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Volume 34: Number 155

Sun, 27 Nov 2016

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 10:31:02 -0500
Re: [Avodah] The Beracha on Matzo

On Sun, Nov 20, 2016 at 08:17:05PM -0500, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
: The case

of Sepharadim making hamotzi on Matzah only during Pesach

:          itself is not the evidence I'm looking for, because I haven't seen
: anything in print to support the practice. Your report of what people *do*
: might be accurate, but I want to know if they are correct.

Yehave Da'at 1:91, 3:12
Yaskil Avdei 6:18, 8:5, 8:52

ROY cites Besamim Rosh and the Chida

Besamim Rosh's attribution to the Rosh is likely false. Most academics
agree that the first publisher, and commentary writer -- R' Shauil
Lieberman (18th cent Brerlin) -- was the real author. R' Ze'eav Wolf
posted an argument against it the same your as besamim Rosh was published.
Still, ROY gives it significant credance.

(More on Besamim Rosh at
http://seforim.blogspot.com/2005/10/besamim-rosh.html )

And none of that touches his citation of the Chida. Or on ROY's own
reasoning. He is uncomfortable with making a mezonos on matzah during
the year, leaving it as a maqor to rely on for those who follow this
minhag, but better to eat matzah during the year only in a meal that
also has bread.

BUT, the Chida does answer one question I had along the way... Sepharadim
only have this problem with crispy matzah. Soft matzah is hamotzi


Micha Berger             I have great faith in optimism as a philosophy,
mi...@aishdas.org        if only because it offers us the opportunity of
http://www.aishdas.org   self-fulfilling prophecy.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                              - Arthur C. Clarke

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 11:08:01 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Borrer Brewing Coffee Shabbos

On Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 04:48:57PM +1100, Rabbi Meir G. Rabi via Avodah wrote:
: Depressing the plunger when making coffee only presents a problem if it
: squeezes the liquid out of the dregs, otherwise it's equivalent to removing
: a tea bag.

That was what I came in aguing: Step 1, pushing the plunger down,
wouldn't be boreir when making tea because any french press designed
for coffee which requires much more volume of grounds than we would need
for tea leaves) would not have a plunger that goes so far as to squish
the water out of the tea leaves.

I took this so for granted, I only thought of the filtering in step 2,
when you pour the water out, when considering the chance of boreir.
But them we're separating okhel mitokh pesoles, a topic I will return
to below, in response to RMP's contribution.

But I do see RAM's tzad about step 1 as well. Here there is no teabag
about which to argue the teabag is big and its presence in water is not
a taaroves. Moving the plunger pushes tea tea out of an ever-growing
percentage of the liquid -- a different thing entirely. More like moving
all your peas to one side of your peas-and-carrots, so that you could
eat your carrots plain. Which is indeed boreir from the side you are
eating from, no?

On Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 09:30:39PM -0500, Michael Poppers via Avodah wrote:
: In Avodah V34n150, R'Micha responded to R'Akiva re the French press.  Just
: to clarify RAH's position, published in the previous digest, he forbade the
: French press on Shabbos because it's a *k'li*, even though one is still
: obtaining *ochel mitoch p'soles*.

Isn't that mutar for akhilah le'alter? Or am I confused?


Micha Berger             The true measure of a man
mi...@aishdas.org        is how he treats someone
http://www.aishdas.org   who can do him absolutely no good.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                   - Samuel Johnson

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 11:01:27 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Minhag Shtus

I wrote:
:> Atifah is a chiyuv? I thought it was minhag to make a point of wearing
:> a four cornered garment during tefillah.

In private email, I sent RMP some meq1oros.

The Rama in 17:2, in ddiscussing tzitzis for nashim and avadim, explains
that tzitzis "is not a chovas gavra. (Agur siman 27) Meaning, he is not
chayav to buy tzitzis for him in order to obligate him in tzitzis. Later
in siman 19, it says, 'when he has a talis of 4 corners {and wears it)."

The MB (s"q 5) contrasts this to women making a berakhah on lulav, which
is a chovas gavra. "Because there there is no chovas gavra, because
a man has no obilgation deOraisa to buy a talis of 4 corners. Rather,
if he is mis'ateif, he must mdo it with tzitzis..."

RMP replied:
: *Ituf* is how you properly wear a four-cornered garment -- i.e. it's a
: prerequisite when fulfilling *mitzvas tzitzis*.

:> One might argue that a minhag to be yosheiv uboteil from some mitzvah
:> makhsheres or qiyumis (an asei that's not an imperitive) is a minhag
:> shtus, but I didn't take that for granted. Clearly the MB felt that
:> without the "derashah", it would be very strange.

: From Tur OC 17 (especially BaCH ad loc.) and from SA OC 17:3, which are
: based on the sources I mentioned as well as on TY, a parent (or anyone
: obligated by the *mitzvas _chiyuvis_ d'chinuch*) who can afford to buy
: himself a *talis* must also buy a *talis* for his son (or ward) so long as
: that young man understands how (i.e. has the *da'as*) to be *misateif* (TB)
: and/or how to keep two *tzitzis* in front of his body and two behind (TY).

However, for all this derivation, when it comes to the din itself, there is
no chiyuv of ituf or even to buy a tallis.

The Rama in 17:3 says "tzarikh", not "chayav", to buy him tzitzis. Not
sure that matters, but in light of what he says in the previous se'if,
it could well be. The MB s"q 9 explains the Rama as saying he needs
"to buy him a beged w/ 4 corners and hang tzitzis on them in order to
teach him mitzvos". S"q 10 is where he justifies East European minhag.

And there is where I got that impression that if it weren't for the
"derashah" of "gedilim ta'aseh lekha" being next to "ki yiqach ish ishah"
it would be tamuha to be mevatel from mitzvas tzitzis.

So, if the Rama says there is no chiyuv of atifah, but a chiyuv that
any atifah should be done with tzitzis, how do we understand the meqoros?

The gemara (Sukkah 42a) says that the chiyuv of tzitzis starts when the
qatan can understand atifah. By implication, a qatan who doesn't know how
to do atidah is allowed to wear a four cornered garment without tzitzis,
and when he does, either don't wear the beged, or put tzitzis on it.

Look at the previous case -- the chiyuv of lulav begins when the child
knows how to do na'anu'im. Na'anu'im aren't me'aqvim; they are ony hiddur
mitzah. The din is to hold the 4 minim. Still, that's the definition of
bar da'as.

Here too, atifah is given as the shiur for a bar da'as WRT tzitzis,
not WRT atifah.

Look at the Yad (pereq 1) -- the mitzvah is a makhshir for 4 cornered
garments. The Rambam never phrases a chiyuv to wear the four-cornered
garment, never mind be mes'ateif in it.

Also, WRT lulav, "al netilas lulav" not "al leqikhas lulav", even though
you don't have to raise the 4 minim to be yotzei. You can't deduce things
from a berakhah.

I think na'anu'im are a good parallel. The chuyuv is to hold the four
minim. We do na'anu'im as to do more than the chiyuv. A child doesn't
understand the mitzvah until he understands na'anu'im. But they aren't
a chiyuv.

Similarly talmud Torah, another case in the gemara. The cutoff maturity
is old enough to speak. But one can fulfill _vehagisa bo yomam valaylah_
without speaking.

(I skipped tefillin, because being able to guard one's tefillin is a
practical necessity. Which complicates analyzing its role as a maturity

It is possible that the minhag started in error. But I do not see it
calling for a violation of the din.


Micha Berger             "The worst thing that can happen to a
mi...@aishdas.org        person is to remain asleep and untamed."
http://www.aishdas.org          - Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv, Alter of Kelm
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 4
From: jay
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 11:13:50 -0600 (CST)
[Avodah] Precision Of Language

> 1) He was excommunicated and therefore could not daven with a minyan.

I agree that when you are writing in English, you should write in
English.  You should avoid Hebrew words when there is no need to use
Hebrew words.  It is a simple matter to write "Leviticus" instead of
"Vayyiqra".  It denotes the same thing.

But when an English word does not denote the same thing as the Hebrew
word which conveys the idea that you are trying to express, you must
find a different English word, or, in the case of terms of art for
which no precise English equivalent exists, you must use the Hebrew

"Excommunication" is not a correct translation of either "xerem" or
"nidduy".  We are not Christians.  We do not have a sacrament of
Communion, from which we can be excluded, and which we believe will
protect us from eternal damnation, or Purgatory, when we die.  A
correct English translation of both "xerem" and "nidduy" is "ban" (a
term which was used, parenthetically, to describe a punishment that
existed in the legal code of the Republic of South Africa until less
than a generation ago, and, in the United States, is occasionally
imposed in Mennonite and Amish communities).  And if you need to make
precise distinctions between "xerem" and "nidduy" that cannot be made
in the English language, then you must use the Hebrew words.

                        Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
                        6424 N Whipple St
                        Chicago IL  60645-4111
                                (1-773)7613784   landline
                                (1-410)9964737   GoogleVoice

                        "He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky
                         through frightening leaves and shivered as he
                         found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how
                         raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created

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Message: 5
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2016 18:39:43 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Brisk and the Ran

R' Micha Berger asked:

> The Ran ... explains:
>   vehai lav issur gavra hu KEKHOL LO SA"ASEI SHEBATORAH
> If the Ran holds that every issur is an issur gavra, can a
> Brisker honestly use the gavra-cheftza chiluq to describe his
> shitah or any machloqes he is in?

Are you sure that the Ran really means every single last one, without any
exceptions at all? Maybe he is just stating a general rule?

What's to stop a Brisker from invoking the gavra-cheftza chiluq, and then
responding to your objection with "Well, this is an exception to the
general rule given by that Ran."

Akiva Miller
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Message: 6
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2016 14:15:20 +0000
[Avodah] Love and Marriage

Frank Sinatra used to sing a song about love and marriage.  In part the lyrics are

Love and marriage, love and marriage
They go together like a horse and carriage
This I tell you, brother
You can't have one without the other

I am sure that RSRH would insist that the order is wrong and it should be
marriage and love. My reasoning is based upon Rav Hirsch's commentary on
Bereishis 24;67 which is below.

67 Yitzchak brought her into the tent of Sarah, his mother. He married
Rivkah, she became his wife, and he loved her, and only then was Yitzchak
comforted for his mother.

This, too, is a characteristic that, thank God, has not vanished from
among the descendants of Avraham and Sarah, Yitzchak and Rivkah.
The more she became his wife, the more he loved her! Like this marriage
of the first Jewish son, Jewish marriages, most Jewish marriages, are
contracted not on the basis of passion, but on the strength of reason
and judgment. Parents and relatives consider whether the two young
people are suited to each other; therefore, their love increases as they
come to know each other better.

Most non-Jewish marriages are made on the basis of what they call
"love." But we need only glance at novelistic depictions taken from life,
and we immediately see the vast gulf - in the non-Jewish world -
between the "love" of the partners before marriage and what happens
afterward; how dull and empty everything seems after marriage, how
different from what the two partners had imagined beforehand. This
sort of "love" is blind; each step into the future brings new disillusionment.

Not so is Jewish marriage, of which it says: va'yekach es Rivkah va't'hi lo l'eshah

va'yeehhaveha! Here the wedding is not the culmination, but only the beginning
of true love.

And now four more words, which, since God led Eve to Adam, until
the end of time, have remained and will remain unsurpassed in beauty
and glory: va'yenacham Yitzchok achrei emo. A forty-year old man, inconsolable over the
death of his aged mother, finds consolation in his wife! This is the position
of the Jewish woman as wife! What nonsense to identify Jewish married
life with oriental sensuality and harem conditions! With Sarah's death,
the feminine spirit and feeling departed from the home. Yitzchak then
found his mother again in his wife (hence, "When he brought Rivkah
into the tent, to him it was as though his mother were again there" -
see Bereshis Rabbah 60:16). This is the highest tribute that has ever been
paid to the dignity and nobility of woman - and it is in the ancient
history of Judaism.
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Message: 7
From: via Avodah
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2016 21:15:41 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Love and Marriage

> Frank Sinatra used to sing a song about love and marriage. In part
the lyrics are
>> Love and marriage, love and marriage
>> They go together like a horse and carriage
> I am sure that RSRH would insist that the order is wrong and it should
> be marriage and love. My reasoning is based upon Rav Hirsch's commentary
> on Bereishis 24:67 which is below.

Could one say the opposite, based on Bereshit 29,18?

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Message: 8
From: Saul Guberman
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2016 19:06:05 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Precision Of Language

On Fri, Nov 25, 2016 at 12:13 PM, jay wrote:
>> 1) He was excommunicated and therefore could not daven with a minyan.
> "Excommunication" is not a correct translation of either "xerem" or
> "nidduy".  We are not Christians.  We do not have a sacrament of
> Communion, from which we can be excluded, and which we believe will
> protect us from eternal damnation, or Purgatory, when we die.  A
> correct English translation of both "xerem" and "nidduy" is "ban" ...
> And if you need to make
> precise distinctions between "xerem" and "nidduy" that cannot be made
> in the English language, then you must use the Hebrew words.

Thank you for the lesson on excommunication, it is interesting. I do not
think that the majority of A/A reader would read the word ban and think
"xerem" or "nidduy". Sometimes common usage wins out. Bringing in the
Mennonites, maybe the word shunned would be closer.

Shavua Tov

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Message: 9
From: H Lampel
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2016 14:38:33 -0500
[Avodah] Altering of Rabbinic Texts?

> Wed, 23 Nov 2016 From: "Professor L. Levine via Avodah"
>  From the article at
> http://tinyurl.com/2l2m9q
> [Breishis Rabbah 36:1] ''When he giveth quietness, who then can
> condemn, etc.'' (Job 34:29). R. Meir interpreted it: He quieteneth
> Himself from His world, And He hideth His face (ibid.) from His world,
> like a judge before whom a curtain is spread, so that he does not know
> what is happening without. ... Let that suffice thee, Meir, said they
> to him. [Soncino: You have said more than enough ? heaven forfend that
> this teaching should be true!] ...
> MS: ... we see that R. Meir is saying (or is attributing to Job[1])
> the notion that God chooses to remove himself from knowledge of and
> guidance of the world. This is a very radical statement  ... Louis
> Finkelstein ...writes: we find R. Meir ... denying Providence in
> individual human life.[2]
But R. Meir is merely attributing the denial of providence to Eliyhu. 
His opponents objected to that and, as Payrush Maharzu explains, the 
context of the posuk indeed argues against such an interpretation. 
Elihu's words immediately before this were, "His eyes are upon the ways 
of each man, and all his steps He will see...Therefore He will recognize 
their deeds...and the cry of the afflicted He will hear" (Iyov 
34:21-28). [3]

The Midrashim are replete with girsa variations, and whether or not 
providence-denial should be attributed to the posuk's speaker, there is 
no basis to accuse R. Meir of endorsing it. Neither is there evidence in 
the girsa variation to censorship (as Shapiro claims), rather than 
simply the presence or absence of an additional point (that the 
providence-denial was held by the generation of the Flood, too).

[1] Shapiro cites Mordechai Margaliyot?s note in his edition of Vayikra 
Rabbah, which reasons that there would only be the criticism of 
"Dayecha, Meir!" if R. Meir's interpretation was a radical one, and if 
Elihu was attributing the sentiment to Iyov. Now, the fact that Iyov's 
friends accused him of blasphemy is no news. But the attribution of this 
thought to Iyov is something no mefarshim suggest, nor does it fit the 
posuk's words or context. In fact, if it were representing Iyov's true 
thoughts, that would only further lighten the criticism of R. Meir. 
Other Tannaim and Amoraim (BB 16a) debate whether Iyov, in his pain, 
could be accused of being a mecahref umegadef  expressing heretical 
ideas (bikaish Iyov liftor kol ha-olom kulo min hadin. "Afra l'pumei 

[2] Finkelstein, perhaps trying to redeem R. Meir from total heresy, 
limited the providence-denial to that of individual human life. But the 
Midrash speaks of Hashem hiding Himself from the world, and indeed the 
posuk specifies 'over a nation and over adam together..'' So the radical 
view about Providence would not be restricted to individual human life.

[3] The language of objection is strong, but does not necessarily imply 
an accusation of heresy. R. Yehuda uses the phrase ''Dayecha, Meir!'' 
when criticizing R.Meir for darshonning a posuk in Shir HaShirim as a 
criticism of bnei Yisrael rather than a praise (Shir HaShirim Rabbah 1:57).

Zvi Lampel
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