Avodah Mailing List

Volume 37: Number 49

Wed, 19 Jun 2019

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2019 11:13:29 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Call the midwife

On Wed, Jun 12, 2019 at 09:13:26AM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
: Kiddushin 73b states we believe the midwife to tell us which twin came out
: first. The Ran on the Rif on Kiddushin 31a states a midwife's credibility
: is not "mdin" (from the law) but the Rabbis believed her because in
: the majority of cases, there's no other way...

And further, d"h Aval heikha, the only reason why an eid achad can
trump her ne'emanus is that it's not midina.

I think the Ran is saying the midwife's ne'emanus is as evidence, not
eidus. (Midina -- midin eidus in particular.) Halakhah has a very weak
view of evidence, usually considering it circumstantial, or grounds for
not giving up on the derishah vechaqira until it's explained.

If they were trumping all the deOraisa and not limiting it to dinei
eidus... I mean, this isn't dinei mamunus. In the gemara's case talking
about allowing a person eat terumah despite being only one of 4 potential
kohanim. And presumably this neemanus would be enough to permit marriages
between these for velodos and the other families' daughters!


Micha Berger                 The thought of happiness that comes from outside
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   the person, brings him sadness. But realizing
Author: Widen Your Tent      the value of one's will and the freedom brought
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF    by uplifting its, brings great joy. - R' Kook

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2019 11:02:46 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Credit cards and kinyonim

On Thu, Jun 13, 2019 at 06:31:50AM +0300, Marty Bluke wrote:
: I am struggling as to how to fit in credit card purchases into a halachik
: framework. The question is when I buy something with a credit card what is
: the kinyan?
: Everyone agrees that kesef, money, does not work to acquire metaltlim so
: even if a credit card is kesef it shouldn't work...

On Thu, Jun 13, 2019 at 08:51:33AM -0400, Saul Guberman wrote:
: The kinyan can be when you take the goods with you or are delivered into
: your possession.  Not sure how that would work for intangibles like apps,
: music and the like.

Not "can be", that is when the qinyan is made.

Mese'oraisa, moving the money was the qinyan.

However, Chazal saw that if the money changed hands first, and the seller
still had physical control of the cheftza, he could damage something
that was the buyers. So, they changed the rules.

I don't know their mechanics for doing so: hefqer beis din hefqer or the
CM version of minhag mevatel halakhah -- that when it comes to money,
what both parties agree to or even implicitly agree to matters more than
default halakhah.

Which is the general ruberic under which one of RMBluke's other points
: However, if we go with situmta then basically we can ask why does the Torah
: have this elaborate set of kinyonim and so much Torah is devoted to them
: when they are basically irrelevant and have been superseded by a man made
: system?

You can ask that about situmta and minhag mevatel halakhah in general.

Why are there dinei mamonos (excluding kenas and ribbis, which are in YD
rather than CM) if the expectations of both parties can trump them anyway?

Good question even without bring up credit cards.

Then at 04:09:46PM +0300, R Marty Bluke replied:
: That would mean that internet purchases don't really happen until you get
: the actual goods. ...

Credit cards do add another complication. The money transfer isn't final.
You have so many days to call your company and question the charges.

So if the qinyan were at the transfer of money, would it be assur to
challenge the bill until after you return the lemon you bought?

:               ... Not the way it is generally looked at

But that brings us back to situmta, and minhag mevatel halakhah. No?

I think you have to consider it, but you said you didn't want to.

Maybe we need to start with "Why CM if it's only a default that is almost
always overridden?" and then consider the situmta argument viable here.

I think there are two things I picked up from AhS CM:

1- The meta-issues. In other words, by seeing how one set of rules are
adjudicated, you get some feel for how our set of expectations should
be interepreted.

2- Dinei mamonos tells us something about the ideal society's relationship
to money. That's not our context, so as halakhah it doesn't often apply.
Perhaps only where these is no expectation, or international business where
each party has different norms (and there is no international trade norm).

But it says what ideal BD should err on the side of, and on an aggadic
level, what we individuals should be thinking about our (?) money vs
communal money vs honesty in business, vs...


Micha Berger                 Here is the test to find whether your mission
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   on Earth is finished:
Author: Widen Your Tent      if you're alive, it isn't.
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF                      - Richard Bach

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Message: 3
From: Cantor Wolberg
Date: Sun, 16 Jun 2019 13:19:26 -0400
[Avodah] Can You Tell What Kind of Adult A Child Will Become?

The four sons of the Pesach Seder leads to an interesting question:  Can
you tell what a child will be like judging from his/her behavior as a
child?	The Talmud relates the following story about two of our greatest
sages when they were but boys:
A child younger than 13 years old who knows to whom the benediction is
addressed (i.e., God) may be counted for zimmun (the invitation to say
grace after meals).  When Abaye and Rava were boys, once they were sitting
before Rabbah.	Said Rabbah to them: To Whom do we address the
They both replied:  To the All Merciful.
And where does the All Merciful abide? Rabba asked.
Rava pointed to the roof; Abaye wentbecome Rabbis. What?s interesting is
the pointing to the ceiling and to the sky of the two children. This is a
very childlike conception of God. It would have been amazing if one or
both, encircled their hands around the room, signifying God is everywhere,
or better still pointed to each other's hearts, signifying God is with in
us, or pointing to all of the people present signifying we are all made in
His image. But they may have heard many an utterance, begin or end with,
'for the sake of Heaven.'
This accords with the popular saying, "Every pumpkin can be told from its stalk.? (B.
It appears that 'back then', one's that he ate or drank too much, he may as
well be killed, while still a child, as there was no hope for him. The
Talmudic rabbis did not believe this.  On the other hand, we have the story
of the redemption and change of Yaakov the usurper, into Israel the God
The truth of the matter is:  
If we as parents or teachers, deem a child to be a future scholar, and
treat him like such, chances are he will be. Conversely, if a child is not
doing so well, and we deem him to a life of a tanner (one of the Talmud's
not so likeable professions), he will most likely grow to be one as well.
[Self-fulfilling prophecies]. 
So for every child who we can say, ah, he was a brilliant kid and now he is
a brilliant scholar, there is one who we could also say, he was not such a
bright kid, but look at him now. 
Better we don't 'judge' children but give all positive re-enforcement and
chances to succeed. As Abaye later went on to teach :"What is heard from a
child's mouth is merely a repetition of what he has heard from his parents"
(Sukkah 56b)
I must say that in my life experience sometimes the worst behaved children
and teenagers turn out to be the best behaved adults.  One of the joys of
being a religious leader is to see misbehaved children and teens take their
place as community leaders.
So how did these two kids turn out? Abaye, the one who pointed to the sky,
was  a great Sage in Babylon, and spent his adult life debating Rava, told
in the "Havayot d'Abaye ve'Rava." But aside from his wisdom, and great
scholarship, most notably in Tractate Sanhedrin, he was most known for his
piety and loving of peace, urging his Talmidim to  "Be mild in speech;
suppress your wrath; and maintain good-will in relationships with your
relatives as well as with friends ? and even with strangers in the
market-place."(Berachot 17a)
So just as Laurel needed his Hardy, as Dean Martin needed his Jerry Lewis,
as Regis needed his Cathy, so Rava needed his Abaye. In the 100?s of
debates recorded in the Talmud, Rava's opinion came out on top, except for
six. But when the Rosh Yeshiva of Pumbedita retired, Abaye became the new
head of the academy, and Rava moved to start his own. Rava also firmly
believed in ethics, and his quote of  "When one is brought for his Heavenly
Judgment, the first question he is asked is: 'Did you deal honestly with
your fellow human beings?...(and not did you keep kashrut or Shabbat?)"
(Shabbat 31a) is one of my favorite verses in the Talmud.
Discussion Questions:
1.    Can "every pumpkin be told from its stalk"?  Or can children turn out to be quite different as adults?
2.    What do you make of how the two boys indicated God's
location?  Does it have any significance?

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Message: 4
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2019 06:12:57 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Credit cards and kinyonim


R' Marty Bluke asked:

> The other option is situmta which is whatever is common practice
> to close a deal is considered a kinyan.
> However, if we go with situmta then basically we can ask why does
> the Torah have this elaborate set of kinyonim and so much Torah
> is devoted to them when they are basically irrelevant and have
> been superseded by a man made system?

1) We still need to know what the default values are, in situations where
there isn't any established common practice.

2) If one believes that every situation does have a common practice, and
therefore these halachos have zero practical value, there is still a
mitzvah of Talmud Torah to learn them. It could be that we were given these
halachos specifically for that purpose. Personally, I am a very
practice-oriented person, and the lack of practicality in these situations
drives me crazy. And then I remind myself that the failing is not in the
subject matter, but in myself, and perhaps the whole reason for these
halachos is the improve my neshama.

Akiva Miller
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Message: 5
From: <mco...@touchlogic.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2019 10:05:07 -0400
[Avodah] great list of online Torah resources



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Message: 6
From: <mco...@touchlogic.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2019 10:13:38 -0400
[Avodah] hashgasha pratis and r tzadok

There is a well known machlockes rishonim about HP - does it apply to the
average person or not


A while ago someone here quoted r tzadok to the effect that klal Yisroel has
chosen for themselves the (minority) opinion that HP does apply to the
average person


Does anyone know I can find that quote inside?



Mordechai Cohen



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Message: 7
From: Rich, Joel
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2019 21:37:46 +0000
[Avodah] Modern Orthodox Jewish Education

Compartmentalization and Synthesis in Modern Orthodox Jewish Education By David Stein

A long piece focusing on proposed approach to education. The entire piece is interesting reading but this statement alone is worth our consideration IMHO.

"Modern Orthodoxy is a worldview that encompasses intellectual, social,
spiritual, cultural, and professional dimensions, and which recognizes that
there exist multiple - and competing - values in our world, all while
upholding the primacy of Torah learning and observance. All too often,
however, it gets reduced (at worst) to an ideology of compromise, or (at
best) a superficial pairing of general and Judaic studies."

Can we quantify "All too often"

Joel Rich

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