Volume 37: Number 2
Mon, 07 Jan 2019
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
From: Joseph Kaplan
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2019 02:30:21 +0000
Subject: [Avodah] Whether You Come to Talk to God, to Your Friends
> That's not why they talk. They talk because they saw their parents or
> other adults talk. They learned that talking is perfectly acceptable. The
> fact that the Shul has not followed the Mishna Berura and appointed
> people to end the talking merely reinforces the talkers' understanding
> that talking is OK.
Perhaps. But I think the reason people talk is because the service,
including davening and layning, is boring to many.
> I have often, in my usual style of eschewing normalcy, have gone over
> to people who interrupted their davening for something (eg a woman who
> was davening while waiting for the train, as she sits down in the train
> and reopens her siddur), or the fellow whose mind wantered in shul... I
> would go over to them and say, "Tell Him I say 'hi!'" Of course, they
> can't hear the capital "h". Sad to say, while it's a significant minority,
> only a minority of people get Who I am talking about."
I would hope that this is an exaggeration to make a point and not what
you actually do. I find it hard to believe that you would not understand
that a woman, who with all the time pressure she has in getting the
kids up, breakfasted, and out to school and getting herself ready to
go to work while thinking about dinner and laundry (yes, I understand
I'm being gender stereotypical but from my discussions with members of
our community there's still a great deal of truth in such stereotypes),
should be admired that she finds the time to daven on her commute and
not criticized by a snide remark. I'd add that while I don't know this
for a fact, I'd like to think that God understands her and gets it and,
indeed, sides with her rather than the (fictional I trust) snide remarker.
Sent from my iPhone
Go to top.
From: Micha Berger
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2019 09:47:45 -0500
Subject: [Avodah] Vaccinations - Rav Asher Weiss
Baltimore Jewish Life carried an authorized translation (by R' Elli Fischer)
of R' Asher Weiss's teshuvah requiring vaccination. It is longer than
the snippets translated on his talmidim's web site:
or, just continue reading after my signature.
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
In my humble opinion, this is an error. Rather, parents obviously have
an obligation to vaccinate their children, and I have ruled that it is
even permissible for parents to organize themselves in order to force
educational institutions not to accept unvaccinated pupils. I will
explain my thinking and my reasoning.
A basic presumption is that there is an obligation to avoid and prevent
danger. We find that there are two facets of this mitzvah: passive
avoidance and active prevention of danger. In his discussion of the
mitzvah of ma'akeh [building a guard rail on a roof] Rambam (Laws of
Murder and Preservation of Life 11:4) brings two sources. He writes:
Be it a roof or anything else that presents a hazard that people are
liable to stumble upon and die--for example, if one had a well or cistern
in his yard, whether or not it contains water--he is obligated to make an
enclosure that is ten tefachim [handbreadths] tall, or to make a cover
for it, so that a person does not fall in and die. Likewise, there is a
positive mitzvah to remove, to safeguard against, and to be exceedingly
cautious about any obstruction that endangers life, as it says: "Take
utmost care and scrupulously guard your lives" (Devarim 4:9). If he did
not remove them, but rather left dangerous obstructions, he has negated
a positive mitzvah and transgressed "do not bring blood upon your house"
Thus, regarding any danger, "there is a positive mitzvah to remove, to
safeguard against, and to be exceedingly cautious about" it. We learn
from ma'akeh that one must take concrete action to remove danger,
and that we are further commanded to prevent danger, as it says,
"Take utmost care". In Minchas Asher on Devarim (Siman 7), I wrote at
length on the particulars of this mitzvah and whether it is de-Oraysa
or de-Rabanan. Here is not the place to expand upon this.
It would therefore seem perfectly obvious that there is a mitzvah to
vaccinate children in order to prevent them from contracting terrible
diseases. However, some cast aspersions and claim that since vaccination
sometimes causes children to become sick, it is improper to endanger the
children in the immediate term in the attempt to prevent future disease
However, in my humble opinion, this claim is completely and totally
devoid of substance, because all studies that were done responsibly
establish beyond the shadow of a doubt that, with the exception of
mild side-effects, it is not at all common for vaccines to have severe
ramifications, and there are no known cases where death was caused by
vaccination for certain, even though hundreds of millions of children
have been routinely vaccinated. On the other hand, as the number of people
who do not vaccinate increases, danger increases as well; if many people
refuse vaccination, there is a risk that epidemics will break out and
cause mass fatalities, as happened before these vaccines were developed.
The three primary diseases against which the triple vaccination is
administered--measles, mumps, and rubella--are terrible diseases. In
particular, measles is a horrible disease that entails substantial risk
and is more contagious and transmittable from person to person than any
other disease known to the medical field.
There have already been measles outbreaks in several centers of Yahadus
Charedis. It is known that one baby has died, and others have gotten
very sick from this disease. I have written at length in several places
(Sheilos u-Teshuvos Minchas Asher, simanim 122-123) about the disagreement
between poskim as to whether a person may place himself in limited, remote
danger in order to save someone else from major, proximate danger. I
concluded that if the risk in question is exceedingly remote and very
uncommon, there is an obligation [to save the other person]. Moreover,
all would agree that doing so is, at the very least, an act of pious
virtue (midas chasidus).
Certainly one is obligated to undergo a procedure that entails some risk
in order to treat a disease that is liable to place him in great danger;
the disagreement was only about the parameters of the principle that one
places his own life ahead of another's life ("chayecha kodmin le-chayei
chavercha"), but it is obvious that all would agree that when it comes
to his own life, he is obligated to place himself in remote danger in
order to save himself from proximate danger.
Likewise, in the present case, a person is obligated to vaccinate
his children because vaccination is not dangerous at all, except in
extraordinarily rare cases, whereas lack of vaccination endangers those
very children. This is all the more certain given that lack of vaccination
constitutes public endangerment.
In truth, this question was already placed on the tables of kings [i.e.,
was addressed by leading rabbanim] more than 200 years ago, in 5545
[1784-5]. At that time, the English physician Edward Jenner developed
the smallpox vaccine. See Tiferes Yisrael (Avos chapter 3, Bo'az 1), who
writes that the "righteous Jenner" ("chasid Yenner") who developed this
vaccine is certainly one of the righteous among the nations ("chasidei
umos ha-olam") and will be rewarded in the next world for having saved
tens of thousands of lives.
Indeed, this disease claimed many victims before this doctor developed
this vaccine, as we find that the Shelah ha-Kadosh wrote (Sha'ar
ha-Osiyos, Derech Eretz 13-14), after expanding on the degree to which
a person must keep away from danger:
And I am astonished: With regard to the plague of smallpox, called
Blattern in German, which spreads among the children--may this never
befall us--why aren't people careful to get the children away and take
them out of the city!? These fathers will certainly be held accountable
for the deaths of nursing babies who committed no sin and children just
weaned from milk who committed no transgression, who died from this
sickness, and whose fathers did not spirit them away.
Magen Avraham cites these words (576:3), as does Mishnah Berurah (ad
However, several Acharonim wrote that after the development of this
vaccine, it is no longer necessary to take the children away from
the city. Rather, they should be vaccinated. So it is written in
Zivchei Tzedek (Yoreh De'ah 116:41), who attested that they administer
vaccinations on a daily basis, and no one has ever been harmed, and so
state Kaf ha-Chayim (ad loc. 60) and Rav Chayim Palache's Tochechos Chayim
(on Parshas Vayeitzei).
This vaccine, developed by the aforementioned doctor, brought about the
elimination of the germ that causes this disease, to the extent that it
is gone from the world. This is not the case with respect to the measles
and the associated diseases mentioned above, which still exist; if people
stop vaccinating, there is a real risk of outbreak of these diseases.
In 5745, one of the rabbanim of London, Rav Avraham Hamburg, also known as
[Rav Avraham] Nanzig, published a book called Alei Terufah, in which he
discusses the question, which was controversial at the time, of whether
it is proper to vaccinate, even though in his day there were children
who died as a result of the vaccination, or whether it is preferable to
do nothing ("shev ve-al ta'aseh adif").
The Tiferes Yisrael also addresses this question in his commentary on Yoma
(8:6). He discusses whether it is permissible to administer this vaccine
even though it poses danger, and he concludes that since the danger of
not vaccinating is much greater than the danger posed by vaccinating,
it is certainly permissible and proper to vaccinate.
In his introduction to Sefer Alei Terufah, the author describes how his
little son and daughter were cut down while still flowering--they died
of this disease; and how when he lived in the holy community of the
Hague in Holland, there was a major outbreak, and many children died;
and how when he was in London, once again, many contracted the disease.
In the main part of the text he wrote that even if one in a thousand dies
from the vaccination, this is not a reason to refrain from vaccinating,
just as bloodletting and laxatives are routine. And even though "we
have seen several people who faint during bloodletting, and there are
reports that in very rare cases someone has died from bloodletting,"
one should nevertheless not refrain from these things, which improve
wellness and health. The same applies in the present case.
[Rav Hamburg] quotes several contemporary rabbanim who permitted this
treatment, even though, in their time, it seems that there were indeed
those who became sick and even died from this treatment.
In any event, it is clear and obvious that nowadays it is not only
permissible to vaccinate, but there is even an obligation, on order to
prevent danger to the individual and the public. Even if in their time,
hundreds of years ago, they vacillated, it was only because there were
indeed children who died from the vaccine, as is evident from their
words. This is not true of today's vaccines, so there is a bona fide
obligation to vaccinate.
I saw that Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, in his Minchas Shlomo (II:82:12),
has a major chiddush about taking experimental drugs: Just as we do not
worry about risking lives to wage a milchemes mitzvah [a war that it is
a mitzvah to wage], so too, marauding beasts like bears and wolves are
akin to a milchemes mitzvah, and we do not worry about risking lives
to fight against them. The same applies during plagues and epidemics,
which have the same status as milchemes mitzvah. Consequently, he permits
taking experimental drugs.
But in my opinion, this rationale is very far-fetched. Aside from the
fact that it is obvious to me that the laws of waging war apply only
to actual wars between nations and armies, not to marauding beasts,
and certainly not to sickness and disease, in truth, there is no need
or purpose for this rationale, because in the modern world, they neither
expect nor allow people to volunteer to take drugs that endanger healthy
people. Nor do they administer experimental drugs, except to people who
cannot be cured and whose lives cannot be saved by any known means, or
unless there is no reason to suspect that these drugs would be harmful
In any event, this is a very innovative rationale that there are good
reasons to doubt. Therefore, there is no obligation, no mitzvah, and
no permission to endanger oneself in order to advance medical research
on experimental drugs. However, this is irrelevant to the case at hand,
because the effectiveness of these vaccines has been proven beyond all
doubt millions of times, and the danger they entail is miniscule.
It is indeed true that since the vast majority of children and adults
in modern society have been vaccinated, these diseases have become
exceedingly rare. Therefore, it would seem that there are grounds for
parents to claim that they should not endanger their children through
vaccination, causing them pain and side-effects, when the expected risk of
non-vaccination is so miniscule. However, if we allow these parents not
to vaccinate their children, the results would be entirely predictable:
many would refrain from vaccinating their children, motivated by maternal
compassion and paternal love, and then the great danger of outbreaks of
diseases would emerge once again. Therefore, refraining from vaccination
is not permitted in any way. In truth, I have ruled, year-in and year-out,
that there is an obligation to vaccinate children for this very reason,
yet the reality is that more and more parents refrain from vaccinating
their children, and we are now witnessing a broad outbreak of the measles.
However, it seems that even if we would say that an individual can evade
[vaccination] and still claim that he has kept his child safe, it would
nevertheless stand to reason that there is an obligation to vaccinate
children, and for two reasons:
1. I have explained elsewhere that any idea or action that would cause
damage and injustice if done en masse, even if it would cause no harm,
injustice, or evil when done by an individual, may nevertheless not be
done by an individual. It is not just or right for an individual to do
what the masses may not do. Such a person is a villain with license
from the Torah ("naval birshus ha-Torah"), for due to the honesty of
the masses who walk the straight path in their innocence, this person
will conduct himself differently and derive unfair benefit.
We learn this from the Bavli, the Yerushalmi, and Midrashei Chazal.
Sanhedrin 109b says that the attribute of the people of Sodom was:
"When someone was drying out garlic or onions, each person would come and
take one, and would say, `I took one.'" And see Rashi ad loc., that each
person would say, "I only took something small," but between all of them,
they took everything this person had. Yerushalmi Bava Metzi'a 15a says the
same of the people of the generation of the Mabul, explaining that this
is the meaning of the pasuk, "the land was filled with thievery." This
likewise appears in Bereishis Rabbah, parsha 31. From their holy words,
we learn a fundamental element of just laws: Anything that would be
wicked or unjust if done en masse is forbidden for an individual to do.
The same law and the same reasoning apply in the present case. It is only
because most people vaccinate their children, thereby causing them pain,
that the minority can refrain from vaccination. However, the more people
refrain from vaccinating their children, the greater the danger, to the
extent that if most people would act in this manner, things would revert
to what they were; we would return to the medieval era, and hundreds
of thousands would die from terrible diseases. In cases like this,
the obligation to vaccinate applies to each and every individual.
I know that there is room to engage in mental acrobatics and distinguish
between an act of commission ("kum ve-asei"), which would be forbidden,
like those who stole less than the value of a perutah, and an act
of omission ("shev ve-al ta'aseh"), like refraining from vaccination;
moreover, one can claim that maybe this only smacks of a prohibition when
many people come at once and steal everything that their fellow has,
like the generation of the Mabul and the people of Sodom did. However,
in my humble opinion, it makes more sense that there are no grounds to
make such a distinction, for in their essence the cases are similar,
as is clear to anyone with understanding and intelligence. Indeed, the
facts have been proven. Reality--that many people have been refusing
vaccination recently, and now many children have caught the measles--is
slapping us in the face.
2. It seems that this halakhah can be derived from the obligation of all
residents of a city to take part in guarding the city and repairing its
walls, as explained in Bava Basra (8a) and in Shulchan Aruch (Choshen
Mishpat 163). Just as all residents of the city must either share in the
actual guarding or the expenses of guarding the city, and even though
it is clear that if one person shirks his duty to guard or pay the
walls will not crumble and the enemy will not prevail, the obligation
to guard the city nevertheless applies to each person equally, and no
individual may dodge it, so too in the present case. For everyone is a
partner when it comes to anything that is for the betterment of society
or a public necessity. Each person must contribute his equal share, and
there is no difference between a financial obligation and the obligation
to vaccinate. The same law applies to both.
This all applies in a case where one can refrain from vaccinating
his children without risking their health, because enough others do
vaccinate. The present situation is far more severe, though, and we need
not resort to creative readings of aggados to determine that vaccination
of children is obligatory. The disease has broken out already, and every
parent who refuses to vaccinate his children is placing them directly
in harm's way.
Translated by Elli Fischer
This translation has been reviewed and approved by Rav Asher Weiss.
Go to top.
From: Micha Berger
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2019 09:57:28 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Whether You Come to Talk to God, to Your Friends
On Fri, Jan 04, 2019 at 02:30:21AM +0000, Joseph Kaplan via Avodah wrote:
:> I have often, in my usual style of eschewing normalcy, have gone over
:> to people who interrupted their davening for something (eg a woman who
:> was davening while waiting for the train, as she sits down in the train
:> and reopens her siddur), or the fellow whose mind wantered in shul... I
:> would go over to them and say, "Tell Him I say 'hi!'" Of course, they
:> can't hear the capital "h". Sad to say, while it's a significant minority,
:> only a minority of people get Who I am talking about."
: I would hope that this is an exaggeration to make a point and not what
: you actually do. I find it hard to believe that you would not understand
: that a woman, who with all the time pressure she has in getting the
: kids up, breakfasted, and out to school and getting herself ready to
: go to work while thinking about dinner and laundry...
No, I really do this. Although, Passaic being what it is, you're picturing
the wrong woman. We don't have too many two-income families with kids
in the house. Typical woman on the bus is single.
And I also do it to the bachur at the table in the shul lobby, who is
checking his phone while putting on tefillin.
The piece you're missing is tone of voice. "If you don't know Who I mean,
you're not doing it right" is said to the rhythm of a punch line.
What you picture as a snide remark is intentionally said as an
intentionally corny joke, with a self-aware nod to the fact that the
person I'm talking to might find my point corny as well.
In today's post-modern zeitgeist, going meta by making a joke of one's
joke is more common, and expected, than you'd think. But even if not,
the punchline rhythm tells them I was attempting humore, not nagging.
And I must be carrying it off, because the responses I get tend to
involve a smile.
To justify putting this reply on Avodah, let me add the following
Tochakhah isn't supposed to be rebuke, and certainly not snide. Has to
be said in a way that it will be accepted. Humor is a key tool.
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.
From: Arie Folger
Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2019 20:35:53 +0100
Subject: [Avodah] Menachot Question 79a
Menachot 78b-79a deals with the question of the sanctity of the loaves of a
todah sacrifice that was deficient in some way. In particular, the Gemara
explains that our Mishna, which posits a disagreement between Rabbi
Eli'ezer and teh Sages about the status of the loaves brought with an
animal that was found after shechita to have been a ba'al mum (i.e. a
blemish that preceded slaughter), obviously was authored by Rabbi Meir.
The reaosn the Gemara posits our Mishna was authored by Rabbi Meir is that
in the Tosefta, that is Rabbi Me'ir analysis, while Rabbi Yehudah disagrees
and posits that Rabbi Eli'eser and Rabbi Yehoshua' (the latter being "the
Sages" of our Mishna) do not disagree regarding the status of the loaves
accompanying an animal with a blemish, but rather regarding the status of
such loaves accompanying an animal that was sacrificed with the
disqualifying intention chutz limqomo.
The Gemara spends a considerable amount of space working out the logic of
the two sides according to Rabbi Yehuda. The Rambam, however, doesn't rule
according to Rabbi Yehuda, but rather follows our Mishna, meaning he
follows Rabbi Meir (and within Rabbi Meir follows the Sages, i.e. Rabbi
Yehoshua' as opposed to Rabbi Eli'ezer). Now that isn't in and of itself
Often the Gemara will spend considerable efforts to understand the rejected
shittah, too, and sometimes spend more effort on it than on the shittah we
Rambam's psak also accords with the two kelalim of halakha kestam mishna
and also Rabbi Meir veRabbi Yehudah halakha keRabbi Meir.
And yet, I find that here it is difficult, because... Towards the end of
the sugya (on 79a), there is a disagreement between Rabba and Rava
regarding what to do with a Chatat that had been slaughtered with the
disqualifying intention of chutz limqomo and then erroneously brought up
upon the altar. The Gemara explains the disagreement between them as
flowing forth from the disagreement between Rabbi Eli'ezer and Rabbi
Yehoshua' regarding a Todah sacrificed with that same disqualifying
The problem is that Rabbi Eli'ezer and Rabbi Yehoshua' only disagree
regarding the loaves of a Todah sacrificed chutz limkomo according to Rabbi
Yehudah's analysis, while according to Rabbi Meir there ain't no such
disagreement between them.
Hence, the conlcusion of the sugya, citing the disagreement between Rabba
and Rava, seems to indicate that the correct interpretation is according to
Rabbi Yehudah. This gives rise to the two following difficulties: Either
this proves that the Halakha is like Rabbi Yehuda, so why does Rambam rule
like Rabbi Meir, and also: why is the halakha like Rabbi Yehuda and not
like Rabbi Meir?
Now perhaps a reader only casually looking at this difficulty of mine may
ask whether it is possible that the Rambam ruled according to a particular
mehalakh which works out both according to Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehudah.
Alas, no, that is not the case. The Rambam rules that chutz limqomo the
loaves are nonetheless sanctified (and consequently prohibited in
consumption as any sacrifice brought with the intention of chutz limqomo),
which is only the case acording to Rabbi Meir or according to Rabbi
Eli'ezer as understood by Rabbi Yehudah. However, as the Gemara explains,
Rabbi Eli'ezer ends up changing his mind and agreeing to Rabbi Yehoshua',
so that the Rambam couldn't rule the loaves to be sanctified if he had been
following Rabbi Yehudah.
Bottom line: I am confused. Why does the sugya present the Amoraim as
following Rabbi Yehudah's understanding, when the halakha ought to follow
Recent blog posts on http://rabbifolger.net/
* Koscheres Geld (Podcast)
* Kennt die Existenz nur den Chaos? G?ttliches Vorsehen im J?dischen
* Halacha zum Wochenabschnitt: Baruch Hu uWaruch Schemo
* Is there Order to the World? Providence in Jewish Thought
* What is Modern Orthodoxy (from a radio segment)
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
Go to top.
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2019 15:30:30 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Sukkah Yeshana
On Thu, Dec 27, 2018 at 07:50:25PM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
: The Mishna in Sukkah (9a) discusses Sukkah Yeshana which one would have
: thought meant an old sukkah (schach) yet the discussion in the gemara
: indicates that it is an issue of lishma (intent). Why didn't the Mishna
: use the language of lishma?
Because the mishnah is giving you an umdena. If you find a sukkah that is
more than 30 days old, assume it's lo lishmah.
Lo lishmah being assur is a step before this din.
Go to top.
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2019 15:47:24 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Menachot Question 79a
On Sun, Jan 06, 2019 at 08:35:53PM +0100, Arie Folger via Avodah wrote:
: Menachot 78b-79a deals with the question of the sanctity of the loaves of a
: todah sacrifice that was deficient in some way...
: Rambam's psak also accords with the two kelalim of halakha kestam mishna
: and also Rabbi Meir veRabbi Yehudah halakha keRabbi Meir.
: And yet, I find that here it is difficult, because... Towards the end of
: the sugya (on 79a), there is a disagreement between Rabba and Rava
: regarding what to do with a Chatat that had been slaughtered with the
: disqualifying intention of chutz limqomo and then erroneously brought up
: upon the altar. The Gemara explains the disagreement between them as
: flowing forth from the disagreement between Rabbi Eli'ezer and Rabbi
: Yehoshua' regarding a Todah sacrificed with that same disqualifying
: The problem is that Rabbi Eli'ezer and Rabbi Yehoshua' only disagree
: regarding the loaves of a Todah sacrificed chutz limkomo according to Rabbi
: Yehudah's analysis...
According to the Tosefta ad loc 8:10
<https://www.sefaria.org/Tosefta_Menahot.8.10>, it's R' Meir who breings
down the machloqes, and R' Yehudah who says lo nechliqu.
Not saying I fully understand the sugya, just looks like a source for
the Rambam having a different understanding of the sugya than our girsa
of shas. (Not saying it's necessarily a girsa issue, just saying I can't
insist it's necessarily what the Bavli said.)
Go to top.
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2019 19:48:59 +0000
Subject: [Avodah] The Mitzva of ?To?ameha?? Tasting Food on Erev
I must admit that I had never heard of this until my wife returned from a
visit to a number of kevarim in Europe with a group of Chassidic women.
If you ask people about this, I think that you will find that in
non-Chassidic circles this Mitzva is commonly unknown. YL
The Mitzva of ?To?ameha?? Tasting Food on Erev Shabbos
The Magen Avraham44 writes, ?There is a mitzva on erev Shabbos to taste
from all the food that has been prepared for Shabbos.? Elya Rabba45 cites
the source for this from the Shabbos davening, ?To?ameha chaim zachu,?
those who taste will merit life. There are a number of reasons given for
the mitzva of to?ameha. The Mishna Berura46 explains that it is done in
order to ensure that the food tastes good for Shabbos. Others47 explain
that just as someone who is hosting an distinguished guest makes sure to
taste the food before serving it, so too, tasting the food before Shabbos
shows that we value the Shechina which enters our home as our guest on
Shabbos. Still, one should ensure that he only tastes the different foods
so that he can still eat the Shabbos meal with a good appetite.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
Avodah mailing list
Send Avodah mailing list submissions to
To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
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.)