Avodah Mailing List

Volume 31: Number 36

Sun, 03 Mar 2013

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: hankman <hank...@bell.net>
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2013 09:25:07 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Lecture by Rav Moshe Tendler about Brain Stem

I think that taking the gemara that cues in on respiration to literally,
might not be  the intent there. Perhaps the gemara really means not the
muscular act of respiration but the physiological process of respiration,
ie, gas exchange that takes place in the lungs, thus the diaphragm  is not
the key to life but the physiology it enables might be. Similarly, the
concern with circulation is also truly a concern with the physiology of gas
exchange [and distribution of nutrients and elimination of wastes]. The
concern, with the heart muscle is really with that of the function
accomplished not the muscle itself]. In their day, these were pretty much
the same thing. In our day of course there is a huge difference. I haven?t
read R. Bleich but could his notion of ?vital motion? really be the idea of
?vital physiology? that sustains the entire body. I do not know if that
would be consistent with what he wrote, but I think that in our day with
our technology many of the gedolim would
  agree that this would have been what the gemara meant had there been a
  point in making this difference then. So ultimately the choice comes to
  the choice between the neurological control and sustenance of body
  physiology or the physiology of gas [and possibly nutrient]exchange that
  sustains the vital organs and the body or both.

Kol tuv
Chaim Manaster

RNS wrote:
Rav Micha has listed the position of many gedolim on brainstem death.
However, it is important to know and think about exactly what they held.
Many held that life is present as long as circulation is present. In the
era of modern technology this means that a body without any functioning
cells is still considered alive as long as some machine is pumping blood in
the vessels. So when you think about it a bit, this position makes little
sense. It is a vestige from a time when every function in the body stopped
with the cessation of circulation. When machines can provide circulation to
anything with tubing, it is necessary to identitify exactly why the person
without circulation is dead. This means identifying the function or tissue
which is crucial to the continued life of the person.

Currently there are only three major positions that have identified this
function: R. Tendler's brainstem death, R. Steinberg/Chief Rabinate
brain-respiratory death, and R. Bleich's vital motion. The first two,
while conceptually different, identify a person as dead when they fulfill
neurological criteria for death(Harvard criteria). R. Bleich defines life
as the presence of vital function, but has failed to define exactly what
that is or how exactly to find or measure it. (for a more robust but not
comprehensive critique of his position see my paper here:
http://www.yctorah.org/images/stories/about_us/%235%20-%20stadlan.pdf ).
R. Bleich is also dependent on Rashi to transform the gemara in Yoma from a
respiration based concept to a circulation based concept. In the recent
Tradition, R. Daniel Reifman has shown how it is very difficult to argue
that circulation is what Rashi had in mind. In addition, R. Bleich depends
on the Chatam Sofer, whom R. Reifman also shows did not intend to establish
circulation as a criteria for death independent of respiration.

It is important to also note that there is little to no support for R.
Bleich from other contemporary gedolim. contrary to the contention of R.
David Shabtai(Defining the Moment), there is little reason to think that
they would automatically move from a circulation based definition of life
to R. Bleich's nebulous 'vital motion'. Furthermore, even R. Bleich
himself(Tradition 16:4) agrees that R. Moshe defined life as the presence
of respiration, consonant with the Chief Rabbinate and R. Steinberg. R.
Moshe certainly does not agree with R. Bleich. SImilarly, RSZA does not
agree with R. Bleich and it is in fact difficult to find any gedolim who
specifically agree with R. Bleich's concept of vital motion. While they
may agree with his opposition to 'brain death', that does not imply that
they agree with his specific definition of death.

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Message: 2
From: "Kenneth Miller" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2013 16:48:52 GMT
Re: [Avodah] partnership minyanim

R' Micha Berger quoted RMJB:

> That is also true for those who continue to raise the fact
> that in some communities young boys lead Kabbalat Shabbat
> and Pesukei De-Zimrah. ... By all accounts that is a
> relatively recent (no more than a decade or two) innovation.

What about young boys who read the haftara? That would seem to be a centuries-old precedent.

In my community (Elizabeth NJ) young boys have been saying the Friday night Kiddush in shul since long before I arrived here in '83.

Akiva Miller
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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2013 15:06:24 -0500
Re: [Avodah] partnership minyanim

On Fri, Mar 01, 2013 at 04:48:52PM +0000, Kenneth Miller wrote:
: What about young boys who read the haftara? That would seem to be a
: centuries-old precedent.

Which RMJB disassociates from this case later in his article (and my
post) -- something permitted because of chinukh is not precedent for
something permitted with no motivating chiyuv.


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Message: 4
From: noam stadlan <noamstad...@.gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2013 12:27:38 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] Lecture by Rav Moshe Tendler about Brain Stem

On Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 8:49 AM, hankman <hank...@bell.net> wrote:
> I think that taking the gemara that cues in on respiration to
> literally, might not be the intent there. Perhaps the gemara really means
> not the muscular act of respiration but the physiological process of
> respiration, ie, gas exchange that takes place in the lungs, thus the
> diaphragm is not the key to life but the physiology it enables might be.
> Similarly, the concern with circulation is also truly a concern with the
> physiology of gas exchange...

Thanks for the response.

This discussion involves a lot of different issues, including the one
you have identified. In my post I tried to keep with the assumptions of
the positions that I discuss.

In the article I referenced I discussed the major positions of today's
bioethicists- a human being is a thinking person, or a human being
is an organism with integrated function. Under the second construct,
which is what you are suggesting and which is R. Bleich's position,
there is nothing special about neurological function and indeed,
those bioethicists (Truog and Miller) would say that a functioning body
without a head is a human being. In a previous article (available here:
<http://www.yctorah.org/content/view/662/10/>) I pointed out how this
position doesn't explain the halachic positions of why conjoined twins are
two people, and other issues. I would also suggest that as a general rule,
Halacha seems to identify the person with the thinking/speaking part,
not with the 'integrated function' or 'vital motion.' (The part of the
body responsible for performing or violating commandments is the brain)

This leads into the issue of personal identity. When tissue can be
transplanted and machines can take over the function of organs, there
has to be a criteria for why you are you and I am me. This theoretically
can be different than criteria for life and death. However, if the
criteria for identity are different than the ones for life and death,
there is the potential for creating a human being that qualifies as being
an alive human being but is not a particular human being- does not have
an identity, and/or a collection of human tissue that is identified as a
non-dead particular person but does not qualify as an alive human being.
These would be novel halachic categories that require identification
of their rights/obligations. The neurological criteria for death avoids
this problem by making the criteria for identity the same as life/death.

 From a source point of view, the gemara in Yoma 85A
<http://e-daf.com/index.asp?ID=3D1093&;size=3D1> brings a proof text 'kol
asher nishmat ruach chayim b'apav'. While there are other interpretations
of why the pasuk is there, the simple understanding is that there is
something special about respiration. I admit that science is so different
now that it is possible to read almost anything into the sources. However,
the concept of autonomous respiration in the context of neurological
function is actually the very best fit with the sources, and fits very
well with current biology and bioethical thinking.

I have written a paper that will be published by the International
Rabbinical Federation later this year that reviews some of this with a
lot more detail of the medical aspects.

Shabbat Shalom

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Message: 5
From: "Simi Peters" <famil...@actcom.net.il>
Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2013 00:01:36 +0200
[Avodah] nashim and betulot

No one is saying that ancient kings "made a practice of" taking married
women, but you'd have to ignore an awful lot of history to say that they
never did.  Wanna list?

The claim I made was that Ahashverosh's pekidim took whomever they deemed
of interest to the king, married or not, and that this was contrary to the
original plan of taking betulot.  His meglomanaical vaccuuming up of all
the eligible women in his empire did indeed make him very unpopular, which
in turn fed his paranoia.  It may have been the reason that Bigtan and
Teresh plotted against him.

Kol tuv,
Simi Peters
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Message: 6
From: "Kenneth Miller" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2013 11:22:51 GMT
Re: [Avodah] How do Chabad deal with the Amen of Krias Shema

(For the record, just about everything in this thread concerning Ahava Raba
and Shacharis also concerns Ahavas Olam and Maariv. My wording mentions
only the former, but only to keep it simple.)

It has seemed to me that some hold Ahava Raba to be the Birkas Hamitzvah
for Krias Shma. This was surprising to me for several reasons, and I asked
for a source who explains the reasoning behind it.

R' Micha Berger cited the Ramban, Berakhos 11b "mei'eimasai", who seems to
supply exactly what I was asking for. In the translation he offered from
beureihatefila.com, the Ramban writes:

> it is well known that the prayer Ahavas Olam is the Bracha for
> the Mitzvah of Kriyat Shma, based on the rule that all Mitzvot
> require the recital of a Bracha before the performance of the
> Mitzvah. The same rule applies in connection with reciting
> Hallel; reading Megilat Esther; reading the Torah; and of
> course in connection with reciting Kriyat Shma. It is based on
> that rule that we learned that if one studied Torah after
> reciting Kriyat Shma that it was not necessary for him to
> recite the Bracha that precedes learning Torah since he had
> already fulfilled the obligation to recite a Bracha before
> studying Torah by reciting the Bracha of Ahava Rabbah, which
> is the equivalent to the Bracha for studying Torah.

I have difficulty with this logic on two accounts. The minor point is the
comparison to Birkas Hatorah. I concede that Ahava Raba *is* a bracha, and
it *does* mention "v'sen b'libenu... lilmod ul'lamed... salmud
torasecha...", and therefore it *can* be used as a *b'deavad* substitute
for Birkas HaTorah. But the jump from there to being a Birkas Hamitzvah to
Kriyas Shma seems totally unexplained.

But my bigger difficulty with this Ramban is his claim that "all Mitzvot
require the recital of a Bracha before the performance of the Mitzvah."
Previously, I had posted that all these brachos use a specific wording
which does NOT appear in Ahava Raba, and I asked if anyone can find other
examples of a Birkas Hamitzvah which doesn't use that wording. R' Micha
offered a few arguable examples, but I see now that I did not ask the
correct question.

Rather, my question on the Ramban will not concern whether or not a Birkas
Hamitzvah has to have any particular format. Instead, I will question the
Ramban's claim that ALL mitzvos have a Birkas Hamitzvah beforehand.

Specifically, I offer the following examples of mitzvos which have no specific Birkas Hamitzvah at all:

- Verbally remembering Amalek (whether at Parshas Zachor or some other time in the year)
- Reciting Viduy (on Yom Kippur and/or Erev Yom Kippur)
- Hoshanos on Hoshana Raba (not d'Oraisa, but that's irrelevant)
- Verbally remembering Yetzias Mitzrayim (twice daily, year round)
- You can probably think of more 

I concede that all of these examples can be explained away. That is to say,
you can probably come up with a nice explanation of *why* each of these
doesn't have a Birkas Hamitzvah. But that will merely support my point,
which is that (contrary to the Ramban) NOT every mitzvah has a Birkas
Hamitzvah to go with it. And if these mitzvos lack a Birkas Hamitzvah, then
perhaps Kriyas Shma also lacks a Birkas Hamitzvah.

Having challenged Ramban's assertion that ALL mitzvos require a Birkas
Hamitzvah, it seems to me that the burden of proof is now on the other
side. Can someone offer another proof that Ahava Raba is indeed that Birkas
Hamitzvah to Kriyas Shma?

Or perhaps that's not really necessary.

I often point out that I don't like labels, and I don't like getting bogged
down in semantics. Do we really care whether or not Ahava Raba has the
label "Birkas Hamitzva" attached to it? No, we don't. The real question
posed by this thread is the propriety of interruptions between Ahava Raba
and the Shma.

For that question, I will refer to Mishneh Berura 59:24. The Mechaber there
writes not to answer Amen between these two, and the MB explains that "it
is a hefsek between Kriyas Shma and the bracha, just like it is assur to
interrupt between *any* mitzvah or hanaah which gets a bracha, and the
bracha before it."

By mentioning Birkas Hanehenin, the MB introduces a whole new angle on this
problem. It is now totally irrelevant whether Ahava Raba is a "Birkas
Hamitzvah" or not. What *is* important is the fact that Ahava Raba is a
bracha which is recited "on" Kriyas Shma, the same way that Hamotzi is
recited on bread.

A very simple analogy comes to mind: If I said Hamotzi but did not yet eat
my bread, can I answer Amen to someone else's Hamotzi? (This is not a
far-fetched situation. It often occurs at weddings, shaloshudos, sheva
brachos, and any dinner where each person has his own roll.)

My recollection is that one may *not* answer Amen to someone else's Hamotzi
in such a situation, and this seems exactly the same as if one would answer
to the chazan's bracha before Shema.

I will now close this letter, and go off to investigate these two questions:

(1) Is my memory correct that one may not answer to Hamotzi in such a case?

(2) Is Shema really comparable to that or not? It would be comparable only
if Ahava Raba is truly being said "on" Shema the same way that Hamotzi is
said on the bread. But I suspect that Ahava Raba is merely a normal part of
Seder Hatefilah, and is NOT so connected to the Shema. My evidence for that
is my recollection that the halachos for answering Barchu and Kedusha are
exactly the same regardless of whether one is between Ahava Raba and Shma,
or between Emes Ve'emunah and Hashkivenu. I wonder what the Ramban holds
there. If one can indeed answer to Barchu just prior to Shma, is Amen
really forbidden? I'll go see if I can find it.

Akiva Miller
Brand New iPads: $33.93
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Message: 7
From: Barry Freundel <Dialec...@xaol.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2013 16:33:32 -0500
Re: [Avodah] partnership minyanim

[Relayed to the list by the author's request. -micha]

As the discussion has gone on concerning my analysis of Partnership
Minyanim in halakhah I find the critics going further and further afield
to try and challenge what I wrote.

These arguments tend to share some troubling common characteristics.

1. They misstate what I have written

2. The cite me as saying things that others have written

3. They challenge peripheral issues with an approach that seems to say
that any flaw anywhere in my argument means it all falls, when I was at
pains to show multiple arguments that each stand alone

4. They draw parallels where none are warranted

5. They present sources that support what I am saying as if they actually
present a challenge

I do not know Chana Luntz and I don't mean to be unkind, but her post
on Avodah does all of these things and more; while being written in an
English that is often difficult to understand.

Let me begin by again stating the purpose of my article because much of
what she claims that I didn't cite simply is beyond the scope of what
my goal was in my article.

I wrote an article about Partnership Minyanim (a new phenomenon in the
Ashkenazi community where women lead things like Kabbalat Shabbat, Pesukei
Dezimra etc. but not Maariv), and about why I believe that these services
are halakhically unsustainable within our community. I first challenged
those few halakhic defenses of Partnership minyanim that I have read or
heard and then provided many additional sources to challenge the practice.
Inter alia I did discuss the custom of some communities that allow male
children to lead Pesukei Dezimra and Kabbalat Shabbat because that practice
does potentially challenge my conclusion and I then provided answers to
that challenge. That is the totality of what this article required for its
purposes on this last subject, and as such I did not write the definitive
discussion of children leading any and all parts of davening as found in
halakhic literature.

This introduction alone responds to 90% of what she says in a general sense
(I will be more specific below) but I would add one other general point
that takes care of most, if not all of the rest before I get to specifics.

Ms. Luntz cites Sefardi poskim such as R. Ovadiah Yosef and R Untermann in
her presentation. Is she seriously suggesting that if they were asked
whether women could lead Kabbalat Shabbat or Pesukei Dezimra they would say
"yes"? Is the track record of Sephardi poskim on issues such as this one
that suggests they would respond in the affirmative?

I think not and that alone raises some serious questions about the things
that she is claiming in her post.

Turning to specifics I simply don't have the time to keep writing ten page
responses to these types of posts, So I will do so, hopefully for the last
time, to show that what she says creates no problems for me and, in fact,
in several important ways supports what I say which has been true all along
with all of these challenges that have been raised.

 In her very first paragraph there are two serious misstatements

1) She says " He (meaning me) then cites as (sic) Meiri, which he (me)
quotes as " often cited as a critically important source supporting the
arguments of those who see aliyot for women as acceptable", but which, as
he (me) correctly points out, does not discus (sic) prayer services in any
great detail,".

That is not what I said and more importantly, that is not what the Meiri

For at least the 7th or 8th time in my article and in these posts the Meiri
says a) that a male child may get an aliyah b) but may not lead services AT
ALL. Those who support Partnership minyanim have used part a of this
sentence to support aliyot for women but then have ignored part b and in
fact have extrapolated to women leading parts of davening. This is a
serious challenge to those who have defended Partnership Minyanim based on
the articles that defend women getting aliyot, and that is why I discuss it
as I do.

2) She then continues: "although it (Meiri) does deal make reference
to what is the critical halachic question, which is what is the situation
for minors [katanim].(sic)"

With all respect, the status of MINORS is not the critical question, the
status of WOMEN is the critical question. One can accept any and all
participation by male children and still not allow women to lead. I have
already suggested that the Sephardic poskim Ms. Luntz cites who allow
children to lead in some places in the davening all follow that view. This
is true because the permissive argument for children is based on Chinukh
which as I have shown repeatedly does not apply to women. I will have more
to say about this as we go but even at this point the post has already
shown a lack of credible argumentation.

Chana Luntz then goes on: "However it is somewhat astounding, to my mind,
that Rabbi Freundel brings this Meiri, Tosepheta and other sources, but
does (sic) bring what I would consider the more authoritative halachic
literature on the subject. In my view, the key halachic source is rather
this Beis Yosef Orech Chaim Siman 53 (letter 2): (sic)

Once again this is simply egregious. First the source is letter 10 not
letter 2. Second the literature she refers to including this source from
Bet Yosef is about children leading services not about women leading
services and is not "the more authoritative halachic literature on the
subject" unless one changes the subject from women to children which seems
to be her intent here. Third I didn't bring the Meiri, R. Mendel Schapiro
did on p. 7 of his article and I am responding to that fact. Fourth, the
Tosefta which she consistently denigrates is discussed repeatedly in the
sources she cites and specifically in this text from the Bet Yosef where
what the Tosefta says is cited from Tractate Chullin in the paragraphs just
above the one she cites. Therefore, since the Tosefta rejects women from
any possibility of being Chazzanim and R. Yosef Caro both here and in
Shulkhan Arukh accepts the Tosefta's conclusion (that only beard growing
individuals, or potential beard growing individuals, can be chazzanim) and
starts the discussion in both places from that point -- these sources can't
possibly be justifying women leading services. Therefore, her comments here
sadly range from irrelevant to profoundly wrong and in particular her
downplaying of the Tosefta which she returns to at the end of her post
ignores the fact that what the Tosefta says and its interpretation is
codified in the very sources she cites.

The quote from Beit Yosef simply supports what I say, repeatedly, and
really has no place in the conversation about Partnership Minyanim. I will
go through it step by step using Ms. Luntz' own translation and adding
emphasis to illustrate. She writes: "it is derived explicitly that a katan
is NOT permitted to go down before the ark even only on a casual basis and
there is to wonder on that which is the custom that a katan goes down
before the ark on Motzei Shabbatot and prays the prayer of Arvit,"

So the discussion is about Maariv on Saturday nights and at this point in
Bet Yosef no child (despite a custom to the contrary) and certainly no
woman may lead.

Bet Yosef then suggests a view that a child can lead Maariv and not
Shacharit because Schacharit contains things that are chiyuvim (this seems
to be based on the idea that Maariv is a reshut and not a chiyuv discussed
just below), and therefore for Schacharit only one who is hayav may fulfill
the obligation for others. He does not distinguish Pesukei Dezimrah from
the rest of Schacharit (probably because, pace the Rambam as discussed in
my response to Prof Kaplan there is no Chazzan at that point in the
services in Sefardi circles), and tells of two great Rabbis who actively
and forcefully worked against the practice of children leading Maariv.

So at this point again no children and no women.

We then have Bet Yosef bringing Rashba citing Ravad saying what I cite R
Uziel as also saying and going even further that because of the rabbinic
requirement of Hinukh children might lead the davening which is also

So at this point children may lead but not women

But children may lead because their leading fulfills a chiyuv (of chinukh).
This as Ms Luntz herself says is the basis of all the Sefardic allowances
for children. This is not a type 2 Chazzan who just sets the pace and
chooses the tunes. It is actually an extended type 1 chazzan who is there
to fulfill an obligation which women do not have. I have some problems as I
say in my article with this extension of the chinukh chiyuv in this way.
Nonetheless it gets you to male children at most and not to women (more

But Rashba continues, such a plan involves a violation of Kavod hatsibbur
if a child (not a woman) leads.

So at this point no children and no women.

Nonetheless Beit Yosef argues that the community may forego its honor and
so it might be ok for male children to lead Maariv.

In other words it is only because children fit into the category of hinukh
that we might suggest that they lead, but that might impact the tzibbur's
kavod. Yet there may be a way around that concern as well according to Bet

But this dynamic doesn't occur with women because they can't get past the
first obstacle since there is no mitzvah of hinukh when it comes to them
and therefore they cannot lead the services. Hence we need not approach the
issue of kavod hatsibbur at all in their case.

So at this point children may lead but not women.

Bet Yosef then cites Rashi who would not let male children lead because
only those who have a chiyuv (for tefillah) can lead, to which Bet Yosef
responds that Maariv is different since it is a Reshut and not a Chova.

My article spends a great deal of time showing that Kabbalat Shabbat is a
chova (derived from minhag) and the fact that it is recited every week
(essentially). Pesukei dezimrah is, from Talmudic times, a requirement. We
today treat Maariv as a chova in that we do not see Maariv as optional on
any given night and Partnership Minyanim do not allow women to lead Maariv
on Friday nights because certainly on Friday nights since the insertion of
Magen Avot, Maariv is a chiyuv.

So again Partnership Minyanim have no support here.

Further for Ms Luntz, how has a source that discusses male children leading
Maariv which is thought to be a reshut (which means it doesn't reflect our
contemporary halakhic reality), which also includes several authorities who
were absolutely opposed to that practice (or to children leading anything),
in any way a challenge to my position on Partnership Minyanim, even if Bet
Yosef, based on Hinukh, Maariv as a reshut and mechilat kevod hatsibbur
allowed these young boys to lead, there is still no challenge to what I say.

Parenthetically Bet Yosef cites Kavod Hatsibbur here but not from a
Talmudic source. I said that there is no Talmudic source citing Kevod
hatsibbur in relation to prayer services and particularly prayer services
for women and that remains true. Later authorities mention it but I do not
include it in my article so its mention does not touch the points that I

Ms Luntz goes on to cite the Mehaber as saying that we should find a
defense for those communities that allow a Katan to lead Maariv on Motzaei
Shabbat. I again fail to see the relevance (his defense is presumably what
he said in Beit Yosef). Again it is male children not women and Maariv as
reshut and no other prayers. Also I believe no communities follow this
practice today, and Ms Luntz cites none who do. So what part of what I say
is challenged by all of this?

Ms Luntz then cites the Ramo in two places being absolutely opposed to
children as Chazzanim and saying "a katan cannot go down before the ark
EVEN FOR the prayer of Arvit", and apparently for no other prayer either.
Now as I have said several times Partnership Minyanim are an Ashkenazi
phenomenon. As such any challenges to me from children leading Pesukei
Dezimrah or Kabballat Shabbat should end right here and any Ashkenazi shuls
letting kids lead these things should stop right now. Again the sources
support me. They do not challenge me.

We then see two versions of Dagul Mervava both of which speak of Maariv as
a Reshut, which is not how we see it today. Both versions exclude the Katan
from Friday night Maariv but allow him to lead on other nights because
Maariv is a reshut. We have already responded to all of this and despite Ms
Luntz assertions these sources are irrelevant to my discussion.

What follows is Ms Luntz's most disingenuous comment in her entire post.
She writes and I will interject

"as can easily be seen from these sources, that distinctions can and are
made within halacha between those parts of the prayer service in which the
leader needs to exempt the obligations of others (this is only in her
version of the dagul mervava but not in R. Ovadiah's version and not in the
other sources where the issue is only Maariv as reshut verses chova which
Dagul Mervava cites in her version of his text as well), where a katan
cannot fulfill those roles and others where he may (not according to Ramo
et al and only in Maariv when it is seen as a reshut according to others-
there is no wide ranging permissive stance from anyone she cites as she
suggests), but where there may be issues of kovod hatzibbur. It seems to me
that without these sources you cannot have a meaningful discussion about
the topic, and that it is rather odd that they have not been quoted in
favour of a Meiri. "

But Ms Luntz fails to point out that I do distinguish between the role of
the chazzan in chazzarat hashatz etc. where he fulfills the obligation of
others and his role elsewhere where he serves to create the tsibbur for
tefillah betsibbur and she leaves out the part of the Beit Yosef where
citing Ravad and Rashba, the Katan only has a role because the rabbinical
mitzvah of Hinukh applies to him so that he can recite Berahot and tefillot
which are derabannan for others. All of this would preclude women from the

Further please see above regarding the Meiri. He is here because R Schapiro
brought him to the dance -- not me.

Ms Luntz moves on to a discussion of Kavod Hatzibbur but I don't cite that
issue and don't see it as relevant so that even though some of what she
says supports my position I am not moving to embrace that concern. As I
have said before, Aryeh Frimer deals with this in his critique of
Partnership minyanim but it doesn't belong in a discussion of my article. I
would only point out that the Bach which she quotes here and is central to
what she says is also based on the Tosefta that she so denigrates.

Next she, quite unfairly, does what R Farber did previously and uses her
understanding of Kavod Hatsibbur against my position. She says:

"the real issue at (sic) portrayed by this portion of the Bach, and the
part picked up by the Taz and Magen Avraham is that you would not send a
child to represent a community for an important matter. In past times one
would also almost certainly not send a woman, but I doubt that is the case
today -- many countries have female ambassadors -- I doubt there are any that
have children. Whether this changes the nature of this halacha is an
interesting question."

Maybe it is interesting for some, but I never raised this issue in my
article in part to avoid this type of argument and in part because the
gemara doesn't raise kavod hatsibbur in regard to women and tefillah. It is
simply dishonest scholarship to associate me with a position I never
articulated and then to try to score points by challenging that position
which I never presented. Again this raises questions about the seriousness
of her post.

Ms Luntz then offers an ad hominem attack:

"But the real problem with Rabbi Freudel's (sic) analysis is, as I have
mentioned, that in his zeal to write partnership minyanim out of Orthodoxy,
appears to be doing a good job to write the Sephardi Community wholesale
out of Orthodoxy."

Now I have said here and previously that Partnership Minyanim are an
Ashkenazi phenomenon. As such it is the positions of Ashkenazi poskim that
are relevant to them to a far greater degree than Sefardi Poskim. So this
attack is just preposterous. Second I cited and analyzed Rav Uziel on male
children and Pesukei Dezimra in my article. Third is Ms. Luntz suggesting
that Sephardi poskim who do not allow women to recite Kaddish in shul or
say a blessing on mitzvot for which they are exempt would accept
partnership minyanim. Based just on what I have said a woman could not say
Barukh She'amar the berakha that begins pesukeiu dezimra since women have
no chiyuv for pesukei dezimrah.

Her next statement concedes the entire issue. Ms Luntz states:

"Because the Sephardi approach to chinuch (and this may not be true of the
Spanish and Portuguese, who are after all very European, I do not know,
but is very much the case amongst the Gibralterians, Moroccans, Iraqis and
various others of my acquaintance) involves the active participation of
katanim in a way that is flabbergasting to your average Ashkenazi."

But if the rationale is Chinukh as I cite Rav Uziel as saying in my
article, then for the umpteenth time this does not and cannot apply to
women. So again partnership minyanim are illegitimate and that is what I
wrote about and what I said.

Now I did raise a question about Rav Uziel's position but I never suggested
that to follow his opinion puts one outside of Orthodoxy. If this is what
Ms. Luntz is reacting to I suggest she go back and reread what I wrote and
apologize for wasting our time.

Ms. Luntz then says: "Now Rabbi Freudel (sic) does note this, but appears
to treat it as some sort of halachic aberration."

As far as I know, I raised some questions about the practices but never
used terminology like this. And the questions are legitimate. Rav Ovadiah
Yosef, Rav Uziel and the Mehaber (all of whom she cites), all indicate
some trouble with these practices even while defending them.

Ms Luntz then quotes Rav Uzziel who I quoted back at me. This is just
strange. So is the claim that many communities allow children to lead
pesukei dezimrah (a point which I also made though I said "some"). While
this is interesting those communities still need to provide halakhic
rationale for doing so. And if that rationale is chinukh as it appears to
be, that raises the questions which I asked in my article. Even if the
rationale is accepted that does not offer license for Partnership minyanim
which is my subject unless you sidetrack me into this discussion large
parts of which are irrelevant to my point despite her claims to the

The Quote from Rav Yosef is even stranger since he challenges the
leniencies suggested by Ms. Luntz throughout her post in terms similar to
my own concerns and again limits any possible leniency to Maariv which he
sees as a reshut. (how a katan would do this since it includes Barhu and
kaddish is unclear but again his only basis is hinukh which is not
applicable to women).

We then get a series of customs that occur in Sephardi shuls which find
children doing various things that are troubling even to Sephardi poskim.
Again this is all under the rubric if chinukh and doesn't involve women.

Ms Luntz then takes an unconscionable leap and declares that what she
herself has called practices that emerge from chinnuch represent R Farbers
second type of Chazzan who only sets the pace and chooses the tunes, but
again she cites no one who says so. This is the same wishful thinking we
have seen all along in this dialogue. Everything she says about a Kattan is
predicated on the chiyuv of Chinukh. As such if a Kattan leads, he does so
as a sort of type 1 chazzan fulfilling a chiyuv and not as R Farber's type
2 who has no chiyuv at all. I am sorry but this is just not serious
halakhic analysis.

 To allow a male child to lead parts of the service because of the rabbinic
mitzvah of chinnukh, whatever questions I may have (and Rav Ovadiah has)
about that practice is still dramatically different than allowing women
with no halakhic chiyuv or basis to do the same. No sefardi posek makes
that leap and as I have said I seriously doubt anyone would. Also
continuing to distinguish between Maariv which some sefardi poskim are
willing to still see as a reshut other than on Friday nights and Maariv on
other nights does not get you to the practices of Partnership minyanim
which do not deal with weekday Maarivs.

Finally Ms Luntz challenges my use of the Tosefta again despite the fact
that many of the sources she cites especially those from Caro and the Bach
explicitly cite this source and accept it. Again I find this to be very
troubling as a serious halakhic presentation.

In sum, there is no question that sefardi practice, despite some hesitation
from Sephardi poskim allows male children to do things that Ashkenazim do
not. The rationale for this is chinukh which is not applicable to women and
I already mention all of this in my article

Partnership Minyanim are an Ashkenazi phenomenon, so while this is all
interesting it isn't relevant and in any case no Sephardi posek allows
women to lead any part of the services.

No Sephardi posek cites R Farbers second type of chazzan and if it did
exist there would be no need to mention chinukh as the rationale

Maariv is the prototype here because it is still seen as a reshut by some
in the Sephardi world-but not by Ashkenazim

Everyone, including me knows that some parts of the service require a
chazzan who fulfills peoples obligations and some parts do not. My article
spends a good deal of time explaining what this second type of Chazzan is
and I have shown repeatedly that it is not R Farber's type 2 Chazzan and
nothing Ms Luntz writes comes close to changing any of that.

I end with a plea. Can we please be a little more responsible in our
halakhic analysis and save everyone the time and effort of going through
this type of exchange.

Barry Freundel

Addendum: I saw a post on Hirhurim ostensibly from Rav Henkin denigrating
the Hirhurim blog and stating that Ms Luntz has provided a refutation of
what I have written.

Hopefully Rav Henkin was not the author

But if he was and Bemekhilat Kevodo hagadol, I think he needs to rethink
both parts of that comment.

Go to top.

Message: 8
From: "Kenneth Miller" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2013 12:20:09 GMT
Re: [Avodah] How do Chabad deal with the Amen of Krias Shema

A few minutes ago, I sent a post, ending with:

> But I suspect that Ahava Raba is merely a normal part of Seder
> Hatefilah, and is NOT so connected to the Shema. My evidence
> for that is my recollection that the halachos for answering
> Barchu and Kedusha are exactly the same regardless of whether
> one is between Ahava Raba and Shma, or between Emes Ve'emunah
> and Hashkivenu. ...

Another piece of evidence is that the zmanim for Ahava Raba follows
Tefilah, and does not follow the Shma, as I posted previously, citing
Mechaber 58:6 and Kaf Hahaim 58:23. I look forward to hearing comments on
that point.

Akiva Miller

Fast, Secure, NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband. Try it.

Go to top.

Message: 9
From: Liron Kopinsky <liron.kopin...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2013 22:09:25 +0200
[Avodah] Chazak chazak venitchazak

Doors anyone know where this phrase came from out any primary sources which
discuss its meaning?
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Message: 10
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2013 22:48:49 +0200
[Avodah] OU Israel Pesach Guide

The OU in Israel put a booklet into every edition of the weekend Jerusalem
Post and other distributions with halachot of Pesach

However many of the halachot are very strange

1) " A common minhag is that they (mehadrin kashrut authorities) do not, as
a rule, certify products that contain more than 4 or 5 ingredients"
The rav in charge of kashrut in our town (a charedi himself)  thought that
was a joke. Coke has over 12 ingedients and is certified by Rav Landau for
Pesach.  In fact many if not most compound products have more than 5

Besides why would that make a difference

2)  If some kitniyot falls into food the kitchen is not treif (a little
"The food is actually permissible to eat during Pesach although most people
would understably opt not to do so"
The RY giving our shiur thought that throwing out the food is baal taschit.
 The chief rabbi of our town is Sefardi married to an Ashkenazi (former
minister from Shas and on the chief rabbinate board) told that when his
wife's family visits for Pesach he served them food with kitniyot and tells
them to just take out whatever they see.

Other questions are debateable - they don't allow kashering formica or
caesar marble counters though many poskim do allow it

Eli Turkel
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