Avodah Mailing List

Volume 37: Number 84

Thu, 24 Oct 2019

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Dr. Isaac Balbin
Date: Sun, 20 Oct 2019 18:33:15 +1100
Re: [Avodah] Sukkah on Shmini At erect

From: "Mandel, Seth" <mand...@ou.org>
One must also bear in mind that apart from his friendship and esteem
for the Tzemach Tzedek (Agav, The Beis HaLevi also sent Shaylos to the
Tzemach Tzedek) one needs to remember that he was Rav in a town populated
by Lubavitcher Chassidim as I noted here

In respect of Hagba and how that is done.

"The student of Torah is like the amnesia victim who tries to reconstruct
from fragments the beautiful world he once experienced. By learning Torah,
man returns to his own self." Rav Yosef Dov HaLevi Soloveitchik Z"L

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Message: 2
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2019 23:28:37 -0400
[Avodah] Time for dinner on Shmini Atzeres

Regarding the late afternoon of Hoshana Raba in Chutz Laaretz, Mishneh
Brura 668:7 writes:

<<< The Acharonim conclude that one should not eat in the evening until
dark. However, b'dieved, if he already washed his hands and said Hamotzi,
he should *not* say Leshev Basukkah, because he already accepted Shmini
Atzeres in davening and in kiddush. >>>

From this, it seems that the MB has no problem beginning Shmini Atzeres
early, with davening and/or kiddush, his only problem is with eating. He
explains this more deeply in Shaar Hatziuy 668:12:

<<< The reason is because it is still part of the seventh day, and he is
obligated by the Torah to eat in the sukkah. How can he eat without daying
Leshev Basukkah?!?!? But to say Leshev Basukkah is not possible, because it
would be a contradiction, because in davening and kiddush, he declared it
to be Shmini Atzeres! >>>

Writing in chutz laaretz, the MB clearly presumes that this person *is* in
the sukkah, and the only problem is the bracha. I don't understand why the
bracha is such a big deal. What's wrong with simply omitting the Layshev?

Let's phrase it this way: This person has two choices: (A) At this time,
during which there might be a Torah obligation to eat in the sukkah, he can
eat in the sukkah without the Birkas Hamitzvah. (B) Because of the
uncertainty about saying the bracha, he should avoid eating in the sukkah
entirely, until this uncertain time ends. - It seems clear to me that it
would be far preferable to choose A and thereby possibly do a mitzvah
d'Oraisa albeit without a bracha, rather than just sit around squandering
that opportunity. Why am I wrong? What did I miss?

(By the way, please note the MB's words "b'dieved, if he already washed his
hands and said Hamotzi". I am curious what he would advise for a person who
said Kiddush and washed Netilas Yadayim, but did NOT say Hamotzi yet. Shaar
Hatziyun 668:13 (near end) is lenient for the last quarter-hour before
dark, but what if it were earlier? Would he really tell a person not to eat

None of the above would apply in Eretz Yisrael, where there are real
problems with eating in the sukkah on Shmini Atzeres, even without a
bracha. Similarly, in Eretz Yisrael it's not possible to eat in the house
until dark, because of the safek chiyuv d'Oraisa. But my next question, I
think, is equally valid in Israel and Chu"l:

Suppose it is raining on Hoshana Raba afternoon - wither in Eretz Yisrael
or not - and the rain is expected to continue into the night, and he is
therefore planning to eat indoors. Is there any reason to delay dinner? The
MB has no problem with davening or kiddush early, and there is no question
of saying Leshev. So why not?

Akiva Miller
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Message: 3
From: Cantor Wolberg
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2019 21:11:18 -0400
[Avodah] Adam Harishon

In chapter 2, vs.5, Rashi says Adam harishon didn't possess the evil
inclination until he ate of the tree. If he didn't have the yetzer hara,
then how was it he ate of the tree? Does that mean that Chava already had
the yetzer hara? And if not, why would she even have been tempted. With
only the yezter tov, they would be like the malachim.

[Email #2. -micha]

In Ch.2, vs.7, Rashi explains: a living soul: Cattle and beasts were also
called living souls, but this one of man is the most alive of them all,
because he was additionally given intelligence and speech. So the
question is if he were given intelligence and SPEECH, that would imply
the other creatures had no ability to speak. Then how was the nachash
able to speak and cause them to sin?

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Message: 4
From: Arie Folger
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2019 11:42:01 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Kaddish Yatom on Yom Kippur

On 17/10/19 3:42 pm, Reb Henry Topas via Avodah wrote:

> I am in a year of aveilut and it occurred to me that on Yom Kippur last
> week, following Shacharit, there was no further opportunity for an avel
> to say Kaddish during the Mussaf, Mincha or Neila parts of the tefilah.
> This would seem to further differentiate Yom Kippur from other days.
> Can anyone offer sources, comments or suggestions as to why this
> structure has been instituted?? Is it different in nuschaot other than
> Ashkenaz?

Reb Zev Zero gave an important part of the answer. But I want to take this
opportunity to express my astonishment that not more people are realizing
that the lack of 'Alenu after Mussaf isn't a minhag of Yom Kippur, but a
result of the original minhag, still practiced in Yekki communities, that
Alenu is not recited between two tefillot that follow immediately after one
another. I.e. when saying Ma'ariv immediately after Minchah, no 'Alenu is
said after Minchah, or, when Minchah is said immediately after Mussaf. In
many shuls, there is no break between Mussaf and Minchah (actually, no
break on Yom Kippur, period), which is why there is no 'Alenu. Since most
shuls, however, introduced a break between Mussaf and Minchah, it stands to
reason that we should say 'Alenu and Kaddish.
Arie Folger,
Visit my blog at http://rabbifolger.net/

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Message: 5
From: Rich, Joel
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2019 15:13:37 +0000
[Avodah] blessings

Just a thought - the gemara tells us that any bracha given to us should be
taken seriously. Is that because we might under value it or because brachot
don't work unless we believe in them? (or something else?)
Joel Rich

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2019 16:10:06 -0400
Re: [Avodah] blessings

On Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 03:13:37PM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
> Just a thought - the gemara tells us that any bracha given to us should
> be taken seriously. Is that because we might under value it or because
> brachot don't work unless we believe in them? (or something else?)

I think the former, looking at the phrase in context in the gemara.
R Elazar quoting R Chanina continues (Megillah 15a):
    ... For two gedolei hador were blessed by two hedyotos and they
    were fulfilled. And they [the gedolim] are David (Shemu'el 2 24:23)
    and Daniyel (6:17)....

And then he continues about qelelas hedyot, with Avimelekh cursing Sarah
(Bereishis 20:16) causing Yitzchaq's blindness as an example.

Aside from the indications from the examples... Why would R' Chanina
advise us to increase the chance of a qelalah working by believing in it?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Life is a stage and we are the actors,
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   but only some of us have the script.
Author: Widen Your Tent                  - Rav Menachem Nissel
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

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Message: 7
From: Micha Berger
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2019 17:43:24 -0400
[Avodah] Age of the Universe

The following email exchange serves as a follow-up to discussions we had
when the list was far younger of R Aryeh Kaplan's article on the Age of
the Universe.

Tir'u baTov!

From: Rabbi Kalman Packouz <RabbiPack...@ShabbatShalom.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2019 18:32:03 +0000
Subject: How Old is the Universe? Shabbat Shalom Breishis
GOOD MORNING! How old is the universe? 13.8 billion years or 6,000
years? Did Creation take place in 6 twenty-four hour days or were they
longer? This week I bring to you a fascinating approach from a fascinating
man. Daniel Friedmann holds a master's degree in engineering physics and
is the Chairman of Carbon Engineering, a company dedicated to removing
co2 from the air to solve climate change and ex-CEO of the Canadian
company that made the robotic arm for the Space Shuttle. He lays out
his research in his book, The Biblical Clock.

Why did Mr. Friedmann start investigating the connection between the
Torah's story of Creation and the scientific timeline? The Talmudic
sages teach that 'God looked into the Torah and created the world"
(Midrash Rabbah on Gen. 1:2). Mr. Friedmann concluded that if the Torah
is the blueprint of the universe, then the Torah account of creation
and scientific account of the age of the Universe must coincide.

About 700 years ago Rabbi Isaac of Akko made the assertion that time --
while God was creating and man had not yet appeared -- was different
than time as we keep today. Mr. Friedmann, based on this insight and
on classical sources, aligns the dates of key events as described
in Genesis 1 and 2 with those derived from scientific theory and
observation. How? One Creation Day = 1,000 x 365.25 x 7,000 = 2.56
billion years.

The factor of 1,000 comes directly from Psalm 90:4: "For a thousand
years in Your sight are as a day" -- where we learn that one day for
God equals 1,000 human years.

The 365.25 number is simply a conversion from days to years (being
the number of days in a year). The factor of 7,000 relates to cosmic
cycles. The Talmud, (Sanhedrin 97a), which was redacted approximately
1,500 years ago states, "The world will exist for six thousand years and
in the seven-thousandth year, it will be destroyed." Various Kabbalistic
works, dating back to the first century, write that there are 7 cosmic
cycles of 7000 thousand years (analogous to the sabbatical cycles). The
factor of 7000 relates to these cycles. (This would explain the finding
of ancient fossils of the dinosaurs).

The Torah provides a detailed timeline of the creation events. Genesis
describes the timeline for the formation of the universe and the
appearance of life on Earth. Each event is provided in sequence with a
time of occurrence. For example, we are told that the sun was completed at
the end of Day 4, that life first appeared in the oceans at the beginning
of Day 5, and that the animals were made in Day 6; careful examination of
the Genesis text reveals about 20 separate creation events. Much of the
information in Genesis is further detailed in the Oral Torah to reveal
a more accurate timeline of events.

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 38b) provides the detailed account of Day 6,
hour-by-hour: "The day consisted of twelve hours. In the first hour, his
(Adam's) dust was gathered... in the fifth, he arose and stood on his
feet; in the sixth, he gave (the animals) their names; in the seventh,
Eve became his mate; in the eighth, they ascended to bed as two and
descended as four (i.e., Cain and Abel are born); in the ninth he entered
the Garden of Eden and he was commanded not to eat of the tree; in the
tenth, he sinned; in the eleventh, he was tried; and in the twelfth,
he was expelled (from Eden)..."

Mr. Friedmann then calculates that the Age of the universe from the
start of Day 1 to today: exactly 13.74 billion years, coinciding with
the latest scientific measurements.

Beginnings of life: from first thing on Day 5 ("let the waters teem"
Gen. 1:20) to today corresponds to 3.52 billion years which is in
agreement with the scientific time for "universal ancestor" -- the
single cell.

Plant life (on the land): from hours 6 to 9 on Day 6 until today ("God
planted a garden... and there He placed the man... And God caused to
sprout from the ground every tree" Gen. 2:8, 9) corresponds to 426-106
million years ago which he reports is in agreement with the fossil record.

The Author of the Torah is one and the same as the Creator of the
Universe. Therefore, there cannot be a contradiction between Torah and

From: Daniel Friedmann <friedmann.dan...@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2019 13:25:11 -0700
Subject: Re: How Old is the Universe? Shabbat Shalom Breishis

On Wed, Oct 23, 2019, 3:38 PM Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org> wrote:
> Isn't this the a minor variant on what R' Aryeh Kaplan wrote in 1979 in
> "The Age of the Universe - A Torah-True Perspective"?

> http://nleresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/the_age_of_the_universe___a_torah_true_perspective.pdf

> If so, you might want to see R' Ari Kahn's obections in Explorations, which
> he excerpted on the Avodah email list at
> http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol13/v13n080.html

Hi thank you, no this is different from Rabbi Kaplan's work as detailed
in my book. RK had the cycles of 7000 occurring before day 1 this was
not in accordance with the Arizal. In the approach here the 7000 is for
each creation day based on commentary on Etz Hayim This provides an age
of the universe of 13.74 vs 15 billion and allows calculation of another
17 events All but one match scientific measurement. Sorry for the short
answer ....

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Message: 8
From: Marty Bluke
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2019 07:12:17 +0300
[Avodah] Which gate did they use to go into the azara when

It is clear that they used shaar nikanor but the question is did they use
the other gates of the azara as well?
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