Avodah Mailing List

Volume 35: Number 61

Mon, 08 May 2017

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Zev Sero
Date: Fri, 5 May 2017 14:08:44 -0400
Re: [Avodah] nidche

On 04/05/17 23:54, Daniel Israel via Avodah wrote:

 > .  And Chazal were willing to push off Purim to avoid chillul
 > Shabbos.

The megillah only goes back, never forward.

> Following the precedent of Purim would seem to argue for pushing off
> until Sunday, but not until Monday, and certainly not Tuesday.

The precedent of Purim is to pull it back to Friday *or Thursday*.

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: elazar teitz
Date: Fri, 5 May 2017 14:40:24 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Nidche

<Yom Ha-Atzmaut can never fall on a Thursday. >

<I wrote in haste.  Yom Ha-Atzmaut can fall on a Friday (as it does next
year), in which case it is brought forward a day.>

5 Iyar can also be on Shabbos (as it will in 2021), and its commemoration
is pushed back two days, to Thursday.  Nonetheless, that Thursday can never
be a part of BeHaB, since the fasts begin on the Monday after the first
Shabbos following Rosh Chodesh Iyar, and the preceding Shabbos is either
the 28th or 29th of Nissan.

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Message: 3
From: Ben Waxman
Date: Sat, 06 May 2017 21:32:07 +0200
Re: [Avodah] nidche

Yom HaZikaron and Yom Azmaut are an inseparable pair.  There have been 
call to break the connection (to make it easier for the bereaved 
families to celebrate YA) but so far no one is willing to do so.


On 5/5/2017 5:54 AM, Daniel Israel via Avodah wrote:
> Yom HaZikaron could be pushed earlier.

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Message: 4
From: Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Date: Fri, 5 May 2017 00:20:02 -0400
Re: [Avodah] nidche

On 5/4/2017 11:54 PM, Daniel Israel wrote:
> On May 3, 2017, at 7:06 AM, Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer wrote:
>> That's fine. A secular holiday can and should be pushed off. But it is
>> no longer a religious holiday that can allow someone to say Hallel --
>> certainly -- with a bracha and push off sefirah minhagim. The Halachically
>> viable basis for Hallel and simcha during sefirah is only applicable to
>> 5 Iyar.

> My gut is with you on this.  But then we do need to at least address 
> the precedent of Purim.  We don?t say Hallel, but we say a bracha on 
> the Megillah.  And Chazal were willing to push off Purim to avoid 
> chillul Shabbos....

> Whether it should be done is a different question.  Following the 
> precedent of Purim would seem to argue for pushing off until Sunday, 
> but not until Monday, and certainly not Tuesday.  Yom HaZikaron could 
> be pushed earlier.

On Purim Meshulash, the Al HaNisim remains on Shabbos, and the Megillah 
with the bracha is relocated to the day everyone else is celebrating. 
Moreover, there is no clash between simcha on 16 Adar and some 
pre-existing minhag to diminish simcha. Those are some of the differences.


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Message: 5
From: Rich, Joel
Date: Fri, 5 May 2017 18:01:21 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Burning sold chameitz

Discussion of chametz ?received? during Pesach can be listened to here:

Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz -From The Rabbi's Desk - Girls Scout Cookies

Joel Rich

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Message: 6
From: Ben Waxman
Date: Sun, 07 May 2017 07:53:26 +0200
Re: [Avodah] nidche

OTOH, the customs of Sefira have leeway. One can shave if Rosh Chodesh 
Iyar falls on Erev Shabbat. People don't say Tachanun on Pesach Sheni, a 
day which has absolutely no bearing on our lives today, certainly not in 
any practical manner.

More importantly, the entire custom seems to be malleable. Yehudei 
Ashkenaz shifted the entire time frame to better reflect the events of 
the Crusades (according to Professor Sperber).

On 5/5/2017 6:20 AM, Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer via Avodah wrote:
 > On Purim Meshulash, the Al HaNisim remains on Shabbos, and the Megillah
 > with the bracha is relocated to the day everyone else is celebrating.
 > Moreover, there is no clash between simcha on 16 Adar and some
 > pre-existing minhag to diminish simcha. Those are some of the 

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Message: 7
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Sun, 7 May 2017 10:26:03 -0400
[Avodah] Haircuts when Lag Baomer is on Sunday

Rama 493:2 writes: "When [Lag Baomer] falls on Sunday, the practice is
[nohagin] to get haircuts on Friday l'kavod Shabbos."

What makes this Friday different from all other Fridays of sefira? If
Kavod Shabbos is ample justification to get a haircut on Omer 31
(which is in the aveilus days by all reckonings), then it ought to
justify a haircut on Omer 24 (the previous Friday) also, shouldn't it?

But I have never heard of anyone allowing a haircut on Omer 24 simply
because it is Erev Shabbos, so there must be an additional factor at
work. For many years, I presumed the logic to be as follows: If a
person would need a haircut on Friday Omer 31, or on Friday Omer 24,
and fail to get that haircut, then he has failed to do Kavod Shabbos,
but he did it by inaction. He did it in a "shev v'al taaseh" manner,
and it is quite common for halacha to suspend an Aseh with a Shev V'Al
Taaseh. (Compare skipping this haircut to skipping Shofar on Shabbos.)

HOWEVER - If a person would go out of his way ("kum v'aseh") and
actually get a haircut on Sunday, that is intolerable. To have been
disheveled on Shabbos (even if justifiably), and then suddenly be all
fancied up the very next day, that is an insult to Shabbos, and we
cannot allow Shabbos to be insulted in that manner. So when the Rama
writes that we allow the haircuts "for kavod Shabbos", what he
actually means is that we allow the haircuts "to avoid insulting

And this is what makes this weekend of Sefiras Haomer different from
all the others: On the other Sundays of Sefira, no one is getting a
haircut anyway, so the whole question doesn't exist. But in this year,
on this particular weekend, we do have this problem. The Rabbis
*could* have chosen to protect the kavod of Shabbos by forbidding us
to get haircuts when Lag Baomer is on Sunday, but instead they chose
to protect the kavod of Shabbos by allowing us to get haircuts when
Omer 31 is on Friday.

Or so I thought for many years. But I have questions on this logic.

According to what I have written, getting a haircut on Sunday is a bad
idea - no matter what time of year it is. Yet I don't recall ever
hearing anyone advise against it. In particular, when this situation
of a Sunday Lag Baomer occurs, I have often hear people cite this Rama
as granting permission to get their haircut on Friday. But in
actuality, shouldn't it be less of a permission, and more of a
*recommendation*? When a person asks the question, shouldn't the
answer be, "Yes, you can get the haircut on Friday, and that's even
better than waiting for Sunday." But I have not heard anyone suggest

That's about as far as I was going to write, but then I went to the
seforim to make sure I understood the Rama correctly. Indeed, his
phrasing, "nohagin to get haircuts on Friday l'kavod Shabbos", could
easily be understood to mean DAVKA on Friday rather than Sunday. But
although it *could* be understood that way, I don't remember anyone
actually doing do.

And then I came across Kaf Hachayim 493:33, who writes that the Levush
held differently than the Rama in this situation:

> The Levush writes that if the 33rd is on a Sunday when the
> non-Jews are not barbering because of their holiday, *that's*
> when you can get a haircut on Friday. Meaning that in a place
> where you *can* get a haircut on Sunday, then you should *not*
> get the haircut on Friday. But from the words of the Rama, who
> writes "l'kavod Shabbos", he means to allow it in any case.
> And Elya Raba #9 writes the same thing about this Levush, that
> the Rama allows it l'kavod Shabbos in either case.

To rephrase: If one has a choice between getting his haircut on Friday
or Sunday, then the Levush gives precedence to the minhagim of aveilus
during Sefira, and requires us to wait until Sunday for the haircut,
and *not* get the haircut on Friday Omer 31. The idea of suddenly
showing up with a haircut on Sunday does not (seem to) bother the
Levush, and this is totally consistent with the lack of anyone ever
being told to avoid Sunday haircuts the rest of the year.

But the Kaf Hachayim (with support from Elya Raba) rejects the
approach of the Levush. He seems to accept the word of the Rama, plain
and simple, that we can get haircuts on Friday Omer 31 because it is
l'kavod Shabbos.

And, according to Rama, this applies whether the barbershops are open
on Sunday or not. Even if one has the option of waiting until Lag
Baomer, he can "violate" the aveilus of Sefira on Omer 31, because the
haircut is l'kavod Shabbos.

This leaves me stuck with my original question: If Kavod Shabbos is
ample justification to get a haircut on Omer 31, then it ought to
justify a haircut on Omer 24 also, shouldn't it? Obviously no, but

with many thanks in advance for your thoughts,

Akiva Miller

PS: The Levush is not totally machmir; he does allow leniency, but
only in the case of where Lag Baomer is on Sunday, AND the barbers are
closed on that day. Only in such a case does he allow a haircut on
Omer 31. I have to wonder why he would allow that exception, rather
than disallowing it entirely. Here's my guess: The Levush was aware of
poskim who allowed haircuts on Friday Omer 31, but he felt this to be
an improper violation of the aveilus, and paskened that people should
wait for Sunday Lag Baomer. But if the barbers would be closed, that
means people would have to wait another two weeks for their haircuts,
in which case he allowed the leniency.

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Message: 8
From: Lisa Liel
Date: Sun, 7 May 2017 13:46:47 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Two days [was: kitniyot]

No, I'm pretty sure it was the 50th day.  The first day after our 
leaving Egypt corresponds to the first day of the Omer.  The 49th day 
after our leaving Egypt corresponds to the 49th day of the Omer.  
Shavuot is thus the 50th day after our leaving Egypt.

On 4/28/2017 6:27 PM, Zev Sero wrote:
> On 28/04/17 05:33, Lisa Liel via Avodah wrote:
>> I think it's a false dichotomy.  We assume that zman matan Toratenu is
>> the calendar date on which the Torah was given.  Clearly, that's not the
>> case.  Zman matan Toratenu is 50 days after the calendar date on which
>> we left Egypt.  Our receiving the Torah was an inextricable part of the
>> Exodus.
> Which would work fine except that the Torah *wasn't* given on the 50th 
> day but on the 51st.  So when the the 50th day falls on the 5th or 7th 
> of Sivan it is neither the calendar anniversary *nor* the 
> pseudo-Julian anniversary.

This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.

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Message: 9
From: Zev Sero
Date: Sun, 7 May 2017 09:38:33 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Two days [was: kitniyot]

On 07/05/17 06:46, Lisa Liel wrote:
> No, I'm pretty sure it was the 50th day.  The first day after our
> leaving Egypt corresponds to the first day of the Omer.  The 49th day
> after our leaving Egypt corresponds to the 49th day of the Omer.
> Shavuot is thus the 50th day after our leaving Egypt.

Everyone seems to assume we left on a Thursday.  The first day after we 
left was a Friday, so the 49th day was a Thursday.  Mattan Torah was 
definitely on a Shabbat, thus the 51st day.  There's no way out of that, 
unless we adopt the Seder Olam's view that the gemara suddenly springs 
on us at the end of the sugya that we left on a Friday.  Then it all 
works perfectly, and as I read the gemara that seems to be the 
conclusion, but I've never seen any later source even deal with this 
view; everyone who mentions the day of the week on which we left Egypt 
takes for granted (as the gemara did for most of the sugya) that it was 
a Thursday.

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: 10
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Sun, 7 May 2017 06:51:56 -0400
[Avodah] Minhagei Nashim

In a thread about Ner Shabbos, R' Zev Sero wrote:

> Thus it seems to me that this falls into the category of minhagei
> nashim which differ from how men would pasken were they asked,
> but the women have their own traditions and are not asking. But I
> don't see a basis for men, who don't have those traditions, to
> follow them. Yes, we are required to follow "toras imecha", but
> it seems to me that this means those things that women have
> traditionally taught their sons, not those that they have
> traditionally only taught their daughters.

That's an interesting way to classify things. I suppose it makes sense in
the context of Ner Shabbos, which a mother would certainly teach to her
daughters, but probably not to her sons. In this system, I suppose she
would also teach Kitchen Kashrus only to her daughters, but Brachos to all
her kids equally.

Please consider the following scenario. I suppose it could happen even
today, but it might be easier to imagine if you place it during the many
centuries when there was no schooling for girls...

A wife is preparing some food for dinner. She notices something unusual.
Maybe it has something to do with meat and dairy, or maybe it has something
to do with the just-shechted chicken she's kashering. Anyway, she concludes
- based on what her mother (and both grandmothers and all her aunts) taught
her - it's not a problem. Her husband happens to walk in, sees the same
thing, and points out that it is a very clear black-and-white halacha that
this food is assur.

One could say that this sort of thing happens very rarely, because the men
tend to stay out of the kitchen. But if you ask me, that only proves that
the couple is unaware of the problem. It probably happened quite often, but
no one noticed because the husband wasn't around.

How could this *not* be a frequent occurrence? The men are busy learning,
and the information never reaches the women. I concede that if a woman is
unsure, she will ask, and some halachos will filter over to her side. But
if she is *not* unsure, she could be blissfully unaware that her imahos
have had a tradition for many generations, and it differs from the
tradition that her husband got from generations of avos and teachers.

And if this sort of thing can happen in Hilchos Kashrus, how much more
often might it occur in Hilchos Nida?

You may notice that I am taking pains to tell this story without prejudice
as to which side is the truer halacha. Just because the women weren't in
yeshiva, that does not prove them to be in error. All it proves is that
there's been no opportunity for shakla v'tarya. Neither side can be
discredited until they've carefully debated the issues. So who is right?

As I wrote, these questions have been bothering me for years. But someone
said that "Emunah is not when you have the answers; it's being able to live
with the questions. " I got that chizuk from R' Haym Soloveitchik in his
now-classic "Rupture and Reconstruction", which is all about these opposing
chains of tradition, the mimetic and the textual. (The full text is on-line
at www.lookstein.org. Just google the title.)

He writes in footnote 18 there:

> The traditional kitchen provides the best example of the
> neutralizing effect of tradition, especially since the mimetic
> tradition continued there long after it was lost in most other
> areas of Jewish life. Were the average housewife (bale-boste)
> informed that her manner of running the kitchen was contrary to
> the Shulhan Arukh, her reaction would have been a dismissive
> "Nonsense!" She would have been confronted with the alternative,
> either that she, her mother and grandmother had, for decades,
> been feeding their families non-kosher food [treifes] or that the
> Code was wrong or, put more delicately, someone's understanding
> of that text was wrong. As the former was inconceivable, the
> latter was clearly the case. This, of course, might pose problems
> for scholars, however, that was their problem not hers. Neither
> could she be prevailed on to alter her ways, nor would an
> experienced rabbi even try. There is an old saying among scholars
> "A yidishe bale-boste takes instruction from her mother only".

Somehow, these chains do find a way to work together. But I must be clear:
I am NOT talking about a machlokes haposkim, where the wife was taught one
thing and the husband was taught something else. In that case, there is
much common ground, and they (or their rav) can go to the sources to figure
out what the couple should do. I'm talking about a much more fundamental
problem, where generations have passed on different traditions, without
anyone ever realizing that there was a mismatch.

(I'd like to close by pointing out that I am neither asking anything new in
this post, nor am I trying to answer anything. But RZS mentioned a
"category of minhagei nashim which differ from how men would pasken were
they asked", and I simply wanted to expound on that category.)

Akiva Miller
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Message: 11
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Sun, 7 May 2017 12:43:36 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Chol Moed Minyan for Those Who Wear Tefillen

In Avodah Digest 35:53 on Apr 19, R' Micha Berger wrote:

> The AhS OC 31:4 is okay with minyanim that are mixed between
> wearers and non-wearers.

That's not what I see in the last line there: "In a single beis
medrash, don't have some doing this and some doing that, because of Lo

In Avodah Digest 35:55 on Apr 26, he seems to have corrected that:

> ... the MB and the AhS agree that a minyan should not be mixed
> between tefillin wearers and not.

[You seem to have missed
I didn't correct myself; I was forced to reread the AhS by
RHK's post. -micha]

This morning I was learning some Aruch HaShulchan about Sefiras Haomer,
and he discusses the situation where a single community has varying
observances of which days of sefira are noheg aveilus. AhS 493:8 analyzes
when Lo Tisgodedu applies and when it doesn't.

IF I understand that AhS correctly, he says that if there is only one
Beis Din in town, then everyone must follow it, so Lo Tisgodedu doesn't
apply. And if there is more than one Beis Din in town, then everyone can
follow their own beis din, so again, Lo Tisgodedu does not apply. So
when DOES Lo Tisgodedu apply? It applies to minhagim, because that is
outside of the purview of Beis Din, and it is "m'chuar" for Jews to be
factionalized like that.

That is the AhS's explanation of why each town should be united and follow
one set of days for the aveilus of Sefira: The question is totally minhag,
and not under the jurisdiction of the local posek. It is a minhag of the
people, and the people should get together and be united in one practice.

The AhS doesn't mention it in that siman, but this explanation does
help us with Tefillin on Chol Hamoed. That *is* a question of halacha,
despite the common wording of "My minhag is to do this." And since it
is a question of halacha, Lo Tisgodedu would *not* apply according to
the AhS. Except that in 31:4, the AhS says that Lo Tisgodedu DOES apply
to tefillin on Chol Hamoed.

I don't know where to go from here. Any thoughts? How can we make 31:4
consistent with 493:8?

Akiva Miller

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Message: 12
From: Marty Bluke
Date: Mon, 8 May 2017 15:32:57 +0300
[Avodah] The relevance of the middle perakim of Bava Basra

Perakim 4-7 of Bava Basra (which Daf Yomi has been learning) deal with the
sale of various things, what is included and what is not. The common
denominator seems to be that these are seemingly solely based on the
accepted business practice during the time of Chazal and what people expect
to get when they consumate a deal. There are few to no Torah based sources
for any of these. Here is a general outline of the perakim.

Perek 4 - Hamocher es habayis discusses what is sold when you sell real
property (houses, bathhouses, courtyards, fields, etc.) and what is not,
for example when you sell a house the Mishna states that you include teh
door but not the key
Perek 5 - Hamocher es hasefina discusses the sale of movable objects, again
detailing what is included in the sale and what is not (boats, wagons,
animals, etc.)
Perek 6 - Hamocher peiros lachaveiro discusses the sale of agricultural
products. It details how much spoilage/wastage there can be in grain and
wine etc. It also discusses selling land to build things on it like a
house, graves, how much land is given, what access etc.
Perek 7 - Deals with sales of real property how exact do the dimensions
need to be.

Given the above, are these at all relevant today? A house buyer in 2017
clearly has very different expectations as to what he is buying in
comparison to the times of Chazal as does someone buying wine, a field, a
boat, etc. The same goes for all of these categories.  Since the mishnayos
seem to be based solely on accepted business practice and have are not
based on pesukim can we simply ignore these today? Am I missing something
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