Avodah Mailing List

Volume 38: Number 111

Mon, 21 Dec 2020

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Rich, Joel
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2020 13:32:11 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Rav Asher Weiss, Shlita, on the COVID-19 Vaccine

From Yeshiva World
Degel Hatorah MK Yitzchak Pindrus, arrived at Shaare Tzedek Hospital in
Yerushalayim on Sunday, in order to take the COVID-19 vaccine, but prior to
getting vaccinated, Pindrus spoke with Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky about
the vaccine, and whether or not a person should take it.

Pindrus asked HaRav Kanievsky whether it is 'permissible' to take the vaccine or whether a person is 'obligated; to take the vaccine?

HaRav Chaim answered that it's a Chiyuv of "Hishtadlus" to take the vaccine, and not "an option".

Pindrus then asked HaRav Chaim about the fear some people have regarding
what unknown damage that it can cause in the future. To which Rav Chaim
responded "tell them not to be afraid."
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Message: 2
From: Ben Bradley
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2020 13:19:12 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Im lo nevi'im bnei nevi'im heim

''I do not know the sense in which you, or R' Hutner, intent to apply
that quote.  I do know that whenever I hear that quote, I never hear
it used to justify practices that merely seem to have no basis in
halakha; it is used only to justify widespread practices that clearly
violate undisputed halakhoth.....Hillel, however, only used those words when he did not
know the halakha; he never used those words when he knew the halakha.
If you want to justify widespread practices that clearly violate
undisputed halakhoth, gei gezinteheit, but I hope that you will not
misapply Hillel's words when you do....''

I am glad to state with a clear conscience that I do not want to justify
practices which violate halacha. I am quite certain I can speak for R'
Hutner likewise.
Having cleared that up, R' Hutner's context is discussing the gemara's
foreknowledge of the permanent nature of Chanuka in the yemos hamoshiach
given the possibility that a future, greater Beis Din could cancel it. His
answer is that its acceptance by the whole nation makes it immutable. In
that context Im lo nevi'im, bnei nevi'im heim means that acceptance by the
whole nation gives obligatory force to a takana beyond that which depends
on the stature of the Beis Din which issued it, and not at all as used by
whoever you've been listening to. (I should add that he uses the phrase
essentially in passing and his argument does not depend on it in the
slightest) . I think that was clear in the original post and indicated by
its original title 'Existing practice driving halacha'.

Even clearer, I think, was that I was addressing recurrent threads on the
list about the place of existing practice in detemining psak eg Mishna
Brurah vs Aruch HaShulchan in many places, and in particular R Joel Rich's
probing questions on the subject.
I was not per se dealing with the meaning of the phrase you titled your response with.
Please do refer to those threads for further context. And to R' Hutner in Pachad Yitzchak.
Kol tuv

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Message: 3
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2020 21:29:18 +0000
[Avodah] The Molad

It has been pointed out to me that "The Molad announcement isn't based on
solar time, as there's no nighttime solar time. The announcement is based
on the standard calculation of the lunar months - 29 days, 12 hours, and
~44 minutes The time is based on Jerusalem Standard Time.  Some Shuls
adjust the announcement to Daylight Saving Time."

From  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molad
Molad - Wikipedia<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molad>
Molad (????, plural Moladot, ??????) is a Hebrew word meaning "birth" that
also generically refers to the time at which the New Moon is "born". The
word is ambiguous, however, because depending on the context it could refer
to the actual or mean astronomical lunar conjunction (calculated by a
specified method, for a specified time zone), or the molad of the
traditional Hebrew ...

The molad emtza'i (???? ?????, average molad, used for the traditional
Hebrew calendar)[1]<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molad#cite_note-1>
is based on a constant interval cycle that is widely but incorrectly
regarded as an approximation of the time in Jerusalem<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem>
of the mean lunar conjunction. Each molad moment occurs exactly 29 days 12
hours 44 minutes and 3+1/3 seconds (or, equivalently, 29 days 12 hours and
44+1/18 minutes) after the previous molad moment.[2]<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molad#cite_note-2>
This interval is numerically exactly the same as the length of the mean
synodic month<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synodic_month>
that was published by Ptolemy<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy>
in the Almagest<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almagest>,
who cited Hipparchus<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hipparchus_(astronomer)>
as its source. Although in the era of Hipparchus (2nd century BC) this
interval was equal to the average time
  between lunar conjunctions<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_conjunction>,
  mean lunation intervals get progressively shorter due to tidal transfer
  of angular momentum from Earth to Moon<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_acceleration#Earth?Moon_system>,
  consequently in the present era the molad interval is about 3/5 of a
  second too long.

The molad interval as an exact improper fraction =
29+12/24+44/1440+(10/3)/86400 = 765433/25920 days, where the denominator
25920 is the number of parts per day (each part equals 1/18 minute or 10/3
seconds) and one can alternatively write the numerator in the interesting
descending sequence 765432+1. As a mixed fraction this reduces to
29+13753/25920 days, which implies an underlying fixed arithmetic lunar
cycle of 25920 months in which 13753 months have 30 days and the remaining
25920 ? 13753 = 12167 months have 29 days, spread as smoothly as possible.
In any such lunar cycle, which must have an integer number of days, 30-day
months must occur slightly more frequently than 29-day months, such that 2
consecutive 30-day months occur at intervals of either 17 or 15 months,
where the 17-month interval is approximately twice as common as the
15-month interval.

This typical mean lunar cycle pattern becomes clearly evident if one
computes the molad moment, adds 1/4 day to account for the molad zakein
postponement rule<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_calendar#Rosh_Hashanah_postponement>,
keeps only the integer part of the result to compute the molad day,
calculates the difference from the previous molad day (will be either 30
days = "F" for full, or 29 days = "D" for deficient), and then lists the
sequence with the insertion of one space in the middle of every FF pair and
starting a new line at the end of every 15-month interval.

As they say, "Live and learn."


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Message: 4
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2020 16:47:19 +0000
[Avodah] If Asara B?Teives would fall on Saturday, the fast

From today's OU Kosher Halacha Yomis

Q. The Beis Yosef (OC 550) quotes Sefer Avudraham (a work authored by the
14th century Spanish posek, Rav David Avudraham,) that if Asara B?Teives
would fall on Saturday, the fast would be observed on Shabbos. (In
practice, once the calendar was fixed by Hillel Ha'Sheini, Asara B?Teives
cannot fall on Shabbos.) However, other public fasts days that fall on
Shabbos are postponed to Sunday. Why is Asara B?Teives different than other
fast days?

A. The Avudraham writes that Asara B?Teiveis is not delayed because the
pasuk in Yechezkel 24:2 states that the Babylonians laid siege on
Yerushalayim ?b?etzem ha?yom ha?zeh? (In the midst of this day). This
phrase indicates the significance of that particular date, and therefore
the fast is never delayed.   The same expression appears in the Torah when
describing Yom Kippur (Vayikra 23:29), which also is never postponed.  In
spite of this explanation, the Beis Yosef questions why Asara B?Teiveis is

Rav Chaim Brisker (Chidushei HaGrach ? Rosh Hashanah 18b) offers the
following explanation: When necessary, a fast may take place on Shabbos.
This can be demonstrated from the fact that a taanis chalom (a fast to
annul a disturbing dream) is observed on Shabbos, because the fast is most
effective the same day as the dream. If so, why are the fasts of Shiva
Assar B?Tamuz and Tisha B?Av postponed when they fall on Shabbos? Rav Chaim
responds that the Navi in Zecharia (8:19) refers to Shiva Assar B?Tamuz as
the fast of the 4th month and Tisha B?Av as the fast of the 5th month (see
Rosh Hashana 18b). Since the Navi identifies the fast days by the month and
not the calendar date, it appears that Tamuz and Av were selected for
fasting because they were periods of tragedy, and the specific dates were
chosen only to establish uniformity. When the fasts fall on Shabbos, the
fasts are delayed because the month remains the same, and the day of the
month is of secondary importance. In contrast, 
 regarding Asara B?Teives, since Yechezkal emphasized, ?in the midst of
 this day?, it is clear that the tenth of Teives is of special
 significance, and therefore the taanis is observed even on Shabbos, just
 as a taanis chalom is observed on Shabbos.

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Message: 5
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2020 15:06:02 +0000
[Avodah] Fw: COVID vaccine

From Steven cooper, MD
?Dr Aaron Glatt says EVERYONE should get the vaccine, even elderly, even immune compromised

And, says ??? ????? Willig, ??????, based on the ???? ?????, the ????, the ????? and other ?????, that we have a ???? ????????? to get this vaccine!!
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