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Volume 40: Number 31

Fri, 06 May 2022

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Wed, 4 May 2022 17:11:58 +0000
[Avodah] Rav Shimon Schwab on TIDE

The following is from Rav Schwab on Chumash pages 351 t0 352:

The Torah nation is to blaze the trail for all
other nations to follow toward the universal messianic goal of free man's
total submission to the absolute will of the Alm-ghty.

The object of true Torah education, therefore, is to make the student
conscious at all times of this Divinely imposed task. To acquire Torah
knowledge is our foremost duty, because without it, we cannot function
at all. However, the prime purpose of all Torah study is its translation
into conscious and enlightened Torah life.

At all times the Torah's unchanging teachings must be applied to the
ever-changing derech eretz. All of our actions, attitudes, relationships to
man and beast, and positions within nature and history are subject to the
jurisdiction and evaluation of the Torah.
What follows is that the Torah scholar should be well informed of the
"ways of the Earth." The laws of nature and the paths of history should
be known to him. He should be well aware of what happens in the
world that surrounds him, for he is constantly called upon to apply the
yardstick of halachah and the searchlight of hashkafah to the realities
that confront him.

What also follows is that the greater the wisdom of Torah, the more
crucial it is that this wisdom be conveyed to the Jewish contemporary
world. It must be transmitted in a language that our generation
understands and that will attract the searching youth, the ignorant, the
estranged and the potential ba'al teshuvah to a joyous acceptance of the
yoke of Heaven. The Torah leader must be able to dispel the doubts
of the doubter and to counter the cynicism of the agnostic. He must,
therefore, speak their language masterfully so that he can convince and
enlighten them.

There is indeed a dire need for gedolei Torah, great Torah scholars,
who devote their entire lives to the study and dissemination of Torah.
The Jewish world today needs many talmidei chachamim whose life's
task is to enlighten and inspire it with the love and the fear of G-d. We
are ready to accord to those "messengers of G-d" the highest respect and
a loyal following. These are the kohanim and levi'im of today. Like the
members of the Levitic tribe of old, they are to serve all the other tribes
and teach them the living Torah.

Yet education and leadership cannot function in a vacuum. Therefore,
it becomes mandatory for the present day "Tribe of Levi" to initiate and
encourage an educational system that can serve the other "eleven tribes,"
who comprise the vast majority of our people. It becomes mandatory
for the Torah-conscious educator not to inspire fear of the world and
hesitancy to meets its cha I lenges, but rather, to fortify the vast majority of
our youth to meet head-on the thousand and one pitfalls of professional
and business life. Our youth must be inspired to courageously and
intelligently brave the onslaught of scientific arrogance and the sensual
poison that is masked as intellectual liberalism.

The Divine purpose for which Yisrael was created can be served in
every capacity, in every profession, in all human endeavors, as long as
they are not excluded by the halachah.

In his writings, Rav Hirsch stresses time and again the foremost
obligation to make Torah the main object of study and never to forget to
emphasize the essential, the ikar, above the non-essential, the tafel. On the
other hand, the secular disciplines, which are the "Hilfswissenschaften,"
should also be pursued with religious sincerity for the "sake of Heaven."
It is Torah im Derech Eretz.

Properly understood, it means G-d's Torah, in its totality, utilizing
derech eretz as a means to bring about the Torah's full application. It
means Torah as the Divine nourishment and human derech eretz as the
aromatic ingredient that helps bring the Torah's intrinsic flavor to its most
perfect bloom. It means the Torah's conquest of life and not the Torah's
flight from life.

It refers to Torah casting a light into the darkness, rather than hiding
from the darkness. And it means applying Torah to the Earth rather than
divorcing it from the Earth.

Note the statement that the Torah scholar should be well informed of the
"ways of the Earth." Also, note the requirement that the wisdom of the
Torah be "transmitted in a language that our generation understands."


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Message: 2
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Thu, 5 May 2022 19:36:44 +0000
[Avodah] More on TIDE

The following is from Rav Shimon Schwab's sefer Selected Speeches.

The relationship between Torah and derech eretz is very similar to
that which exists between the guf and the neshamah, the body and the
soul. The Torah is the soul, without which we cannot live. But it pleased
Hashem to place the soul into our body. Like a lamp, the soul's light is to
penetrate all the innermost chambers of the body. . Our body has to be
 fed and groomed and clothed because most of our mitzvos are carried
out by it. Yet the body is temporary; it came from the dust and goes back
 to the dust. While the body houses the neshamah it acts out the derech
eretz of human behavior; and when the neshamah leaves it, the body
disintegrates. The neshamah is the essential man and lives forever.

Selected Speeches, page 243

Yitzchok Levine
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Message: 3
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Thu, 5 May 2022 22:36:25 +0000
[Avodah] The Tattoo Taboo and Permanent Make-Up Too

From https://ohr.edu/this_week/insights_into_halacha/5195

The Tattoo Taboo and Permanent Make-Up Too ? Insights into Halacha - Ohr
Jews and Tattoos. There is a widespread myth, especially among secular
American Jews, that a Jew with a tattoo may not be buried in a Jewish
cemetery. This prevalent belief, whose origin possibly lies with Jewish
Bubbies wanting to ensure that their grandchildren did not stray too far
from the proper path, is actually a common misconception without basis in
Jewish law.
As usual Rabbi Yehuda Spitz examines this topic in great detail.

From the beginning of the article:
Jews and Tattoos

There is a widespread myth, especially among secular American Jews, that a
Jew with a tattoo may not be buried in a Jewish cemetery.[1]<https://ohr.edu/5195#_edn1> This
prevalent belief, whose origin possibly lies with Jewish Bubbies wanting to
ensure that their grandchildren did not stray too far from the proper path,
is actually a common misconception without basis in Jewish law.

One who gets tattooed has quite definitively committed a grave sin of
Biblical magnitude, especially as its roots lie in idolatry and
However, practically, a Jewish burial is not dependant on whether or not
one violated Torah Law, and tattooing is no different in this matter than
violating other severe Biblical prohibitions.

This erroneous belief was personally hammered home to this author several
years back, when my chavrusa, the indefatigable Rabbi Jeff Seidel,
requested our hosting several secular youth for a Rosh Hashana meal. One
stood out in particular, due both to his gargantuan buff size, as well as
his every movement screaming military. This former U.S. soldier, in
Jerusalem discovering his roots after returning from a tour of duty in
Afghanistan, sported a few tattoos. Our then four-year old daughter stared
fascinated at the artwork along his arms and asked innocently why he had
colored on himself. He replied, (as he dipped his challah into
sugar),[3]<https://ohr.edu/5195#_edn3> that
it was a ?mistake?, but she shouldn?t worry because he was going to get
them taken off since he wished to be buried in a Jewish cemetery.[4]<https://ohr.edu/5195#_edn4>


To sum up the Torah perspective on the matter, I quote the words of mv?r
Rabbi Yonason Wiener in a related interview with the Jerusalem
Post:[20]<https://ohr.edu/5195#_edn20> ?The
ancient Greeks worshipped their bodies and tried to annihilate the small
Jewish minority who saw man as more than muscle and flesh. This was a
battle of superficiality against spiritually. Tattooing represents the
Greek ideal that beauty is skin deep. We won the battle of Chanuka but the
war continues to this day. The Jewish religion is more than skin deep!!?

Please see the entire article for much more.

Yitzchok Levine

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Message: 4
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Fri, 6 May 2022 06:00:47 -0400
[Avodah] When Early Shabbos is Rosh Chodesh

The date is Friday afternoon, July 29 2022. Depending on how far north
you're located, Plag Hamincha is about an hour and a half before Shkia.

Imagine a woman who is in the early stages of labor, and decides to make
"early Shabbos." Shortly after Plag, she lights the neros and davens
Kabalas Shabbos, including Maariv. (Why? Irrelevant. Husband? Irrelevant.
At home or in hospital? Also irrelevant.) Then she makes Kiddush and
Hamotzi, eats her seudah and says Birkas Hamazon. And there's still a few
minutes before Shkia.

I know that this is possible, because I've done it myself. Even with the
time spent davening Maariv at shul, and the time spent walking home from
shul, my wife and I occasionally finish benching only a few minutes before
or after shkia. (The seudah goes a lot faster when it's just the two of us.)

Anyway, back to our story, in which this woman gives birth to a proverbial
bouncing baby boy, just *before* the sun touches the horizon. Later on, her
rav gives her a Mazel Tov, with instructions about making a bris on Friday

"Seriously?" she asks the rav. "I lit the candles, davened Maariv, made
Kiddush, ate the seudah, and benched! Please tell me, in what way is my son
*not* a Shabbos baby?"

The rav answers, "Yes, you did accept the Kedusha of Shabbos, and
everything you did was correct. But the truth is that according to the sky
and the calendar, it was still *Erev* Shabbos."

So she has one more question: "We're talking about Friday, July 29. If you
say that by the calendar it was still Erev Shabbos, then by the calendar it
was still Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av, right? So please tell me: Was I
supposed to include Yaaleh V'Yavo when I benched? And, with or without

What do you think, my friends? Many of us will be in approximately this
same situation in a few months. Should we say Yaaleh V'Yavo and/or Retzeh?

In the much more famous Case Of The Long Shalosh Seudos, in which a person
ate a kezayis of bread during "Shabbos Afternoon Erev Rosh Chodesh", and
then ate another kezayis of bread during "Rosh Chodesh Before Havdala", the
Mishneh Brurah 188:33 brings two opinions. The first opinion (that of the
Magen Avraham) is that it would be contradictory to say both, so he should
say only Yaaleh V'Yavo, because that obligation is unquestioned, as
compared to Retzeh, which some Rishonim say to skip at such a late hour
even if Motzei Shabbos would *not* be Rosh Chodesh. The second opinion
(that of the Taz) is that the contradiction is not a problem, so one should
say both Retzeh and Yaaleh V'Yavo.

Can we apply those ideas to our case? My wild guess is that if the Taz says
to say both in the case where Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh are on different
days, then he would certainly hold that way when "Early Kabalas
Shabbos" causes them to overlap. But what of the Magen Avraham, who doesn't
allow the contradiction, and says to say only one or the other? I can see
that question go either of two ways: Perhaps the MA would tell us to say
only Yaaleh V'Yavo and not Retzeh, because Hilchos Bris Milah teaches us
that it is Only Erev Shabbos and not Actually Shabbos (or in more lomdish
terms, it was only Tosefes Shabbos, and not Shabbos Mamash). On the other
hand, Retzeh is a strong requirement at the evening seudah (which it isn't
at shalosh seudos), so I can easily imagine that a posek could be very
hesitant to suggest skipping Retzeh in this situation.

I'm really surprised that I've been unable to find this situation discussed
anywhere. Somehow, I anticipate that the answer will be something along the
lines of "once you have accepted and begun Shabbos, you can just ignore
Rosh Chodesh." But I find that difficult to understand, because of the Bris
Milah question. And even if we exclude Bris Milah, and focus only on
Hilchos Shabbos and Hilchos Brachos, it seems to me that if stretching out
the kedusha of Shabbos (on the Motzaei Shabbos side) isn't strong enough to
override the reality of Rosh Chodesh at night (when Yaaleh V'Yavo is not
m'akev the Amidah), then certainly, stretching out the kedusha of Shabbos
(on the Erev Shabbos side) isn't strong enough to override the reality of
Rosh Chodesh Afternoon (when Yaaleh V'Yavo *is* m'akev the Amidah).

All comments are welcome.

Akiva Miller

PS: Calendar Trivia: Our case is not as common as the Case Of The Long
Shalosh Seudos, but still, "Shabbos Motzaei Rosh Chodesh" does occur
exactly once each summer in the northern hemisphere:

When the first Seder is Monday night, RC Sivan is Friday.
When the first Seder is Motzaei Shabbos, RC Tammuz is Thu/Fri.
When the first Seder is Friday night, RC Av is Friday.
When the first Seder is Wednesday night, RC Elul is Thu/Fri.

Many communities begin scheduling "Early Shabbos" minyanim around
Nisan-time, so such miyanim do exist around RC Iyar. However, RC Iyar is
always two days, and those two days are never Thu/Fri.

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