Avodah Mailing List

Volume 35: Number 18

Thu, 09 Feb 2017

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Zev Sero
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2017 17:44:03 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Cheftzei Shamayim

On 06/02/17 16:57, Ben Bradley via Avodah wrote:
> What is the 'l'lamdo sefer' , immortalised in the zemer? Presumably some
> kind of limudei chol. Difficult to think it means Torah since BS
> prohibits it. Why would BS prohibit arranging Torah lessons on Shabbos?
> Is that really chaftzecha according to them?

Yes, because it means arranging to pay a teacher or a school.

Zev Sero                May 2017, with its *nine* days of Chanukah,
z...@sero.name           be a brilliant year for us all

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Message: 2
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2017 21:46:30 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Cheftzei Shamayim

R' Ben Bradley (welcome!) asked:

> What is the 'l'lamdo sefer', immortalised in the zemer?
> Presumably some kind of limudei chol. ...
> But if it's means limmudei chol, do BH really mean that's
> cheftzei shamayim? And if it's limmudei chol, what kind of
> chol would that be for pre-barmitzva kids of chazal's time.
> Arithmetic? What else?

Yes indeed, "cheftzei shamayim" is exactly the logic used here - Mechaber

Besides arithmetic, I suppose another example could be learning to read the
local language.

The Mechaber there (and, if you'd prfer something more recent, try Shmirat
Shabbat K'hilchata, at 29:56 in the 5770 edition, or 29:54 in the 5739
edition) says that this includes teaching a trade or craft, including
arranging for a tutor for one's child for these purposes, provided no wages
are specified.

And although the Mechaber and Mah Yedidus both used the word "tinok", I
can't imagine why this halacha would apply only to little children. If one
must insure that his child can support himself, kal vachomer oneself, no?

In modern practical terms, I suppose this would include inquiries about
choosing a school (for one's child or oneself). The point here is that
these discussions don't need to be restricted to the quality of the Jewish
education one would get there, but even the quality of their professional
education could be discussed on Shabbos.

Akiva Miller
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Message: 3
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2017 21:50:31 +0000
[Avodah] Why one should not say parshas HaMan

See http://torasaba.blogspot.com/2017/02/why-not-to-say.html

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2017 17:42:52 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Why one should not say parshas HaMan

On Tue, Feb 07, 2017 at 09:50:31PM +0000, Professor L. Levine via Avodah wrote:
: See http://torasaba.blogspot.com/2017/02/why-not-to-say.html


   Why not to say [Parashas haMan]:

   The Perisha says there is a Yerushalmi (Brachos) that speaks
   about the Segula  of ???? ???." The Aruch Hashulchan writes
   he couldn't find this Yerushalmi. (It hasn't been found since)

Well we are missing much of the Y-mi. The Perishah (R Yehushua Falk)
was niftar in 1614. That's 300 years in which we could have lost a
snippet he had, or his source had.

   According to the Rambam*, If the sole purpose of saying the Parsha,is
   to have the Segulah of Parnasah, it is considered Kefirah.
   *(Hl. Avoda Zarah (Perek 11)

The word "kefirah" or "kofer" do not appear in that pereq. The nearest
I can find it halakhah 12, which does say the following as reported,
WRT halochaish al hamakah vehaqorei pasuq min haTorah and the like:

   "They make the Divrei Torah a Refuas Haguf and it isn't but a  Refuas

But the Rambam's issur is menacheish.

I complain about segulah shoppers as turning a system for us serving Hashem
into a system for getting Him to serve us.

And to quote my reply to your quote of the Mezhbuzher Rav in 2009
> Aside from Avos 1:3 and Atignos ish Sokho's "al menas shelo leqabeil
> peras..."

> More condemning: I'm reminded of BB 10b on Mishlei 14:34. The pasuq says
> "vechesed le'umim chatas", and the gemara says that it's because they
> do chesed lehisyaheir. R' Elchanan Wasserman in Qoveitz Shiurim brings
> a long line of rishonim starting with Rabbeinu Bachya showing that this
> is the defining feature of paganism. To be a pagan is to do good only
> in order to get favors from the gods.

However, all that (and R' Lopiansky's amusing story) do not prove it's
wrong to engage in such things. These are arguments for not saying them
for the wrong reasons.

If one deals with segulos in terms of rituals that bring us in
line with Retzono which will cause HQBH to fulfill our retzonos as
though they were His, and thus says P. haMan in order to (1) remember
where all wealth comes from, (2) commit it back to serving Him, and
hoping -- but not counting on -- this being enough for Him to entrust
us with more of his wealth, why not?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Good decisions come from experience;
mi...@aishdas.org        Experience comes from bad decisions.
http://www.aishdas.org                - Djoha, from a Sepharadi fable
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 5
From: Zev Sero
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2017 18:37:06 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Why one should not say parshas HaMan

On 07/02/17 17:42, Micha Berger via Avodah wrote:
> The Perishah (R Yehushua Falk) was niftar in 1614.

Does anyone know whether the name "Yehoshua Falk"  is still used today, 
and, if not, when it fell out of fashion?  (I know that an alternative 
spelling, "Yehoshua Falik", is still used; I'm asking about the version 
without the I.)   Also, does anyone know *why* Yehoshua is associated 
with a falcon?

Zev Sero                May 2017, with its *nine* days of Chanukah,
z...@sero.name           be a brilliant year for us all

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2017 18:54:47 -0500
[Avodah] Yehoshua's Falcon

On Tue, Feb 07, 2017 at 06:37:06PM -0500, Zev Sero via Avodah wrote:
: Does anyone know whether the name "Yehoshua Falk"  is still used
: today, and, if not, when it fell out of fashion?  (I know that an
: alternative spelling, "Yehoshua Falik", is still used; I'm asking
: about the version without the I.)   Also, does anyone know *why*
: Yehoshua is associated with a falcon?

Wikipedia on the Sma (R' Yoehushua b Alexander hakohen) Falk
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Falk> mentions (without
    Note on the name "Joshua Falk"
    Until the early 19th century, the names of most Central European Jews
    consisted of a Hebrew first name, a German second name, the patronymic
    "ben ... " (son of ...) and, if an upper one, the class - HaCohen (or
    "Katz") or HaLevy. The German name was chosen to fit the Hebrew one:
    thus "Zvi" or "Naftali" went with "Hirsch", and "Zev" or "Binjamin"
    with "Wolf". Those whose given name was Yehoshua, Josua, or Joshua
    had the second name of Falk, Valk, Walk, Wallik or Wallich. (One
    theory is that "Falk", here, derives from the German for falcon:
    just as a falcon circles its prey, so Joshua circled and explored
    the Holy Land before swooping down on it. Some derive "Valk" from
    an acronym of Leviticus 19:18: "ve'ahavta lere'akha kamokha" - "Love
    thy neighbor as thyself"). The name Falk was thus not a family name
    until the 19th century, when it was adopted by those whose immediate
    ancestors had "Falk" as a second name. Encyclopedias will therefore
    have several entries under "Falk", where "Falk", strictly, is not a
    surname. References to Rabbi Falk are therefore often via "Yehoshua
    Falk ben Alexander HaCohen" or "Joshua Falk ben Alexander Katz" or
    "Joshua Falk Katz".

But it doesn't explain why communities that stil have Dov Ber or
Yitzchaq Aizik dropped this pair. Assuming it is a falcon. The
notriqon theory sounds like a poetic stretch. (Like Shneur = shenei
or. Of course the truth -- Sheneur = Signor / Sen~or -- can also seem
a stretch.)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             One doesn't learn mussar to be a tzaddik,
mi...@aishdas.org        but to become a tzaddik.
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 7
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2017 22:38:29 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Liberal vs Conservative Value System

On Thu, Feb 02, 2017 at 10:44:39AM +0200, Moshe Zeldman via Avodah wrote:
: Is anyone familiar with works that discuss Torah representing a liberal vs
: conservative value system (re social welfare, individual rights,
: affirmative action, diversity, social justice)?

No answers, just thoughts for others to work with / critique.

I often say that O Jews today are caught without a spot on the spectrum,
at least how the spectrum lines up in the US.

Liberalism has come to embrace post-modernism, in which there is really
no objective truth. (True post-modernists would say that even science
is a construct; I don't think the popularist version has gotten that far
outside liberal arts departments on campus.) Just his truth vs her truth,
my truth and your truth.

And when one lacks belief in objective values, there ends up
being one thing that gets treated as an objective value: maximizing
autonomy. Letting people find their own meaning and pursue their own
values. As long as that doesn't involve stepping on others' attempt to
do the same -- that wouldn't be maximizing.

Meanwhile, the western conservative is drawing from Xian values. (Assuming
one is willing to include the Prosperity Gospel in that umbrella.) They
have objective values, but there isn't really a Judeo-Xian ethic, no
shared belief in what those values look like. We don't even frame them
in the same terms -- can a religious Xian relate to the very idea of a
religious law? That such details can make or break the appropriateness
of an action?

As for social welfare, what speaks of social justice more than using
the shoresh /tz-d-q/ (tzedeq tzedeq tirdof) for tzedaqah?

As for individual rights... Kol Yisrael areivim zeh bazeh stands in
distinct opposition to "live and let live". Halakhah demands heteronomy
for most of us -- we defer to posqim.

We're just not in any one place on an axis made for a different culture.

I canot think of any mention in halakhah about conscious attempts to
balance the workforce with diversity initiatives and affirmative action.
There is fostering of diversity in a set-up that tried (until Sancheirev)
to insure there be 12 distinct ways of being Jewish. But aniyei irekha
qodmin would mean your family, sheivet, or friends and neighbors are
supposed to get first attention -- not fostering diversity.

Choshein Mishpat does not have the same notion of worker's rights as
liberals or unions. And that's just one example where "social justice"
can't have the same meaning. I would take it for granted that Yahadus
teaches social justice and even teaches us to be the world's exemplars
of social justice. See RSRH's take on what it means to be a mamlekhes
kohanim. But that doesn't line up with everything non-O Jews might term
"tikun olam".

Tir'u baTov!

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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Message: 8
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2017 21:38:40 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Cheftzei Shamayim

On Mon, Feb 06, 2017 at 09:46:30PM -0500, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
: And although the Mechaber and Mah Yedidus both used the word "tinok", I
: can't imagine why this halacha would apply only to little children. If one
: must insure that his child can support himself, kal vachomer oneself, no?

As the old Yiddish saying went, my ruchnius includes my soul and your

It's a mitzvah to address others' poverty -- an obvious example is
tzedaqah, dei machsero. But putting money aside for yourself to restore
your old lifestyle isn't tzedaqah.

Similarly, providing for our son's ability to someday make parnasah in
within my ruchnius in a way that preparing to make money myself does
not. And would it depend how many people are also being supported?

Specifying the "tinoq" in "vetinoq lelamdo seifer" may simply be the
clearest case of where there is a sufficient chetzei Shamayim aspect to
permit it on Shabbos.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             What we do for ourselves dies with us.
mi...@aishdas.org        What we do for others and the world,
http://www.aishdas.org   remains and is immortal.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Albert Pine

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Message: 9
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2017 22:05:49 -0500
Re: [Avodah] gaon

On Sun, Feb 05, 2017 at 09:20:31AM -0800, saul newman via Avodah wrote:
: in childhood , probably effected by modern hebrew, gaon meant 'genius'
: in current usage 'harav hagaon' , is it to mean genius above others, or
: just an honorific with no particular implication?  [i wonder if anyone who
: opens a yeshiva and thus becomes RY, automaticlaly gets this title]

Yecheqeil 7:20, Tehillim 47:5 and Amos 6:8 use the word ga'on, the
latter two referring to Hashem desiring "ge'on Yaaqov" [asher aheiv,
selah -- Tehillim].

In Yechezqeil, the topic is Benei Yisrael taking pride in their jewelery,
which was made into tzalmei to'avasam shequtzeihem, so HQBH will give
it to enemies.

Well, is there a *title* "gaon" before the Roshei Yeshiva of Sura
(Neharda'ah) and Pumbedisa? Odds are it's identifying the poseiq hador as
"ge'on Yaaqov" -- Jacob's Pride.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Here is the test to find whether your mission
mi...@aishdas.org        on Earth is finished:
http://www.aishdas.org   if you're alive, it isn't.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Richard Bach

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Message: 10
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2017 22:44:15 -0500
Re: [Avodah] The OU on Glatt Poultry

On Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 06:02:21PM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
: Which of course raises the question of how does one define the universe
: whern determining if there is a miyut hamatzui and which universe such
: a determination impacts.

This is only a question to the eztent that we insist that ruba de'isa
leqaman and ruba deleisa leqaman are necessarily different things. If
ruba de'isa leqaman is just a means of calculating the odds of getting
an iterm, and ruba deleisa leqaman is an estimate of odds without
listing all the choices, the problem is straightforward.

If the whole thing is about odds just as for deleisa leqaman:

An item is included toward finding a miut hamatzui to the extent that
that item might end up matzui here. The ratio of the weighted average
of the universe of all assur items in the set tmes the probability of
that item ending up the one in question divided by a similar sum over
all items. Can't really be calculated, but can often be estimated well
enough for matzui vs not.

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: 11
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2017 22:46:55 -0500
Re: [Avodah] How long was Shib'ud Mitzrayim?

On Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 06:46:25PM -0500, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
: We often say that the slavery in Mitzrayim was "only" 210 years. The best I
: can figure, that would be the span from 2238 (when Yaakov and the family
: joined Yosef) until the Exodus in 2448...
:                      Rashi (Shemos 6:16) says that there was no slavery
: until the last of the brothers died, and that was Levi...
:                                   only the last 116 years were actual
: slavery.

: The Torah Anthology (Parshas Shemos, pg 150) gives two more possibilities:
: (1) The slavery began with Miriam's birth, and lasted 83 years and 4
: months. (2) He gives another calculation, leading to 86 years minus 40 days.

There isn't necessarily a machloqes here. The slavery started slowly,
hava nischaqmah lo. One could validly pick various definitions of intense
enough to be labeled the start of "real slavery" without arguing
over the history of how things devolved.

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 12
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2017 19:16:40 +0000
[Avodah] Getting Ready for Tu B'Shevat

The following is from today's Hakhel Email Bulletin.

GETTING READY IN THE USA: With Tu B'Shevat coming soon, we move into
thoughts of preparation for a Rosh Hashana not known to the world at large.
By the following link http://tinyurl.com/j8524wh we provide
a list compiled according to Rav Moshe Vaye's Sefer Bedikas HaMazon, which
lists the names of fruits, whether or not checking is required, and how the
checking must be done in the USA for 5777.  [Previously supplied list, for
Eretz Yisroel, now is available at http://tinyurl.com/zlkym7u ]

I sent the following to Hakhel.  However,  I doubt they will convey my points to their readers.

I think you should point your readers to the OU  article

Inspecting Dried Fruits for Insectsat https://oukosher.org/publications/inspecting-dried-fruits-for-insect<
;https://oukosher.org/publications/inspecting-dried-fruits-for-insects/> and the audio file at https://www.ou.org/torah/kashrut/food/are_dried_fruits_moistly_kosher/

and to the Kosher dried fruit list of the CRC at http://www.crcweb.org/dried_fruit_list.php

The OU and the CRC are here in America,  whereas I believe that Rabbi Vaye
lives in EY.   I think it is a mistake to rely on rabbonim who live in EY
for pesakim on issues in America.

Furthermore,  not everyone agrees with Rabbi Vaye.  See http://www.torahmusings.com/2013/04/rav-moshe-vaye-rav-eitam

I do not think that it is inappropriate for you to point to just one poseik when their are other valid opinions.

Yitzchok Levine

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Message: 13
From: Arie Folger
Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2017 09:23:56 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Going to a Hotel for Shabbos/Yomtov

RMRabi wrote:
> Using DNA would immediately put as top to this. When I put that proposal
> to HaRav Y Belsky AH, with a business plan to immediately and rapidly
> implement it,  he was overjoyed at that prospect. Did he have any
> at the OU to have this implemented? that's right, not the slightest.
> So we are busy plugging all the little imaginary cracks in the bucket
> whilst doing nothing to mend the biggest hole in the system - business as
> usual

It is actually my understanding that the OU has been using something I
believe is called called artificial DNA for at least a decade. I am basing
this on the fact that said technology was demonstrated to us RCA rabbis at
the RCA convention, back in 2006. Can someone ascertain the facts here,
Arie Folger,
Check out my on http://rabbifolger.net

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Message: 14
From: Rabbi Meir G. Rabi
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2017 00:19:37 +1100
[Avodah] Mashgiach and Kosher Standards

I thank Prof Levin for referencing my website re Kashrus standards however,
I suspect it would have been more accurate to say - according to Halacha,
rather than - according to what is on this website - the standards of
supervision that are in place in establishments in Brooklyn and many other
places  leave something to be desired.

I do not know the nature of the businesses that R Levine references but if
there is a fair chance that regular substitutions with non-Kosher will
provide a significant profit increase [like meat or cheese] then the need
for intense Hashgacha is increased, however when there is little incentive
to make substitutions, the need for intense Hashgacha is less.
This is all included in the Halacha.

I make a determined effort to reference Halacha sources for all articles I
publish and that article certainly does.

One can only wonder why Reb Zev felt the need to point out that the OU does
not have a monopoly on Halacha.
No one suggested that they do, not R Levine in his posting nor in the
article he referenced.

Also saying that - the OU has its standards, based on its clientele and
they choose the appropriate level of supervision they believe is required -
may be misunderstood. It does not mean that the OU ignores Halacha,
ChVeShalom. Rather the OU adheres strictly to Halacha and also various
customs, but chooses a path that suits their business model.

In spite of Rabbanim differing about the standards they apply, there must
be agreement about the Halacha. Either something is Muttar or Assur, and if
there is an argument, the disputants must present their arguments - Kach Hi
Darko Shel Torah.

But this seems to rarely happen. We usually get - our rabbi says this is
Kosher or not Kosher - and that is the end of the discussion. It then
devolves into an argument about whose rabbi is bigger.

The scarcely concealed class divisions alluded to in Reb Zevs comment -
other Hechsherim which are the OU's *equals*, if not greater ....
characterise the worst aspects that plague Kashrus certification. After
all, by what measures are we making these evaluations and more importantly,
for what purpose?

And I truly wonder if those providing Hechsher have full rights to set
different standards suited to their clientele, when it is fairly clear that
such differences feed an unsightly aspect of our beautiful communities, and
may well be driven [also] by business considerations; ensuring they retain
their market and constituents.

And BTW - what is it that makes a Hechsher untrustworthy?
And when is it permitted to publicise such information [as Milhouse does]
And by which device does one measure that almost everybody or nobody trusts
a particular Hechsher.

As for giving a Hechsher on the proprietor, I suppose no one can be coerced
to give a Hecsher on anything or to anyone - but what is the point?  I am
astonished that Reb Zev suggests that by endorsing the person, the Rav
HaMachshir may therefore employ very loose standards in supervising such
people. How could a responsible Rov place an Ehrlicher Yid in such a
position? We have Halachos that govern how many people are required to
collect and distribute Tzeddaka.

In conclusion it is useful to study Reb Moshes comments [see Teshuvah
http://www.kosherveyosher.com/lone-rabbis.html] - he explains that a
community Kashrus must be completely financially independent. It must be
entirely supported by the community [a levy paid by all the members of the
community] and the food manufacturers and service providers do not pay a
penny for their certification.

If any financial benefit is derived from providing certification, then the
status of the Kashrus org and its standards are compromised, in which case
the larger Kosher agencies are likely to be less trustworthy because they
are not fearful of any negative consequences. They are like a juggernaut
that keeps on moving forward and crushes any memory of their errors,
mistakes and shortcomings, whereas the smaller agencies live in fear of
being careless or making an error that will almost certainly be used to
attack and obliterate them.


Meir G. Rabi
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