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Volume 32: Number 127

Tue, 26 Aug 2014

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: via Avodah
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2014 20:11:13 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] Spiritual Maladies

From Toby Katz

From: Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter

>>The tzara`ath  described in the Torah is obviously a somatic malady.
Ibn Ezra, in his  comment on Leviticus 13:2, states that it is
contagious, and in his comment  on Leviticus 13:45, indicates further
that it is  airborne.<<

Jay F. ("Yaakov")  Shachter
_...@m5.chicago.il.us_ (mailto:j...@m5.chicago.il.us)                        

I don't know how he can say that tzara'as is contagious.  One of the  
proofs that tzara'as is a spiritual malady (or a physical malady caused by a  
spiritual malady) -- and not contagious -- is that kohanim did NOT investigate  
possible cases of tzara'as during the sholosh regalim, so as not to prevent 
 people from being able to be oleh laregel, and also did not inspect a 
chassan  before his wedding or during his week of sheva brachos.  If tzara'as 
were  contagious, you would not want an infected person to mingle with the 
crowds in  Yerushalayim during the chagim, or at a wedding!
--Toby Katz


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Message: 2
From: Kenneth Miller
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:21:59 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Mekah ta'ut

R' Zev Sero wrote:
<<< If cars were difficult to find, so that if I hadn't bought
this car I stood a small but significant risk of being carless, *and*
having found out about the defect I reconciled myself to keeping it rather
than risk going carless, then I have accepted it with its

Is it called a "reconciliation" if you have been taught that you have no other option?

To whatever extent this "reconciliation" counts as "acceptance", isn't it
clearly a *forced* acceptance? How is this different than if she had
accepted the kiddushin in front of eidim, ut with tears in her eyes, a
frown on her face, and a gun to her head?

If you say that the woman of the original post will need to prove to the
Beis Din that she was unaware of the concept of Mekach Ta'us, I'm okay with
that, because you'd be validating the lack of awareness. My problem is the
claim that continued living together proves a consentual acceptance. 

Akiva Miller

Akiva Miller
Want to place your ad here?
Advertise on United Online

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Message: 3
From: Zev Sero
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2014 20:57:13 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Mekah ta'ut

On 25/08/2014 8:21 PM, Kenneth Miller via Avodah wrote:
> R' Zev Sero wrote:
> <<< If cars were difficult to find, so that if I hadn't bought this
> car I stood a small but significant risk of being carless, *and*
> having found out about the defect I reconciled myself to keeping it
> rather than risk going carless, then I have accepted it with its
> defects.>>>
> Is it called a "reconciliation" if you have been taught that you have
> no other option?

Who has been taught that there is no option but staying?  Surely everyone
knows that it is possible to leave.  She doesn't need to know about the
possibility of annulling the marriage; all she needs to know about is the
possibility of leaving, and living without a husband, just as in the mashal
I know about the possibility of returning the car and doing without one.
What makes actual cars different from husbands is that there is a plentiful
and *reliable* supply of them, which there isn't of husbands.

> To whatever extent this "reconciliation" counts as "acceptance",
> isn't it clearly a *forced* acceptance? How is this different than if
> she had accepted the kiddushin in front of eidim, ut with tears in
> her eyes, a frown on her face, and a gun to her head?

It's accepting the least bad choice available.  That's acceptance.  But in
this case she her choice isn't marriage to this man or death, it's marriage
to this man or no marriage at all.  And she has shown that she prefers him
with all his faults to nobody.

If she was literally raised in a cave and didn't know escape was possible,
or if she was afraid to escape because he gave her cause to believe that he'd
find her and punish her, that's different.

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

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Message: 4
From: David Wacholder
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:52:07 -0400
[Avodah] re Sim Shalom - we Command the Almighty? was - Do

Michael Poppers seems to be a learned young man in Elizabeth, a great city
of scholars. RMP dismissed his penetrating discussion as ?tuppence?.
Perhaps that may be only locally in Elizabeth, where deep wisdom is
commonly found. I speak for many people when I assured RMP that his ideas
and  words contain priceless gems for many of us. They open skylights to
communication with Hashem.

 I am trying to rephrase and focus the vital issues they brought up. I know
well that many of my ideas as expressed have cracks and fissures. The
purpose ? if I succeeded ? is to stimulate more deep thoughtful questions
from them and from others,  the more the merrier.

That would be a far more important reward.

I hope for much criticism!

The ?direct replies? I had to place at the end. They were difficult to
understand without some other ideas going first. They may still be wrong,
just easier to understand what I am trying to say.


Hashem made Himself ready to listen to the pleadings of Klal Yisrael. ?Who
can imagine a Power watching over us every time we call out ? as Our Power
cares about us so much ? whenever we call to him. ? It is like a parent
saying ? when you need something you call me only!

Better ? it is like a gift ? as long as Bnei Yisrael believe in Hashem and
rely on him completely ? Hashem will give them everything. The more they
sincerely depend on Him, the more He ?releases? the gift which is ready.

Yes ? there is a bit of Choni Hama?agel in this. The problem is only a
person who completely relies ? or forces ? Hashem to listen to his prayers,
forcing his desired result. That is frowned upon.  Sincere demands with no
?enforcement? seem to be quite acceptable. Hashem will do what Hashem

Rachum V?Chanun:  A child in womb has no independent existence if we say
?Ubar Yerech Imo?. After it is born, the child appeals to the mother: As
you love me, you must give me this treat.

 This appeal to parental ties ? is asking Rachamim.  It applies to Hashem
who ? parent-like ? overcame all hesitations and punished the oppressing
Mitzriyim, and removed the treasured Bnei Yisrael from Mitzrayim ?with a
strong hand?.

Rachamim is a function of closeness and connection.

Chanun ? to the cruelest most heartless stranger ? one begs for Chein, a
temporary transitory lack of cruelty. Any wicked oppressor can be appealed
to with Tachanunim. With Hashem the meaning becomes that Yisrael really are
not being faithful with all their heart. Even so, Hashem will forebear
punishing them for various reasons, specifically  not the parent-child
covenant. Track down the Malbim where he defines it along those lines.

My own impression is that the words like ?Chus v?racheim? were many fewer
in Chazal times. Over the years of suffering they crept in more and more.
There is one place Chanun is quite proper ? when we admit sin generically.
We cannot say that we will continue to sin, so we say that we temporarily
and transiently sin, and ask for similar foregiveness ? Chanun Hamarbeh

So to summarize: The Amidah-writer presumes Hashem is generally wishing for
Yisrael to beg Him and rely on Him only, like a parent, or the King?s
favored group who eat at the King?s table.

Our favorite concept is Avos ? it is covenanted from Avraham Avinu.
Rachamim is used less, and Tachanunim ? which do not presume covenant and
intimacy  and devotion ? as little as possible.

Begging Hashem sincerely is itself desirable, and shows that we have full
confidence in His covenant.  If we would beg another God ? that is being a

Thanking Hashem for keeping up the covenant with all of Yisrael in all the
generations with no days off ? is true Emunah and prayer. Indeed, when we
thank Him ? it includes confidence that He will be there dependably.

Why is Bircas haMazon phrased in the Torah as "uveirachta" You give
Blessing to Hashem? It could have said the submissive I am not deserving
synonymn ?V?hodeYsa??

Seemingly Hodeisa looks at it as a debt and obligation which the person is
admitting. It seems that in Hallel, the beginning uses the verb - Halelu in
endless variations. At the end the word used becomes - Hoda'ah - Odecka,
Hodu.  See if your observations match mine.

What then of Beirach? When someone gives the ultimate greatest gift, in the
most thoughtful way ? ?Hodaah? does not make it. Rather, - the Vilna Gaon?s
talmidim say ? like taking a Mashkon and generously returning it to the
borrower who is totally indebted ? Borrower will sleep on his
night-clothing and bless you ? just as you were were so kind to me, so good
things should come to you.  Or ? Tree Tree how will I bless you??  That is
? wishing well for the benefactor ? with no ambiguity and holding back.

In Parshas Eikev ? the good fortune will be unlimited and ongoing. Only
Bracha ? above and beyond wishes ? applies here.

Haya Hoveh Yihyeh ? to Rashi?s close disciples such as Machzor Vitry ?
means always ready to rescue and help. Rashi sees Hashgachas Hashem as the
center of  Torah.

Certainly ? both the requests and thanks and blessings ? as a group ? are
proclaiming ?what the Hayah Hoveh v'Yihyeh has always done for Am Yisrael?.
We express confidence and rely upon Hashem?s covenant ? that he will always
do for Am Yisrael. See the text of Modim that speaks specifically to this
point: Tzur chayeinu magein yish?einu ata hu ledor vador?

As He has the power and does not die, and has made the promise ? we
completely trust and rely upon it.

Three themes structure the Amidah. Praise is the beginning.

AVOTH - Our ?license? to pray comes from Covenants to Protect Avraham
Avinu, that Hashem will always be close by replying to our need for
protection. Actual praises used by Moshe Rabeinu ?

GVUROS  Hashem?s devotion to us is shown by the gifts of sustenance,
healing, birth, life. GIBOR Power, Glorious, Overcoming obstacles to care
for His Children.

Kedushath Hashem ? the Beyond wonders Hashem did and will do for us. Your
Deeds are Wondrous (hinting that further wonders of Hashem will be extolled
and praised properly), the reputation of your Majesty is beyond, and those
devoted to expressing your Wonders keep praising without being able to find

Section II Requests.

Yetzias Mitzrayim ? is the ?contractual basis? for our dialogue with Hashem
? Hashem himself in Shmos is the source:

#4 - Understanding/Connection: Give us Torah connecting us to You, greatest
favor. #5 - Put us back on Your road, allow us to fill the gaps in our
Torah. #6 Chronic deficits ? those we will not cannot reach ? find way to
forgive us.

Exodus ?these are the purpose, we ask for acceptance of our ?performance?.
Hashem?s goal ? Har Sinai, that we keep up the Covenant.

#7 Geulah ? clearly in Mitzrayim, #8 Rfuah contrasts with 10 Plagues,
Hashem promises Health for his devotees. #9 Annual Parnassa and food. Rain
and timely harvests were ?praised? in Blessing #2, now begged for.


#10 Appear announce Shofar of gathering the spread out groups  #11 Install
Hashem?s judges and governors- #12 Quash Slanderers and rebels #13 Restore
the righteous to power and prestige #14 Renew active domicile in Mikdash
Jerusalem #15 sprout of Davidic Kingdom become tree

#16 React positively to our Voice. Be responsive showing you hear and
fulfil our requests. This concludes the begging ? we place it at the end.
Segue? It includes reference to the earlier Praises and requests for
Connection already expressed. We hope now Hashem is granting requests based
on finding pleasure in our Voice addressing him.

END Requests

What else to say?


Apologies for repetition. I am struggling with the proper definition of
this part.

Once upon a time, the Chazan led a single public prayer. Congregations just
listened. Last part began ?Modim? ? and all bowed. Like addressing a king,
bow when entering and when leaving the Audience. Kohanim bowed after they
offered the Korban Tamid, in the Temple.  The fact that even now ? when do
we bow ? in Modim ? shows that it is the structural frame.

#19 is attached to #18 Modim, not to the Frame. ?Always end with Peace and
Blessing? says the rule.

Now that the congregation proved their devotion, it is worthy that the
Kohanim bless them. Then congregation requests that the Three blessings be
fulfilled. Birkat Kohanim is then ?after? the main ending, and the
expression of Birkat Kohanim at greater length is a magnificent flourish
added to the end.

A pleading causes some stress, making demands on the Judge. After
chronicling how needy of help we are, we address directly our connection to
the Judge, from our side.  The organic connection of Requests leads to
thanking for ongoing favors until now. So Modim- now #18, is the key part
of the Bowing Out Section. Were only one allowed, Modim would have been the
only survivor.

#17 Be Pleased ? adapting minimally a prayer from early Bayis Sheini times
? was already recited by Kohanim in the Mikdash, who represent the security
that Hashem loves Bnei Yisrael. Fire of the Mizbeiach showed Hashem?s
Presence among the Benei Yisrael. This fire never dimmed. . Reassurance
personal acceptance HODAAH

IMHO accurately described as ?Relationship reassurance?. After #16 segueed
toward a more personal deeper rapproachment [sic], we now d?j? vu to
Kohanim in the Mikdash. After offering the Tamid ? they all asked that Bnei
Yisrael?s expression of connection with Hashem ? the Korban Tamid etc. ?
indeed be found pleasing to Hashem.

Focus on the positive devotion, not on any injustices nor any rudeness. The
Geniza version ends ?That we should regain proper Reverence of You, to
worship You Alone?. We proclaim unequivocally our devotion.

Others just end ?You will return your Divine Domicile to Zion? ? for
Hashem?s own Glory ? He should make us righteous.

A child desperately needs approval of the parents. We would wish to
directly ask Hashem to be pleased with us as ourselves his Children. We
cannot ask directly ? from our rejected exile. We add that let us regain
entr?e to Hashem, then we can please Hashem with our gifts. We are
conscious of being banished children. [In the Medieval period, the Kedoshim
who died for Hashem, were considered an exception. Their sacrifice was
accepted promptly and ?unconditionally?.

   , ?

The last bracha extends the Birkat Kohanim, (if the Kohein was also Chazan
he is embellishing the same blessing he just said).

 It is originally entitled Birchat Kohanim.

In the Psukim of Birkat Kohanim, Hashem commands Himself! You the Kohanim ?
when called upon ? will use this formula [ Yvarech?cha, Ya?eir Yisa] with
hands raised etc.  He Commands the Blessing and then carries out the
resulting blessing ? they put Hashem?s Name  connected to good tidings for
Bnei Yisrael, and Hashem ?will bless them?. [Whom? Kohanim? Yisrael through
Kohanim? Yisrael directly?]

There is precedent ? I will command the Blessing for the three years! On
Shmita and perhaps Yoveil. Is there a novel meaning of Tzivuy ? of actual
performance and making it happen?

So we see that Good Fortune and Blessing ? for Yisrael who are above Mazal
?As Hashem removed [even the weakest among them] from Mitzrayim against the
will of all constellations and stars ! As long as Hashem is there ? the
power of Mazalos is broken!

Now Birkat Kohanim ? Hashem himself made the instruction sheet ? we just
follow Hashem?s own formula. Divine Command makes blessing flow from Birkat
Kohanim.  Divine presence can be detected in the Kohanim?s hands. Thus we
are ?obedient? when we make ?commands? for blessing to flow.

Let us envision Mikdash. Pilgrim brought Bikurim, and Maaseir etc. Pilgrim
proclaimed that the pilgrim showed recognized Hashem?s Title to the Land ?
by giving Tithes ? and therefore Hashem can look searchingly at him and not
find fault, and with utmost energy send blessing. Again Hashem ?puts this
reward into the Contract of lease of the Holy Land?.

Well thought out! Over the centuries of exile and suffering, we add hedging
and apologetics as befits exiles, but retain the basic confident theme,  as
RJIR explained.

Hashem appointed Kohanim as Keepers of the Faith. They certify for Hashem
that Bnei Yisrael are ?facing? Hashem, not those Others. Hashem can then
face us and bless us.  Hashkifa! Focus on how closely Yisrael keep giving

David Wacholder

Email: dwachol...@gmail.com
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Message: 5
From: Meir Shinnar
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:44:22 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Mekah ta'ut

I think that RMB (and most here) would agree that someone with a
history of severe illness that he hid before can be a Mekah ta'ut (? Of
when she discovered & what she did afterward may factor in)

RZS argued (& this mainstream position) that someone who later on was
found to have serious defects -- eg, abusive -- that is not a Mekah ta'ut.

The metziut question which underlies possible expansion of Mekah ta'ut
in the direction of RER -- is a two step argument

1) that the future defect WAS present at the time -- just not yet manifest
-- (not a case of nistapacha sadehu) &

2) that future defect WAS not only present, but detectable at the time
of the wedding -- IF detailed psych & medical testing at the time would
have been done.

RER's bet din, from my limited knowledge of it, focused on part 1 -- a
statement of psychological & biological determinism. RYBS's objection
is primarily to this -- that this avenue was clearly open in the past &
not used -- it is essentially too open ended (I would add that is is very
similar to a petach in hatarat nedarim -- if u would have known that this
person would become, would u have taken this neder -- and therefore the
fact that it wasn't used here is even more striking)

The second point, however, IF correct (& that is of course an issue -- What
is the Halacha about such a mekach in purely commercial transactions?) -- 
then it becomes more of a case of Mekah ta'ut -- whether it rises to
that level I will leave to others (issue of an unknown to both seller &
buyer, but knowable fault) -- but it does address RYBS's issue of previous
generations -- because our ability to predict is greater.

Meir Shinnar

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:39:47 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Mekah ta'ut

On Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 10:44:22AM -0400, Meir Shinnar via Avodah wrote:
: I think that RMB (and most here) would agree that someone with a
: history of severe illness that he hid before can be a Mekah ta'ut (? Of
: when she discovered & what she did afterward may factor in)
: 2) that future defect WAS not only present, but detectable at the time
: of the wedding -- IF detailed psych & medical testing at the time would
: have been done.
: The second point, however, IF correct (& that is of course an issue -- What
: is the Halacha about such a mekach in purely commercial transactions?) -- 

In our original case, we're talking about a man who hid the psychiatric
illness from his bride. So detectability is not an issue.

In the case where the groom does NOT know of the problem himself,
the machloqes in CM 232:18 might be relevant. The Mechaber follows
the Rambam that a sirsur (broker?) does not have to return the money,
because any buyer should know there could be flaws the broker is unaware
of. The Rama, OTOH, quotes the Mordechai that meqach ta'us does apply. The
machloqes appears to be whether MT is a matter of seller dishonesty or
of buyer protection.

I would think that the Seph position might mean that only hidden defects
could open to claims of qiddushei ta'us, whereas Ashk have more leeway.
Of course, why would we matir Ashk creating children Seph wuld have to
consider mamzeirim? I don't see how the Rama could be practically relied
upon, except perhaps if the agunah were post-menopausal.

As for the assumed parallel between CM and EhE:
Kesubos 73b lists cases of qidushei ta'us that still require a gett
The Ran (on Nedarim 87a) says that qiddush ta'us has a higher threshold
to begin with than meqach ta'us.
So, CM cases might prove that some case is /not/ qiddushei ta'us, but
they can't be used to prove that some case would be one.

Looking more at SA CM 232:
Se'if 3 talks about "afilu le'achar kamah shanim", the normal CM version
of our case.

In CM, we rely on local business norms (se'if 6) "kol shehiskimu alav
benei hamdinah shehu mum shemachzirim bo meqach..." It has to be a deal
the typical local wouldn't accept because of the size of the flaw at
the time of the deal.

In the Rambam, it's Mekhirah pereq 15. The Mishneh leMelekh on hal'
3 (where the whole "afilu le'achar kamah shanim" appears) raises the
question of a mum that was readily detectable by the buyer had the buyer
checked, but they didn't. Does that negligence imply mechilah? He leans
toward "lo machil", but acknowledges that both de'os have sources.

The AhS (se'if 5) also records a wide range of shitos. He concludes,
based on what he wrote in 228:7,8 "dedavqa te'imah haveih mechilah" --
also, lo machil.

I wonder how to apply this to "love is blind" cases, where the bride
misses something obvious to anyone more level-headed.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Life is complex.
mi...@aishdas.org                Decisions are complex.
http://www.aishdas.org               The Torah is complex.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                                - R' Binyamin Hecht


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