Avodah Mailing List

Volume 34: Number 88

Sun, 07 Aug 2016

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Eli Turkel
Date: Thu, 04 Aug 2016 15:33:29 +0000
Re: [Avodah] second shoresh of sefer hamitzvot

On Thu, Aug 4, 2016, 6:20 PM Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org> wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 02:14:31PM +0300, Eli Turkel wrote:
>: 2) Moshe Rabbenu knew only general rules. The later rabbis developed
>: details and used the derashot to base them. Similar to grammar (dikduk)
>: where people knew intuitively the rules but only many centuries later were
>: formal rules developed.

> R Dr Moshe Koppel's Metahalakhah... A native speaker doesn't need to
> learn formal rules, exept in special and complicated cases. Someone
> learning English as a second language is more likely to know what the past
> pluperfect is than a native speaker. Similarly, halakhah should be known
> as a native speaker. But as we get further from Sinai, more and more needs
> to be formalized into rules you can articulate and pass on...

The difference is that rma uses this concept to explain the second
shoresh in sefer hamitzvot this shoresh is rarely used on yad chazakah
Next shiur is this Friday

Go to top.

Message: 2
From: Micha Berger
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2016 13:03:00 -0400
Re: [Avodah] The kashrus status of genetically engineered

On Wed, Aug 03, 2016 at 11:30:01AM +0300, Marty Bluke wrote:
: I saw an interesting article ...
: about the kashrut of genetically engineered salmon. They are mixing in DNA
: from non-kosher fish to make the salmon grow at a much faster rate and the
: question is does the DNA from non-kosher fish make these salmon non-kosher?

: This raises fascinating questions about the future of kashrut. How will
: halacha deal with these innovations?...
:                                Will these advances make almost everything
: kosher (or treif)?

And does this relate to the medrash that says that the chazir got its
Hashem will give it back ("lehachziro") to Benei Yisrael le'asid lavo.

The rishonim struggle with how this is to be understood, given that the
Torah is unchanging. Some (RHS didn't give sheim omro, it was a sermon)
take the medrash as referring to the Notzrim, who claim to be a twin
religion, like the chazir displaying kosher hoofs, thus its link to Edom
-- Yisrael's twin. That the medrash encodes a nevu'ah about the handoff
to messianic rule.

The Ramo miPano (Asarah Maamoros, chikor hadin 4:13) says that le'asid
lavo, the pig will chew its cud. And the pig has vestigial remnants of
the necessary stomachs. But it is a change in metzi'us that allows for
the change of pesaq without actually being a change in halakhah.

Perhaps genetic engineering will provide a different resolution to the
question, one no rishon could have foreseen.

OTOH, if "these advances make almost everything kosher", maybe the
question becomes worse. We removed anything unique about pigs to warrant
them in particular getting the name "chazir".

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When you come to a place of darkness,
mi...@aishdas.org        you don't chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org   You light a candle.
Fax: (270) 514-1507        - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

Go to top.

Message: 3
From: via Avodah
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2016 15:28:18 -0400
Re: [Avodah] The kashrus status of genetically engineered

From: Marty Bluke via Avodah _avodah@lists.aishdas.org_ 

>> How will poskim who have no secular education whatsoever,  understand 
and deal
with these kinds of questions?  <<

Answer:  the same way they have always understood and dealt with  questions 
that come up -- by acquiring the necessary knowledge as needed.   They 
consult with experts who have that knowledge in whatever field of  science, 
technology or medicine is relevant.
And PS I object to the slightly snarky, disrespectful tone of this  
question.  The greatest halachic authorities of our generation  and previous 
generations -- think of R' Moshe Feinstein, the Chazon Ish, the  Chofetz Chaim -- 
were not too uninformed or unsophisticated to deal  with complex halachic 

--Toby Katz


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

Go to top.

Message: 4
From: H Lampel
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2016 16:35:32 -0400
Re: [Avodah] how do you teach emuna?

> ... challenges from other sources, the fact that Torah seems to have
> been forgotten in certain periods explicitly in the Navi and the like. The
> chain of the Mesorah-- there is certain reason to believe that were times
> where it was if not broken, but then it was down to a precious few; that's
> a challenge, just to use one example... and of course we have ways
> of responding to [them], ...
> https://www.ou.org/life/parenting/t
> echnology-social-media-affecting-year-israel-stephen-savitsky/
The 19th century R. Yiztchak Isaac Halevy's Doros HaRishonim addressed 
these issues (and R. Avigdor Miller disseminated his teachings in the 
20th century).

Zvi Lampel

Go to top.

Message: 5
From: Micha Berger
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2016 16:30:09 -0400
Re: [Avodah] how do you teach emuna?

There are two questions here.

On Tue, Aug 02, 2016 at 10:10:20PM -0400, Akiva Miller wrote:
: If there are any irrefutable proofs, I haven't heard of them. For every
: "proof" I've heard for G-d, emunah, etc., there *are* doubts and questions
: that can be raised.

: However, while some people consider the doubts and questions to be
: reasonable and significant, others consider them to be ridiculous and
: insignificant...

RAM is writing about the question of teaching people whether to believe.

I happen to agree with him.

As Rihal has the Chaver say in Kuzari 1:13in response to the king's
description of the philosopher's position:
    That which you describe is religion based on speculation and
    system, the research of thought, but open to many doubts. Now ask
    the philosophers, and you will find that they do not agree on one
    action or one principle, since some doctrines can be established
    by arguments, which are only partially satisfactory, and still much
    less capable of being proved.

It is ironic that this section of the Kuzari was itself turned into a
proof. He lauds mesorah over the need for proof, and that is mined for
ideas to turn into just such a proof?

I think emunah has to start with the heart. When someone gets a question
they cannot answer, they could assume there is none and their emunah is
weakened ch"v. Or, they could shelve the question -- so confident in th
emunah that they assume an answer exists and hope to sfind out what it
is someday.

The difference between the two responses is whether their experience
with Yahadus engenders that confidence.

In general, deductive proofs are built up logically from a set of
self-evident postulates. However, when not dealing with sensory input,
what makes those postulates self-evident?

In science, theories are built by induction from experimental data.
It's not reliable, which is why some theories get disproven. But often
you build from so much data that the idea being basically correct -- or
yeilds basically correct predictions -- becomes beyond reasonable doubt.

And that's why, as the Rihal notes, two philosophers can equally
convincingly argue for contradictory conclusions. Not only can they have
a difference of opinion about whether the deductive logic is valid,
they could find different sets of postulates self-evident. And when
the givens aren't empirical, so we can't share our evidence behind
our choice of postulates, deductive proofs are really just arguments,
without the certainty we would like to think they offer.

Contrary to the Rambam, and that whole era of Kalam / Scholastic
Philosophy, most people in practice do not keep Shabbos because they
proved Hashem's existence from first principles, prove that a First
Cause must be Good, that a Good G-d must have provided some kind of
moral guidance ... Torah ... TSBP.... Shabbos, halachic process, etc...

Rather the people who keep on keeping Shabbos find tha the experience
satisfies "Man's Search for Meaning" in a way that argues in favor
of the halachic process, TSBP, its claims about its own originals, and
so on back up to G-d.

It's a first-hand experience we can't simpy share with others, and with
those who go OTD, we obviously didn't do so well enough to justify
the personal cost to keep on observing. And even of those who didn't,
some simply have other costs that keep them following mitzvos anashim

And the same psychology of those who go OTD comes to play among those
who become BTs. Experience, emotions, and the threshold of personal

This is the reason for those cynical comments about kiruv being more
about chulent than talmud Torah. Hopefully you haven't heard them.
But that's the seed of truth.

Only a seed. Because the aesthetic elegance of talmud Torah is itself
an emotionally charged experience. For that matter, even mathematicians
are more willing to believe a beautiful proof.

On Wed, Aug 03, 2016 at 09:45:07AM +0300, Simi Peters wrote:
: Best way to teach emuna?  Individually, according to the needs of the
: student.  It's not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

: Absolutely best way to teach emuna?  By example.  If you've thought a lot
: about issues of emuna (which is usually a good idea), you can often use your
: conclusions to educate your children when they ask questions...

RnSP is answering a different question. Once you have a student / child
reacy to believe, how do we teach them the content of /what/ to believe
beyond the first couple of iqarim they accepted.

And I agree with her as well. When Shelomo haMelekh says "chanokh lenaar
al pi darko" he isn't "only" speaking of individualized educational
strategies. Although he could mean that too. He is referring to something
they will not veer from even when they frow old. (Mishlei 22:6) A
derekh hachaim.

I have often said here, perhaps on Areivim, that as many kids who leave
the MO world because it is too open and holds too many enticements other
than torah, as many leave the chareidi worlds because they are too narrow
in roles for adults and feel stifling. Especially if the ideal role isn't
one they are constitutionally fitted for -- like an ADHD boy who is raised
believing he will always be 2nd-rate because he can't sit and sheig.

If our communal walls were lower, so that we were willing to raise our
children al pi darkam, not according to our own derakhim, far fewer
would leave.

But first, most do not even learn a derekh. We teach halakhah, the
are of walking (check the /hlk/ shoresh) but not a derekh. Aggadita
is taught in vertlakh; not as a coordinate full-blown and consistent
picture. (The DL world in Israel is somewhat better than most in this

Yes, when we start doing so, we can discuss which derekh to teach and
how to find a moreh derekh if one happens to be better suited to a
different derekh than one's parents'/

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Man is a drop of intellect drowning in a sea
mi...@aishdas.org        of instincts.
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

Go to top.

Message: 6
From: Micha Berger
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2016 15:53:00 -0400
Re: [Avodah] pilegish status

On Thu, Aug 04, 2016 at 08:54:58AM -0700, saul newman via Avodah wrote:
: http://www.myjewishlearning.com/the-
: torch/after-10-years-as-an-agunah-and-2-getts-later-i-know-better/
: any validity to this?

1- You would need a woman willing to be a concubine. As RARakeffetR
would say, you can't hide behind a hebrew term and thing about what
you're really saying. An English speaker may not be all that insulted
if called a "chamor", but translate that insult to English...

Ha'aramah doesn't work with deOraisos.

2- The price would be the eradication qiddushin. That's pretty high. Or
to put it another way, every women caught as an agunah because we don't
replace qiddushin with pilegesh is in a sense sacrificing herself for
qedushas Yisrael.

3- There is a machloqes between the Rambam and the Ramban whether the
law of pilegesh only applies to kings. The Rambam limits it. The Ramban
says anyone could have a pilegesh, and he points to pilegesh begiv'ah
-- /someone/ had a pilegesh at a time when "ein melekh beYisrael,
ish hayashar be'einav ya'aseh". I guess the Rambam could say just so,
it was "yashar be'einav" to have a pilegesh -- there is no proof he was
permitted to!

The Rama holds like the Rambam, which I guess would close the door on
the proposal for Ashkenazim. Although RYEmden reopens it (She'eilas
Yaavetz 2:15).

RYE's teshuvah was translated to English by R Geshon Winlkler. You can
see it, and a discussion of the sources at

(I could not find a cheileq 2 on hebrewbooks.org. If anyone can find
a sharable on-line copy of the teshuvah in the original Hebrew, kindly
send the chevrah a link. I am betting many of us don't own one.)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When we are no longer able to change a situation
mi...@aishdas.org        -- just think of an incurable disease such as
http://www.aishdas.org   inoperable cancer -- we are challenged to change
Fax: (270) 514-1507      ourselves.      - Victor Frankl (MSfM)

Go to top.

Message: 7
From: Micha Berger
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2016 12:50:31 -0400
Re: [Avodah] birchat kohanim

On Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 10:07:42PM -0400, Akiva Miller wrote:
: R' Micha Berger asked [about the issur of non-kohanim duchaning]:
:> Which is? The worst they did was recite three pesuqim. I know
:> many fathers who are not kohanim who use these pesuqim when
:> blessing their children Fri night.
: There's nothing wrong with doing so, but the reason that there's nothing
: wrong with it is because they are giving their *own* bracha. It is modeled
: after Birkas Kohanim, but it makes no attempt to *be* Birkas Kohanim.
: That's the red line....

So have them say it al tenai. If the kehunah of a typical kohein today is
really a safeiq, then one would either be saying BK (withough a berakhah)
or pesuqim, depending on the tenai.

Along simiar lines... One shouldn't say Hallel on stam any day, which
is why RYBS didn't say Hallel on Yom haAtzma'ut. Some take a middle
road and say Hallel without a berakhah.

Seems pretty similar, using a tenai to say "if it's inappropriate, I am
'just' saying pesuqim" to allow one to navigate a safeiq between an asei
and a lav.

: My *guess* is that it is an exaggeration to say that "our kohanim's yichus
: is uncertain", and that m'ikar hadin we are confident that they really are
: kohanim. But the safek is not absent altogether, and it is appropriate to
: be machmir, keeping in mind that it is only a chumra, and there are real
: dangers in being overly machmir when chumra is uncalled for.

Yes, like our not performing an asei. If it's not really a safeiq, one
is being meiqil -- ignoring the opportunity to fulfill a deOraisa.
Aside from the opportunity to benefit from a berakhah as a berakhah.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "Fortunate indeed, is the man who takes
mi...@aishdas.org        exactly the right measure of himself,  and
http://www.aishdas.org   holds a just balance between what he can
Fax: (270) 514-1507      acquire and what he can use." - Peter Latham

Go to top.

Message: 8
From: saul newman
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2016 09:37:36 -0700
[Avodah] bnos tzlafchad

someone  asked  me  why all of  a  sudden after 40 yr  they were  swept up
to be married.  why all of a sudden, he asked rhetorically---and contended
that , without a nadden they were not desirable. the sudden promise of land
made them desirable.  it lends the question why they brought it up in year
40 and  not in years 2-40.  obviously there was no land to be distributed
in that time, but still.

i joked that they were previously not desirable because their father wasn't
shomer shabbos , and in light with his answer,  kessef metahair
mamzeirim...  but i am sure the meforshim have other approaches...

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

Go to top.

Message: 9
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2016 16:45:46 +0000
[Avodah] How To Make Havdalah During the 9 Days 5776



Have you given any thought to how you are going to make Havdalah this
Motzai Shabbos? The proper way to perform Havdalah the Motzai Shabbos
preceding Tisha B'Av (generally Motzai Shabbos Chazon) is one annual issue
that seems to always have disparate approaches.

The main problem is that the very essence of Havdalah is ending Shabbos,
resulting in the fact that it is actually recited during 'chol', weekday.
That is fine for an ordinary week, but Motzai Shabbos Chazon is
halachically part and parcel not only of the Nine Days, but actually
considered 'Shavua Shechal Bah Tisha B'Av'. This means that even the
Sefardim, who are generally lenient with the Three Weeks' and Nine Days'
restrictions[1]<http://ohr.edu/6976#_edn1>, are
still required to keep them during this week. And one of these restrictions
prohibits drinking wine[2]<http://ohr.edu/6976#_edn2>, the
mainstay of Havdalah[3]<http://ohr.edu/6976#_edn3>. So how
are we supposed to synthesize making Havdalah while not transgressing this

Actually, this year, 5776 / 2016, this dilemma is doubled, as there are two
Havdalahs in question, but interestingly, neither is truly on Motzai
Shabbos Chazon. The first Havdalah is this week, Motzai Parshas Masei
(well, Motzai Parshas Mattos - Masei for those in Chutz La'aretz), and the
second, with the Taanis Nidcheh of Tisha B'Av being observed immediately
after Shabbos's conclusion, gets pushed off until Sunday night (see Tur and
Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 556, 1). Yet, the Nine Days' restrictions are
still in effect until the next day and Havdalah needs to be
recited[4]<http://ohr.edu/6976#_edn4>. Hence,
the compounded confusion.

See the above URL for more as well as for the two postscripts at the end of this article. YL

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

Go to top.

Message: 10
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2016 17:22:50 +0000
[Avodah] When Rosh Chodesh Av occurs on Erev Shabbos, as it

From today's the OU Kosher Halacha Yomis

Q. When Rosh Chodesh Av occurs on Erev Shabbos, as it does this year, are there any restrictions on taking a shower?

A. During the Nine Days, a person may not shower or bathe (Rama OC 551:16)
but may wash his hands, feet and face with cold water (Mishna Berura ibid.
94) without soap or shampoo (Magen Avraham ibid. 41).

In warm climates, where one tends to perspire, some poskim allow a brief
shower in cold or lukewarm water, and when necessary soap may be used as
well (See Piskei Teshuvos 551:48 and Moadei Yeshurun p. 132:14 and p.

This year we have two Arvei Shabbosos during the Nine Days. The first
occurs on Rosh Chodesh Av and the second is the one which falls on Erev
Tisha B'Av. On the first Erev Shabbos, for one who always honors the
Shabbos by bathing on Erev Shabbos, the mitzvah of kovod Shabbos overrides
the restrictions of the Nine Days and one may wash his whole body in hot
water (Mishna Berura 551:89) and use soap (see Dirshu MB, Beurim 551:104 in
the name of Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach, zt"l) even when not required for
hygienic purposes.

On the second Friday, Erev Shabbos Chazon, one may wash hands, face and
feet with hot water. Nowadays, since people shower daily, Rav Moshe
Feinstein, zt"l allowed bathing the entire body as well (Moadei Yeshurun p.
133:21 and Kitzur Hilchos Bein HaMitzorim p. 13:7).

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

Go to top.

Message: 11
From: Efraim Yawitz
Date: Sun, 7 Aug 2016 11:41:49 +0300
Re: [Avodah] How do you teach emuna?

On Wed, Aug 3, 2016 at 4:29 AM, via Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer wrote:

    > He picked two strawmen and skewered them. Big deal.
    > Don Quixote tilting at the windmills.

They are strawmen in an intellectual sense, but unfortunately, the world
does not consist only of an abstract academic debate.

These books have potential to influence thousands of young people, either
giving them a dogmatic sort of faith, or ch"v, turning them off to
Yiddishkeit altogether.  It is quite a worthwhile endeavor to point out the
problems with them.


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

Go to top.

Message: 12
From: Eli Turkel
Date: Sun, 7 Aug 2016 14:39:11 +0300
[Avodah] second shoresh of sefer hamitzvot

To stress this is a short (sort of) summary of an hour shiur plus a chapter
in R Avraham's book

continuation of difficulty of Rambam claiming that anything learned from 13
middot is derabban
previous shitot - Rambam rakes Rambam literally and asks many questions
Tashbetz - Rambam is discussing the origin not the content

RMS says that the Rambam repeats this several times especially in a teshuva
and so it hard not to take it literally.
As discussed before RMA distinguishes between a drasha marchiv (extends)
which only extends a known halacha which is deoraisa and a drasha yotzer
which creates a new halacha and is derabbanan
except if Chazal explicitly say otherwise according to Rambam. Rambam bases
this on "ein onshin min hadin" . While other rishonim limit this to
kal ve-chomer Rambam extends it to all 13 middot.

RMA  likened this to rules of logic which Aristotle formulated. However
people obviously used logical inferences before Aristotle. There are 2
types of logical rules. deduction really means that the conclusion was
always there (All people breathe, Socrates is a person, therefore Socrates
Induction goes from details to the general and is really only an educated

Other rishonim (eg Ran) also distinguish between drashot that extend an
existing halacha and one that creates a new halacha). However, Rambam is
the only one that connects it to becoming a derabannan.
example (only one he could find): in bigdei kohen the word "shesh" appears
6 times. The gemara learns a halacha from each one with the last being that
the material shesh is "meakev"
Rambam applies it also to "bad" like the gemara but it is not "me-akev".
Achronim struggle how Rambam uses part of the gemara drashot but not all of
them. Answer - most of the drashot are extensions and so apply from the
torah. However that "shesh" includes" "bad" reveals something new and so it
is not "me-akev". RMA feels the Ran would agree with this.

Safek for chumra or kulah?
RMA claims that not all rabbinical rules are treated equal. Rabbinical
rules based are halacha le-moshe-misinai (ie mesorah) are le-chumra since
this reveals something in the pasuk however a new rabbinical rule would be
le-kulah. So for a rabbanan to be lechumra we need two conditions 1) it
reveals a pasuk 2) there is a mesorah . One without the other we go

The Ramban asks that if rabbinic rules are learned from "lo tasur" why do
we go le-kulah. The answer is that the pasuk only teaches that one must
listen to the rabbis (no rebellion). However a safek on a rabbinical level
is not a rebellion and so one can go le-kulah.

De-Oraisa has content and commandment (eating pig is intrinsically
prohibited besides not listening to the commandment).
Halacha le-moshe misinai , divrei sofrim has commandment but not content
A drasha that creates something new (yotzer) has content but no commandment.
an example is to fear (et) G-d creates a new content to include talmidei
In both cases it is derabbanan but safek is the chumrah.A gezerah of the
rabbis is le-kulah.
A drasha that just extends an existing halacha is a complete de-oraisa.

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


Avodah mailing list



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 >