Volume 41: Number 10
Fri, 03 Feb 2023
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
From: Michael Poppers
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2023 13:10:01 -0500
Subject: [Avodah] They didn't even prepare any provisions for
In Avodah V41n9, RAM posited:
> To review, everyone ate the Korban Pesach in the evening, and everyone
knew that they would be leaving Mitzrayim in the morning. <
We don't see from the *p'suqim* that Am Yisrael knew they were leaving the
morning after Makas B'choros -- all they knew was to stay in their homes
until morning. Maybe one can say they were looking forward to leaving
after Makas B'choros, but they didn't know precisely when they would
leave.... We certainly do see from the *p'suqim* that there was
pandemonium, what between the Egyptians trying to expel these *avadim*
before morning and then "vayash'ilum...vaynatz'lu," so yes, they weren't
ready; but as slaves not even physically out of Mitzrayim (never mind
Mitzrayim not yet being removed from their personas), seems to me unfair to
expect them to have been ready, even if they had celebrated the entire
night until morning.
> Also, Rashi in Haazinu says yetzias mitzrayim was at noon. <
Right, on the phrase "b'etzem hayom hazeh."
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
Go to top.
From: Joe Slater
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2023 17:17:12 +1100
Subject: [Avodah] They didn?t even prepare any provisions for
R' Miller asks why the bnei Yisroel didn't prepare any provisions for
themselves before yetzias Mitzrayim. I think this is one of the things
that would have been obvious a couple of hundred years ago:
1) They didn't have any chometz - which includes sourdough, the
leavening agent of the time.
2) Consequently, any dough which they could prepare in advance would
3) Why bake unleavened dough and take cold, tasteless matzos, rather
than take the dough and have fresh ones.
4) And who knows, the dough may have a chance to sour a bit (*we* know
better, but they didn't)
So they had no provisions, because they had disposed of any chometz
they retained from before, and they didn't bake matzos for the journey
because they were taking dough with them instead. It's all exactly
what the Chumash says.
Go to top.
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2023 17:25:05 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] taker but not giver?
On Sun, Jan 15, 2023 at 05:15:03PM -0700, Meir Shinnar via Avodah wrote:
> Ignoring for a moment moral issues, but on practical consequences;
> ... They called in Rav Moshe Tendler for advice, who told them
> Rav Moshe's position. In Russia, if word got out a Jew did not treat
> non Jews on shabbat, the entire Jewish community of that town would be
> wiped out. Therefore, heter of darche shalom clearly applies
Except that R Aharon Lichtenstein's argument that "darkhei shalom" isn't
about "practical considerations" is pretty compelling.
Rambam (Hilkhos Melahim 10:12):
[Not only Jews and geirei toshav (resident aliens),] even for non-Jews
our sages commanded to visit their sick, bury their dead [as] with
the Jewish dead, support their poor among the Jewish poor, because of
darkhei Shalom. For it says, "Hashem is good to all, and His Mercy
is on all that He made." (Tehillim 145 "Ashrei" v. 9). And it says,
"[The Torah]'s ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are
peace." (Mishlei 3:14, also said when returning the Torah to the aron)
Darkhei Shalom is nothing less fundamental than the fulfilment of
emulating the Borei and following the ways of the Torah.
Compare the list of examples the Rambam gives here with the list of
kindnesses Sotah 14a provides as examples of what Hashem does.
Or the Rama, Tehsuvah #11:
We have learned from here that it is permissible to modify [the
truth] for the sake of peace, and it is permissible to violate
the injunction, "Thou shalt distance thyself from falsehood." [The
consideration of peace] also overrides the biblical prohibition of
"Thou shalt not do thus to the Lord thy God," which bans the erasure
of God's Name, as is explained in the Sifri to Parashat Re'eh and
counted by the Rambam and the Semag in their respective enumerations
of the mitsvot. Since this is so, I say that it is also the case that
[peace] overrides the prohibition of defamation; in other words,
it is permissible to defame another if one's intention is for the
sake of Heaven and for a good cause, [namely,] to promote peace.
See R Aharon Lichstein's article "In The Human and Social Factor in
Halakhah", Tradition 6 (2002) pp. 89-114, made available at
<http://www.lookstein.org/articles/human_social_factor.htm> by the
Lookstein Center for Jewish Education at Bar Ilan Univ.)
> (Note that ben Azzai holds that the most important verse in the torah --
> more than ve'ahavata lere'achca camocha -- love your neighbor as yourself
> -- is ze Sefer toldot Adam -- this is the book of generations of man --
> that we are all human.
And Ben Azzai is given last word.
Rav Shimon doesn't understand this as a machloqes about values, but
only about which pasuq better captures it. Aniyei irekha qodmin, it is
appropriate to feel more moral responsibility toward your own. (C.f. Stoic
ethics or the Ethics of Care.) Tzedaqah starts with your parents and
adult children, your friends and neighbors, etc...
So, start with our self-love, build it into rei'akh -- other observant
Jews, Geirei Toshav, and perhaps all Noachides or even all monotheists,
rependent on what "rei'akha" includes. (But not it's not "akhikha". The
mitzvah is based on being fellow believers and observers, not the
siblinghood of all Jews.) Well, instead of continuing from there, let
me quote R Wolbe, who ties the idea to darkhei Shalom as well:
... The central point in the Torah is "reia`"! This creates a close
relationship between every Jewish person, a practice of darkhei Shalom
with all people, zehirus from tzaar baalei chayim and a relationship
of responsibility toward everything that exists in HQBH's world...
(From Psyiciatriah veDat, published in Laniado Hospital's journal
Harefu'ah, vol 8 (8 Sivan 5742), a later variant on his essay "Olam
haYdidus". I have both on a sefaria page from when we discussed them at
Zelmele's Kloiz. See <https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/405067>.)
Micha Berger A cheerful disposition is an inestimable treasure.
http://www.aishdas.org/asp It preserves health, promotes convalescence,
Author: Widen Your Tent and helps us cope with adversity.
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF - R' SR Hirsch, "From the Wisdom of Mishlei"
Go to top.
From: Chana Luntz
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2023 11:31:30 -0000
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Women Davening
<<But look again at 86:1, starting at "lefichach". RYME gives shitas
haRambam and that ends with:
Therefore, women and slaves are obligated in Tefillah, because it is
a mitzvas asei SHELO hazman gerama.
But the chiyuv of this mitzvah is like this: that a person is
mishchanein umispalel every day, and tells of the praises of HQBH,
and then asks for all of his needs that he needs to in a baqashah
in a techinah, and then gives praise and thanks to H' for the Good
which He was mashpia on him. Each according to their potential
(koach). Ad kan leshon haRambam.
The chiyuv tefillah that falls on women is freeform, "kol echad lefi
From the Torah the Rambam's view is that the mitzvah is freeform (and
applies to both men and women as freeform), it is only Rabbinically that all
the rest was added in, the numbers of tefillot the times for the tefillot
<<I think this is a misunderstanding of the AhS's approach to pesaq.
To RYME, this is not a "limud zekhus".
At times he has limudei zekhus, and he labels them as such.
A lot more often, something else is in play -- he actually holds that
common practice is an indication of what shitah became law. This is why
so many associate his pesaqim with "mimeticism".>>
I agree with that when he comes out with a psak that matches the lenient
position that the people are doing. But that is not the case here. His
bottom line is to unequivocally makes women obligated in davening three
times a day. What he does in his full round up is to quote the Magen Avraham
and analysis it - but that doesn't mean he holds like it in any form or
<<Like here (106:7), where he offers "two teirutzim", and makes sure
to repeat them so you see there is an answer whether we hold like the
Rambam or the Levush. He does find the answer for Rashi or Tosafos's
shitah is logically a "dochaq", but "yeish leyasheiv" and "lehaRiv ve
haRambam *asi shapir*.
And so yes, unsurprisingly he reaches the same conclusion in OC 106:7
(in the closing parenthetic) as he already said in 89.>>
This is not how I read this at all. According to me he says that the Magen
Avraham's position is astonishing that it is difficult to justify women only
davening once a day either to according to Rashi or Tosfot OR according to
the Rambam and the Rif. And he has objections both parts of the Magen
What you seem to be saying is that he is agreeing with the Magen Avraham at
least on the first part, ie that according to the Rambam and the Rif women
are not obligated in davening more than once a day.
Now let me spell out to you what it seems to me was completely obvious to
the Aruch HaShulchan and why he felt he barely needed to state the obvious
(all he needed to say was that with women according to the Rif and the
Rambam the matter is not a question at all). Think about what the Magen
Avraham is saying, stripped of its reference to davening.
A) There is a Torah positive mitzvah not dependent upon time - so women are
of course obligated.
B) there are, as there usually are with Torah mitzvot, loads of Rabbinic
mitzvot surrounding the Torah mitzvot.
C) Maybe those Rabbinic mitzvot mentioned in B) don't apply to women?
To give you an idea of the impact of this suggestion let's try it with some
(i) How about kashrut such as meat and milk: the Torah only prohibits
cooking meat with milk, eating cooked meat with milk, and benefit from
cooked meat with milk - and does not apply this to chicken. Does that mean
that it is fine for women to cook and eat chicken with milk, or cold meat
with cold milk (ie not cooked) - because perhaps the Sages did not obligate
(ii) How about Shabbat - where women are obligated in the Torah positive
mitzvot of Shabbat because of shomur v' zochur. Rav Moshe Feinstein did
some fancy footwork to enable women at home to be able to eat while waiting
for their husband to get home from kiddush. But all of that is unnecessary.
Kiddush, at least on Shabbat morning, is d'rabbanan, and maybe the Chachamim
did not obligate them more, so it is fine for women to ignore kiddush as it
doesn't apply to them. Roll this out to all the d'rabbanans of Shabbat!
(iii) How about Pesach: - can women ignore all the d'rabbanans surrounding
Pesach (including bedikat chametz because bitul works from the Torah)
because perhaps the Chachamim did not obligate them more?
And on and on. It is pretty rare to have a mitzvah from the Torah that does
not come with many, many d'rabbanans. But what the Magen Avraham has done
is sprung on us an idea that has absolutely no support in Shas anywhere that
maybe women are not included in the d'rabbanans surrounding mitzvot from the
Torah where they are unquestionably included.
Can you understand why this logic as applied to davening is given short
shrift in the Aruch HaShulchan and why he spends more time trying to discuss
the second part of the Magen Avraham, which discusses Rashi and Tosfos and
which he sees as containing much that is not necessary? With his conclusion
that it is impossible to justify what our women do regardless of which shita
you adopt "b'dochek yesh l'heshiv ma shenashim shelanu anan z'hirut bekol
hagimel tefilot lishitat Rashi and 'Tosfot, AND according to the Rif AND
the Rambam. That is, he understands them as being totally aligned on this
one - however you go, you get to the same place, women are obligated.
Whether it is because both men and women are obligated from the Torah and
the d'rabbanans follow for both, or because both women and men are only
obligated rabbinically but the rabbis obligated them because they need
Go to top.
From: Chana Luntz
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2023 15:50:52 -0000
Subject: [Avodah] RLakish & RElozor
<<In response to Rb Chana Luntz posted ? 1 Jan 2023
To summarise << The teacher was angry when he eventually discovered the
question posed to him by one of his students was actually an argument made
by the teachers own Rebbi, which the student failed to disclose was the
teachers Rebbis opinion. Thus the teachers ruling was in conflict with his
I think already here there is a problem. The description here makes it
sound like this was merely an interchange in the Beit Midrash. But it was
not, it was a situation where a putative Kohen had come to Reish Lakish for
psak as to his status. And Rabbi Elazar let Reish Lakish go ahead and
posken in an actual case without Reish Lakish knowing that he was in fact
poskening halacha l'ma'ase against the view of his Rebbi Rav Yochanan.
<<I asked why was he angry? - he gave his opinion as he understood it. Had
he ruled as per his Rebbi would that not be a violation of the proper method
Rb Luntz said at the conclusion of her comprehensive argument [I have tried
to accurately summarise and beg forgiveness if I have misrepresented in any
way Rb Luntzs argument] ? It is simply appropriate that a Talmid humble
himself to his Rav and accept that he doesn't always get things right, no
matter how strongly he understands he is right, and that when push comes to
shove, his Rav's ruling prevails.>>
Slight oversimplification, in that I also said that additionally he ought to
(and might well be required to) try and persuade his Rebbi to his way of
thinking - but that if he couldn't do that, there were times where he might
be required to acquiesce, halacha l'ma'she, against his own opinion in
favour of his Rebbi's. Not give up his own opinion - but either withdraw
from ruling or tell the questioner that I cannot rule against my Rebbe and
my Rebbe holds X and therefore this is the prevailing psak in this area as I
am under the jurisdiction of my Rebbi.
<<If I may ? This is precisely what I suspect is untrue ? the Talmid IS NOT
PERMITTED to agree with his Rebbi when he has Qs that remain unanswered ?
this is Reb Chaim Voloshiner on Pirkey Avos [Ch1] RuAch Chayim on the
Mishnah ? A student ought to be covered in the dust of his Rebbis feet. He
explains that far from meaning a student must submit themselves to their
Rebbis superiority it means they MUST RAISE THE DUST i.e. engage in battle
with them and he adds IT IS PROHIBITED ? ASSUR ? to accept their opinion
just because it is their opinion.>>
Again, what Reb Chaim is saying seems to me perfectly consistent with what I
have said. Within the Beit Midrash context, a talmid is required to keep
arguing so long as he still has questions, and he won't do his learning any
favours if he doesn't. But I do not believe Reb Chayim was in any shape or
form suggesting that such a talmid should go out and rule, halacha l'ma'ase,
on the basis of his position knowing that his Rebbi disagreed with him.
That is the difference between learning and psak. (BTW though, were Reb
Chaim to have come out and actually been flat out against the Rema based on
earlier rishonim, not that I think he would have done, I would struggle to
see a vort of Reb Chaim on Pirkei Avot as being a source to trump a Rema in
Shulchan Aruch, but luckily I don't think that is an issue).
<<Rb Luntz predicated her position on the ShA YD 242:31, the Rema who rules
that one may ask for a second opinion as long as the Posek is informed of
the first ruling. The Shach (58) says that if this is a case of Shikul
HaDaAs he may debate with the first Posek, and if he persuades him, well and
good, and the ruling can be retracted, but if not, then he needs to say to
the questioner - this is what I hold, but what can I do, I am unable to
reverse the original ruling. [BTW I wonder if this means that the Questioner
is now saddled with the responsibility of the decision, or that the decision
of the first Posek MUST be followed]>>
No, the first opinion must be followed, that is very clear from all
surrounding discussions. It is as if the first posek had rendered the item
actually treif by his ruling (chaticha na'asit nevela if you like). And the
second posek and the questioner are bound by that, unless and until someone
is able to persuade the first posek that he got it wrong and he retracts his
<< It seems to me that this Rama actually supports my position - every Posek
MUST rule as he sees fit.
It is only when a ruling has already been issued that unless there is clear
proof that it is incorrect, then that ruling cannot be dismissed by another
Posek. This second Posek, when asked by someone else must rule as he
understands not as the other Posek understands.>>
Again, there seems to be a confusion between learning and psak. In terms of
learning, the second posek can (and might be obligated to) go and debate
with the first posek. What he cannot do is *rule*, as that would be
usurping the first posek's prerogative. The most he can do is to try and
persuade the first posek to rule differently. Similarly with a Rebbi and
Talmid relationship. The Talmid cannot rule (ie posken) at all without the
Rebbi giving permission (even though he might be encouraged to debate his
Rebbi until the cows come home). Difference between halachic debate and
psak. In the circumstance it is perfectly reasonable and appropriate that
Reish Lakish would not want to be poskening directly against the position of
his Rebbi Rav Yochanan. If he had known, he might well have refused to
posken and told the questioner to go to Rav Yochanan instead, or he would
have gone and debated Rav Yochanan rather than posken.
The place where the difference between how you learn and how you posken is
seen most clearly is of course the halacha of zaken mamre. A zaken mamre
has to be a serious and notable talmud chacham (see Rambam Hilchot Mamrim
perek 3 halacha 5) - but the key element that leads to his being liable for
the death penalty is not how he learns the halacha, and not even how he
teaches others, but his ruling in practice, halacha l'ma'ase. In other
words, his psak (See Sanhedrin 88a, Hilchot Mamrim perek 3 halacha 6). And
yet even someone at the level of a zaken mamre is expected - not to change
his mind, but not to posken in according with his own understanding - "ma lo
horgu Akavya ben Mahalalel - mpnei shelo hora halacha l'ma'aseh). He is
required to have the humility to accept that he has been overruled in
halachic matters and not to rule. If Reish Lakish had known of Rav
Yochanan's position, it therefore seems highly unlikely he would have ruled
in the case in front of him without at least first going and trying to
change Rav Yochanan's mind, and he might well have refused to rule at all
(and indeed he might be required to do so). He was deprived of this by Rav
Elazar withholding information, so it seems to me he had the right to be
Meir G. Rabi
Go to top.
From: Joel Rich
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2023 18:47:38 +0200
Subject: [Avodah] Tachanun issues
Any sources on the reasoning of not saying tachanun at mincha on the day before a day we don?t say it?
Any sources on the reasoning why (partially unlike the practice of eidot
hamizrach)the days of not saying tachanun are not aligned 100% with
laminatzeach and keil erech apaim?
Go to top.
From: Chana Luntz
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2023 11:12:00 -0000
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Keeping Well Away From Sheker
A student whose teacher said to him: You know I can be trusted with even
millions of dollars - I need your help because Peloni owes me $10,000 but I
have only one witness so I can only compel him to make an oath but I am
afraid he will make a false oath. So, not only will I not get my money but I
will have caused him to lie and make a false oath. You can help me by coming
to the Beis Din - you will not provide testimony, Heaven forbid - but by
creating the impression that I have two witnesses the defendant will admit
the truth and we will be able to come to terms and resolve this matter. This
will be a Win WIn situation.
This is prohibited, as per the Passuk: ?Distance yourself from a false
This is Paskened by the Tur and ShA ChM 28m Rama I assume this means that if
one?s boss wants his workers to support him in a claim against a poor
performing or even derelict worker, which they, the co-workers, are in fact
unable to corroborate other than by relying on the sterling character of the
boss who they know very well and trust implicitly, who might also be their
father uncle or brother, and this worker is difficult to sack because he is
protected by union workplace regulations etc., they are not permitted to
indicate in any way their support of their boss in this dispute even if this
will just prompt the derelict worker to admit and accept the severance
package offered by the boss.
I ask this because a Rov suggested the cases are not identical>>
I confess that seems the way to me too. As you have described it, the cases
do not seem to me to be the same thing at all. The case in Shavuos 31a and
the Shulchan Aruch is where he is creating a false impression for his bal
plugta - if anything it is a form of geneivas daas - he is deliberately
making the bal plugta think he has two witnesses when in fact he doesn't.
Whereas the case you have described is nothing of the kind. Nobody is
deceiving the bal plugta. All the co-workers are doing are testifying as to
the extent to which they have found the boss to be honest, ie giving him a
character reference. Obviously they cannot say they have found the worker
poor performing or derelict when they haven't, that indeed would be a breach
of m'dvar sheker (or maybe in fact giving false testimony). But nothing you
have said indicates to me that by coming and testifying as to the character
of the boss they are giving the co-worker any form of false impression.
<< and that in general [his example] if a Yeshivah or Kollel is in dispute
with a member or associate, the students and Chavei Kollel are allowed to
express their support for the institution as long as they do not expressly
condemn the Bar Plugta, notwithstanding that their statement or expressed
support indicates that they believe the institution is correct and the other
party is wrong.>>
In fact, I can't see why they can't do that either. There doesn't seem
anything wrong in saying that they have worked with the boss and his
character has always seemed to them exemplary and totally honest, and they
don't know the co-worker well enough to say the same about him, so naturally
they tend to believe the boss. They can't make up stories about the
co-worker if they have no idea, but they can say what they think. This is
not a halachic situation where you need two witnesses or one witness and an
oath, and character references don't come into it. Unlike the Shevuot case,
where the only point of being there standing with the one real eid is if one
has eidus too.
<<Another related issue is that Shlomo HaMelech, in suggesting he would cut
the baby in half, seems to be in violation of this Passuk and the Gemara
that prohibits creating a fake situation to encourage or frighten the
litigant to admit and concede the truth.>>
There are lots of cases in halacha where there is a conflict between truth
and some other value - such as shalom - and it is accepted that truth is
allowed to bend, despite the pasuk - that is precisely Beit Shammai's
objection to kala naeh v'chassida - what if she isn't. And Beit Hillel's
retort that one is allowed to effectively lie and tell someone they have got
a great bargain from the marketplace when they haven't. Also this of Aharon
and making peace, and Ya'akov's effective lie/misrepresentation to Yitzchak.
The discussions go on and on. This is an interesting one, as it is not one
of the classics discussed - but then, Shlomo haMelech would presumably have
been dispensing din Melech, not halacha (that was for the Sanhedrin) so it
might be closer to ensuring the shalom of the realm.
>Meir G. Rabi
Go to top.
From: Zev Sero
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2023 10:17:41 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Keeping Well Away From Sheker
On 2/2/23 06:12, Chana Luntz via Avodah wrote:
> There are lots of cases in halacha where there is a conflict between truth
> and some other value - such as shalom - and it is accepted that truth is
> allowed to bend, despite the pasuk - that is precisely Beit Shammai's
> objection to kala naeh v'chassida - what if she isn't. And Beit Hillel's
> retort that one is allowed to effectively lie and tell someone they have got
> a great bargain from the marketplace when they haven't. Also this of Aharon
> and making peace, and Ya'akov's effective lie/misrepresentation to Yitzchak.
> The discussions go on and on. This is an interesting one, as it is not one
> of the classics discussed - but then, Shlomo haMelech would presumably have
> been dispensing din Melech, not halacha (that was for the Sanhedrin) so it
> might be closer to ensuring the shalom of the realm.
Another one not discussed in the classics, as far as I know, is one
we've been learning just these weeks -- Moshe's continuing pretense to
Par'oh that all he wanted was a three-day expedition into the desert,
with the clear implication (though never explicitly stated) that then
we'd return to work.
I recently saw someone comment on the time (after `arov) when Par'oh
proposed that we perform our korbanot in Egypt, and Moshe replied that
we couldn't do that because the Egyptians would stone us. This person
asked why Moshe was afraid of that, when surely they'd been cowed by the
four makot they'd already got, and if necessary a fifth or sixth would
take care of it. He quoted a Chassam Sofer, which he had completely
misunderstood, in order to make a mussar point; but he missed the major
flaw in his whole question: the whole thing was a ruse! The real reason
Moshe could never agree to such a thing is that it would not achieve his
real purpose, which was to leave Egypt and never return! His answer to
Par'oh had to be consistent with his ruse, but it was not true! The
Chassam Sofer merely makes a suggestion for why his answer worked for
*Par'oh*, but does not assert that this was his true thinking.
So this is another example of Midevar Sheker Tirchak taking second place
to some other value.
On the original question I agree with RCL that an employee honestly
expressing support for his employer is not a devar sheker at all,
because he is not even indirectly implying that he can personally
confirm the employer's specific factual claims. Even if he says he
believes the claims, that does not imply that he has personal knowledge
of them so it's not a devar sheker.
Zev Sero ?Were we directed from Washington when to sow
z...@sero.name and when to reap, we should soon want bread.?
?Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821.
Avodah mailing list
Send Avodah mailing list submissions to
To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
You can reach the person managing the list at
When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Avodah digest..."
A list of common acronyms is available at
(They are also visible in the web archive copy of each digest.)