Avodah Mailing List

Volume 32: Number 119

Sun, 10 Aug 2014

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Arie Folger
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2014 20:21:27 +0200
Re: [Avodah] It Ain't No Coincidence

RZS wrote:

> The other one is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOBgXGL0wVo
> or, if you don't mind kol isha, a fuller version is here:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1_8fMwQNIY
> This one does sound a bit joyous though solemnly so.
> I *guess* this is the German tradition; can anyone confirm or deny that?

I listened to the first link, and it is the only nigun of Eli Tziyon I ever
heard. However, I should point out taht I did not hear Eli Tziyon be sung
at every minyan I ever attended. And indeed, thinking about it, I mostly
remember it from when visiting or being the rov or steady mispallel opf a
Jecki minyan.

Arie Folger,
Recent blog posts on http://ariefolger.wordpress.com/
* Wie entstand und was bedeutet der bevorstehender Fastentag des 17. Tammus
* Do Not Forget, Do Not Shove it Under the Carpet
* ORD-Seminar in Regensburg
* Nach welchem Prinzip sind die f?nf B?cher Mose organisiert?
* R?ckblick auf Limmud.de
* In the Paris Jewish community, more women than men are recalcitrant
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Message: 2
From: Esther and Aryeh Frimer
Date: Fri, 08 Aug 2014 00:21:27 +0300
[Avodah] Women reading Megillat Eikha for men betsibbur

    Regarding Women reading Megillat Eikha for men betsibbur, Kindly see
    our discussion in :  "Women, Kri'at haTorah and Aliyyot" Aryeh A.
    Frimer and Dov I. Frimer, Tradition, 46:4 (Winter, 2013), 67-238,
    online at http://www.rcar
    abbis.org/pdf/frimer_article.pdf, Note 391.   There is no personal
    obligation to read the Megillot (other than Esther), but a Communal
    custom to do so. As such kevod haTsibbur applies - as is explained

Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer
Chemistry Dept., Bar-Ilan University
Ramat Gan 5290002, ISRAEL
E-mail (office): Aryeh.Fri...@biu.ac.il
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Message: 3
From: H Lampel
Date: Thu, 07 Aug 2014 15:56:57 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Philosophical and theological challenges of,

On 8/7/2014 3:25 PM, via Avodah wrote:
> This is where RSRH's Horeb lost me. There is nothing inherent in putting
> blood on an altar that speaks to one's past accomplishments. This symbol,
> and many of RSRH's symbols, would only have meaning because the creator of
> the sign and the recipient share a convention about what it should mean.
> If one were to take Horeb to mean that the primary value of zeriqas hadam
> is a symbol that we don't see discussed until Horeb, it would imply that
> the vast majority, if not all, people who performed qorbanos in bayis
> rishon or sheini didn't get much out of it. Nor basar bechalav, nor...
If I correctly recall, Rav Hirsch attributes his symbology to the usage 
in Tanach and Midrashim. He posits that the earlier generations, 
familiar with this usage, understood the meaning of the mitzvos 
accordingly. These generations would include those who performed the 
kornonnos, etc. (By the way, one would have to say the same thing 
regarding the Rambam's taamie ha-mitzvos based upon the Sabean writings: 
The earlier geeration were familiar with these pagan beliefs and rites, 
and understood that the mitzvos were a response to them.)

Zvi Lampel

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Message: 4
From: Zev Sero
Date: Thu, 07 Aug 2014 16:39:45 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Eicha /women

On 7/08/2014 11:35 AM, Micha Berger via Avodah wrote:
> WRT qerias haTorah, he is*obligated*  to prepare by reading it through
> three times, even if he knows it cold from last year. OC 139:1.

That should be "two or three times".  As evidenced by the Ba'er Hetev's
note that Friday's maavir sedra counts, which is only twice.

Zev Sero             Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable
z...@sero.name        from malice.
                                                          - Eric Raymond

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Message: 5
From: Kenneth Miller
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2014 01:52:35 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Insights Into Halacha: Smoking and Halacha: A

R' Yitzchok Levine forwarded a link to us:
> To find out more, read the full article "Insights Into Halacha:
> Smoking and Halacha: A Historical Perspective"
> http://ohr.edu/this_week/insights_into_halacha/5717

That article says (among many other things):

> The Gadol HaDor, Rav Moshe Feinstein zt"l, in a brief teshuva
> dated several months after the Surgeon General?s initial
> report[11], wrote that although it is certainly appropriate to
> abstain from smoking, nevertheless, one cannot say that smoking
> is outright assur, as there are many people that smoke.
> Therefore, smokers fit into the category of 'shomer pesaim
> Hashem', 'Hashem watches over fools'[12]. Rav Moshe adds that
> especially since many Gedolim smoked, it is impossible to say
> that such an act is truly forbidden[13]. This responsum seems
> to be the primary justification for many a smoker.

I have never been able to follow that logic. Can't we say that smoking was
muttar in those generations when most doctors felt it was not dangerous,
and that it is muttar in these generations when most doctors feel that it
*is* dangerous? I really don't see any contradiction. The halacha is not to
do unhealthy things, and that will change dependent on the current medical

Can anyone help me understand what Rav Moshe is saying?

Akiva Miller
Virginia Drivers:
&#40;Aug 2014&#41;: New &#34;Rule&#34; Leaves Virginia Drivers Furious!

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Message: 6
From: Rich, Joel
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2014 05:12:06 -0400
[Avodah] FW: Eicha /women

R' Joel Rich:
It's generally accepted that women have a requirement of hearing Eicha.

lived in. 


On the night of Tisha B'Av, there is a tradition to read the Book of Eicha
(Lamentations).  The source for this tradition is Masechet Soferim 18:5, and
Eicha Rabbah, Parsha no. 3.  This article will explore the various practices
regarding the tradition of reading the Book of Eicha.
...................Masechet Soferim 18:5, states that women are obligated to
participate in the reading of Eicha. 

Rav Moshe Shternbuch: Do Women Need To Hear Eicha? 
Reading Eicha is a major part of the aveilus of Tisha B'Av.  Rav Moshe
Shternbuch says (2:250) that since women are Chayav in all the halachos of
aveilus of Tisha B'Av, they are also required to hear Eicha. If they can not
go to Shul they can say it sitting on the floor in the privacy of their own

Joel Rich
distribution or copying of this message by anyone other than the addressee is 
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Thank you.

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Message: 7
From: Cantor Rich Wolberger
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2014 10:56:25 -0400
[Avodah] Mezuzah

It is significant to note that the law of the Mezuzah, as Rashi quotes
in the name of the Sages, applies equally as well to courts surrounding a
group of homes, to cities as a whole, and even to countries. One wonders
what would be the significance of the halacha applying to courts, cities
and countries as a whole?

The following poignant story, told by the Sages, illuminates the point:
Artaban, an ancient Persian king, sent a most precious diamond to Rabbeinu
Hakodosh; in return the rabbi brought the king a Mezuzah. When the king
asked the rabbi why he would have the audacity to give him something
which is worth so little, the rabbi replied: ?Your Majesty, you have
given me something which I need guards to watch, but I have given you
an object which will guard YOU!? (Genesis Rabbah, 35).

The message is obvious. Nations, as well as individuals, must write upon
their door posts the spirit and principles embodied within the Shema. Not
until all countries as a whole will voluntarily submit to the Higher
Law of truth and justice, will we have the assurance of peace and safety.

The law of the mezuzah is a basic factor in making us conscious of the
Unity of God from which stems the unity of mankind. This is obligatory
not only upon the individual, but upon neighborhoods, communities and

Shabbat shalom.

The Gemara quotes a Beraisa that says that the Mezuzah of a private home
must be examined twice every seven years, while the Mezuzah of a public
building must be examined twice every fifty years.

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Message: 8
From: Micha Berger
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2014 08:38:34 -0400
[Avodah] Does Halachah Require Risking Soldier's Lives to

Rambam, Melakhim 6:11:
    When they lay siege to a city to capture it, do not surround it
    from all four of its sides. Rather, [surround it only] on three of
    its sides, leaving a space for fleeing, and that someone who wants
    can flee for his life. As it says, "And they sieged against Midian,
    as Hashem commanded Moshe..." (Bamidbar 31:6) From tradition we have
    learned, that this was as He commanded him.

What the Rambam calls "mipi hashemu'ah" is recorded in Targum Yerushalmi
(ie pseudo-Yonasan), in its version of this verse:
    And they sieged against Midian surrounding it on three sides, as
    Hashem commanded Moshe...

And the Ramban, Hasagos leSeifer haMitzvos, asei #5:
    "God commanded us that when we lay siege to a city that we leave
    one of the sides without a siege so as to give them a place to
    flee to. It is from this commandment that we learn to deal with
    compassion even with our enemies even at time of war; in addition
    by giving our enemies a place to flee to, they will not charge at
    us with as much force.

The source pasuq itself is a kind of odd place to learn this idea from,
since it ends "... vayahargu kol zakhar." But this is what we had be'al
peh was "ka'asher tzivah H' es Moshe".

The question is how this requirement applies in more three dimensional
warfare. Does this deOraisa *require* that you can't bomb an area without
giving civilians a chance to escape? Ein doreshin mita'amei hamitzvos,
so if not, one couldn't use the Ramban's first explanation to apply the
same sevara to today's war. But I think it would show that those are at
least Jewishly appropriate, if not a chiyuv. How the Ramban would apply
his understanding of "yashar vehatov" to a piquach nefesh but warfare
situation is beyond me.

But personally, I am willing to entertain the likelihood that the
difference between siege and missile fire is small enough to actually
require "knock on roof" and other forewarning systems.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             If a person does not recognize one's own worth,
mi...@aishdas.org        how can he appreciate the worth of another?
http://www.aishdas.org             - Rabbi Yaakov Yosef of Polnoye,
Fax: (270) 514-1507                  author of Toldos Yaakov Yosef

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Message: 9
From: Zev Sero
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2014 10:16:29 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Does Halachah Require Risking Soldier's Lives to

On 10/08/2014 8:38 AM, Micha Berger via Avodah wrote:
> The source pasuq itself is a kind of odd place to learn this idea from,
> since it ends "... vayahargu kol zakhar." But this is what we had be'al
> peh was "ka'asher tzivah H' es Moshe".

It's not odd; "vehikisem es kol zechuroh" is what happens after any siege,
to those who didn't flee.  The opportunity to flee is during the siege.

But I don't see where you get *any* support for the idea that one may,
let alone must, endanger our soldiers' lives for this.  On the contrary,
the Ramban's second reason for leaving an escape route shows that the
purpose is to make our soldiers *safer*.  It encourages the enemy's
soldiers to desert, which is a good thing for our side.  Similarly knowing
that we treat prisoners humanely encourages them to surrender.

In the context of Gaza, this would mean that we must not deliberately target
civilians who are fleeing the city to a safer place.  But we don't do that
anyway, and nobody proposes that we should; nowadays targeting civilians is
considered a war crime, and the IDF has never done so.  But there's no need
to give up the element of surprise, where that is important.  A siege has no
such element.  But a night attack was a surprise, and it would never occur
to anyone to tell the enemy about it in advance!  Anyone who would have fled
had they known about it, it's just their tough luck.  They should have fled
as soon as the siege started.

Zev Sero             Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable
z...@sero.name        from malice.
                                                          - Eric Raymond

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Message: 10
From: Eli Turkel
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2014 19:42:23 +0300
[Avodah] A Temple in Flames

I am currently reading "A Temple in Flames" by Gershon Bar-Chocva about the
final battle for Jerusalem by the Romans. He describes the various battles
in great detail. It is based mainly on Josephus with additions from Chazal
and archaeology.

In particular he describes the civil war going on inside Jerusalem with the
various groups killing many Jews including priests at the alter. This is in
addition to the various defense mechanisms that were destroyed and much
food. This ultimately led to great starvation as the Romans advanced.
Among those killed in this internal war was the high priest Chanan ben

Interesting I have found no mention of a high priest Yishmael as is noted
in the famous piyutim on the asarah harugei malchut. OTOH R Shimon ben
Gamliel was a known leader.

Another ineteresting comment is that one of the chief defenses of the Jews
were tunnels they dug under the walls. They emerged from these tunnels to
surprise the Roman soldiers. In addition they caused one tunnel to collapse
destroying siege machines and killing many Romans

Eli Turkel
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Message: 11
From: via Avodah
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2014 12:46:11 -0400
[Avodah] Tu b'Av A Deeper Meaning

According to the Kabbalists and mystical teachings, the magnitude of the 15th of Av is in the fact that it occurs on the 15th of the Jewish month. 
On the 15th day of the Jewish month the moon shines at its fullest capacity. In other words, the 15th of the month signifies wholeness, a completion of sorts. 
The status of the moon is significant in the life of a Jew, since the Jewish people are compared to the moon, as our sages elaborate in the Midrash. 
(For example, the waxing and waning of the moon epitomizes the Jewish
people who seem to fluctuate in their status, sometimes stronger and
sometimes not so strong. 
They never fully disappear, though, making a comeback at the brink of disappearance ? just like the moon).
The 15th of the Hebrew month of Av takes on and conveys added meaning and
significance over any other 15th, since it occurs a few days after the
calamitous day of Tishah B?Av. 
On this day, both the first and second Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed,
setting into motion the great and dreadful misfortune of exile, from which
we hope and pray every day 
to be imminently extricated. There is not a more painfully sad day such as
Tishah B'Av in our calendar. It is for this reason that the celebration on
the full moon following this day, the 15th of Av, is so momentous.

By examining the phenomenon of "exile," a clearer explanation can be
achieved. The depreciation and degeneration in the statutes of the Jewish
people, or exile, cannot be simply looked upon as a punishment for sins.
No sin can warrant a prolonged punishment for the 20 centuries it has endured.

Additionally, as this exile is in its final moments, the "punishment"
should have been softened long ago. The Holocaust and the spiritual decline
of our people suggest otherwise. Exile must be understood on a different
and deeper level. 
The Talmud (Tractate Pesachim 87b) compares the exile to planted seeds. A
planted field will produce a harvest beyond comparison to the original
investment ? with one stipulation. The seed, the original "investment,"
must decompose. 
The seed will then unleash its enormous potential and produce as much as it does.

Similarly, the descent and negativity of exile provides the circumstances through which a greater ascent can be achieved.

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
David Brinkley
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Message: 12
From: Prof. Levine
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2014 17:25:20 -0400
[Avodah] The Chatam Sofer and the Admor of Munkatch Say Not

See http://tinyurl.com/ll92gdo

[Quoting the opening:

    Torat HaRav Aviner
    Inspiring Torah from Rav Shlomo Aviner, Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalayim
    [10 Av] The Chatam Sofer and the Admor of Munkatch Say Not to Daven
            for Peace!
    [Pursam al yedei] Mordechai Tzion [be-] 12:42

    The Admor of Munkatch wrote that Davening for peace lengthens the
    Exile. One should Daven not for peace but for Geulah (Darchei Chaim
    Ve-Shalom p. 213). He based this idea on the words of the Chatam
    Sofer that praying for peace delays the Geulah, as our Sages say:
    "War is also Atchalta De-Geulah (Beginning of the Redemption)"
    (Megillah 17b). One should therefore Daven for the Geulah and not
    fear war at all (Sefer Ha-Zicharon, 5717 edition, p. 53).

    Atchalta De-Geulah includes building Eretz Yisrael, the return to
    Eretz Yisrael, the establishment of the State of Israel, unity in
    the Nation - and also war.


I am confused.  How is one to reconcile this with the 19th Bracha 
(Sim Shalom)  in Shemone Esrei?  See http://tinyurl.com/od83moc


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Message: 13
From: Micha Berger
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2014 19:18:40 -0400
Re: [Avodah] The Chatam Sofer and the Admor of Munkatch Say

On Sun, Aug 10, 2014 at 05:25:20PM -0400, Prof. Levine wrote:
: I am confused.  How is one to reconcile this with the 19th Bracha
: (Sim Shalom)  in Shemone Esrei?  See http://tinyurl.com/od83moc

The last 3 berakhos are hodayah, not baqashah. The question is more
why "Sim shalom" opens belashon tzivui, if we're supposed to be
appreciating the peace and its consequences that He does, rather
than requesting more peace.

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

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Message: 14
From: Allan Engel
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2014 16:25:55 -0700
Re: [Avodah] The Chatam Sofer and the Admor of Munkatch Say

What about the Beracha of Hashkiveinu?

On 10 August 2014 16:18, Micha Berger via Avodah <avo...@lists.aishdas.org>
> The last 3 berakhos are hodayah, not baqashah. The question is more
> why "Sim shalom" opens belashon tzivui, if we're supposed to be
> appreciating the peace and its consequences that He does, rather
> than requesting more peace.
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