Avodah Mailing List

Volume 03 : Number 018

Tuesday, April 13 1999

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 09:34:19 +0300 (IDT)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>
yom haatzmaut

Having just gone to a shiur of R. Yoel ben Nun I thought some people might
be interested in his conclusions.

He discussed chapter 107 in Tehillim (he is considered one of the modern
'experts' on Tanach). The perek begins with "geule hashem" from the 
(actually one direction yam=?south is controversial).
He claims that the perek is about the ingathering of the exiles.
Furthermore, since there was never a mass return to the land from the west
until recent times (last 100 years) he insists that the perek is a
prophecy to our days. Most of the perek discusses the 4 people in distress
who need to thank hashem. However, the section on "yordei hayam" is much
longer and has inverted nun's to indicate that the main return will be by
boat (and airplane) from Europe. Furthermore, this return will not come
swiftly but will have its ups and downs.

He continually stressed the revolution caused by the totally unexpected Russian
aliyah. Whatever problems there are, and every aliyah has had problems, it
is a miracle that was inconceivable 20 years ago. He evn had hopes for
an American aliyah. He strongly suggested reading Mark Twain's description
of his travel to the Holy Land. One clearly sees the complete desolation
of the land 130 years ago confirming the statement of Ramban and when the
Jews were exiled no other people would ever really settle in the land.

He ended with a discussion of the end of the perek that one must study
the chessed of hashem. Given the changes from the days of Mark Twain to
todays Israel with a flourishing agriculture, 5 million Jews etc. one
can only conclude, based on Ramban, that this was the hand of G-d.
This in no way belittles the problems that exist. He quoted dayenu from
the haggadah to demonstrate that we must thank Hashem for each stage of
the deliverance. We state that if G-d had taken us out of Eygpt and not
given us the Torah that would have been sufficient to thank Hashem. Not
that that would have been enough for many other purposes but we have to
thank Hashem for every little step on the way.

Therefore, he felt that it was imperative to thank Hashem for the modern
state of Israel in spite of its flaws. Again comparing to Mark Twain
and looking at the various ingathering from all four directions we see
the miracles that have occurred. He said that saying Hallel on yom
ha-atzmaut with/without a beracha are details. He personally would like
everyone to recite this perek of Tehillim with the realization of the
predictions of King David and this presents no halachic problems.

He said that he disagreed with Satmar but could at least appreciate their
approach that the state was more evil then good. What he could not
understand were those that felt that yom ha-aztmaut was a day like all
other days, no to be sorrow like satmar and not be happy like zionist, just
a nonentity. This he felt completely G-d's involvement in all the miracles
that have happened.

He mentioned that Rav Zvi Yehuda Kook has on his wall pictures of mainly
gedolim including his father and freinds, Chaftez Chaim etc. In the middle
of all these pictures was a picture of Herzl. When asked about this
Rav yehuda responded that Hashem chose Herzl to help redeem the Jewish
people. We can complain that had we done it we would have done it 
different. However, obviously Hashem did not choose the path bnei yeshiva
would have chosen and so we have to learn to appreciate what Hashem
chose and not what we would choose.

Kol Tuv,
Eli Turkel

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Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 09:39:08 +0300 (IDT)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>

> Unfortunately, we're *not* dealing with PIDYON SHVUYIM: saving the *Jews*
> of Albania. We're dealing with gentiles and as I pointed out in
> soc.culture.jewish many of these Muslim Albanians volunteered in the
> SS Skanderbeg Division.
There was an article in today's news about some Jew in Israel who was
bringing flowers to the arrivals from Albania because the father of
one of the Albanians had saved his father during the Holocaust and this
Albanian was considered "mi chaside umot haloam". Thus, while many
of the muslims are clearly antisemitic others saved Jews.

Eli Turkel

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Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 02:35:38 -0400
From: shlomo yaffe <syaffe@juno.com>
Re: Avodah V2 #180

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Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 09:48:37 +0300 (IDT)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>
Re: Avodah V3 #17

Subject: Orthodox Priorities
> Second, keeping our own community afloat is taking much of our resources.
> After tuition, kashrus, yomim tovim, our own poor, the bikur cholim, the
> g'mach, the chevrah, shul fees, the mikvah building fund, never mind supporting
> kiruv, special ed, etc... how much money or time is left for anything else?
> Now, if we neglect supporting conservation efforts, even those in Israel,
> there's a real chance someone else will pick up the slack. You can't, however,
> expect much chiloni money going to support our internal causes.

However, many things do not require much time and money. As R YGB has
pointed out recycling is important in halacha and does not require much
effort. Turning off electricity, not wasting resources actually saves
money. Sorry to say, but Bnei Brak is not one of the more aesthetic towns
in Israel. Some of the problems of garbage are caused by a lack of money
but much of the mess is caused by a lack of concern. I remember that the
day after the last elections one could really not walk in the streets
because of the amount of posters that littered the streets. This does not
happen in my home town of Raanana not that far from Bnei Brak. If
someone thought it important it would take school boys a few hours to
eliminate the mess. The same boys that can take time off to campaign 
before the election can be used to clean up after the election.

Eli Turkel

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Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 12:13:39 +0300 (IDT)
From: Yisrael Herczeg <yherczeg@netmedia.net.il>
re: unknown rishonim

R' Eli Turkel writes:
>In my post on halacha ke-batroi I mentioned that one of the pushers for
>this was the Maharik. He adds the following qualification - we pasken
>like the later authority only if he was aware of the earlier work.
>Otherwise, we assume that had he known the earlier work he might have
>changed his opinion.
>In seems to me that this is exactly the opposite of the attitude of
>Chazon Ish that unknown manuscripts of rishonim don't count for very

On the basis of what the Chazon Ish writes in Orach Chaim 67:12, his
reservations about unknown manuscripts rest on their being of questionable
provenance. This could have been less of a problem in the Maharik's day,
being several centuries closer to the rishonim. Furthermore, a Sephardic
source, for example, which may not have been known to a posek in medieval
Germany might have been part of an unbroken mesorah in northern Africa.

Yisrael Herczeg

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Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 09:03:56 EDT
From: MSDratch@aol.com
Re: Jews in Albania

I was quite disturbed by Josh's posting re: Jews of Albania (Avodah V3 #17) 
in which the entire analysis boiled down to "mishum eiva".  The fact that 
"there are no Jews in Albania" that would invoke  "mefarnasim aniyei akum im 
aniyei Yisrael .. mipnei
darchei shalom" is a very narrow reading of the obligation.  Is the makom 
defined by the borders of Albania, or is the makom here the world and the 
world's perception of the Jewish response.  Modern communication has expanded 
local borders and so then technically mishum eiva might still apply.  That 
being said, the corrective of "Hillul haShem" is at play.

Interestingly, the categories of Hillul haShem are very subjective, dependent 
upon the opinions and values of any particular time or community.  Conduct 
that may appear to the performer to be appropriate, may in fact be a hillul 
Hashem if so deemed by the larger population.   Thus, the categories shift 
from time to time, and from community to community.  (Rambam, Iggeret 
haShemad:  A person should refrain from those activities which are unseemly 
in the eyes of others, even if in his own eyes they are not unseemly.)  The 
standards are not "Torah standards", but popular ones and often dependent 
upon the opinions and biases of non-Jews!  

The issue of gezel akum comes to mind (BK 113).  Even those that are 
permissive (at least re: aveidah or halva'ah) prohibit it because of HH. 
Shimon ben Shetach refrained from keeping an object that was lost by a 
non-Jew, which according to the strict application of the law, he could have 
kept.  However, "More than I want all of the money in the world," he 
declared, "I want to hear the Gentile say, ‘Blessed be the God of the 
Jews’.(Talmud Yerushalmi, Baba Metzia 2:5.  See also Tosafot, Baba Mezia 87b, 
s.v. ela.  Rambam’s Commentary to the Mishnah,  Keilim 12:7.)"   R. Moshe 
miKotzi, author of SMaG, put is succinctly, "All those who steal from 
Gentiles are guilty of hillul haShem for they cause the Gentiles to say "the 
Jews do not uphold the Torah (ein Torah leYisrael).. and they cause them to 
say ‘see how God chose for His portion a people of thieves and frauds.’( 
SMaG, Negative Commandment no. 2, Positive Commandment no. 74.)"   Many 
authorities who ruled that one is not permitted to steal from a Gentile as a 
matter of law added the moral dimension of HH as well.  Thus, "Stealing from 
a Gentile is worse than stealing from a Jew because of [the added factor of] 
the Desecration of God’s Name.(SMaG, prohibitions, no. 152; Sefer Hassidim, 
no. 1414.  See Jacob Katz, Bein Yehudim laGoyim, 5720, pp. 69-72.)" 

Thus, Magen Avraham (OH 244:8) and Hatam Sofer (Resp. Hatam Sofer, Orach 
Chayyim, no. 31) record that one may not build a synagogue in such a way that 
will cause a HH.  Thus, even if halachically permitted, one may build a 
synagogue in such a manner as would be deemed inappropriate by local 
non-Jewish standards.   Similarly, he prohibits non-Jewish contractors from 
building a synagogue on Shabbat, even if technically permitted according to 
Jewish law.  He reasons that since non-Jews would never permit such activity 
on their holy days, it would be a hillul Hashem if Jews would allow it on 
theirs.   And R. David Zvi Hoffman ( Melamed leHo’il, Orah Hayyim no. 42) 
rules that one may not avoid the draft lest non-Jews accuse the Jews of not 
obeying the law of the land.   He also prohibited smoking on Tisha b’Av 
because the non-Jewish custom was to refrain from smoking on their fast days 
(Melamed leHo’il, Orah Hayyim no. 112).   R. Eliezer Waldenberg (Responsa 
Seridei Eish, III, no 63) prohibits confiscating a debtor’s property in a 
synagogue for non-payment of debts since such is not done among non-Jews.   
He also prohibits performing a taharah, the ritual preparation of a body for 
burial, on a body that will be cremated because "members of other religions 
do not tend to the bodies of those who are cremated because they see in this 
a denial of the existence  of the soul" and it is, thus, a hillul haShem 
(Responsa Seridei Eish, II, no 124). 

Although one might distinguish between violating a lav via kum ve-asei, and 
the more passive shev v'al taaseh prescriptions that I quote above, that 
would miss the point.  My point is that there are considerations (like 
Kiddush Hashem and HH) that are significant factors in determining the proper 
halachic responses and that inform our formulations and applications of the 
Halacha and that should motivate us to act in specific ways.  We are 
concerned about eiva, but we are also concerned about what the larger world 
thinks of us, the Torah, and ultimately Hashem Himself.

Mark Dratch

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Date: Mon, 12 Apr 99 09:25:59 -0500
From: meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu
RYEH, RYYH, CI, and the date line

Rav Bechhhoffer wrote

>One of several statements by RYHH over the years that left me questioning
>the reliability of quotations is one he made that his grandfather had told
>him (and him alone) that the Chazon Ish had told his grandfather (and him
>alone) on his (the CI's) deathbed that he (the CI) recanted his psak on
>the International Dateline (Note: REHH - the grandfather - was of the
>opinion that the IDL is 180 degres away from EY).

Source, please? 

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 10:28:29 EDT
From: JoshHoff@aol.com
Re: Avodah V3 #17- correction, and melech vs. shofet

In the last Avodah mailing,in my reference to Nefesh hoRav, I referred to the 
Rav z'l's switch from English to Yiddish! I meant from Yiddish to English.
Regarding melech vs. shofet,R.Ahron Soloveichek has pointed out that from the 
wording of the Rambam in his Sefer haMitzvos it appears that the difference 
between the two is that the melech represents the nation and unifies it while 
the shofet does not.In mitzvas aseh 173, the Rambam writes " shetzivanu 
limnos aleinu melech yekabetz kol umaseinu veyanhigeinu." Also regarding the 
verse "ish kol hayahar be'einav,etc.," I have heard Dayan Kohen of Breuer's 
explain it in a positive light,as was suggested in the last Avodah mailing.

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Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 10:39:51 -0400
From: Zackary Berger <bergez01@med.nyu.edu>

From the depths of my ignorance let me ask some questions of those who would militate against Jewish involvement in Kosovo:

What does "tov hashem al kol, verakhamav al kol maysov" mean?  Is there some hidden meaning to "kol" I'm not aware of here so that it does not apply to Kosovo?  In particular:

From a demographic point of view, how many of these men, women, and children could have served in the Sanderbeg SS?  How many of them have even met a Jew in their lives, to help or to hurt?  Could it be that we might help them because they are to be included under "kol maysov", Muslim or no?  Why do we consider the outside probability of a Muslim fundamentalist state born out of Kosovo (if Turkey, Greece, Italy, Albania, and Montenegro would allow it) significantly less palatable than a murderous Serbian dictatorship, allied with the anti-Semitic Russian government?  For that matter, why do our amateur geostrategists raise their voices only when Muslims are involved?  Should Israel not send earthquake-rescue teams to Peru? medical supplies to Asia? physicians to Russia? 

And if we must resort to the back-door philosophy of "eymo" in all our dealings with non-Jews (kholile we should behave with them a priori according to the midos of the Compassionate One!), then how could we stand by and, in the sight of the world, not offer our unstinting help to the Kosovars?   

Sholem Berger

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Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 09:53:18 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: RYEH, RYYH, CI, and the date line

On Mon, 12 Apr 1999 meir_shinnar@smtplink.mssm.edu wrote:

> Rav Bechhhoffer wrote
> >One of several statements by RYHH over the years that left me questioning
> Source, please? 
> Meir Shinnar

Will re-find bl"n, please be patient! 


Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

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Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 12:22:54 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
WTG - R. Frimer V. RYGB

>>Ah, but not here - as noted by R' Rich below, there are Avos Batei Din in
Am Yisroel whose status goes far beyond that of an Halachic Decisor - they
are the Einei Ha'Eida - and if they are *all* following a mahalach in
darchei tzibbur - the other mahalach is, ipso facto, wrong.<<

I tend to agree with RYGB with one caveat,
I do not think it is a done deal YET.  I.e. the debate is still going on, and 
IMHO it would be premature to issue a ban until the dust settles.

If after the dust settles all the top-tier poskim go one way, then lich'ora it 
would be difficult for the 2nd tier to argue with them.

Combining this with the thread re: little-known authorities... how is it that we
rely on the Rabiyo re: Hesiebo (at least for women)?  Lich'ora, he is a daas 
yochid who is going in the face of the "big guys" (eg Rambam, etc.)?

Rich Wolpoe


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Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 12:13:20 -0400
From: "Michael Poppers" <MPoppers@kayescholer.com>
Re: Yom Tov Day Kiddush aka Kidusha Rabba

EKrumbein wrote: > Over Yom Tov I noticed that in the Siddur Tifilas Yosef
with the Pesakim
of the Mishna Berura authored by Y. Beker. Tha in Yom Tov Day Kiddush
aka Kidusha Rabba the pasuk of "Eleh Moadei..." is left out and only the
Pasuk of "VaYedaber..." is there.  Does anyone know of a reason why. <
The implication is that this practice is a mysterious variant.  That may be
the case, but it's worth noting that such apparently was the practice in
the Frankfurt-am-Main community (unless my late father's practice was
itself a variant from that of "Breuer's"!).  B'li neder, I'll research the
topic and post any worthwhile information.

Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ

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Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 14:43:12 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
49/50 Day Patterns within the luach

Dear List:
     Last year, I gave several talks wrt to patterns within the calendar.  I 
would like to share some of the intriguing ones re: the 49/50 day periods.

Question #1: List the various Which 49/50 day periods (including overlaps) 
that occur within a Calendar Year?

1. S'firas ho'Omer:  Pesach until Shavuos (Shiv'o 
2. Tisha b'Av until Rosh Hoshano (Shiv'o d'Nechemto) 
3. Rosh Chodesh Ellul until Hoshana Rabbo (Teshuvo 
4. Parshas Sh'kolim through 1st Shabbos of Pesach 
Includes 4 parshiyios, Hagadol, etc.)
5. 3 Marcheshvan (Tal u'Motor in Israel) until 
6. Chanuko until Tu biShvat
7. Purim until 5 Iyyar - Yom Ho'atzmaus (Geuloh perhaps?)

Comment: The 1st 2 are well-documented.  The others are a bit speculative as 
to their meaning, although 3 & 4 do seem intuitively connected. And there may 
be more.  The "trick" is to take an event - E.G. Chanuko - and work backwards.

Question #2: What is the relationship of 49/50 days to the total lunar year?

Answer: 354/50 = 7 plus a remainder of 4.  This implies that a 50 day period is 
1/7th of a year, which corresponds to the same ratio of a day to a week! Since 
we usually divide the year into 12 months, we do not think of segmenting the 
year into sevenths.

Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 13:56:04 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: 49/50 Day Patterns within the luach

In a message dated 4/12/99 12:46:55 PM EST, richard_wolpoe@ibi.com writes:

> 5. 3 Marcheshvan (Tal u'Motor in Israel) until 
>  Chanuko.
>  6. Chanuko until Tu biShvat
these obviously change based on Cheshvon and Kislev can be Molei or Choseir. 

Kol Tuv

Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 13:59:14 -0400 (EDT)
From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
49/50 Day Patterns within the luach

Rich Wolpoe notes that one of the 49 day periods is:
> 3.	Rosh Chodesh Ellul until Hoshana Rabbo (Teshuvo perhaps?)

I had thought of it as 49 days between R' Chodesh (counted from the first day
after, thus "between") and Sh'mini Atzeres, much as the Omer itself is 49 days
between Pesach and /the/ Atzeres.

Nissan is about undeserved gifts from Hashem. So, first we get the ge'ulah,
and then, in response, we work on ourselves. Tishrei is about earning what we
get, so the preparation period for Atzeres doesn't wait until the Chag (ie
Succos) to begin.

> 5.	3 Marcheshvan (Tal u'Motor in Israel) until Chanuko.
> 6.	Chanuko until Tu biShvat

Don't these two depend on the year, as Marcheshvan and Kislev are of variable


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 12-Apr-99: Levi, Sazria-Metzora
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H O"Ch 311:3-9
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Eruvin 64a
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Kuzari I 77-80

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Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 20:48:29 EDT
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
Re: Albanians

In a message dated 4/12/99 2:15:59 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
owner-avodah@aishdas.org writes:

<< But again, there *aren't* any Jews living there ! >>

Even if one does adopt the narrow interpretation of aivah you propose,I do 
not see any support for your assertion that Jews must be living there.  

There is an old Tradition article by (I think - I do not have the issue) R' 
Walter Wurtzburger who goes through the relevant Rambam's proving that this 
principle may be interpreted as an obligation for broad moral concerns, not 
just a prgamatic 'help the goy to avoid a progrom' reductionist mentality.  
For my 2 cents, I cannot fathom how one can in good conscience read the 
horrific accounts of atrocities committed to the Albanians and not be moved.

Hope everyone had a great Pesach!


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Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 09:57:18 -0400 (EDT)
From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
Re: Albanians

WRT helping the Albanians, Sholem Berger writes:
: What does "tov hashem al kol, verakhamav al kol maysov" mean?  Is there some
: hidden meaning to "kol" I'm not aware of here so that it does not apply to
: Kosovo?

Perhaps if one could prove that a given Kosover was an SS man (and there is no
indication that he had charata about it in the past half-century) the midah of
"kel kana" might be the one we're supposed to emulate -- as the issur of "lo
sichaneim" implies. But that's the only instance in which I'd agree with
Dr. Backon.

My thoughts are more along the lines of Mark Dratch, with slight modifications:
: The fact that "there are no Jews in Albania" that would invoke "mefarnasim
: aniyei akum im aniyei Yisrael .. mipnei darchei shalom" is a very narrow
: reading of the obligation. Is the makom defined by the borders of Albania, or
: is the makom here the world and the world's perception of the Jewish response.
: Modern communication has expanded local borders and so then technically mishum
: eiva might still apply. That being said, the corrective of "Hillul haShem"
: is at play.

1- Chillul Hashem does not matir an issur. Therefore, if lo sichaneim really
   applies, the fact that by standing aside we might cause a Chillul Hashem
   would be irrelevant. I'm not even sure why people would expect Israel to
   help to the extent that they'd notice if Israel didn't.

2- Mishum eiva isn't necessarily the same as darchei shalom. As I wrote in
   v2n146, R' Aharon Lichtenstein is miyasheiv a s'tirah in Rambam by explaining
   "darchei shalom" to be an expression of "mah Ani ..., af ata ..."

   The idea in Chaim Brown's recollection of R' Wurtzberger's article would
   therefore be a logical consequence. "Mah Ani af ata" is the basis for
   (all?) broad ethical requirements, and not just preventing progroms.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 13-Apr-99: Shelishi, Sazria-Metzora
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H O"Ch 311:10-16
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Eruvin 64b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Kuzari I 81-84

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