Avodah Mailing List

Volume 41: Number 42

Mon, 29 May 2023

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Meir Shinnar
Date: Thu, 25 May 2023 18:42:17 -0400
[Avodah] Re;Hypercorrection

Jay F. Schachter wrote, in response to someone writing that in rut the name is Naomi

This spelling appeared several times, so it must have been intentional.

It is a mistake.  It should be No`omi.
While I agree Naami is a mistake, and No?omi is one shitta, there are two legitimate shittot

Question is what determines when a kamatz is a kamatz katan.  There are two major shittot

a) word origin. This is embraced by most modern grammarians- one looks at
the source of the word, and if the kamatz is instead of a cholam, it is a
kamatz katan.  R Schachter embraces this legitimate shitta - as he points
out that the name No?omi comes from Noam.

b) Kamatz katan is always (and only)  a kamatz in an unaccented, closed
syllabie.  Thus, as the kamatz under the nun is in an open syllable, it is
a kamatz gadol (or kamatz rachav)

The second shitta is one that is not popular amongst most modern grammarians.  However, raw Shlomo Tal, in the introduction to the siddur he 
Rinat Yisrael, argues for the second shitta, saying it is the one used by
all kehillot who have a long tradition of distinguishing a kamatz gadol
from a kamatz katan, as well as that of ancient grammarians and baale
mesorah.  (Ashkenozis didn?t make real distinction in pronunciation between
kamatz gadol and kamatz katan)

One example where the difference between the two shittot becomes very clear
is in the phrase from Tehillim 35:10 , said in nishmat	-  kal atzmotai
tomarna. - rathter than kol atzmotai tomarna - because there is no makkaf
between kal and atzmotai, so kall is an independent word and therefore has
an accent - and therefore the kamatz is in accented closed syllable, so is
a kamatz gadol..  Rav Tal says that alll the ancient and banal mesora
testify it is a kamatz gadol

Naomi is an example of a common paradigm - kamatz followed by patach kamatz
- where the two shittot usually disagree.  I would add that normal abazit
pronunciation of those words is more like raw Schachter (eg, tzohoraim
rather than tzahoraim)

Chag same?ach

Meir Shinnar

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Message: 2
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Sun, 28 May 2023 13:33:12 -0400
Re: [Avodah] sfira bracha

Regarding the tangent concerning Baruch Hu Uvaruch Sh'mo: Over the course
of Yom Tov, I  remembered that a number of years ago, I personally chose to
refrain from saying this phrase for a very specific reason:

VERY often the chazan doesn't pause long enough (sometimes not at all)
before continuing with the final words of the bracha, with the result that
those words are drowned out by the tzibur, and few-to-no people ever answer
Amen to it. Sometimes, the chazan will simply continue with the next
bracha,  blissfully ignorant of the mishap. Other times, we are treated to
a tragic miscommunication, in which the tzibur is waiting for the chazan to
finish the bracha, and the chazan can't figure out why no one answered.

So I refrain from speaking, and I try to hear the chazan, and/or watch for
visual cues from the people who are closest to him, so that I can be among
those who do answer Amen. I acknowledge that Baruch Hu Uvaruch Sh'mo is an
important thing to say, but Amen is even more important, and I see the
tradeoff as "yatza hefsedo b'secharo".

Akiva Miller
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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger
Date: Sun, 28 May 2023 16:48:06 -0400
Re: [Avodah] your brother? and Re: gedolim

On Fri, Mar 31, 2023 at 12:40pm (British), Chana Luntz wrote:
> RJR wrote:
>>                       Of course, I am not God's accountant, but it doesn't
>> seem that the reward for learning Torah in that case would be transferable,
>> except perhaps to the extent that more people attend due to the dedication.
>> I have to wonder though do any local Rabbis point that out to sponsors?

>          ,,, The Gemara would seem to clearly contemplate that the reward
> for learning Torah specifically is transferable to/shared with the wives and
> mothers of those doing the learning (even ones that commit adultery)...

The "shared" side of your "transferable to/shared" dichotomy would be
consistent with RJR's point. So it is possible to say that zekhus isn't
transferable and still be consistent with the gemara and the apologetics
built upon it.

On Wed, May 03, 2023 at 1:38pm (Israel), Joel Rich wrote:
> Rambam Sanhedrin 17:7 says:
>     Whenever a person sins and is lashed, he returns to his original
>     state of acceptability, as implied by the verse: "And your brother
>     will be degraded before your eyes." Once he is lashed, he is "your
>     brother." Similarly, all those obligated for *kerait* who received
>     lashes are absolved for *kerait*.

> Question-
> Does this mean that in shamayim (as well as here), it's as if he never
> did the original sin? If not, how do we/HKBH view the individual pre
> and post lashes?

I think this gets to the heart of zekhus and how it relates to sekhar

In the leining for RH, Yishma'el gets spared because he is judged
"ba'asher hu sham". Not for what he did, and certainly not for what he
and his descendents will do, but for the state of his soul and psyche
in that moment.

To the extent that the person unwound the personal damage caused by the
sin, they shouldn't be punished for it. And if getting caught and getting
malkos causes regret, pushes someone further from repeating that kind of
action or heading down that road in general, then there is nothing left
for the kareis to address.

See RYBS in Al haTeshuvah who is medayeiq in Hil' Teshuvah 1:2 and
concludes, "the Baal Teshuvah says that he is a new man; the man who
performed the sin no longer exists."

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi (Ymi RH 1:3, vilna 7b) points out the tense in a
pasuq in Iyov, "im zakhar veyashar atah, ki atah ya'ir alakha..." Bildad
does not say "hayisa", if you were pure and honest, but rather "atah"
if this description fits you now.

Which is why I cannot embrace the idea of reward being transferable. A
person who supported learning didn't become the "asher hu sham" of the
person who learned. Just as the person who learned didn't have the same
impact on their souls as the person who forked over money they already
felt was "theirs".

There is a lot more along these lines in my Yamim Noraim Reader, the
section on the mechanics of teshuvah.

There I provide more sources from p' Nitzavim, Eikhah (and Rashi ad loc),
the Ikkaqim, Rabbeinu Yonah, the Ramchal, R Chaim Volozhiner, REED.

Mitzvos cause refinement which cause sekhar. And just as the refinement
of one's Tzelem Elokim isn't fungible, I canot see how sekhar or zekhus
could be.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 The day you were born is the day G-d decided
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   that the world could not exist without you.
Author: Widen Your Tent                  - Rav Nachman of Breslov
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger
Date: Sun, 28 May 2023 16:52:18 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Notes on the machlokos of Shammai and Hillel

On Mon, Apr 10, 2023 at 11:17:05AM -0400, Zvi Lampel via Avodah wrote:
> In each of the three halachic disputes between Shamai and Hillel themselves
> (Ediyos 1:1-3)--as opposed to Beis Shamai  &Beis Hillel--(besides the
> continuing dispute of the Zugos [Chagigah 16a]) Hillel is the machmir!

I like the Maharal on Avos's explanation of what happened with Batei
Hillel and Shammai. One reason given for the debates was "shelo shimshu
es rabbosam". The Maharal suggests that this lack of personal contact
with how their rebbe thought caused the schools to confuse their rebbe's
role with his shitah.

Therefore, Beis Shammai, the talmidim of the Av Beis Din, placed Din front
and center. Whereas Beis Hillel, the students of the Nasi, put Chessed first.
It wasn't that Hillel valued Chessed, and Shammai - Din. Rather, Hillel's
job meant that he was regularly called upon to express chessed. And of course
the ABD was constantly expressing Din.

The students missed this point, and two schools of interpretation emerged.

The Maharal's whole mehalekh in that portion of Avos pereq 1 is to show
how the sayings of each era's zugos were the Av Beis Din's (Din) and Nasi
(Chessed) perspectives on the same issues.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Worrying is like a rocking chair:
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   it gives you something to do for a while,
Author: Widen Your Tent      but in the end it gets you nowhere.
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger
Date: Sun, 28 May 2023 17:24:15 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Notes on the machlokos of Shammai and Hillel

On Mon, Apr 10, 2023 at 05:54:35PM -0400, Zvi Lampel via Avodah wrote:
> "Sofo le-hiskayyem" is not the result of machlokes le-sheim Shamayim. It is
> a definition of it.

> When one maintains a machlokess, a stand taken against another's stand, it
> is le-sheim Shamayim if the person taking it is sincere, is consistent with
> it and intends to maintain it to the end. He is arguing principle. Such
> were the machlokos that Hillel and Shamai had with the Chachamim and with
> each other.

In Widen Your Tent, I suggest there is a difference between the two idioms
"yir'as Hashem" and "yir'as shamayim", significance in the latter not
explicitly naming G-d.

According to the Ramchal, stam "yir'ah" means yir'as hacheit. Not yir'as
ha'onesh -- fear of punishment, but fear of the sin itself. An aspect of
yir'as haRomemus. My own mashal: Doing what a wife wants because of fear
of what she would do if crossed is yir'as ha'onesh. Doing it because of
fear of making her upset because the husband doesn't want to upset her
in-and-of-itself is yir'as hacheit.

So in the book, I suggest that
- Yir'as Shamayim is fear of violating one's higher calling. Something
  like Idealism, but phrased in the negative.
- Yir'as Hashem is fear of doing what Hashem doesn't want done. By
  focusing on the Giver of that calling, is more about yir'ah as the "sur
  meira" facet of ahavas Hashem.

I think a similar chiluq could apply here. The machloqes is described
as lesheim shamayim without overt mention of HQBH. The focus isn't one
whether they are debating for the sake of avodas Hashem. It's on whether
one is debating for petty reasons or for the sake of shamayim -- that
higher calling.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                     Life is complex.
http://www.aishdas.org/asp           Decisions are complex.
Author: Widen Your Tent                  The Torah is complex.
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF                              - R' Binyamin Hecht

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger
Date: Sun, 28 May 2023 17:13:17 -0400
Re: [Avodah] halachic derivation rules

On Fri, Apr 14, 2023 at 04:29:01PM +0300, Joel Rich via Avodah wrote:
> These seem to come in a number of different flavors such as a possible
> extra letter (e.g. megillah 17b dvarim/hadvarim) or an extra word (eg bava
> metzia 27b mimenu).

This is ribui umi'ut, R Aqiva style derashah.

There are two schools of derashah: DeVei R' Aqiva and DeVei R Yishma'el.
And each wrote their own midrashei halakhah. More detail at

Rabbi Yishma'el's 13 rules are all about what phrases mean. He is the
one who says "dibera Torah belashon benei adam". Kelal uperat is about
whether a given text means something inclusive or more limited.

Meanwhile, R Aqiva's list of 19 rules are more about keywords -- "akh"
and "raq" are mi'utim. Even "es" became a ribui.

The double use of the shoresh in "aseir te'aseir" means something to
R Aqiva's school, whereas it's just how Hebrew works to R Yishma'el.

It's R Aqiva's school that produces mishnah -- R Aqiva, R Meir ("stam
mishnah keR Meir), to Rebbe. So although we talk about R Yishma'el's
rules in shacharis, it's R Aqiva's that end up having greater weight
in halakhah.

Also, with regard to gezeira shava, some held as long as the word is
noteworthy in one usage, there were grounds for a GS. Others required
it be derashah-worthy on both sides. Shemu'el didn't require anything
beyond common usage (i.e. even when the GS is einah mufnah kol iqar).

In any case, it therefore often happens that their are derashos that
one tanna uses that doesn't exist for and therefore doesn't need to be
reused by his bar pelugta.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 The thought of happiness that comes from outside
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   the person, brings him sadness. But realizing
Author: Widen Your Tent      the value of one's will and the freedom brought
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF    by uplifting its, brings great joy. - R' Kook


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