Avodah Mailing List

Volume 41: Number 38

Fri, 19 May 2023

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Meir Shinnar
Date: Mon, 15 May 2023 17:16:24 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Ashkenazic Pronounciation

This discussion is problematic

To summarize points of agreement and contention:

1) Classic Ashkenaz (at least of last several hundred years) is different from modern Israeli Hebrew (abazit -rashe tevot  ivrit bat zmanenu)

2) rabbanim may, in their own communities, insist on certain
pronounciations just as they can insist on a certain nusach and minhage
tefilla and kriat hatorah - agreed

3) Abazit has fewer distinctions between consonants and vowels than other
standard versions of Hebrew (eg, all differentt ashkenazi flavors, all
different sefardi /mughrab flavors, and teimani) - agreed

4) RAYKook only permitted Havarah Yisraelit when the alternative was inconsistency. 
Agreed.   However, interpretation and relevance of that for today is unclear.  Remember, he did permit it?.

Next, points of contention:

1) Motivation for abazit by Eliezer ben yehudah was that
"They felt that the Ashkenazic pronunciation was tied to European Judaism and religious tradition, which they, for the most part, were rejecting?
While Eliezer ben Yehudah was no fan of religious tradition, I would like
to see better documentation of this claim - not just by people who hated
Eliezer ben Yehuda and the zionists.  I think a far more plausible claim is
that if Hebrew was to become the lingua franca in Israel - which it had not
been in Europe or anywhere else, people had to have a common accent.  As
you and rSM noted, Russian and Polish jewry developed a common Hebrew -
based on the work of the yiddishists.  In Israel, not only Russian and
Polish Jews needed to speak to each other - but everyone - including
sefardim, teimanim, and all sorts of ashkenazim - and abazit allowed it to
happen, and this is a far more plausible claim. One can argue that
different choices could have been made - but choosing options with the
least difference makes a great deal of sense for this aim.

2) Motivation matters.  
Again, I would like to see better evidence of motivation than brought. 
But, even assuming one finds good evidence for that - why does it matter
now? You are treating this like hukkat ha?akum.  You have to bring good
evidence why motive matters for minhag (except for real avodah Zara)  once
it has been accepted by major communities.  We don?t in other matters.	The
yeshivish community adopted  Pronunciation developed by the secular
Yiddishists - but that was OK because they are the yeshiva community.  The
RZ community adopted abazit - (and I think a major part of the motivation
was exactly what I stated - for uniformity and intelligibility across
populations) - but that is not OK????

3) Rav Kook.  Rav Kook was dealing with abazit in its infancy, with few
native speakers- most of his audience came fromEuroope with a different 
Hebrew, and speaking abazit was different.  However, as you say, he did
permit it when the alternative was inconsistency - eg, when that was the
native, natural Hebrew of the speaker.	This means that he did not see a
real Halachic issue with it.  Today, in Israel, most Israelis would have a
tough time learning to distinguish patach from kamatz.

4)  Common practice.  I have been in many RZ shuls in Israel, and rarely
heard an Ashkenazi pronunciation (sefardi yes, teimani yes, but ashkenazi
in RZ - rarely heard, and primarily from old timers and visitors.  

5) Halachic norm.  Claim is made that there is today a halachic issue in
people using abazit in davening (not in using it in a Shul that insists on
ashkenozis, but just davening by themselves or in a Shul using it).  Let me
ask people who went to an Israeli hesder yeshiva.  For example Gush - Rav
Aharon Lichtenstein zt?l and Rav Amital zt?l grew up speaking different
flavors of Ashkenozis.	Did they insist that the ba?ale tefilla and ba?ale
kris distinguish between patach and kamatz? Even for Shem adnut, did they
require it???what about other header yeshiva (or even merkaz - I have heard
Merkaz trained rabbanim daven in abazit, and Merkaz Harav does follow rav
kook?).  Rav Kook?s tshuva was never meant to apply to a case where the
community adopted this pronunciation

6) If a person who grandparents were ashkenazi says Shem adnut with a
patach, his grandparents would misunderstand it.  SO???? He is not davening
to his grandparents.  If he were to switch to a Havana sefaradit - same
issue - but that is ok, but not abazit. ???  Again, a Shul or community may
want the pronunciation in the Shul to follow its nusach - but for the
individual or for a different community this is a problem??????

Unfortunately, what seems to be the underlying motivation here is pure,
unadulterated sinai Hinam.  There is refusal to allow recognition to all
the Dati RZ Jews, communities and rabbanim as representing an autherntic
kehilla and minhag, and being mozis la?az on entire communities as not
being truly halachic.  Especially during Sefira and before Shavuot, where
we accepted the torah as one, we need to condemn this

Meir Shinnar
(Who does try to distinguish much more.in pronounciation,?)

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20230515/c2c5eb79/attachment-0001.htm>

Go to top.

Message: 2
From: Joel Rich
Date: Wed, 17 May 2023 05:44:46 +0300
[Avodah] sfira bracha

Given that the kahal says the bracha for sfira/hallel after the
shatz/rabbi, does your kahal answer Baruch hu Baruch shmo to the
shatz/rabbi?s bracha?
joel rich
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20230517/85eeb21c/attachment-0001.htm>

Go to top.

Message: 3
From: Joel Rich
Date: Wed, 17 May 2023 05:48:11 +0300
[Avodah] ai


intelligence section, but realized it would be long enough for an article,
for which I have no credentials. I just wanted to share two thoughts for
your consideration

There is certainly a permanent spiritual argument that artificial
intelligence could never becoming a poseik. In short, it would not have
siyata dshmaya. However, the arguments of not having shimush or a mesora
seem to me to be more short-term practical arguments. They seem to be based
on the fact that AI has no access to this data because it is not part of
the written corpus. That is true, but the data is being transmitted from
generation to generation somehow, and so, in theory, it could be
transmitted to the AI as well.

It seems this is a subset of the great debate in the outside world
concerning creativity, the hard problem of consciousness (and what it?s
like to be a bat), the existence of free will, and can AI have
consciousness without a body or be sentient. (The creativity issue is an
interesting one, because from what I understand, alpha go revealed
strategies which humans hadn?t discovered).
Perhaps the challenge is to either develop objective external measures
which we can use to settle these debates (the Turing test seems to have
fallen by the wayside) or to simply say these debates can?t be settled
(non-overlapping magisteria or something like that).
It seems to me that at some point klal yisrael will paskin (similarly to
Rabbi Google)


joel rich
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20230517/d5a0b9da/attachment-0001.htm>

Go to top.

Message: 4
From: Micha Berger
Date: Wed, 17 May 2023 20:19:12 -0400
[Avodah] Pesak Paradox

Ediyos 1:5-6 is interestingly self-referential.

Mishnah 5 opens:
    And why do they record the opinion of a single person among the many,
    when the halakhah must be according to the opinion of the many? So
    that if a court prefers the opinion of the single person it may
    depend on him. ...

And mishnah 6:
    Rabbi Yehudah said: "If so, why do they record the opinion of a
    single person among the many to set it aside? So that if a man shall
    say, 'Thus have I received the tradition', it may be said to him,
    'According to Ploni's [refuted] opinion did you hear it.'"

So, the rabbim say that the purpose of recording shitas hayachid is so
that someday a beis din can hold like it.

Whereas the yachid says that the purpose is so that we know that the
earlier ruling was based on explicitly rejecting that opinion -- so that
a beis din won't hold like it.

So, R Yehudah would say we should make a point of not holding like R
Yehudah, but the Chakhamim would be fine if a court would choose to
do so?!

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Today is the 41st day, which is
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   5 weeks and 6 days in/toward the omer.
Author: Widen Your Tent      Yesod sheb'Yesod: What is the ultimate measure
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF                   of self-control and reliability?

Go to top.

Message: 5
From: Micha Berger
Date: Wed, 17 May 2023 20:11:48 -0400
Re: [Avodah] sfira bracha

On Wed, May 17, 2023 at 05:44:46AM +0300, Joel Rich via Avodah wrote:
> Given that the kahal says the bracha for sfira/hallel after the
> shatz/rabbi, does your kahal answer Baruch hu Baruch shmo to the
> shatz/rabbi's bracha?

The qehillah, no.

But RYBS would say these berakhos with the chazan. Hiw problem is that if
mitzvos einum tzerichos kavvanah one would fulfill the berakhah by hearing
the chazan. It would take the conscious intent "I don't want to be yotzei"
to allow repeating the berakhah after him. And it seems wrong to think
"I do not want to do a mitzvah." So, without that intent not to, you
are left in an unresolved machloqes whether or not to repeat the berakhah.

One doesn't fulfill the berakhah according to both opinions if one speaks
in the middle, such as by saying Barukh Hu uVarukh Shemo, it seems to
me that saying it would be another way out of RYBS's problem.

So this is something I sometimes do.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Today is the 41st day, which is
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   5 weeks and 6 days in/toward the omer.
Author: Widen Your Tent      Yesod sheb'Yesod: What is the ultimate measure
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF                   of self-control and reliability?

Go to top.

Message: 6
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Thu, 18 May 2023 16:34:29 +0000
[Avodah] Of Bullseyes, the Korban Cheesecake, and Dairy



Interestingly, having cheesecake on Shavuos is one minhag with which many
non-practicing Jews are stringent! Have you ever met someone who turned
down a piece of cheesecake? But where does this time-honored traditional
custom of consuming cheesecake on Shavuos come from?

Korban Cheesecake?!

It seems that one of the earliest mentions of such a minhag is by the great
Rema, Rav Moshe Isserles, the authoritative decisor for all Ashkenazic
Jewry, who cites the ?prevailing custom? of eating dairy items specifically
on Shavuos (OrachChaim 494, 3). Although there are many rationales and
reasons opined through the ages to explain this custom[1]<https://ohr.edu/5154#_edn1>, the
Rema himself provides an enigmatic one, to be a commemoration of the
special Korban, the Shtei HaLechem[2]<https://ohr.edu/5154#_edn2> (Two
Loaves) offered exclusively on Shavuos during the times of the

See the above URL for much more.

Professor Yitzchok Levine
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20230518/0a57e3ea/attachment-0001.htm>

Go to top.

Message: 7
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Fri, 19 May 2023 12:56:17 +0000
[Avodah] From The O/U: Hard Cheeses

The O/U reminds us about the rule of refraining from consuming meat after
eating certain types of cheese.  In Yoreh Deah 89:2, the Remo writes: ?And
there are those who are strict and do not consume meat after eating cheese
(source: Mordechai and Beis Yosef in the name of Maharam: v. tur Yoreh Deah
90), and such is our minhag: that we do not eat any meat, even poultry,
after hard cheese.  And there are those who are lenient (and one should not
protest their practice), but they must cleanse and rinse the mouth and wash
the hands before partaking of meat after cheese.  However, it is preferable
to be strict (and wait).?  This is the basis for waiting the same time
period after eating certain cheeses before then partaking of meat that one
waits after eating meat before then partaking of dairy.  (v. Taz ibid. s.k.
4). (usually 6 hours)

The Shach (ibid. s.k. 16) explains that ?hard cheese? as reverenced by the
Remo means cheese which has aged (approximately) 6 months. Poskim note that
after eating pungent, strong-tasting cheeses, one should similarly wait
before eating meat regardless of the cheese?s age. (V. Taz ibid. s.k. 4)

It is the position of the O/U?s poskim that one need only wait between
eating aged cheese and meat if the cheese is of a variety that is
intentionally aged in production, such as Parmesan (must be aged in
production at least 10 months) and Emmental (must be aged in production at
least 6 months).  One need not wait after consuming non-aged cheese that is
then incidentally aged on refrigerator shelves and exhibits the same
texture and taste as it should exhibit in its non-aged state.

Some foods that ?officially? contain very aged cheeses are often made with
less expensive, fresh (non-aged) cheeses.  (Aged cheese is  more costly, as
potential revenue is lost while the cheese ages).  For example: eggplant
parmesan is frequently made with cheeses other than Parmesan.  Many
establishments instead use mozzarella as the primary cheese here. 
Consumers are advised to inquire when purchasing such foods.

The Yad Yehuda (YYK 89:30) comments that one need not wait after eating
aged cheese that has been melted (as the cheese?s brittle texture is lost
through melting).  Many poskim, including those of the O/U, rule like the
Yad Yehuda on this point.  However, there appears to be a dispute as to
which foods the Yad Yehuda?s comment pertains:

1.)  The Yad Yehuda?s comment was written in reference to a tavshil shel
gevina (a pareve food which contains cheese,k with the cheese indiscernibly
melted into the food):	many poskim therefore maintain that the Yad
Yehuda?s approach pertains only too foods into which aged cheese is melted
as an unnoticeable component (i.e. the cheese is NOT b?eyn).  The O/U
adopts this approach.

2.)  However, the logic of the Yad Yehuda (that aged cheese which is melted
loses its brittle texture and should be treated like non-aged cheese) would
appear to apply to any melted aged cheese, even if the cheese stands alone.
 Some poskim thus seem to apply the approach of the Yad Yehuda to any
melted cheese (see Mesorah Journal v. 20, p. 92 and see also Badei
HaShulchan: Bi?urim 89:2 d.h. V Chain nohagin)

Some examples of such (above) cheeses are?

Bleu (pungent cheese)  ?  2-4.5 months

Cheddar (Medium, Sharp, Aged)  ?  Close to 6 months and up to 7 years.

Double Gloucester  ?  Aged 6-9 months

Emmental Reserve  ?  Aged at least 8 months

Gruyere  ?  5 months-12 months

Havarti (Aged)  ?  1 year

Monterey Jack, Dry  ?  7-10 months

Parmesan  ?  10-24 months or more

Pepper Jack (Foreign Market)  ?  Can be aged 6 months to 1 year

Provolone, Piccante  ?  6-12 months

Romano  ?  5-12 months

Professor Yitzchok Levine

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20230519/3db34daa/attachment.htm>


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.)

< Previous Next >