Avodah Mailing List

Volume 38: Number 32

Mon, 11 May 2020

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Zev Sero
Date: Fri, 8 May 2020 10:44:24 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Is there a danger to cook fish and cheese

On 7/5/20 10:00 am, Prof. L. Levine via Avodah wrote:
> **The Rama (Darkei Moshe 87:4) disagrees, and writes that he never saw 
> this stringency observed**

Actually the Rama writes more than that.  He writes that the Beit Yosef 
must have got confused for a moment, and must have been thinking of the 
prohibition on fish and meat. "Nis'chalef lo basar bechalav."  This is 
why most Ashkenazim completely ignore it, because they believe that the 
Beit Yosef himself didn't really hold this way, he just misspoke, or 
rather miswrote, and that if someone had pointed the error out to him he 
would surely have corrected it.

Those who do keep it (most but not all Sefardim, and a small number of 
Ashkenazim) believe that it was not a mistake, that the Beit Yosef 
really did hold this, so they follow it to some extent; the precise 
extent varies from one community to another.

Zev Sero            Wishing everyone a *healthy* and happy summer
z...@sero.name       Seek Jerusalem's peace; may all who love you prosper

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Message: 2
From: Arie Folger
Date: Fri, 8 May 2020 13:41:58 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Pesach Sheni - Korban Pesach, Tachanun, and

RAMiller was surprised that Rav Hershel Schachter said that the Minhag
Ashkenaz is to say Tachanun on Pessach Sheni, since all his life, in all
Ashkenaz shuls he went to, Tachanun was omitted on Pessach Sheni.

Well, here is the rundown. Minhag Ashkenaz is absolutely to say Tachanun
and Lamnatzeach on Pessach Sheni. However, as Ashkenazi Jews in Eastern
Europe changed aspects of Nussach Ashekanz (the greatest changes leading to
the creation of a new name for the now almost independent nussach, Nussach
Sefard), even Minhag Litta incorporated some of the changes, hence the
Ashkenaz shuls RAM went to were all following Minhag ArtScroll, i.e. Minhag
Litta, and there, Tachanun may be skipped by some/many.

The reason for not skipping Tachanun is that there there is nothing special
nowadays about this day, since Pessach Sheni is only available as an option
for those who should have brought a korpan pessach on Pessach Rishon but
for whatever reason could not. Since this year we did not observe Pessach
Rishon (we did observe Chag haMatzos, but on the 14th, we didn't bring any
korban), therefore there is no Pessach Sheni.

Obviously there is another minhag, the one RAM experienced, but it isn't an
Original Genuine Authorized and Certified Minhag Ashkenaz (tm).

Indeed, today, I was davening at one of our local parking lot minyanim
(someone asked me "Ah, the one at Ohel Moshe?," no it isn't at OHEL Moshe,
but rather at Chatzer or Avir Moshe. Ohel is indoors) (in Austria, we have
already largely deconfined. Shul is restarting one week from now. Outdoor
minyanim are OK here). The minyan is chassidish, so they didn't say
Tachanun. So I said it quietly.
Mit freundlichen Gr??en,
Yours sincerely,

Arie Folger,
Visit my blog at http://rabbifolger.net/
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Message: 3
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Thu, 7 May 2020 20:38:08 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Ultra-Orthodox suffering in COVID-19 pandemic

[This is from a discussion on Areivim of words attributed to R Gerson
Edelstein at

... Yeshiva World News (at
has the story too, and they link to a YouTube video
(<https://youtu.be/93moxf2mkVQ>) of him speaking. It has Hebrew
captions, so you can get his exact words, many of which are "charedi"
and "charedim".

He spoke about two groups of people and here's my translation:

Those who have not yet done teshuva, they are shogeg, they are tinok
shenishbu, they are not guilty. They didn't receive chinuch, they are
not guilty, they are shogeg. But a chareidi, his sin is not shogeg. The
sins of someone who is not charedi is shogeg, but the sin of someone
who is charedi is not shogeg. That's the inyan: So when the tzibur sins,
the Midas Hadin injures the charedim more.

I leave it to the reader to consider whether (in Rav Edelstein's opinion)
everyone would fall into one of those two groups, or whether there might
be other group(s) too.

Akiva Miller

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Message: 4
From: Chana Sassoon
Date: Sun, 10 May 2020 15:00:02 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Report: Orthodox Weddings to Resume with

RMB writes:

>You remind me of how I felts during the Second Intifadeh on Shabbos
Mevorkhim. Everyone was crying over the people murdered by terrorists in the
latest that week. But we can not ruin Shabbos Mevorkhim by saying Av

No, this is the opposite of what was saying when I said ", it feels
intrinsically wrong, at least to me, to be  carefully avoiding weddings
during sefira due to a plague that  occurred nearly two thousand years ago,
and yet not be prepared to 
 defer such weddings due to our very own plague, right here and now."

The feeling you had during the Second Intifadeh on Shabbas Mevorkhim is the
feeling that many, many avelim have, particularly when their shiva is broken
due to the requirements of v'samchta b'chagecha.  The halacha is pulling in
one direction, while one's heart is pulling in the other.  It feels like
one's heart wants to go against the grain of the halacha.  It does not want
to be samachta, despite that being the mitzvah.

I am describing something very different.  The halacha (in the form of
minhag k'din) tells us that sorrow, most commonly attributed as being due to
a plague, is a reason to postpone weddings during certain days of sefira,
even though that sorrow happened nearly two thousand years ago.  Nowhere
does the halacha say that you MUST have a wedding on Lag B'Omer, or any
other day that is not considered to be part of the sefira prohibition.
Surely it would therefore be working *with* the grain of the halacha to say
that weddings are assur now due to our very own plague, from which so many
are suffering!  To technically avoid having weddings on the days of sefira
prohibited by minhag, but to have them on other days would seem to be saying
that the technical halacha is solely what is important, but that no messages
can be learnt out from it, even though the message is about as
straightforward and blatant as it would seem possible to be.  

>The broader question is how often hilkhos tefillah can get in the way of
the spiritual expression that should be tefillah itself. Why? And/Or what
should be do about it?

That is a very different question. It is a question, but a very different
question.  How can one say modim, when at the time, that is the last feeling
one has?  The halacha does acknowledge that, by banning an onen from saying
it, but it then demands that from the onset of aveilut normal davening
resumes, despite many, many aveilim not necessarily feeling they are ready.
And the same is true about your Shabbos Mevorchim. The message of the
halacha is that life goes on, even if one is not really sure one wants it
to, or in fact one is absolutely sure at that time that one does not.  It is
not wrong to feel contrary to the halacha in these circumstances.  Indeed
the tension may be exactly the type of dialectic that the halacha intends to
set up.  But I can't see any such dialectic being set up in our wedding
case. Can you not see the difference?




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Message: 5
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Sun, 10 May 2020 10:01:21 -0400
[Avodah] Funeral of a married Bas Kohen

A kohen is allowed to attend the funeral of his sister, but only so long as
she is unmarried. Once she is married, he is no longer allowed. I always
presumed that this was an indication of how women leave their father's
family to join with their husband's.

I noticed yesterday that this issur applies only to the woman's brother.
Her father is still allowed to be m'tamei himself, even though he has
married her off.

Are any explanations offered for this difference? Is it simply an example
of the brother-sister bond being weaker than the parent-child bond? Or is
something else at work here?

Akiva Miller
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Message: 6
From: Danny Schoemann
Date: Sun, 10 May 2020 12:08:08 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Pesach Sheni - Korban Pesach, Tachanun, and

Just to add more sources regarding Tachanun on PS - Pessach Sheni.

The Tokochinsky Luach says "No Tachanun" on 14 Iyar, but to yes say
Zidkoscho the day before. (I only have an old  Luach, and PS fell on
Sunday that year.)

The "fat" Luach Dvar B'Itoh says - in summary - i.e. not quoting:

- PS is mention in Megilas Ta'anis as a day of Simcha K'lali (?),
eulogies and fasting are forbidden.

- Meg. Ta'anis was "canceled", seemingly explaining why PS is omitted
(in the early classical Pokim) as a non-Tachanun day.

- Pri Megodim explicitly says "Yes to say Tachanun" and supposedly the
Chazon Ish agreed and is implied from the (silence of the) Tur, SA,
Remo and others.

However, Sefardi poskim and most Ashkenazi Poskim say "no Tachanun".
(Seemingly referring to modern-day poskim, it seems, but he doesn't

He ends off with "those congregations who say Tachanun at Shachris,
omit it at Mincha, except for (those who follow) the Shitta of the
Chazon Ish.

Interesting how this day becomes "happier" as we move closer to
rebuilding the Beth Hamikdash.

Kol Tuv,

- Danny

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Message: 7
From: Chana Luntz
Date: Sun, 10 May 2020 22:11:49 +0100
[Avodah] Street Minyanim

On the topic of street minyanim, and with the general back and forth on how
to rule (I have written something on mail-jewish on this), what I am finding
a bit of a puzzle is the view of a few, such as Rav Shlomo Miller, who
allowed a half-way house (although that I understand), but not necessarily
in the way I might have expected.  


The Shulchan Aruch states in Orech Chaim siman 55 si'if 1:


"They say kaddish.  And it is not permissible for it with less than ten
free, adult men that have brought two hairs, and this is the law for kedusha
and barachu that we do not say it with less than ten."


Then in Shulchan Aruch Orech Chaim siman 143 si'if 1 it states:  "We do not
read in the Torah with less than ten adult, non-slaves..."


And in Shulchan Aruch Orech Chaim siman 69 si'if 1 it says,  after
mentioning, inter alia, chazarat hashatz "and this is called 'passing before
the ark', and we do not do these things with less than ten because they are
devarim shebekedusha".


And yet of the various things that the Shulchan Aruch says requires a
minyan, Rav Shlomo Miller says:


"Since in halacha a minyan of people on adjoining porches is unclear, one
should not daven Chazarat HaShatz or kriyas Hatorah since it is a safek
bracha l'vatala. Therefore this minyan should only be formed at mincha, with
a short Shmonei Esrei in order to say kaddish and Kedusha.  One should also
be careful that everyone should either be able to see the Chazan, or the
Chazan should be able to see everyone."


Now although R' Miller gives his reasoning - namely safek brach l'vatala - I
am still rather puzzled.  Because:


a) While Chazarat HaShatz is, as can be seen from the above, not permitted
without a minyan, we hold like the position of Rabbi Yochanan in the gemara
that prayer as nedava, a voluntary prayer, is permitted, and so rules the
Shulchan Arukh  in siman 107,- although he also rules that in a situation
where he knows for sure that the prayer is a nedava, he should include
something new in the blessings (unlike where he is unsure whether he prayed
or not, as then he does not need to include something new).  So why should
the Chazan not make a condition: If this is a minyan, then what I am
davening is chazarat hashatz, and if it isn't, then I am davening a nedava?
It would seem that because of the uncertainty, then he would not need to add
something new, and even if he did, maybe the kedusha could be considered
something new (although the Mishna Brura, at least, holds that the new
aspect should not be included in the first three blessings, which this would
be).  Obviously this is only applicable for weekdays, not Shabbat or Yom
Tov, as nedavot are not permitted on Shabbat, and would not apply to Musaf
on Rosh Chodesh either, but at least for regular weekdays why is this not
permitted by R' Miller?


b) regarding reading the Torah - firstly, if the issue is the blessing, why
could the Torah not be read without the blessing, with all those taking part
bearing in mind that their blessings over the Torah in the morning are to
cover the reading as well?  And even more, the Shulchan Aruch has a lengthy
siman regarding saying the blessings over the Torah (Shulchan Aruch Orech
Chaim Siman 47) and in si'if 10 he discusses the question of when someone
might need to say the blessings over the Torah again saying " If he breaks
from his learning and busies himself with his business, since his intention
is to return and to learn, it is not considered a break, and this is the law
for sleeping and washing and the bathroom, that it is not considered a
break." And the Magen Avraham and the Taz have a dispute as to what to hold
here.  The Magen Avraham holds that we derive from this that where one does
not have the intention to return, and he then does come back and decide to
do some learning he needs to bless again, while the Taz while apparently
understanding how this can be learnt out from the SA, holds that because a
man is continually obligated to learn, the obligation presses down on him,
and even if he didn't specifically plan to come back and learn, given his
obligation, if he finds he has time unexpectedly, he will naturally return
to learning, and no new blessing is required.  This, while not quoted, is
presumably inter alia based on a Tosphos (Brachos  11b d"h shekvar) which
explains the difference between sukkah, where every meal needs a new
blessing, and Torah, where the one blessing in the morning suffices, as
being based on this idea that a man does not abandon his intention to learn,
because of being constantly obligated.  However, this is an argument about
the normal case.   Surely the Magen Avraham and the Taz would agree, along
with their rishonic antecedents, that were the person in the morning to
specifically bear in mind and intend that the blessings on the Torah that he
made would not cover the situation where he got an Aliyah to the Torah, or
read from the Torah scroll from a porch,  why would he not be obligated to
bless again on the porch reading, without it being a bracha l'vatala?  And
why is it any different from a man in shul, eg the chazzan, intending that
the havdala he makes should not patur him, so he can go home and make
havdala for his household?   So why not merely tell the participants - bear
in mind when making your birchas haTorah in the morning, that this blessing
will not cover any Torah reading at the porch minyan if you are given an
aliyah, and, when making the blessing at the reading, that if this minyan is
not a minyan, this is a regular blessing over the Torah, and if it is a
minyan, it is also a blessing over the mitzvah of reading the Torah in a
minyan as per the Shulchan Aruch?


So I can quite easily see ways of having both a form of chazarat hashatz and
Torah reading with blessings, even if one is doubtful about the halachic
validity of the minyan.  And yet I am struggling to understand   the ruling
that one can have kaddish and kedusha,( note that barachu is not mentioned
at all one way of the other).  I have heard that at least some understand
siman 55:1 as not covering kaddish d'rabbanan, and presumably kaddish yatom
as well, given that the latter is only a minhag.  But what about the other
kaddashim, not to mention kedusha?  Is the kedusha because it is really just
quoting psukim?   So I am left very puzzled by R' Miller's half way house,
as it includes what I might have omitted, and omits what I would have






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Message: 8
From: Micha Berger
Date: Sun, 10 May 2020 19:37:31 -0400
[Avodah] Celebrations Lag baOmer Evening

See SA OC 493:2, and the MB s"q 6-7.

The Mechaber doesn't end the mourning until the END of Lag laOmar. (Although
you can cut your hair lekhavod Shabbos when Lag laOmer is Erev Shabbos.

The Rama, following the Maharil, says the mourning ends at Haneitz on
Lag BaOmer.

the MB says similarly.

I am not saying those who actually have a minhag to celebrate at a
bonfire Lag la/ba'Omer evening are wrong. It's all minhag after all.
I am just asking about the permissibility of the more recent spread
among yeshivos and other communities, for whom the custom of ending the
mourning is at haneitz (dawn), not the night before.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Today is the 31st day, which is
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   4 weeks and 3 days in/toward the omer.
Author: Widen Your Tent      Tifferes sheb'Hod: What level of submission
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF                    results in harmony and balance?

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Message: 9
From: Zev Sero
Date: Sun, 10 May 2020 21:09:56 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Celebrations Lag baOmer Evening

On 10/5/20 7:37 pm, Micha Berger via Avodah wrote:
> I am not saying those who actually have a minhag to celebrate at a
> bonfire Lag la/ba'Omer evening are wrong. It's all minhag after all.
> I am just asking about the permissibility of the more recent spread
> among yeshivos and other communities, for whom the custom of ending the
> mourning is at haneitz (dawn), not the night before.

Again, it depends what it is that one is marking in the first place. 
The end of aveilus for Talmidei R Akiva doesn't happen until at the 
earliest the morning of the 33rd day.  But Simchas Rabbi Shimon begins 
in the evening.

So perhaps what is happening is simply that as the influence of toras 
hanistar is felt more widely, communities where the celebration of 
Simchas R Shimon was not common in previous generations are beginning to 
celebrate it, and thus to turn it from a mere cessation of aveilus to a 
day of actual simcha.

Zev Sero            Wishing everyone a *healthy* and happy summer
z...@sero.name       Seek Jerusalem's peace; may all who love you prosper

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Message: 10
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 11 May 2020 07:22:18 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Celebrations Lag baOmer Evening

On Sun, May 10, 2020 at 09:09:56PM -0400, Zev Sero via Avodah wrote: >> I am not saying those who actually have a minhag to celebrate at a
>> bonfire Lag la/ba'Omer evening are wrong. It's all minhag after all.
>> I am just asking about the permissibility of the more recent spread
>> among yeshivos and other communities, for whom the custom of ending the
>> mourning is at haneitz (dawn), not the night before.
> Again, it depends what it is that one is marking in the first place...

Does it? I am talking about not obeying consensus in sifrei halakhah.
I said nothing about motive.

Suspending judgment about the early Chassidim and Talmidei haChidah who
veered away from a minhag that was already over a millennium old, I am
not sure how an existing community can jsut decide "We don't hold like
the Rama anymore" wihout any contemporary pushback. Without even hararas

> So perhaps what is happening is simply that as the influence of toras
> hanistar is felt more widely...

Yes, but does that conform to halachic process?

I also question if this is about anything more than the trappings. We're
talking about people who like the kumzitz but by and large aren't learning
more Zohar or sefarim based on it.

I can offer a compromise position.

There was a time when the celebrarions and hair cutting, perhaps the
bonfires as well, were on the 43rd of the Omar, Shemu'el haNavi's
yahrzeit. Poses no halachic questions for those who keep the aveilus
in the first part of the omer. (Unlike 2 Iyyar to the night of Lag
baOmer which was part of every minhag of mourning.)

You can give the bachurim in your yeshiva a pre-Shavuos bonfire and
kumzitz, no halachic questions raised.

But in any case, we're veering from my original topic, which was formal,
not motivational. According to how minhag avos works, is "the growing
influence of Chassidus" really permissible grounds for changing a minhag
this old?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Today is the 32nd day, which is
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   4 weeks and 4 days in/toward the omer.
Author: Widen Your Tent      Netzach sheb'Hod: What type of submission
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF               really results in dominating others?


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