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Volume 39: Number 36

Tue, 20 Apr 2021

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Prof. Levine
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2021 09:15:11 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Fwd: Are We Trying to Grow?

At 11:27 PM 4/15/2021, Joseph Kaplan wrote:
>This is why, thank God, we have so many shuls ? aand I say this in a 
>positive tone. I could not possibly belong to or daven regularly in 
>a shul with rabbis of the type RYL describes and my strong guess is 
>that he would probably feel the same about the rabbis of the shul I 
>belong to who are so very different in tone and attitude 
>and  philosophy. But by having all these shuls with such very 
>different types of rabbis, we all have the opportunity to each find 
>a shul/minyan in which we feel comfortable to daven and with a 
>leader we can respect. And, my strong guess also is, we'll never 
>convince each other who's right. I know I wouldn't even begin to try. :-)

Regarding finding "a shul minyan in which we feel comfortable to 
daven with a leader we can respect,"  let me recall something that I 
believe Rav Yisroel Salanter said.  "Any Rabbi that the Baalei batim 
do not want to get rid of is not a rov,  and any rabbi that the shul 
does get rid of is not a mensch."

This is what he meant by this.  It is the rabbi's job to make the 
Baalei Batim feel uncomfortable so that they will realize that they 
need to improve. Someone who is complacent will not feel the need to 
change anything. On the other hand,  the rabbi has to know how far to 
go with this.  He should not press to the point where the Baalei 
batim fire him.

In light of this,  it seems to me that davening in a minyan where one 
feels completely comfortable is not desirable and will not lead to 
improvement in Torah learning and doing mitzvos.

Regarding the rabbi who at times spoke harshly, and this led to 
congregants leaving the shul, let me point out some of what they 
missed by leaving.  This rov gave many gemara shiurim in a most 
unique way.  At most gemara shiurim the person giving the shiur 
speaks, and those present more often than not listen passively.  This 
rov would learn a piece of gemara for say 5 minutes and then 
stop.  Those present were then supposed to say over that piece of 
gemara to the person sitting next to them.  This method led to many 
who attended his gemara shiurim being able to make a leining on a 
piece of gemara. This is something that many never attain.

This rabbi gave many shiurim on Chovos Ha Lavovos on Shabbos 
afternoons, and a free wheeling hashkofa shiur on Thursday nights. 
These influenced positively the outlook of many who attended. 
Attendance at all of his shiurim and the Thursday night talks was not 
limited to his congregants.  Those present spanned the spectrum from 
Chassidim to even some knitted yarmulkas.


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Message: 2
From: Prof. Levine
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2021 11:28:04 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Are We Trying to Grow?

At 09:41 AM 4/16/2021, Joseph Kaplan wrote:
>Similarly, as to what the ballei battim who left 
>supposedly missed, it is possible, perhaps even 
>likely, that what they found was more meaningful 
>to them. The rabbi they left undoubtedly has 
>certain skills and talents; why do you think the 
>rabbi they found does not have other and 
>different skills and talents that benefit them 
>in other ways that are more important to them 
>and that you're missing out on? We can???t have 
>it all, which, again, is why it???s so wonderful 
>that we have so many different type of shuls and 
>yeshivot and other Orthodox institutions to 
>serve the needs of our diverse Orthodox population.

I challenge you to name another rabbi who took a 
man who had to write the nekudos under the text 
when he started learning with him to a talmud 
chocham who learned through Shass many times.
While this fellow was exceptional,  many others 
made great strides in learning.

After mincha on Shabbos afternoon and seuda 
Shlishis that was eaten in the shul 
basement,  every man in the shul came upstairs, 
opened a sefer and began learning until it was 
time to daven Maariv.  There was no 
schmoozing!  Name another shul where this happens, please.

One may not like some of the things that this 
rabbi said and how he said them,  but one must 
give credit where credit is due.  He accomplished 
an extraordinary amount with baalei batim. i am 
not aware of any other rabbi who was this successful.  Are you?


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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2021 16:09:52 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Are We Trying to Grow?

We seem to be conflating growth with other things.

When a rabbi sermonizes about current events, does it foster growth?

What if he explains the parashah, but not in terms relevant to how to live

Or if he gives a nice homily, which leaves people nodding and feeling
inspired, but not actually moved to do something differently an hour

Then there is what RYGB identified as The Pinnocchio Problem:
    We have a problem. This problem struck me the other day when I
    heard a distinguished Rav delivering Mussar to his congregation. The
    congregants have heard this particular message before, they will hear
    it again, and they recognize the truth that underlies the Rav's
    plaint. Yet I am sure the Rav and the congregants both know that this
    is a never-ending, ongoing, ritual. The problem will remain. The
    derashos will be reiterated. Olam k'minhago noheig. What is going
    on here?
People like having an externalized yeitz hatov, to whom they pay tribute
but never have to actually internalize and take heed. (The opposite
of Adam, who got to do the right thing if he would just ignore an
externalized yeitzer hara...)

The Shabbos morning derashah rarely has to do with growth.

Here are some idea I would have in a growth oriented shul:

1- A short thought about something in the siddur before davening. Between
Pesuqei deZimra and Borkhu, if permissible. Arguably a thought about
tefillah isn't a hefseiq in the sense meant when one it between
matbei'os. Like when appeals and calls for eidim were made at this time.)

2- Given the number of ADD people nowadays... Move the Qiddush up to
overlap the Derashah. Do like the yeshivos did and have a short seder
before continuing.

3- Chessed programming -- something that involves some subset of the
membership hands-on (not fundraising) in an at least weekly basis. Shuls
provide both Torah and Avodah, why not be a full Judaism Center and
provide opportunities for Gemilus Chassadim too? At least if the shul
sponsors something, there is a different atmosphere about what a shul
and Yahadus are.

3- Mussar Ve'adim -- one for each gender. The idea isn't just to have
a chaburah in a mussar sefer, but to have a group that actually works
together on their middos. (One of my dreams is to get to the point
where a shul running a va'ad is as common as one hosting a daf yomi
shiur is today.)

4- Along similar lines as the ve'adim -- a Teshuvah Workshop with a wider
audience every Elul. Speakers giving actual techniques for change. Rather
than being all motivated and well intended, if we're having a good year,
on Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, but not having a strategy to actually get
anywhere. (And then we wonder why our list of things to fix is the same
year after year...)

5- The membership agreement would include an ethics and dina demalkhusa
clauses. In the "Shomerei Shabbos" type shuls of 70 years ago, those
who were fighting upstream to retain their Shabbos observance created a
supporting atmosphere by creating synagogues in in which only shomerei
Shabbos could retain full membership in the shul. We need something
similar to shore up what's weak in today's observance.

Admittedly, this is largely unenforceable, as we're not going to have
accountants check people's books. But it combines with the chessed
programming and the ve'adim. I realize both of those programs would in
the real world be limited in population; but to the majority of the
membership, they make a statement. There is secondary involvement --
helping out once, donating money, just reading about it in the shul
email -- that make an impact on everyone, they, like this clause in the
agreement, set a culture.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Today is the 22nd day, which is
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   3 weeks and 1 day in/toward the omer.
Author: Widen Your Tent      Chesed sheb'Netzach: Do I take control of the
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF               situation for the benefit of others?

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Message: 4
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2021 15:20:17 +0000
[Avodah] Making Coffee on Shabbos

From https://torah.org/torah-portion/weekly-halacha-5761-pekudei/
Making Coffee On Shabbos ? Torah.org<https://torah.org/torah-portion/weekly-halacha-5761-pekudei/>
A discussion of Halachic topics related to the Parsha of the week. For
final rulings, consult your Rav.. QUESTIONHow does one make a cup of
instant coffee [or instant tea] on Shabbos?. DISCUSSION: There is a
well-known halachic principle that is cited when discussing if and how food
can be ?cooked? or warmed up on Shabbos: Ein bishul achar bishul, which
means that once a food has been ...

QUESTION How does one make a cup of instant coffee [or instant tea] on Shabbos?

DISCUSSION: There is a well-known halachic principle that is cited when
discussing if and how food can be ?cooked? or warmed up on Shabbos: Ein
bishul achar bishul, which means that once a food has been cooked before
Shabbos, it cannot ? in halachic terms ? be ?cooked? again. In other words,
a food which has already been cooked cannot be subject to the prohibition
of cooking on Shabbos.

Regarding making a cup of coffee on Shabbos, one could reason that since
coffee beans are first roasted and then cooked while being processed into
instant coffee,1 it would be permissible to pour boiling water from an urn
directly onto the [already cooked] instant coffee powder. But there are two
good reasons why this is not so simple a matter:

1. While it may be true that generally, coffee beans are cooked before they
are made into instant coffee, it is possible that a method other than
cooking was used in the manufacturing process.2 If, indeed, a process other
than cooking was used, then it would be strictly prohibited to pour water
directly from the urn over the coffee, since then the coffee would become
cooked for the first time.

2. Some authorities maintain that instant coffee is not considered a solid
food since it disintegrates completely and melts upon contact with hot
water.3 Thus it would be classified halachically as a liquid. The halachah
regarding liquids is that even if they were fully cooked, if they are no
longer warm4 it is prohibited to recook them.5 If so, then water may not be
poured directly from the urn over the instant coffee, since cooled-off
liquids are subject to bishul.

Practically speaking, are these two issues a concern? While there are
dissenting opinions6, the general consensus among contemporary poskim is
that it is proper to be stringent. The poskim advise, therefore, that one
first fill the coffee cup with water from the urn, and then put the instant
coffee into the cup; this way the instant coffee is being put into a keli
sheini (a ?second vessel?), which does not have the power to recook liquids
which have cooled off.7 Some poskim8 go even further and advise that one
pour the water from the first cup into another cup and then put the instant
coffee in. This way, the instant coffee is being put into a keli shelishi
(a ?third vessel?), which has even less cooking power than a keli sheini9.

These halachos regarding instant coffee [or tea] apply also to processed sugar and artificial sweeteners.


1 Rabbi S. Eider writes that the procedure is as follows: After roasting
the coffee beans in heat of up to 350? F, the beans are ground and cooked.
Then the cooked beans are ?freeze- dried? at a temperature of up to 800? F
to remove all of the moisture from the beans. Based on this information,
Igros Moshe O.C. 4:74-16 ruled that instant coffee is completely cooked and
the rule of Ein bishul achar bishul applies.

But after first publishing this information I received the following
letter: ?With all due respect to your sources, I researched all the
manufacturers? There are (maybe not surprisingly) very few. The largest
manufacturer in the world is a company called Atlas-Stord. In extensive
correspondence with their engineers and division managers I can state with
100 percent confidence that a temperature even near 800? F is impossible.
The absolute maximum temperature that the coffee can possibly hit in the
freeze-drying process is 60? C or 140? F. This occurs in a vacuum, and no
manufacturer of this equipment could possibly make it hotter. As it is this
is a very high temperature for the process and the majority of places use
lower temperatures. It should be noted that the temperature dramatically
effects the size of the vat used in the vacuum process, and the vats that
do this are already the size of small buildings. Therefore, I am convinced
that 800 ?F is totally not possible. In addition 
 I know coffee heated to even 250? F would taste horribly burned?? [See note 55.]

2 See Meor ha-Shabbos 5:25<https://www.sefaria.org/Mishnah_Shabbat.5.25?lang=he-en&;utm_source=torah.org&utm_medium=sefaria_linker>,
that possibly this is current technology in some plants. See also previous

3 See Mishnah Berurah 318:71<https://www.sefaria.org/Mishnah_Berurah.318.71?lang=he-en&;utm_source=torah.org&utm_medium=sefaria_linker>
concerning sugar. The halachah regarding instant coffee may be even
stricter, since it is used exclusively in a liquid state.

4 ?Warm? means that it is warm enough to be enjoyed as a ?warm drink.?

5 Rama O.C. 318:15<https://www.sefaria.org/Shulchan_Arukh,_Orach_Chayim.318.15?lang=he-en&;utm_source=torah.org&utm_medium=sefaria_linker>.
But it is only prohibited to recook cooled-off liquids in a keli rishon;
Mishnah Berurah 318:23<https://www.sefaria.org/Mishnah_Berurah.318.23?lang=he-en&;utm_source=torah.org&utm_medium=sefaria_linker>.

6 See Yechaveh Da?as 2:44.

7 Minchas Yitzchak 1:55; 9:27; Chelkas Yaakov 2:116; Harav S.Z. Auerbach
(Shemiras Shabbos K?hilchasah 1, note 135). [In addition, see Igros Moshe
(O.C. 4:74<https://www.sefaria.org/Shulchan_Arukh,_Orach_Chayim.4.74?lang=he-en&;utm_source=torah.org&utm_medium=sefaria_linker>,
Bishul 17) who debates whether or not instant coffee and tea ? even if
previously uncooked ? have the halachical status of tavlin, spices, which
do not cook altogether in a keli sheini.]

8 Harav Y.S. Elyashiv (Meor ha-Shabbos, vol. 1, 5:25); Shevet ha-Levi 8:63.

9 Harav M. Feinstein (Igros Moshe O.C. 4:74<https://www.sefaria.org/Shulchan_Arukh,_Orach_Chayim.4.74?lang=he-en&;utm_source=torah.org&utm_medium=sefaria_linker>,
Bishul 16) writes that though the halachah permits pouring hot water
directly over instant coffee, he himself ? for his personal use ? is
particular to put the coffee in a keli shelishi.

Note footnote 9.


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Message: 5
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2021 12:50:19 +0000
[Avodah] Is it permissible to listen to an acapella music CD

From today's OU Kosher Halacha Yomis

Q. Is it permissible to listen to an acapella music CD during sefira?

A. Rav Belsky, zt?l was of the opinion that there is no difference between
a professionally recorded acapella CD that sounds like music and a regular
CD with musical instruments. Both provide enjoyment of listening to music
and acapella CDs would fall under the same category of restricted music
during Sefiras HaOmer. This applies even if the music is slow tempo.
(Shulchan HaLevi pp. 134-135)

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2021 17:12:09 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Making Coffee on Shabbos

On Mon, Apr 19, 2021 at 03:20:17PM +0000, Prof. L. Levine via Avodah wrote:
> From https://torah.org/torah-portion/weekly-halacha-5761-pekudei/
>> Making Coffee On Shabbos + Torah.org

So, you have a choice.. Use instant so you can have irui keli rishon, or
have a drink that actually tastes like coffee. <grin>

Putting coffee into a drip filter and pouring the water over the grounds
is not considered borer. This is because the water is entering and leaving
the beans in a single action. It's really, there is no ta'aroves to be
mevarer, if I understand the lomdus correctly. See SA OC 319:9, which says
the same thing about pouring water over dregs, and MB s"q 33 for details.
See also AhS se'if 28, who cites the mishnah on Shabbos 139b.

So much for boreir. As for bishul...

There is no way to make it without irui. So, if you want the safety of using
a keli shelishi, it will have to be irui keli shelishi. The urn being keli
rishon, then pass the water twice (cup to a second cup) BEFORE pouring it
into the filter.

LOR approved, and also seen on OK
as well as
and R Aryeh Liebowitz (Yeshivas Lev Shlomo, Woodmere) on YUTorah at

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Today is the 22nd day, which is
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   3 weeks and 1 day in/toward the omer.
Author: Widen Your Tent      Chesed sheb'Netzach: Do I take control of the
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF               situation for the benefit of others?

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Message: 7
From: Rich, Joel
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2021 05:34:38 +0000
[Avodah] tucking retzuot in belt

I've noticed that some folks have their shel rosh retzuot wound around their belt once.  Is this a minhag or a practicality or something else?
Joel Rich

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