite his grave situation.

Rav Shternbuch answered that a Jew who lives with a non-Jew has a Din 
of a Meshumad, someone who converted to another religion.  A Meshumad 
is not even entitled to be buried in a Jewish cemetery, and neither 
is someone who lives with a non-Jew.  This is worse than any other 
aveira in the Torah.  He is not merely Oveid Avodah Zara he is a Meshumad.

A mezuza says Rav Shternbuch, is sign of Ol Malchus Shamayim.  A 
Meshumad cannot have such a sign on his door.  Even a Michalel 
Shabbos Bifarhesia may, and should, have a Mezuza because he can 
justify in his own mind a belief in Hashem.  However this man wants 
live with a non-Jew, yet show that this is a fine arrangement for a 
kosher Jewish home.

Technically speaking, says Rav Shternbuch, the house is not even 
Chayav in Mezuza since in secular law the women is part owner in the 
assets, it becomes a house that belongs to both a Jew and non-Jew in 
partnership, which is not chayav in mezuza according to most Poskim.

The bottom line says Rav Shternbuch is that not only are you not 
obligated to assist him with his mezuza, but it is forbidden.  It is 
our obligation to ostracize him until he divorces her and returns 
B'tshuva Sheleima.
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Message: 2
From: Harvey Benton <harvw...@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 14:47:40 -0800 (PST)
[Avodah] (no subject)

found some money ($20) 
at a gas stattion; no
simanim that i could 
discern (does it matter
if 1. the neighborhood
is primarily jewish? (mostly it is)
3. do i owe maaser on it??
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Message: 3
From: Saul.Z.New...@kp.org
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 08:07:18 -0800
[Avodah] 50-45-40-36?

rashi discusses  40-30-20, not   36-27-18

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Message: 4
From: Harvey Benton <harvw...@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 14:21:32 -0800 (PST)
[Avodah] psychologistst and sfarim chitzonim)

psychologists and (neuro-scientists); explain many of our behaviour patterns
(differences in behaviour (red-headded v. bond, right v. left handed, v. 

ambidexterouts, etc, ) but they also (find excuses???
for a-bberrant behaviour (in our opinion) (frum) like child molestation, 

murder (recent leiby case), pyromania

my opinion is that we have all our own tests to over-come, however, given that 
science has many valuable insights, what shoiuld we think about thesee things?????

what is our view??
--> given that we have a medrash (re moishe (that he had a tendency towards blood (and had to 

over--come it)

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Message: 5
From: hankman <hank...@bell.net>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 10:56:22 -0500
[Avodah] In this week?s parsha in the parsha of the akaida AA

In this week?s parsha in the parsha of the akaida AA says ?venashuva
alaichem.? Rashi explains that AA prophesized  that they both would return
not just AA alone. This is slightly problematic. A novie knows what he is
prophesizing, in which case there is no test here, AA must realize that his
son YA will not be a korban which could not be the case or there is no
test. If OTOH AA did believe that he was going to lose	his son at the
akaida, then AA is telling a sheker when he says ?venashuva alaichem? since
his intentions at that moment were for him to return alone! Clearly Rashi
is trying to grapple with this problem but only dealing with one side of
it. Anyone know what the meforshim say to deal with this?

Kol Tuv and Gut Shabbos

Chaim Manaster
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Message: 6
From: cantorwolb...@cox.net
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 10:55:09 -0500
[Avodah] Maaris Ayin & Dan l'chaf z'chus

There's a very good example given (don't recall the source) of M.A. and D.L.Z.
If you see someone eating meat and drinking what looks to be milk, dan l'chaf z'chus, you should assume it's coconut milk.
However, if you are eating meat and drinking coconut milk, be sure to keep the coconut shells right next to the meal so that
ma'aris ayin, nobody will think it is milchig milk.

In regards to: My understanding is that Maarit Ayin relates to confusion
over whether something is assur or mutar, such as such as when you do
something which is halachically allowed, but people will think that you're
doing something wrong. For example, entering a non-kosher restaurant to use
their bathroom -- some people may mistakenly think that you're eating the
non-kosher food, and some people may mistakenly think that the restaurant
is kosher. (Actually, I think one of those is Maarit Ayin, and the other
not, and I don't remember which.)
It would depend on the situation. If you saw R' Micha going into McDonald's
on the hwy, dan l'chaf z'chus, you would obviously assume he's going to use
the restroom.
If you saw ME going into McDonald's, dan l'chaf z'chus, you would hope I was going in to use the restroom.

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Message: 7
From: Lampel <zvilam...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2011 10:31:01 -0500
[Avodah] Pillars

On another thread (28:224,message 6) reference has been made to 
/Chazal/'s adoption (in one period) of the idea that the world "floated 
atop the tehom or rested above it on pillars."

As a related point of interest, I would just like to mention an 
indication that despite biblical references /to "amudei shamayim,/" 
/Chazal /did not take this to mean that there are pillars that hold up 
the sky.

*/B'midbar Rabbah/ 12:4*on a /posuk /in /Shir HaShirim/:

Said R' Yossi Bar Halafta: "His pillars He made /kessef///(usually 
translated, "silver") (/Shir HaShirim/ 3:10). This [reference to 
"/pillars/"] is [really a reference to] the /rakia/ [the sky, itself], 
as you see it says in /Iyov /(26:11), "the pillars of the heavens will 

At this point, one already sees this /Tanna /did not take the "pillars" 
to be things that /support /the heavens. He took it for granted that the 
phrase "/amudei shamayim" /of /Iyov is /a reference to the heavens 
themselves. Accordingly, "/amudei shamayim/" should be translated not 
as, "the pillars of the heavens," but rather: "the pillar[-like] 
heavens." The /rishonim /on the /posuk /in /Iyov /likewise take the 
"/amudei shamayim/" to be the heavens, themselves.

And incidentally, lest one suspects that this Tanna thought the sky 
itself is literally made of silver, the continuation of this passage 
shows otherwise:

And why are they called "/kessef/"? ---because they /cover/ (mekasef) 
over all of /maaseh breishis./

When it came to applying the word "/kessef/" to the sky, this /Tanna 
/deviated from the typical translation of /kessef///as "silver," taking 
it quite far from the meaning of anything metallic or solid.

Zvi Lampel

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Message: 8
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2011 12:20:31 -0500
[Avodah] Some Insights Brochos

We are accustomed to making brochos many times 
each day.  The following are some insights into 
what making brochos is all about.  They are from 
RSRH's essay Cheshvan VI that appears in Volume 
II of the Collected Writings of RSRH.

The non-Jewish person is surrounded by the same life and the
same nature as is the Jew. Jews and non-Jews alike experience the
same delights and pains, joys and sorrows. But only the Jew pauses
when he hears a thunderclap or beholds a blossom, when he feels
sorrow or joy, when he looks beyond each moment of bliss or grief to
the Invisible One, because he sees all these happenings as heralds and
messengers of God. And so the Jew is to be mindful of his own status
and of his purpose in the Divine world of life and creation.

To be sure, our Sages have formulated these Berachoth in a simple
style. They are brief and concise, just as are the events, the experiences
or the resolves which they accompany, and which they serve to convey.

Man addresses himself to God with a term that connotes the closeness
but at the same time the profoundly solemn nature of man's
relationship to God. The word Atah ennobles him who pronounces it.
But in order not to turn it into blasphemy it can only be pronounced
by the one who perceives Him in every manifestation of nature, in
every event of history, and who is ready to serve Him and Him alone.
The word which expresses this thought is baruch. This is the word
from which the institution of brachos ordained by our Sages has taken its
name. It is that word which they have placed on our lips as the eternal
motto of our existence and of our life. It encompasses the entire life's
task of the Jew.

The ordinary human being turns to the object of his prayers and
begs, "Bless me." From the primitive to the scholar they are all
motivated by a "feeling of dependence" which in turn produces what
men call ?"religion." The feeling of dependence, the realization of our
own impotence and need for help, the idea that there must be something
or someone higher than ourselves on whom (plural and singular)
we are dependent, .these are the sentiments that impel the primitive and
scholar alike to utter the humble prayer: "Bless me!"

Not so the Jew. The word that leads him to his God is not "Bless
me!" For he understands that he already has been blessed through all
the delights and all the moments of life in nature and history that have
been granted him. He accepts both joys and sorrows as blessings. The
wish that motivates his energies and his aspirations is not that he
should receive blessings but that he should be able to bestow blessings
upon others. This is the desire that should guide him at every unfolding
moment of his life. The word of consecration with which the Jew
should address his God with his every breath is 
not baruch, "Bless," but baruch Atah "be You blessed."
Be You blessed! May Your will be done through me! May Your
wishes be fulfilled through me! May Your dominion be promoted by
me! May I carry out Your purposes!

You, 0 God, have entrusted the realization of Your will, the fulfillment
of Your wishes, the advancement of Your dominion and the
accomplishment of Your work to free-willed human action. This, 0
God, is my purpose; this is the purpose for which You have made me a
man and a Jew. Because I am a human, You have bestowed upon me
the energy to take action of my own free will, and because I am a Jew
You have revealed to me Your will and the purposes which You would
want accomplished on earth. Everything that You have caused me to...
see and to experience in nature and in history, everything You have
given me-or denied me-in nature and in history, reminds me of my
mission, constantly renewing my strength and placing new demands
upon me to accomplish that mission. Be blessed with and through
everything You give me-everything You take from me!

May God be blessed through me!-then what we are striving to
accomplish is no longer our own purpose, the wishes we are laboring
to fulfill are no longer our own desires. Indeed, we might feel insignificant,
we might consider our efforts unimportant, but since it is our
own God Who placed us here, He expects us to accomplish His work
in the very position in which we find ourselves. And therefore He is at
our side, waging the struggle against nature and society on our behalf;
He is our shelter and shield, our strength and our victory. It is before
Him, not before us, that the forces to be overcome will retreat. We are
workmen in His employ. We have made His will our own, and therefore
He makes our will His; because we have abdicated our will in His
favor, He will thwart the will of others in our 
favor (Pirkei Avos Perek Bais, Mishna Daled)

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Message: 9
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2011 16:22:55 -0500
Re: [Avodah] In this week?s parsha in the parsha of the

On 11/11/2011 10:56 AM, hankman wrote:
> This is slightly problematic. A novie knows what he is prophesizing

What makes you say that?  "Niba, velo yada ma niba".

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: 10
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2011 10:06:31 -0500
[Avodah] Does Mrs. Cohen Go to the Head of the Line?

You are waiting patiently in the checkout line at "The Kosher 
Grocer," together with three other women -- the Rebbitzen of your 
shul, the widowed Rebbitzen of a famous Rosh Yeshiva, and Mrs. Cohen, 
who is the wife of a kohen at your shul. Do you have a mitzvah or a 
requirement to step aside and allow either of the Rebbitzens or the 
kohen's wife to go first?

See http://tinyurl.com/74cd95e  for a discussion of this and related issues.


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Message: 11
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2011 16:25:57 -0500
Re: [Avodah] 50-45-40-36?

On 11/11/2011 11:07 AM, Saul.Z.New...@kp.org wrote:
> rashi discusses  40-30-20, not   36-27-18

Rashi says Avraham had already established that Hashem was prepared to
join Himself to each 9 to make a minyan; there was no need to check
again.  Each multiple of 10 from there on implies that 0.9 of it would
also be OK.

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: 12
From: Meir Rabi <meir...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2011 01:57:35 +1100
[Avodah] Chillul HaShem when NJ are the observers

Yoma 86a  Abaya referring to the Braysa says: We learn from VeAhavta es
HaShem that one should cause Gds Name to be beloved.

One who learns Torah and is MeShamesh Talmidei Chachamim and maintains an
honourable reputation in business and his interpersonal relationships
prompts people to say, "Praiseworthy are his father  and his Rebbe for
teaching him Torah, look how his ways are so pleasant and how his actions
are so honest. Woe is to those people who do not learn Torah.?

However, those who are dishonest and/or whose speech with people is less
than pleasant, he causes people to say, ?Woe is to he who learns Torah, woe
to his father and to his Rebbe for teaching him, look at his crooked
activities and how his crude ways.?

Rashi adds that when a prominent person does an Aveira and is punished, it
causes people to question the purpose and value of being righteous if such
people are afflicted.

Furthermore, when the Gentiles see the Jewish people in exile and they say,
?See how these chosen people of Gd could not be saved by Gd from being
driven into exile?, this is a Chilul HaShem.

Is it not clear from Rashi that a Chilul HaShem is prompted by a negative
impressions be it by Jews and NJws?



Meir G. Rabi**
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