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Volume 31: Number 98

Thu, 23 May 2013

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 11:45:49 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Reform Practice in Orthodox Shuls

On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 06:45:54AM -0400, Prof. Levine wrote:
> During the week I daven in the Lakewood Vo'sikin minyan and on Shabbos I 
> daven at the Haskama Minyan at the YI of J.  There is absolutely no 
> taking during davening at the Lakewood minyan,  which is a very 
> yeshivishe minyan  and little talking at the Yi of J minyan.  Both are 
> orderly and decorum is maintained.

Again, one can lose decorum in ways that are in concert with davening.
If the norm is that tefillos each says to themselves aren't all that
quiet. Dancing for Lekha Dodi. Etc... None of which would fit in
Yekkishe service, where decorum is part of creating an air of humbly
facing Royalty. (Much as Yekke shul music runs very regal.) But it
isn't talking during davening, and in fact in other, less-Yekkish,
ways of approaching the RBSO, it is enhancing kavanah.

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 2
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@xgmail.com>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 14:47:34 +0300
[Avodah] 20th Sivan

partial from Rabbi Kaganoff

"It is customary in the entire Kingdom of Poland to fast on the 20th of
Sivan." These are the words of the Magen Avraham (580:9). I do not know
when the custom to observe this fast ended, but the Mishnah Berurah
quotes it as common practice in Poland in his day (580:16). Perhaps,
it was assumed that the custom was required only as long as there were
communities in Poland, but that their descendants, who moved elsewhere,
were not required to observe it. Most contemporary siddurim do not
include the selichos for the 20th of Sivan, which implies that it is
already some time since it was observed by most communities.

** **

Notwithstanding this, I have been told that in some communities that
no longer observe the 20th of Sivan as a day of selichos and fasting,
still have a custom not to schedule weddings on this day.

Eli Turkel

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Message: 3
From: David Riceman <drice...@optimum.net>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 10:14:07 -0400
[Avodah] Reform Practice in Orthodox Shuls


<<Do you know if the BHMQ more resembled KAJ or the cacophony of 
davening in the Slonimer beis medrash? I wouldn't hazard a guess.>>

At least this has something resembling a source.  See PhM Avot 5:4 ed. 
Sheilat s.v. "omdim tzfufim".

David Riceman

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Message: 4
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 11:12:40 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] kinyan hagbaah

In Avodah Digest, Vol 31, Issue 68 dated 4/15/2013 

From:  Arie Folger <afol...@aishdas.org>

On Mon, Apr 15, 2013, Meir Rabi  <meir...@gmail.com> wrote:

> But there are other  considerations which may well be deemed Kanuy to the
> purchaser even  BEFORE he has paid; for example, someone snatches from his
> cart a  bottle with a cap that carries a random prize. There is almost
>  certainly a Chiyuv BeDinei Shamayim and very likely BD would enforce  
> formally or informally that the winning prize goes to the  fellow who had 
> in his cart.

No kinyan, but this might  fall under ani hamehapekh becharara (the price is
set, no haggling in  supermarket, so it should be like pasku damim), or
marchikqin metsudat  hadag min hadag.

But in all these, the kinian is only rabbinic ve-eino  yotze bedayanim 
Arie Folger,

Can you please translate "ani hamehapekh becharara"? (And how are these  
words spelled in Hebrew?  You will have to write out the letters of the  aleph 
bais using an English keyboard, for ex. is "ani" spelled with an aleph or  
an ayin?)  
Thank you.

--Toby  Katz


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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 14:12:28 -0400
Re: [Avodah] kinyan hagbaah

On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 11:12:40AM -0400, T6...@aol.com wrote:
: Can you please translate "ani hamehapekh becharara"? (And how are these  
: words spelled in Hebrew? ...

ani = poor person (w/ an ayin)
hamehapekh = who turns abour
becharara = for a crust of bread

It's Aramaic. That's why you didn't recognize "charara", and why RAF
didn't transliterate it with a trailing "h" -- Aramaic words that end
in a patach use an alef to denote it, not Hebrew's norm of a hei.

BTW, cut-n-pasting to google, the first hit is
It has a nice explanation of the halachic category. (Often checking
Google answers "what is ...?" questions faster than composing an email
for the list.)


    "Ani HaMehapech B'Charara" - Tortious Interference
    If a person has made an agreement to buy or lease a house, car, or any
    other item from someone, and a price has been agreed upon, even though
    no Kinyan has been completed, it is forbidden for a third person to
    attempt to interfere and try to buy or lease it for themselves. In the
    language of our Chaza'l, this is called a "Ani HaMehapech B'Charara"
    - literally: an impoverished person chasing a crust of bread.

Details and sources (with more details) follow.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             For a mitzvah is a lamp,
mi...@aishdas.org        And the Torah, its light.
http://www.aishdas.org                   - based on Mishlei 6:2
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 6
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 07:30:54 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Insights Into Halacha: A Halachic Analysis of

On 22/05/2013 5:17 AM, CMB wrote:
> Let me get this straight- A well written halachic piece by someone who
> obviously knows what he's talking about (the footnotes alone are quite
> impressive) is 'discredited' because on a complete side point to the
> issue at hand

Did I say it was "discredited"? No, I did not. I said that citing this
as a source tends to discredit his case, and yes, it obviously does.
No matter how solid a case is, citing as evidence a source known to be
false tends to discredit it. How can it not?

> You also are not correct- The full quote r spitz concludes that In fact,
> it was due to the public outcry engendered by this book that the Federal
> Meat Inspection Act of 1906 was passed.
> So it would not matter if the book was true or not.

How is it relevant whether the book contributed to passing a law or not?
The book was cited as evidence of the state of kashrus at the time,
and it is not evidence for that, not even a little bit. Whatever the
state of kashrus was, and I have no doubt that it was deplorable, this
book does nothing to establish it, any more than a citation from the
Protocols of the Elders of Zion would do so. (And by the way, it's
not really true that the act was passed due to this book. The forces
behind the act were in motion well before the book. The public panic
that the book sparked merely provided the occasion and excuse.)

>  The govt. sent inspectors and they found much of the book to be
> true! I found this on wikipedia:

Wikipedia?! The ingrained political bias on WP is well known, and on
any topic with political implications it is not reliable. In any case,
no source is cited for this, so even by WP's standards it's of no value.

> :> The book's assertions were confirmed in the Neill-Reynolds report,

No, they were not.  This statement is false.   The report debunked almost
every single assertion in the book.

> :> Despite betrayal of the secret to the meat packers, who worked three
> :> shifts a day for three weeks to thwart the inspection

{{cn}}  (Source needed).   The big meat packers *supported* the legislation;
it was what they had been trying to achieve for a long time, because it had
the predictable effect of driving the smaller packers out of business.

>   Either way, I cannot fathom what this has to with halacha and how this
>   reference or editors' typos have to do with or discredit what seems
>   to be imho a solid halachic work with some (possibly nonintentional]
>   mussar built in. Yasher koach

Citing an unreliable source as evidence for ones case tends to discredit
it. And while a typo could happen to anyone, this was clearly not a typo
but a deliberate choice; *if* it was the author's own choice, then it
puzzles me. That's why I speculated that it might represent some editor's
ignorant attempt to "correct" what was already correct.

Zev Sero

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Message: 7
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 14:31:18 -0400
Re: [Avodah] kinyan hagbaah

On 22/05/2013 2:12 PM, Micha Berger wrote:
> becharara = for a crust of bread
> It's Aramaic. That's why you didn't recognize "charara", and why RAF
> didn't transliterate it with a trailing "h" -- Aramaic words that end
> in a patach use an alef to denote it, not Hebrew's norm of a hei.

"Chararah" is spelt with a hei.

Zev Sero               A citizen may not be required to offer a 'good and
z...@sero.name          substantial reason' why he should be permitted to
                        exercise his rights. The right's existence is all
                        the reason he needs.
                            - Judge Benson E. Legg, Woollard v. Sheridan

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Message: 8
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 15:34:39 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Reform Practice in Orthodox Shuls

On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 10:14:07AM -0400, David Riceman wrote:
> RMB:
>> Do you know if the BHMQ more resembled KAJ or the cacophony of  
>> davening in the Slonimer beis medrash? I wouldn't hazard a guess.

> At least this has something resembling a source.  See PhM Avot 5:4 ed.  
> Sheilat s.v. "omdim tzfufim".

col 2.

But the Rambam just says that they didn't jostle eachother when bowing
because of rov mora'am. Which is about a lack of decorum that gets in
the way of avodas Hashem.

It doesn't say whether the Rambam expected that mora to create a decorous
avodah or to fuel an ecstatic one.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             What you get by achieving your goals
mi...@aishdas.org        is not as important as
http://www.aishdas.org   what you become by achieving your goals.
Fax: (270) 514-1507              - Henry David Thoreau

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Message: 9
From: "Elazar M. Teitz" <r...@juno.com>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 20:09:04 GMT
Re: [Avodah] 50

      The following two statements were made with regard to eved ivri:

      (1) The only eved who goes free after seven years is a thief who is unable to
repay what he has stolen and the kefel; why would thefts be more common in
the first year of shemitah than in any other year?

      (2) Shesh shanim doesn't apply at all to one who sells himself.

     I believe both statements are inaccurate. (1), of course, should read
     "who goes free after six years."  A person can be sold for inability
     to repay what he has stolen, but "v'nimkar bigneivaso v'lo bichfeilo."
      (See Rambam Avadim 1:1.)	And both statements are incorrect about the
     applicability of a six-year term to one who sells himself into
     servitude.  He may sell himself for a longer period, but six years is
     the minimum.  (See Rambam Avadim 3:12.)


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Message: 10
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2013 09:44:04 +0300
[Avodah] limudei chol

<<>> See Rambam Yesodei haTorah chapters 3 and 4 where in Mishne Torah the
>> Rambam teaches astronomy which he equates with Maasei Bereshit.
>> This is repeated in Moreh Nevuchim in the introduction where maaseit
>> bereshit is described as the natural sciences (chochmat hateva). See
>> aslo there 1:34.>>

Let me rephrase my claim: According to both Rambam and Rav Kook science
is essential or intrinsic (instead of being part of Torah). Rambam doesnt
differentiate between philosophy and physics (which parts of modern science
is a separate issue I  would venture it includes astronomny, particle
physics, molecular biology).  In fact these are higher levels are learning.
Hence, one needs to learn Talmud first before one advances to the higher
As the Rambam states in a letter that later in life he has very little free
time and so devotes that free time to philosophy.

Rav Kook combines Torah and science are kodesh and chol but combine to form
kodesh hakodashim. Thus, according to Rav Kook science is certainly lower
than Torah but still an essential portion of the entire kodesh hakodashin.
Thus, Rav Kook's vision for the ideal yeshiva includes
limudei chol as an intrinsic part.

According to both Rambam and Rav Kook (for different reasons) learning
limudei chol is intrinsically important and not just to make a living or to
pasken a question.

As several have pointed out according to all opinions one does not make a
Birchat Hatorah on learning astronomy. Many other opoinions replace
philosophy from the Rambam by kabbalah.
Thus, similar to Rambam they stress that one learns Talmud/halacha before
delving into Kabbalah. Nevertheless, they hold that Kabbalah is higher
level of reaching to G-d. I would also assume that one does not make a
Birkhat HaTorah on learning Kabbalah. Thus, in many ways the Kabbalists are
similar to Rambam but replace philosophy/astronomy by Kabbalah.

Eli Turkel
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Message: 11
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2013 08:13:28 -0400
[Avodah] Review the Halachos of Sheva Brachos

I would like to add the following to what is below.  IMO starting on 
time and not dragging things out is part of Kovod Habrios.

This Simcha Really a Simcha?"  The Jewish Press, June 17, 2005, page 1   YL

 From today's Hakhel email bulletin

Special Note Three:  With Chasuna season upon us, it becomes 
necessary to once again review the Halachos of Sheva Brachos, so that 
we can be better guided when attending a Sheva Brachos Seudah, or 
being asked to be the "Panim Chadoshos". We present below several 
such Halachos, as excerpted from the Sefer Oholei Yeshurun by Rabbi 
Aharon Felder, Shlita.  As always, one should consult with his Rav or 
Posek for a final P'sak or in the case of any doubt:

1.  If a Chasuna occurs near sh'kia and the meal cannot begin on the 
same day (before sunset), then the seven days begin on the following 
day (i.e. the day of the actual Chasuna meal).

2.  If the final meal on the seventh day concludes after sunset, 
Sheva Brachos may still be recited.

3.  It is preferable that Sheva Brachos be recited each 
day.  Therefore, a Chassan and Kallah should not travel to places 
where Sheva Brachos cannot be recited.

4.  Sheva Brachos may be recited at a meal in any place--as long as 
the meal was prepared specifically for the Chassan and 
Kallah.  Therefore, Sheva Brachos could not be recited if the Chassan 
and Kallah enter a restaurant to have a private meal.  Rather, if 
Sheva Brachos are to be recited in a hotel, restaurant or other place 
where people are otherwise served meals, then the people who will 
participate should be notified ahead of time that the meal is in 
honor of the Chassan and Kallah.

5.  Sheva Brachos would not be recited if a Chassan and Kallah are 
attending a Bris, unless special food was added in their honor.

6.  Both Chassan and Kallah must be present both at the meal (even if 
they arrived late), and at the Sheva Brachos.

7.  Sheva Brachos is recited only once, even if there are several 
Chassanim and Kallos at the same meal.

8.  A minimum of seven males above Bar Mitzvah must recite Birkas 
Hamazon in order to recite Sheva Brachos.  The remaining three people 
needed for the minyan may eat a kezayis of any food or drink a 
revi'is of any liquid (except for water).  If one had started his 
meal elsewhere (such as Friday night), and was asked to Bentsh with 
the Chassan and Kallah for Sheva Brachos, he must eat a kezayis of 
bread at his own meal, and he must then eat a small portion of food 
with the Chassan and Kallah--unless he is one of the seven people 
required to eat bread--in which case he must eat at least a kezayis 
of bread at the Sheva Brachos location.  However, if he is one of the 
other three people needed, then he may eat a kezayis of any food or 
drink a revi'is of liquid (except water), as above.

9.  The Panim Chadashos cannot have been present at a previous meal 
tendered in honor of the Chassan and Kallah, but may have attended 
the wedding ceremony itself.

10.  If the two Kosos are not the same size, the larger Kos should be 
used for Bentsching, which is more chashuv.  Both cups should be 
filled before washing Mayim Achronim.

11.  If one of the Brachos was temporarily skipped by mistake, it 
should be recited despite the fact that it will not be in the proper order.

12.  The person Bentsching should have kavana to be motzi others with 
his Borei Pri Hagofen, and those intending to drink (such as the 
Chassan and Kallah) should also have in mind that they are being 
yotzei with his bracha.  He should drink at least an ounce of 
wine--and preferably a revi'is--so that he can make a bracha achrona 
on the Kos Shel Bracha.

Hakhel Note:  Whether or not you were honored with one of the Sheva 
Brachos---don't leave without giving your own personal bracha to the 
Chassan and Kallah!


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Message: 12
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2013 10:49:17 -0400
Re: [Avodah] limudei chol

On 23/05/2013 2:44 AM, Eli Turkel wrote:
> . I would also assume that one does not make a Birkhat HaTorah on learning Kabbalah.

Why would you assume that?  One certainly does!

Zev Sero               A citizen may not be required to offer a 'good and
z...@sero.name          substantial reason' why he should be permitted to
                        exercise his rights. The right's existence is all
                        the reason he needs.
                            - Judge Benson E. Legg, Woollard v. Sheridan

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Message: 13
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2013 14:57:56 -0400
[Avodah] Individualism and the Torah

In the Torah to Go issue for this past Shavuos, Rn/Dr Ilana Turetsky

    Approach # 3: One Torah for Many Different People

    An age-old educational question relates to whether to teach to the
    top, middle, or bottom of the class. Should one teach to the lowest
    common denominator, explaining and re-explaining the material
    until every single student understands, even if the stronger
    students will become bored and disengaged within the first few
    minutes? Alternatively, perhaps teachers should aim to challenge
    and stimulate, thereby promoting a rich experience for the stronger
    students, though at risk of losing the weaker ones along the way? This
    struggle is common to novice and veteran teachers alike, across all
    grade levels and disciplines. Consider this educational challenge
    in the context of Ma'amad Har Sinai. Ma'amad Har Sinai was meant to
    be personally meaningful, engaging and instructive for not just a
    handful of students but for an entire nation of individuals.

    If a teacher finds it difficult to engage a diverse class that may
    consist of only 10 or 15 students, how did Hashem deliver the Torah
    in a way that was accessible and meaningful to the entire Jewish
    people? Based on the writings of later commentaries, two approaches
    can be suggested that highlight the individualized dimensions that
    were subtly woven into what was otherwise the highly collective
    experience of Ma'amad Har Sinai.

    R. Shlomo Luria, known as the Maharshal, describes the differentiated
    nature in which the Torah was conveyed. [8] According to the
    Maharshal, while the actual Torah presented by G-d was finite,
    each person processed and experienced the Torah through the unique
    prism of his or her background, thereby receiving the Torah in a
    unique and personalized way. In that sense, Matan Torah reflects
    a sophisticated educational model in which various individuals
    are capable of partaking in a single experience, yet benefiting in
    different ways. Indeed, recent developments in the field of education
    in which teachers use an array of strategies to simultaneously meet
    the needs of diverse students mirror the methods modeled by G-d at
    Matan Torah. [9] Individual needs and proclivities are respected,
    while still promoting a sense of community and cohesiveness. What was
    on some level an experience focused on the collective was actually
    a highly personal encounter for each member of Klal Yisrael.

    R. Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, author of Meshech Chochma, offers
    an alternate approach. [10] He suggests that at times the Torah
    intentionally uses a vague formulation in order to allow for
    different interpretations and to remain relevant for different
    people. A prime example of this phenomenon relates to the obligation
    to learn Torah. The Torah avoids giving an explicit measurement that
    quantitatively delineates how much Torah each person is expected to
    learn. This ambiguity necessitates follow up with an oral law and
    later rabbinic clarification to elaborate on the various factors
    that determine one's particular obligation to study Torah. This
    ambiguity, therefore, should not be perceived as an imperfection in
    the Torah's formulation; rather, R. Meir Simcha suggests that Hashem
    never meant for the requirement to study Torah to be categorical and
    absolute. Recognizing individual differences, both internal traits
    and external circumstances, Hashem crafted a sophisticated system in
    which each individual is meant to use divine guidelines to honestly
    assess personal roles and responsibilities. [11]

    In addition to the pedagogical ramifications of the individualization
    of Matan Torah, the nuances of the experience at Ma'amad Har Sinai
    highlight opportunities for finding personal meaning in Torah,
    and encourage each individual to forge a personal connection with
    the Torah. Rather than trying to squelch a sense of uniqueness,
    we are encouraged to bring our individuality into our relationship
    with Torah and to use it as a basis to strengthen and deepen
    our connection with the divine word.


    8 Yam Shel Shlomo, Introduction to Bava Kammah.

    9 Levy, H. M. (2008). Meeting the needs of all students through
    differentiated instruction: Helping every child reach and exceed
    standards. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies,
    Issues, and Ideas, 81(4), 161-164.

    10 See Ohr Sameach, Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:2 and Meshech Chochmah,
    Parashat Eikev 11:13.

    11 R. Avraham Yitzchak HaKohain Kook has a similar formulation in
    Ma'amarei Raaya p. 198-199. It is interesting to compare how R. Meir
    Simcha of Dvinsk and R. Kook agree in their general position on the
    amount of Torah

This distinction reminds me of the difference between Accumulative and
Constitutive approaches to pesaq in RMHalbertal's 1994 paper "The History
of Halakhah, Views from Within: Three Medieval Approaches to Tradition
and Controversy".
    B. The Accumulative View

    Maimonides ... was the first to claim that alongside the received
    tradition from Moses, the sages introduced new interpretations of
    the Torah of their own invention. The halakhic process in Maimonides'
    eyes, is therefore accumulative, each generation adding substantive
    norms derived by their own reasoning to the given, revealed body
    of knowledge.

And thus true machloqesin about deOraisos can include conflicting new

    C. The Constitutive View 

    ... [T]he third model can be traced to the writings of Nachmanides
    and his students, the fourteenth century Catalonian scholars Yom
    Tov Ishbili (Ritba) and Nissim Gerondi (Ran). This approach, which I
    will call the constitutive model, has its source in the explanation
    Nachmanides ...: "...Scripture, therefore, defined the law that we
    are to obey the Great Court... For it was subject to their judgment
    that He gave them the Torah, even if it appears to you to exchange
    right for left". This explanation does not recognize an a-priori
    right and left; rather, the court itself defines what is right and
    what is left. In other words, the court cannot be mistaken about
    the halakhah, because tit has the privilege granted by the author,
    to constitute the very meaning of the text.

One way of viewing it is that the OS is being Accumulativist, and the
Yam Shel Shelomo is Constituvist.

But I'm curious to hear if others think there is a distinction between
the two, and if so, what.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             For a mitzvah is a lamp,
mi...@aishdas.org        And the Torah, its light.
http://www.aishdas.org                   - based on Mishlei 6:2
Fax: (270) 514-1507


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