Avodah Mailing List

Volume 33: Number 112

Tue, 11 Aug 2015

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2015 16:32:34 -0400
Re: [Avodah] "The Fall and Hypertime"

On Fri, Aug 07, 2015 at 03:56:56PM -0400, Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer wrote:
: What's the difference between this and Gerald Schroeder?

R' Gerald Schroeder is working within physics, using Relativity to
try to make the timelines match up.

R' Schwab, and for that matter this Hypertime idea are metaphysical,
saying that the 6 days were not physical days, meausured using the same
kind of time Galileo turned into a variable when he measured pendulum
swings, Newton took derivatives with respect to, and Einstein unified
with space. Rather, a logically prior idea altogether.

This is more in line with the rishonim who said that science as we
know it post-dates creation, and therefore time during creation is
has to be measured with a different kind of clock than the one of


And some day when humanity develops to this point, the two will finally
be in sync.

Which would fit RAYK's metaphysics in which every duality is an
illusion, as everything is the Or Ein Sof from the Absolute Unity.
And le'asid lavo, even the division between olam hazah and olam
ha'emes will fall. Leshitaso, techiyas hameisim is a consequence
of the reunification of the worlds of life and of death. Those
souls don't so much come back to life as the distinction disappears.
(I do not recall if RAYK invokes "hayinu kekholmim".)

And yes, in such a situation, physical time will be back in sync
with supernal time.

Although one needn't believe in RAYK's eschatology in order to
accept the concept that the two definitions of time will be unified,
nor do we need to believe in eventual synchronization in order to
talk about the 6 days of ceration being on a different kind of
clock than physics.


Micha Berger             If you're going through hell
mi...@aishdas.org        keep going.
http://www.aishdas.org                   - Winston Churchill
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 2
From: Noam Stadlan
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2015 15:56:48 -0500
[Avodah] Re; sources for not covering hair

R. Levine wrote:  "Is it really true that what women in the general society
do is some
standard for tznius for Jewish women. If so, then the practices of
"well undressed" gentile women (as R. A Miller used to call them) of
today have eliminated all tznius standards"

Response:  Of course there are baseline standards of tzniut  for Jew, men
and women, that are independent of surrounding culture.  But hair covering
is not one of them.(At least according the sources and shitta that I have

R. Levine then brings an article by Rav Breuer. That is his shitta, it
doesn't mean it is universally accepted or binding.  Much of what he brings
is not specific halacha but advice or Nach based(the entire sugya of kol
kevuda etc)  I would note that the vast majority of shittot do not require
single women to cover their hair

I will not have access to respond for a week or so, but will be address
further responses at that time.

shabbat shalom
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Message: 3
From: Eli Turkel
Date: Sat, 8 Aug 2015 22:02:52 +0300
[Avodah] depression

Enclosed is a summary of the last shiur of R Zilberstein to the doctors. I
am giving a shiur on this in my shul this coming shabbat. Since I feel it
is controversial I am looking for input from the list.

Question from a psychiatrist - A patient has 3 kids and has mild depression
since the last birth. She wont take chemical drugs and instead uses one
based on plants which is good for mild depression.
It had some side effects and so the patient stopped that also. The dictor
suggested various anti-depression drugs and other help which the patient
Contacting a social worker it turns out the woman runs a "nursery'
(mishpachton) from 8am to 4pm. The social worker says she manages only with
a great effort; her husband comes home from work at 1pm and the mother
helps. The woman refuses to open a file in the social ministry because of
this nursery which they may close down. The social worker pointed out that
if something happens the state will prosecute the psychiatrist.

Question: On one side there might be a danger to the kids in the nursery
and the psychiatrist might lose her license
OTOH this is a major income for the young family. She has successfully run
the nursery for several months without any complaint with the help of the
husband and mother. If this is all explained to the ministry it most likely
won't help and they will closer her down

Answer: The job of a bet din is to watch out for the welfare of the
community. Hence, according to Torah law the doctor must go the rabbi of
the city or neighborhood to hear their opinion,

R Zilberstein notes that in Bnei Brak there is an agreement with the
authorities that the local bet din deals with such problems and calls in
the local authority only if they feel this is necessary. Such an
arrangement should be set up in every town that the local bet din makes the
see YD 336:1 that ba doctor needs the permission of the bet din to
practice, Therefore one needs the permission of the local secular
authorities to rely on the judgement of the local rabbi. It is well known
that the "mara de-atra" have the ability to treat broken and depressed

In England there was a baby born with Down's syndrone whose Jewish parents
disappeared. The local board of health turned to Rav Yoseph Dinner Zt'L
what to do, Rav Dunner , who was the 65, (after checking with his wife)
said they would adopt the baby since at that time there was no Jewish
institution capable of handing this baby. The local board of health
accepted this solution. The couple cared for the child until they reached
the age of 80. At that point they transfered the child to an instituion in
Afula, Each year R Dunner would come to Israel to bake matzot and then
visit the child in Afula. The doctors in Britain said the best social
workers are the Jewish leaders.

In the beit midrash of R. Pam there was born a child with Down's syndrone.
R Pam always tried to cheep up the boy. One year the boy complained that on
simchat Torah they used all the sifrei Torah except for his paper one.
After Musaf R Pam went to the Bimah and announced to everyone that now they
were reading from the sefer Torah of this boy. This was the happiest moment
for the boy and the angles surrounding "kise hakavod"

Conclusion: The psychiatrist should explain to the local rabbi the
situation in the nursery. The rabbi should come to some agreement with the
local secular authotities to rely on his judgement

Eli Turkel
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Message: 4
From: saul newman
Date: Sat, 8 Aug 2015 21:21:33 -0700
[Avodah] Who Does Halacha View as the therapists concern?

you are basically asking when must the rabbi/frum therapist offer halachic
therapy and then risk prosecution?
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Message: 5
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Sun, 9 Aug 2015 15:17:42 -0400
[Avodah] human hair sheitals

In the thread "De-Chokifying Arayos", I asked:

> But that's not what's happening here. This is a case where the Shulchan
> Aruch paskened very clearly in one direction, and this approach went
> uncontested through centuries of acharonim. Then something changed.... Why
> aren't we rejecting these revisionist poskim out of hand?

R' Mordechai Cohen answered:

>>> I can't help but thinking that this is one of those (many) halachic
issues where the hanhaga of Klal yisroel in certain halachic (or hashkafic)
areas has developed to be inline with yechidim than with the majority of
>>> ...
>>> We have many others similar to this (some d'oriasa, some d'rabbanan) -
human hair sheitals, chadash, live music after the churban, etc.

You are raising a great point. I have wondered this about chadash and music
myself, and I'm somewhat surprised that I didn't see the connection. Thank
you very much for bringing it to my attention. (Though, to be honest, these
examples sharpen my question about Conservative "psak".)

But for THIS thread, my question is simple and direct: Tell me more about
why you specify "human hair sheitals". Have chazal/rishonim ever
distinguished between wigs made of human hair vs other kinds of wigs? I was
always under the (possibly mistaken) impression that chazal and rishonim -
and even acharonim - only discussed the requirement to cover hair, and how
much to cover, and the ramifications of leaving it uncovered.

But I don't recall any discussion of the covering itself except by the
leaders of very recent chasidic groups. Am I mistaken? Where is this
discussed in the seforim?

Akiva Miller
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Message: 6
From: Michael Poppers
Date: Sun, 9 Aug 2015 16:15:01 -0400
[Avodah] trivia questions

In Avodah V33n111, RET noted:
>> Name 2 psukim in the Torah and 5 in Tanach that contain all the letters
>> of the alph-bet (I only know one)  <<
> We still need another 3 pesukim in the rest of Nach including one that has
not only the 22 letters of the alphabet but also all the end letters <
Fact-checking what I found via Google'ing (besides the *pasuq* already
noted by R'Micha) provides these fifteen (!) *p'suqim* containing all the
-- Y'hoshua 23:13
-- M'lachim Beis 4:39, 6:32
-- Y'sha'yahu 5:25
-- Yirm'yahu 22:3, 32:29
-- Y'chezqeil 17:9
-- Hosheia 13:2
-- Amos 9:13
-- Esther 3:13
-- Daniel 3:22, 4:20, 7:19
-- Ezra 7:28
-- N'chemya 3:7

All the best from
*Michael Poppers* * Elizabeth, NJ, USA
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Message: 7
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Sun, 9 Aug 2015 17:11:32 -0400
Re: [Avodah] De-Chokifying Arayos (including MZ)

R"n Toby Katz wrote:

<<< To clarify what to some may seem a minor point:  sex  absolutely IS
required for survival.  An individual can survive  without it, but the
human species in general and Klal Yisrael in  particular cannot survive
without reproduction.  Our nitzchius is  absolutely dependent on this
particular activity, which is why "peru urevu"  is actually a mitzva and
not "mutar if you wish." >>>

Yes, that's true. But please note that you yourself are referring to "peru
urevu". My question concerns a different mitzva, namely Onah, wherein sex
is explicitly linked to food and clothing/shelter. I don't think it is a
big stretch to say that the common thread of these three things is how
important they are to this particular individual, and NOT how important
they are to the species.

<<< ... for men, this activity is actually physically impossible without
pleasure. A woman can be "kekarka" as Esther Hamalka was  but a man
cannot.  And for this reason, among others, the idea of  "objectifying men"
is just ridiculous. >>>

I think we may be understanding the word "objectify" in different ways.

Contrary to what some might think, not all men are constantly obsessed with
having sex. At any given point in time, a particular man might have other
priorities - other activities that he'd rather do than this one. But a
husband cannot give higher priority to these activities over Onah, just
like he can't choose them over minyan, or other mitzvos. He must be
sensitive to his wife's needs and wants, and if he senses her mood, he is
under a chiyuv d'Oraisa to act accordingly. (Actually, he'll have this
chiyuv even if he does NOT sense her mood accurately, in which case he will
have been Mevatel the Aseh b'shogeg, though I suppose it could easily be
argued that it's more of a "shogeg karov l'meizid" if he hasn't even tried
to judge her mood accurately.)

But there is no flip side to Onah. The wife has no responsibility to judge
her husband's desires. In fact, even if she does realize that he is "in the
mood", there is no Chiyuv d'Oraisa for her to ignore her other desires and
respond to her husband's desires. Sure, it could well be advisable for her
to do so for Shalom Bayis reasons, and one might even call it a "chiyuv" in
that context, but the imbalance remains: Her chiyuv would be Shalom Bayis
alone, while the husband must deal with both Shalom Bayis and Onah.

That's what I meant by "objectify": Much of Orach Chaim 240 is to protect
the wife from a forcible rape (for instance, she can't be asleep or drunk),
and much is also to protect her from more subtle rape (such as thinking of
another woman). But there are far fewer protections offered to the husband.
Neither can be drunk, and neither can have decided to divorce, but in
general, the wife is within her rights to demand relations whenever she
wants, and to me, this can "objectify" the husband.

RTK reminds us that the husband *will* have pleasure from this. But that is
exactly my point: If someone is required to have a pleasure that (for
whatever reason) he does not actually *desire*, it is a sort of rape.

RTK also wrote:

<<< He seems to be saying that if a man derives pleasure from being with
his wife, he is ipso facto "objectifying" her.  But human beings derive
pleasure from each other all the time, ... it is just absurd to think that
if another person gives me some kind of pleasure, I have "objectified" that
person. >>>

You are correct. Merely receiving pleasure does not automatically objectify
a person.

But if one receives pleasure without returning that pleasure to the giver,
this carries a danger of objectifying the giver. And if one receives
pleasure against the giver's will, that is the very definition of
"objectifying" (in my view).

R"n Chana Luntz wrote:

<<< In order to have an informed discussion, don't you need to read Orech
Chaim 240 in light of Even HaEzer 25 and particularly the Rema in si'if 2
there? And further read the Tur (and the meforshim on the Tur) in Even
HaEzer simin 25 to get a fuller picture of the sources (and the original
gemora sources) - so you can see the history of the machlokus on how to
deal with this issue all the way back. >>>

Indeed, the first few times I saw that Rema, he seemed to be saying,
verbatim, that "you can do anything you want, and whenever you want to do
it." A sexual hefkervelt, a world with no rules. But a more careful reading
shows that he is only making two specific points: That there are no
restrictions on positions, and that (as we've already said in this thread)
the timing restrictions of O"C 240 are a "madrega" but not the basic

But aside from these points, I see OC 240 and EH 25 as very similar: Their
main focus concerns the *mental* state, and it is in this area (it seems to
me) that Shulchan Aruch - including all acharonim until quite recently -
endorses a very prishus-oriented approach.

RCL again:

<<< I confess there seems to me to be a pretty straightforward explanation
- the influence of the outside world. ... In a world which identified
relations with sin and death (standard Xtian theology of the time, and the
Muslim theology in many circles was not that different) - it would have
been inappropriate, and led to general looseness if the general non Jewish
world view had been repudiated to the extent consonant with the positive
positions found in Chazal. >>>

There are many responses I could give to this. Perhaps the simplest would
be: So then let Shulchan Aruch be silent; why did they choose to pasken
overtly like the prishus view?

Akiva Miller
(now at AkivaGMiller at gmail)
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Message: 8
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2015 08:08:52 -0400
Re: [Avodah] De-Chokifying Arayos (including MZ)

To continue from my previous post:

R"n Chana Luntz wrote:

<<< In order to have an informed discussion, don't you need to read Orech
Chaim 240 in light of Even HaEzer 25 and particularly the Rema in si'if 2
there? >>>

I think it is noteworthy that the Aruch Hashulchan often goes out of his
way to justify the common practice in the face of the consensus of poskim,
but does *not* do so in this case. In fact, Aruch Hashulchan EH 25:11
quotes the same Tur as the Rama did, but emphatically warns us *against*
following it.

This suggests that the turning of the tide, from a more prishus-oriented
view to something else, occurred more recently than the days of the Aruch
Hashulchan. Can anyone suggest a more precise time?

Or, to put my question more blatantly: Does the less-prishus-oriented view
appear only in recent articles such as the one by Rav Lichtenstein, and in
the sort of verbal psakim such as he received? Does it appear anywhere at
all in any of the seforim that one might happen to be learning, such as the
Igros Moshe, Tzitz Eliezer, or similar?

Akiva Miller
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Message: 9
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2015 10:14:58 -0400
[Avodah] Akirah

On Wed, Aug 5, 2015 at 6:22pm EDT, I wrote:
: The issue comes up in AhS YD 24:42...
: There is a machloqes between the Behag and Rashi about the line between
: aqirah and tereifos. Rashi says that aqira is the displacement of the
: qaneh or veshet caused by using a nicked knife. Most rishonim hold
: like the Behag, and then there is a submachloqes about what kind of
: dislocated simanim are aqirah, and what are tereifos. Leshitas Rashi,
: they would all be tereifos.
: Anyway, here the AhS says that Rama holds that midinei shechitah,
: we are machmir for every definition of aqirah. But midinei tereifah,
: which differ in that it would also prohibit the milk or eggs from such
: an animal, we recognize that the iqar hedin if the Behag, and are meiqil.

In response RAF sent me offlist an essay he wrote in Dec 2001, titled
"Hagdaras Iqur Simanim baTalmud", which I put up on-line here

The article does a survey of various definitions of ique hasimanim,
which vary amazingly widely. He lists some causes:
- The discussion is in scattered snippets across Chullin, not one
  organized sugya.
- The rishonim do not agree about the girsa of the gemara that contrasts
  iqur from tereifah.
- The rishonim do not even agree on basic defining features about iqur

RAF also mentioned to me: "I have a very different peshat in ikkur,
based on actually looking at the Behag." Sec. 4 does appear to quote
a Behag that is at odds with the mesorah about shitas haBehag that the
baalei Tosafos received.

We've discussed the relationship between errors in reception and
whether finding one would change pesaq before.

Here, the nafqa mina lemaaseh is small but real, as per above.

Tir'u baTov!

PS: If anyone else has a Torah article they want up on-line, feel free
to ask.

Micha Berger             Education is not the filling of a bucket,
mi...@aishdas.org        but the lighting of a fire.
http://www.aishdas.org                - W.B. Yeats
Fax: (270) 514-1507


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