Avodah Mailing List

Volume 31: Number 110

Thu, 06 Jun 2013

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2013 14:47:14 -0400
Re: [Avodah] The golden rule in Kibud Av V'Eim

On Tue, Jun 04, 2013 at 10:18:50AM -0400, Rich, Joel wrote:
: From today's Hakhel email bulletin.
:> The golden rule in Kibud Av V?Eim is: The way in which one would want
:> his children to treat him, and what he would like them to do for him--is
:> the way he should treat his parents and the acts he should undertake on
:> their behalf!

: WADR that's not what I was taught. IIUC One should treat their
: parents the way their parents want to be treated...

That translation is typical for "ma desani lakh, lechaverkha lo sa'avod"
as well. If you're "very sociable and would want to be in a activity
focused communal facility, [you] shouldn't "project that on a [chaver]
who prefers to stay home and read".

But I thought of something else it also doesn't capture, the notion
that we're to treat our parents the way we would treat the Creator (the
third Partner in making us), if we could (and if He had any needs).

Tir'u baTov!

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)

Go to top.

Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2013 20:04:20 -0400
Re: [Avodah] 12 Step Programs

The thread "12 Step Programs"
ran through most of Oct 2006. It started with my explanation of why 12 Step
programs made me ureligiously uncomfortable.

Along the way, RMYG wrote:
> Ayin Maharsha Berachos 10a, s.v. Chatai'im K'siv, who seems to say that
> asking Hashem to return one's self in teshuvah is part of Ha'rotzeh L'Taher
> M'sayin Oso.

This is a different topic than "mitzvah goreres mitzvah" (and ch"v
v.v.) or "na'aseh lo keheter", since those could be understood in terms of
human psychology, built into the system, rather than hashgachah peratis
and siyata dishmaya.

This discussion then led to one off-list (or maybe it started off-list)
with someone not on that thread about the phantom maamar chazal "bederekh
she'adam rotzeh leileikh sham molikhin oso", and how that idea jibes with
"hakol biydei Shamayim chutz miyir'as Shamayim".

"Bederekh she'adam rotzeh leileikh" is a phantom ma'amar chazal, but our
original gemara relays a close enough idea.

Just encountered another source -- Y-mi Qiddushin 23a (end of pereq 1).
    R' Yirmiyah in the name of R' Shemuel bar R' Yitzchaq:
    Whomever guard himself from sin the first, second and third time,
    from then on HQBH guards him.

    Mah ta'amah? (Which means "What's the source?" in Y-mi speak)
    "Hen kol eileh yifal Keil pa'amayim shalosh im gaver." (Iyov 33:29)

Tir'u baTov!

Bcc: the person I had the off-list discussion with

Micha Berger             When memories exceed dreams,
mi...@aishdas.org        The end is near.
http://www.aishdas.org                   - Rav Moshe Sherer
Fax: (270) 514-1507

Go to top.

Message: 3
From: Ken Bloom <kbl...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2013 20:34:13 -0400
Re: [Avodah] kefir kashrus

The halacha of yogurt is brought by the Taz YD 115:14 who says "the Bet
Yosef writes at the end of this siman, someone who 'avar' and fermented
milk with the sour milk of a goy, then took that new milk and fermented
other milk, then took that second new milk and fermented a third milk, it's
then permissible to take that third milk and use it other milk and eat
that, since after 3 times, the milk of the goy is gone." If you look in the
Bet Yosef, you can see that he compares this to some sugya with se'or, but
I don't have enough context myself to translate the Bet Yosef. (It's the
very last piece in the Bet Yosef, YD 115, s.v. k'tav rabbenu yerucham.")
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avod

Go to top.

Message: 4
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2013 12:21:37 +0300
[Avodah] hotel doors

<<... which I was told to avoid doing. Pesiq reishei denicha lei. Less
so for indicator lights, where it isn't nicha lei. (Which gets you into
whether "lo nicha lei" includes outcomes you don't care about, or only
those that are bad for you in ways other than it violating the issur.)>>

R. Wosner has a teshuva that if there are lights that are turned on when
one is walking home that it is allowed. Basically Psik Reisha De LoNeicha
Le, though he goes into much more detail.
Of course if it is one own's light or if one wants the light that is a
different matter

On a slightly different topic in Israeli older apartment buildings there
are lights
in the corridor that are turned on manually. At times a "helpful" chiloni
neighbor turns on
the light so that the religious neighbor doesnt have to walk in the dark. I
heard from Rav
Zilberstein that one doesnt need to shut ones eyes and can continue walking
as long as
he doesnt walk faster because the lights are on

Eli Turkel
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avod

Go to top.

Message: 5
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2013 10:37:35 +0100
Re: [Avodah] electricity on Shabbos - R. Asher Weiss

I wrote:

>> If you allow LEDs, bang goes the one thing that everybody agreed was 
>> actually an issur d'orisa in this new technology. We have already 
>> heard rumours of people who keep "half shabbas", ie who can't manage 
>> to stop themselves texting on shabbas. A d'orisa LED ban firmly stops 
>> this, being wishy washy on LEDs and microchips risks opening the gates 
>> to this.

I have had various replies to this (not to mention replies to replies) to
which I wanted to respond.  Firstly R' Micha Berger wrote:

>The Sanhedrin will deal with it. Complete with the power to modify some
>of the dinim derabanan to balance oneg Shabbos and uvda dechol for the
>new reality.

>If the Sanhedrin isn't reconstituted 115 years after the restoration of
>Jewish autonomy in EY, maybe we need to be forced to live like the

Well a Sanhedrin might be nice, but I don't think we are allowed on a
halachic basis to deal with things like this on the assumption that the
Sanhedrin will come and sort it.  No matter how intensely they davened for
Moshiach in days gone by, that is not the way any of our poskim have dealt
with such matters in the past.  And while perhaps it might be considered
part of certain Chassidishe groups hashkafa these days (New Square, maybe)
to try and completely isolate oneself, Amish like, it is a complete
repudiation of everything that eg the Modern Orthodox believe in to do so.
I don't think that is a tenable hashkafic suggestion for anybody on this

Nor is it really possible for us to live like the Amish.  The Amish way of
life is viable because it is predicated on subsistence agriculture.  The
back to the land Kibbutz movement mostly failed, and without the ability to
produce one's own food and clothing, an Amish way of life is not possible,
the modern world must be interacted with in at least some form.

R' Eli Turkel wrote:

>As far as I am aware no modern posek allows such use of electrical devices
essentially for the reasons that Chana gives. I understand that RMF also
felt >that many uses of electricity are allowed but ruled that since the
general population cant distinguish between every device there it is
rabinically >outlawed.

Do you have a citation for this?  I had a bit of a hunt around in the
Iggeros Moshe on Shabbas, but couldn't find anything in print that suggested
this.  If anything most of the uses of electricity seemed to be being
treated as equivalent to forbidden d'orisa (although I found one reference
to molad).  As mentioned, there are numerous poskim who hold that we cannot
institute new d'rabbanans today - so it would be interesting to see RMF's
justification for holding to the contrary, if indeed he so held.

> Of course a major difference in these shitot would be for a "choleh
she-ein bo skahanh" , "tzurche rabim", "tzaar balle chayim" etc. If the
prohibition >is DeOraisa then it is diffilcult to allow except for saving a
life. If it rabbinic (which most poskim hold) then the posek has much more
wiggle room.

As well as the use of shinui, two people doing one person's job at the same
time, amira l'akum, grama and the other heterim already in use in most
modern hospitals.

>Indeed following the approach of RMF it is indeed difficult to pasken on
many modern appliances. They are constantly changing. The refrigerator that
>RSZA knew is not what is in use today whether for chumra or kula. If one
indeed allows the use of appliance X one would need to reissue the psak
every >few years to account for the latest technology. i.e. do we expect
every individual (or individual posek) to know the physics of LED devices.

Well this, it seems to me, is one of the reasons that RAW is proposing a
general rule that would allow the relatively easy determination of which are
and which aren't OK, based on intention and harnessing of use.  I may
struggle with his suggestion, but I can fully understand why he is going
down this route.

>BTW in another context RSZA was asked about a heter of his and would it
lead to problems and he answered that one is not allowed to be macmir when
>something is mutar. In particular IMHO RSZA would not change a heter
because of people that keep "half shabbos"  (again just my personal opinion
>- no proof)

Again, I think this is part of the idea of no new rabbinic gezeros (which
certainly is held by very significant poskim, but it would appear not
universally).  However, while I have read strong halachic pieces laying out
the foundation for the no new rabbinic gezeros position, eg from ROY, I
haven't read anything defending the - we can make rabbinic gezeros today
position with arguments to answer those other pieces.  And there is also a
fundamental difference between not being machmir because people might misuse
the heter (although there is precedent in the gemora not only for being
machmir in this way, but even for lying as to the true halacha - see for
example Shabbat 115a, where Rabbah's household were starting food
preparations on Yom Kippur too early, ie before Mincha time, and so he
claimed that a letter had been received from Rabbi Yochanan that there
should be no food preparations on Yom Kippur at all) and not being machmir
in circumstances where people acting meikar hadin end up with something that
might be fundamentally problematic for shabbas.

R' Akiva Miller wrote:

>I'm not sure that a ban on LEDs would really stop it. She is surely correct
that being lenient on them would open the floodgates.

I agree totally with this.  There is no question in my mind that the use of
electronic devices and the constant feedback is at least somewhat addictive,
and that a ban on LEDs are unlikely to stop "half shabbas" completely.  But
having a semi rebellious teenager ask - well what is actually wrong with
texting anyway, and only being able to give hand waving replies about it
maybe being a d'rabbanan (perhaps), and maybe uvda d'chol is hardly likely
to assist.

I then asked:

>                                                   Do you believe that 
> shabbas would be shabbas if we all kept our phones on?

And RAM replied:

>THIS is an important question to consider. As for me, yes, I do believe
that Shabbos would still be Shabbos.

>It's not a new question. My understanding is that Chazal were already
grappling with it, and they instituted specific d'rabanans to insure that
Shabbos >would still be Shabbos.

>One of these was business. Say what you will about electricity, but you
still can't take your money and go to the store to buy a candy bar. Another
of >these was muktzeh. You still won't be able to move your Shabbos candles.
Nor your wallet.

But why would you want to do any of these things anymore?

Today I do probably 95% of my shopping on line.  Between www.tesco.com, and
www.justkosher.co.uk, and ebay (for clothes for the family and a whole
miscellaneous group of other things, in the last week alone we bought
umbrellas, kids alarm clocks, books and I don't know what else from ebay)
and a few other places like Amazon, probably about the only thing I still
buy in a store on a regular basis is bread and meat (and I could use Just
Kosher for that too, we just don't).   I don't need to take money, nor my
wallet - Paypal and these various sites know who I am, and all I need to
authorise a sale is a few keystrokes, not really different to those used in
texting or emailing (or logging into Bar Ilan on line, for example, or
searching Hebrew Books).  I am (probably) engaged in a kinyan (assuming you
hold like the situmta discussion we had previously when it comes to
electronic purchasing - but is it really the form of business dealings that
were rabbinically prohibited, very hard to argue that it is, assuming we
don't have the power to extend rabbinic gezeros) - and certainly if I am
making a bid on something that is not buy it now on ebay, then there is no
psik resha (somebody else might bid higher), and there is time delay, so
arguably there is grama.  And the overlap is huge, I log into Bar Ilan and
realise that my monthly subscription has ended, and if I want to access the
sefer I want, I need to top up my account, learning or business? And my
candy bars tend to show up at my door at a time I determine (within an hour
or so) delivered by a non Jew.  

And if I can happily move my LED torch about (and turn it on and off) why
would it make a huge difference to my life if I couldn't move those symbolic
shabbas candles that I lit on Friday night.  Is that restriction is really
going to fundamentally change the nature of my shabbas?

>And even if the electronic internals of a device cease to pose melachic
problems, one must still consider the *function* of the device.

Well a form of this was a bit the way RAW was trying to go, although not the
way you are thinking of it.

> One might use the phone for texting, but I'm not so sure about voice calls
- making sounds could still be a problem. Ditto for one's radio or

Why, what makes the sound of the human voice any more problematic than the
view of flashing LEDs that enable texts?

>I'll probably think of more examples, but these should suffice. Yes, I do
believe that Shabbos would still be Shabbos. I also think that there would
be >a period of adjustment while we get used to it. If it happens, it will
probably take a few generations: My mother is still not used to kasher
l'pesach >ice cream, whereas I am still not used to nisht gebrochts pizza.

But these really are playing at the margins.  As RET says, the technology is
getting stranger and stranger.  Wearable computers are apparently just on
the horizon, and while I can well see that for a community where black is
the only tzniusdik colour, clothes that change colour dependent upon mood
are unlikely to catch on - but how about the ones that modify to provide
exactly the right about of heat and water protection as determined by
sampling your immediate environment?  Are your shabbas and yom tov clothes
going to be the only ones that you can't wait to get out of, because they
don't regulate for temperature and skin conditions and are not tailor made
and constantly adapting to your preferences? Sure, it means that your
shabbas and yom tov clothes will be different from your weekday clothes -
but sackcloth (relatively speaking) for shabbas doesn't feel quite right

And of course the air conditioner in the hotel room is supposed to be being
rolled out to all of our houses in the form of programmed (or programmable)
wallpaper - which will modify the heat and light conditions of that
particular patch near you dependent upon the temperature and light
conditions and who happens to be there at the time.  Data too probably -
your text may well be found on the wallpaper near you.

And while culturally I imagine there will be resistance to the driverless
car that can be programmed before shabbas to drive itself out of the garage,
open the door and wait for you at 9am, take you to shul (reopen the door and
let you out), drive itself home and park, and be back to pick you up later,
the actual lighting of the spark that sets off the engine that is the
accepted issur d'orisa will happen long before it gets anywhere near you,
and as programmed before shabbas.  And yet we know some of the
socio-economic consequences of a psak that allows driving on shabbas from
the Conservatives.  Totally leaving aside the whole question of issurei
d'orisa, we know from that experiment that allowing driving means that
people no longer are pushed to live within walking distances of a shul,
leading to breakdown in community.  You are seriously playing with the
fabric of shabbas in a way that you don't know where you are going.  And
these changes are very difficult to roll back.

>(Note: I was going to open this post by mentioning how Rav Moshe Feinstein
was opposed to putting our lights on timers for Shabbos. But then I
>remembered that his objection was Mar'is Ayin, not that it affects our
Shabbos mood. Still, I can EASILY see people who might have asked, "Do you
>believe that shabbas would be shabbas if the lights would go off and back
on by themselves?")

Actually, I understood that he permitted lights on time clock, because that
is what the olam had adopted, and he could see that this was OK (ie the
fabric of shabbas, that I refer to above, was not fundamentally tampered
with), but forbad using time clocks for anything else.  Since there is no
question that turning the lights on themselves would have been an issur
d'orisa, there is no logical issur v'heter reason to distinguish between
lights and everything else, except for these sorts of sociological concerns.

>Akiva Miller

R David Riceman  wrote:

>A historical question.  We are all accustomed to reading on Friday night.
At some point that was a tremendous innovation.  When did the transition
take >place, and did people react as above?

I don't think this is a change since the time shabbas was given to Moshe
Rabbanu.  If you have ever seen how much light you get from "working"
candles, such as tallow, you can understand that it is quite possible and
practical to read by them - go to somewhere like the Bevis Marks shul in
London that is still lit, eg for Friday night or special occasions like
weddings with candles, and see how much light can be really generated that
way.  Our modern shabbas candles are symbolic, designed, much like candles
in restaurants, for atmosphere rather than reading and working by.  We don't
use the other sort anymore, since we all have electric lights. But the idea
of being able to (passively) read your scroll on a Friday night, is, to my
mind, programmed into the original idea (fabric) of shabbas.  Writing
responses was banned. Ie the environment is allowed to act on you, you then
acting on the environment in a way that gives back visible feedback to you
(writing) is problematic  Ie if you are trying to get at the hashkafic
aspects, passivity and being "acted upon"  (the idea of rest) is more
generally permitted than active acting.  Hashkafically it is a lot easier to
see the air conditioner in the hotel room as acting upon you, the passive
recipient of what it decides to do, while texting as the epitome of active.

> David Riceman

I think the reality is going to be closer to what R' Martin Bluke wrote:

: In the next few years we are going to have a big problem with electronic
: devices. Soon it will be very hard to find anything that doesn't have some
: kind of electronic sensor on it. If you go to a hotel...
: Household appliances are changing as well. New refrigerators...
: Modern burglar alarms have sensors on the door ... There are
: surveillance cameras everywhere and even metal detectors are becoming
: commonplace (for example the Kotel).
:                        .... It will soon reach a point that we will not
: be able to do anything without causing some reaction in some sensor.

I am not sure we can already - GPS and CCTV and the like are most places
these days.  Most of us are triggering some sort of sensor already every
shabbas, we are just (mostly) ignoring it.

Interestingly while R' Micha Berger wrote regarding water meters that:

>I don't think those Israeli chareidi poseqim are sufficiently aligned
>with the American versions of chareidi, never mind MO, to assume their
>pesaq would be the one we follow.

And quoted the Star K, which suggested a more lenient approach than that
taken by the Israeli charedi poskim, When it comes to other forms of sensors
and the like, he quoted a much more machmir position taken in chutz l'aretz
than is generally found in Israel; namely and tesponding to R' martin brody
: Because you didn't put it there. No different to motion detectors that
: on lights walking home from shul friday night.

>... which I was told to avoid doing. Pesiq reishei denicha lei. Less so for
indicator lights, where it isn't nicha lei. (Which gets you into whether "lo
>nicha lei" includes outcomes you don't care about, or only those that are
bad for you in ways other than it violating the issur.)

>I was told that R' Ribiat writes in 39 Melachos to close your eyes, so that
the light going on is not nicha lei. Because this info is 2nd hand, I don't
>know if he spoke bedi'eved after passing a house you didn't know had
automatic outdoor lighting, or for a tenant who knows in advance they will
be >turning on the staircase lighting trying to get to shul.

>Opening the door and turning on the light, yes -- knowingly walking in
>front of an automatic light is similar. Both are pesiq reishei and assur.

>But the "only if" is what distinguishes the light from the refrigerator's
>cooling unit. There is both a delay and a maybe-ness.

The Israelis have been grappling with these questions for longer, and in a
more dramatic context (because in chutz l'aretz, these are almost certainly
pre-set sensors often belonging to non Jews, while in Israel, for years
there has been the problem of the b'mazid turning on of the stairwell light
by the non religious Jew that in theory could keep you from going in and out
of your home, and closing your eyes while climbing the stairs is not exactly
safe).  There is a fair amount of Israeli psak that is much more lenient
than R' Micha has posted above.  RET has put some of it on this list from
time to time from Rav Zilberstein, I believe quoting Rav Eliashev and R'
Chaim Kaminetsky - whom I think you would agree are not exactly from the
extreme MO end of the spectrum.  Also the security situation has meant that
there really are cameras everywhere, not just at the kotel.  Sure, safek
pekuach nefesh, but you don't *have* to move out of your house, if you
wanted to take a machmir view, but that is not the view that has been taken.
Admittedly the niche lei aspect of the security cameras is more remote than
triggering a motion sensor light.  You want the security camera to help keep
you and your loved ones (and klal Yisrael) safe, not because you
particularly want it to monitor your movements.

But getting back to the motion sensor lights - closing your eyes is often
only possible after the light has gone on, and often not possible at all,
and it is really not clear that you are avoiding lo niche lei that way.  To
take perhaps a more dramatic example - it is hard to say that having
numerous lights go on on motion sensor between ones house and the mikvah is
not niche lei to any woman walking alone there on a shabbas night, whether
her eyes are closed or not (and closing one's eyes is hardly likely to be
safe).  I reckon there must be about 40- 50 such lights between my place and
the local mikvah.  Do you know any posek, anywhere, who would tell a woman
to put off leil tevila because of such lights?  To the contrary, the
responsa RET has posted have generally said - keep on doing exactkt what you
were going to be doing anyway (ie keep walking, don't stop, keep going just
as you were previously) and that is OK, ie don't modify your  behaviour.

It is from these kinds of places that, it seems to me, RAW is coming from
when he matirs general movement (eg when wired up in hospital or
electronically tagged).  It is also why he likes makeh b'patish, because of
the lack of intention of finishing off the kli.  But it does seem that this
suggestion breaks down when you go past your neighbour's sensor light for
the millionth time on shabbas, and can't help thinking that actually it does
assist your ability to walk safely, despite you being able to manage fine
without it (but not fine with your eyes closed).  

And I can't help thinking that mesasek is a better general heter.  You can't
stop living, breathing, and moving in space.  That is a fundamental part of
what it means to be human, and somehow does seem fundamentally different
from deliberately choosing even to drag a bench, which involves a certain
level of active choice.  I don't think it is so difficult to distinguish
between mere movement and the movement that triggers exiting the techum.
But the trickiest aspects are going to come with things like electronic
doors.  With LED displays, your deliberate and intentional movement
generates feedback.  With the air conditioner, the room is pre-set to keep a
certain temperature when there are human beings in it (this is closest to
the refrigerator motor- which while causing massive concern originally,
seems to be generally ignored as an issue these days).  The non display
electronic door that opens when it detects you coming is the middle ground.
Do you say that actually you have a pre-set environment programmed so that
the doors are open when there are people there, and your entry is merely the
room adapting to that state (as you can presumably say about the motion
sensor lights as well) and your movement is merely mesasek, or is your
movement purposeful with the intention of acting on your environment by
causing the door to open.

R' Micha Berger than wrote:

>The Star-K negotiated a solution with the proper authorities in Baltimore
>to allow an option that does not defy halakhah as they see it. According
>to http://baltimorejewishlife.com/news/print.php?ARTICLE_ID=8190 , their
>requirements are:

    + Meters may not feature an electronic display that is always visible
      and changes as a result of water usage. Concealing such a display
      with an obstructing material does not satisfy this requirement.

    + Electronic displays that remain blank until activated with a switch
      are compliant.

    + Full time readable displays are limited to dials or numbers on a
      wheel that are mechanically powered by a water turbine.

    + Information may be stored internally in electronic format provided
      that water usage does not activate any electrically powered

Now this is interesting, because it is mirroring the approach I was
tentatively trying to advance earlier - which is fundamentally about the
electronic display being treated as the essential problem (hence the focus
on LEDs and other light sources, because we as human beings need light in
order to receive feedback by means of display).  Ie the storage of
electronic data, so long as it is not visible and accessible on shabbas is,
like the microscopic bugs, not relevant to our shabbas observance.  If you
do fundamentally and hashkafically see shabbas as, to use the old clich?,
"an oasis in time", then data storage is not a problem - we only get into
problems once we are accessing data in real (shabbas) time.  Particularly
human access of data, leading to modification of behaviour.  Texting on
shabbas, and all uses of the computer are all about our accessing of data
and modifying such data in visible ways.  And we use light to do this, it is
an essential part of the process.  Which is why it seems to me that the
first key aspect is distinguishing between visible data response
(potentially problematic) and non visible data storage (completely mutar),
and then once into the visible data response category a further distinction
between humans as subject and as object - when subject, then we are probably
into issur d'orisa territory, when object, with the preprogrammed
environment merely reacting to our existance (as it would to an animal that
also moved and breathed) then maybe it is more correct to say that we are
mesasek (and again it is mutar). 

>#3 is interesting. Because it discusses two nearly identical outcomes --
>"dials or numbers on a wheel that are mechanically powered by a water
>turbine", vs ones that aren't "mechanically powered by a water turbine".
>What would R Asher Weiss say? How is one a more "significant action"
>than the other? Not in outcome.

Yes, that is precisely my criticism of RAW's approach - and why my instincts
are much more with the Star K.




Go to top.

Message: 6
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2013 12:25:42 +0300
[Avodah] Yehoshua

I recently heard a drasha claiming that while in the desert Yehoshua wasnt
fit to be a leader.Thus, for example, with the meraglim it is Caleb that
takes the initiative both of going ro Chevron and of arguing against the
people while Yehoshua is passive. He brought several other examples.
It is only after the death of Moshe that Yehoshua changes personality and
becomes the leader
(while Caleb is not chosen)

Eli Turkel
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avod

Go to top.

Message: 7
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2013 10:59:22 -0400
Re: [Avodah] hotel doors

On Wed, Jun 05, 2013 at 12:21:37PM +0300, Eli Turkel wrote:
: R. Wosner has a teshuva that if there are lights that are turned on when
: one is walking home that it is allowed. Basically Psik Reisha De LoNeicha
: Le, though he goes into much more detail.

In general, we're repeating much of the thread "If you have an electronic
water meter, can you turn on the faucet?" at
or http://j.mp/14gTQhq (see the next entries as well -- minor variations
in subject line).

In 11 months ago, I mentioned R' Josh Flug's paper "Motion Sensors and
the Concept of P'sik Reishei",
but I didn't have the footnote pages until later, when so I
rewrote it toward the end of July '12 with inserted references at

Summarizing shitos from qula to chumera:

The Arukh (as cited by Tosafos) permits PRDLNL for deOraisos.

The Terumas haDeshen, R YE Spektor, ROY permit when the issur
is derabbanan.

The MB explains the Rama as permitting only in a case of combined
derabbanan, and concludes that way himself. (The MB gives two cases,
the more common one is eating a cake with lettering on it. Derabbanan
#1- the mechiqah is not al menas likhtov, #2- it's derekh akhilah.)

Tosafos and the SA hold PRDLNL is assur derabbanan.

Given that it is only the Arukh who permits PRDLNL when the melakhahis
deOraisa (eg incandecent or hot-filament fluorescent bulbs), with none
of the acharonim that RJF disccusses supporting, I think R' Wosner's
detail is going to prove important.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "I hear, then I forget; I see, then I remember;
mi...@aishdas.org        I do, then I understand." - Confucius
http://www.aishdas.org   "Hearing doesn't compare to seeing." - Mechilta
Fax: (270) 514-1507      "We will do and we will listen." - Israelites

Go to top.

Message: 8
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2013 13:10:11 -0400
Re: [Avodah] 12 Step Programs

On Tue, Jun 04, 2013 at 08:04:20PM -0400, I wrote:
: "Bederekh she'adam rotzeh leileikh" is a phantom ma'amar chazal, but our
: original gemara relays a close enough idea.

The person with whom I had discussed this off-list again replied off-list.
(And is again BCC-ed.) I misremembered which ma'amar isn't real.

"Bederekh she'adam rotzeh leileikh bah, molikhin oso" is said on Makos
10b, with proofs from each section of Tanakh.

The phantom was "Ein davar omeid lifnei haratzon".

Which he adds isn't supported by "ba letaheir mesayein oso". Although, it
seems to me that it would be a major siyata and a major part of molikhin
oso to have the devarim ha'omedim lifnei haratzon eliminated. (The best
defense is a good offense.) But to say the siyata goes as far as "ein"
-- that every single impediment is made surmountable, does go beyond
the quote.

Also, while the Maharsha takes "ba letaheir" to be about Divine Aid to
fulfill one's decisions, the emailer adds that the Me'iri tazkes it as
an affirmation of bechirah chafshi. Chazal apply this meimra to Bil'am,
who chose to curse the Jews, but was stopped by shamayim.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Worrying is like a rocking chair:
mi...@aishdas.org        it gives you something to do for a while,
http://www.aishdas.org   but in the end it gets you nowhere.
Fax: (270) 514-1507

Go to top.

Message: 9
From: Zvi Lampel <blimielam...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 05 Jun 2013 13:21:43 -0400
[Avodah] Servicing non-observant nursing home residents

Saw this posted on Linkedin:

      Just started the Dietary module of my AIT internship in a
      non-Jewish facility. I'm interested to learn policies and
      procedures of servicing non-observant clientele in a similar

Zvi Lampel

Go to top.

Message: 10
From: cantorwolb...@cox.net
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2013 14:56:38 -0400
[Avodah] Mechitza

There is no source in all of the shulchan aruch that you have to have a mechitza.
Why not? Obviously, in the year 5626 (about 143 years ago) the 71 g'dolei Yisroel
Rab banim and Tzadikim brought in the p'sak din regarding the mechitza. But my 
question is WHY is it not in the shulchan aruch?    

Go to top.

Message: 11
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2013 16:31:01 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Mechitza

On Wed, Jun 05, 2013 at 02:56:38PM -0400, cantorwolb...@cox.net wrote:
: There is no source in all of the shulchan aruch that you have to have
: a mechitza. Why not? Obviously, in the year 5626 (about 143 years ago)
: the 71 g'dolei Yisroel Rab banim and Tzadikim brought in the p'sak
: din regarding the mechitza. But my question is WHY is it not in the
: shulchan aruch?

I don't know what happened 1876, but to answer your question...

In R' Yosef Caro's days, people assumed women didn't belong in shul
altogether. Mechitzah is some kind of feminist invention.

Tir'u baTov!

Go to top.

Message: 12
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2013 15:14:33 +0100
[Avodah] hotel doors on Yom Tov (And Shabbat!)

R' Martin Brody wrote:
"As for the air conditioning, it's a gerama.You didn't put it there.Thank
the hotel management afterwards."

And R' Marty Bluke replied:

>Why would that be Gerama? Your movement is causing the sensor to turn the
air conditioning on.


>I fail to see how that is relevant. Why should it matter who put the sensor
there? How does that make it Gerama? The fact is that your movement is
>directly causing something to happen namely the light going on.  Why would
that not be considered a pesik reisha?

While I am not sure that grama is the correct answer - do note that there is
something going on regarding the hotel air conditioning, which I suspect is
what R' Martin Brody is groping towards, and also gets us back to RAW's

I assume we are talking about an up-market hotel.  By that I mean that if
this technology did not exist, and the choice was between having no air
conditioning, and having the air conditioning on all the time (or at least
until and when their porters came and manually turned it on and off), this
kind of hotel would offer constant air conditioning.  Why? Because a
sufficiently up market hotel cannot market itself as such without air

In such a situation, it is not really that your movement is turning on the
air conditioning.  It is really that the hotel is saving itself a few
pennies by programming the air conditioning to turn off when it does not
detect your movement. ie, air conditioning on is really the default state
(the one the hotel would have to maintain were it not for this technology) -
the absence of your breathing and movement causes it to turn off.  If you
see it this way, then you might be able to argue that indeed it is not
nichei lei, at least to you (the only benefit to you for it turning off is
that perhaps it will result in slightly lower overall hotel bills, but that
is pretty remote).  It is therefore arguable that it is not really your
movement that is triggering the change in overall environment, but your
absence of movement or presence (breathing even).  That is why I keep
wanting to use the concept of mesasek - which involves even less than
purposeful action on your part.

A similar argument can be run for those light sensors, at least when placed
by eg the local council in a dark alley that arguably they have a legal
obligation to light, and were it not for this technology, the default
position would be on throughout the hours of darkness.  Ditto with motion
sensor security cameras of the kinds all over our cities these days, most of
which people are not even aware they are triggering (but which are
ultimately for their benefit).  

It seemed to me that RAW was in a number of the cases he matired getting at
cases like this - although he went further, he raised personal hearing aids
that change depending on being moved to noisy and less noisy places - a psak
that as far as I am aware appears to have a reasonable level of acceptance,
and the makeh b'patish argument allowed for even greater heterim.




Avodah mailing list

End of Avodah Digest, Vol 31, Issue 110

Send Avodah mailing list submissions to

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

You can reach the person managing the list at

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Avodah digest..."

A list of common acronyms is available at
(They are also visible in the web archive copy of each digest.)

< Previous Next >