Avodah Mailing List
Volume 03 : Number 025
Monday, April 19 1999
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 22:36:04 EDT
Subject: Re: Dina d'malchusa & speeding
In a message dated 4/15/99 11:00:43 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< Second, at least according to Ramban on kedoshim, I would suggest that
"kedoshim tihiyu" refers to limiting physical pleasures that if indulged in
are permissible yet hedonistic. There is not necessarily hedonism in
driving 70 mph in a 55 mph zone. Please do not prohibit what the Torah
does not for the wrong reason. Concededly, increasing risk of danger to
health, safety and welfare of self and others may indeed be a bittul of
"venishmartem me-od le-nafshosaichem." >>
Your point is true, but a little off the mark. There is no attempt on Mr.
Maryles' part to create an issur where one doesn't exist, but rather to
extend dina d'malchusa dina to infractions of the traffic code. My question
would be a little different, and perhaps the lawyers on this list could help
enlighten us. Would Dina D'malchusa dina apply equally to laws which are not
criminal in nature, but more like codes or regulations like traffic laws, or
zoning laws, et al. as they would to misdemeanors and felonies.
Perhaps that is a distinction one could make with regard to speeding and dina
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Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1999 01:05:21 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jonathan J. Baker" <email@example.com>
Subject: Changing nosach of a shul
This is a new enquiry, although it hangs loosely from some older posts,
e.g. that of Harry Maryles in v2n146 and that of Chaim Brown in v2n192.
I will look into R' Brown's mareh mekomot in the near future, but I
have recently been wondering, what are the parameters and sources of
the permissibility or impermissibility of changing nusach? I would
break my question into several parts:
1) changing one's own nusach for private prayer (seemingly what has
already been cited by the above posters?)
2) if one davens nusach A, and the shul in which one happens to be
daven's nusach B, which nusach should one use:
b) publicly as a participant (e.g. during kedushah)
c) publicly as a leader
3) changing the nusach of a shul, e.g., under the influence of a Chabad
rabbi who is employed as the rav of a "modern-orthodox", or a Sephardic,
a) to what extent is the shul a corporate entity with a minhag that would
somehow have to be changed by, perhaps, hatarat nedarim (is there such a
concept for a tzibur qua corporate entity?)?
b) to what extent is the shul a ship commanded by a rav qua mara d'atra?
P.S. I specified Chabad because of their idea that nusach Ari is "good for
all Jews" (see Kadish, KAVVANA, p.292), and their willingness to lead
synagogues that do not lechatchilah pledge allegiance to their school of
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Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1999 16:55 +0200
Subject: Chilul Hashem
See the Shita Mekubetzet on Bava Kama 113b: "Nimtza she'af oved elilim
ush'eynam gedurim b'divrei hadatot, asur legazlan .. vechen assur lehavkiya
A few lines below he writes: Ve'chen af be'aveyda - kol tzad sh'yi'yeh
CHILUL HASHEM (emphasis mine) b'iykuva machzira .... harei heyn k'yisrael
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Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1999 21:48:06 +0300 (GMT+0300)
From: Eli Turkel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > Since I bet (if that be permitted) that we are a self-selected group that
> > does adhere to the tax code more or less properly, why don't we move on to
Just a point that some Israeli papers have made a point of mentioning
that some members of yeshivot in NY have been found guilty of laudering
money or illegally taking money for the yeshivot for programs that
they are not entitled too. Besides any problems of theft there is
also obviously a problem of chillul hashem.
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Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1999 16:50:10 -0400
From: "JEFFREY ZUCKERMAN" <email@example.com>
Subject: Sales Tax
There seems to be a consensus on the Avodah list that there is a
halachic problem in patronizing stores that do not pay sales tax to the
government tax authorities (or at least no one has expressed an opposing
position). Is anyone suggesting, however, that a customer has an
affirmative obligation to determine whether the store pays the appropriate
sales taxes? The fact that a store lists "sales tax" on a receipt, does
not necessarily mean that it pays the tax to the government authorities.
More importantly, perhaps, the fact that a store does not list "sales tax"
on its receipts does not necessarily mean that it does not pay sales tax to
the government authorities.
It is permissible for a retailer simply to report its gross sales
revenues to the tax authorities, and to pay the appropriate percentage of
those revenues to cover its sales tax obligation, without having specified
the sales tax in connection with each individual sale. Back when state
sales taxes were deductible for federal income tax purposes, it was useful
for a purchaser to obtain a receipt showing the sales tax paid. Today,
however, when this deduction no longer exists, there would not seem to be
any particular reason why a purchaser needs to have the amount of sales tax
indicated separately on a receipt.
As for why some small retailers may prefer not to list "sales tax" on
their receipts, even though they pay the tax to the authorities: (1) some
find it extremely burdensome; and (2) others believe that this contributes
to their reputations as discounters. (Is the latter gneivas daas?)
Thus, I return to my original question: do shoppers have an
obligation to determine whether the stores they patronize remit sales tax
to the government authorities, assuming I am correct that one cannot
determine this just by seeing whether the stores list "sales tax" on their
receipts? And if they have such an obligation, to what lengths must they
go in order to fulfill it?
Jeffrey I. Zuckerman
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Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 10:22:22 +0300 (IDT)
From: Eli Turkel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Yisrael Herczeg writes
>> 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
There is an nice article by R. Mishe Bleich in the Journal of Halacha and
Contemporary Society , vol 23, 1993. I will attempt a summary of the article
but suggest reading the full article.
CI = Chazon Ish ; KI = Kovetz iggerot of Chazon Ish
SA = Shulchan Arukh
CI gives several reasons why not to do rely on manuscripts.
I. CI YD 150:8, KI 3:48
SA is not based on a simple majority vote, hence finding some more
opinions doesn't change the halacha.
Urim VeTumim, Kitzur Tokpo Cohen 123, stresses that the SA was written
with "divine inspiration", Shem gedolim that it was accepted by all
gedolim of that generation.
Hence, "kim-li" does not work against SA.
See however, Miskenot Yaakov (OH 120) who rules against Remah and says
that one does not need 600,000 people for reshut harabim based on new
rishonim not known to the Remah. Hence, remah would have changed his mind.
Also SA Harav OH 448:12 disagrees about some Chametz issue based on
manuscripts. Note: both of these disagree le-chumra.
This reasoning seems to apply only to disagreements with SA not other
uses of manuscripts (see however, Moadim Uzemanin 4:274).
II. CI Eruvin 67:12
Rabbenu Chananel can not always be relied le-halacha becuase of possible
Binyan LeTzion (Aruch Le-ner) #69, disagrees with Raavad's understanding
of R. hai gaon based on recent Teshuvat Hagaonim.
Seridei Eish 3"33,5 3:122,18, 3:408, discusses the difficulties in
relying on manuscripts because of the many mistakes in them.
Iggerot Moshe EH 1:63,6 , says that parts of tosaphot haRosh were
recent by "talmid toeh" based on his showing that it contradicted
other statements by Rosh.
See also YD 2:7 (on goyim not receiving reward for mitzvot !).
Shevet HaLevi 5:103,5,7 gives haskama to new edition of Baale HaNefesh
(Raavad) which clears up previously controversial girsaot.
R. Y. Kanievsky in his letters gives haskama to bring out "new"
rishonim on the gemara.
This reasoning seems to apply only to specific wording not to the general
import of an idea which would not be a scribal error. Rav Moshe seems
to extend it to cases where we can "prove" that there is a problem with
the current text.
It was also seem to depend on the people and manuscripts used to reconstruct
the rishon. It is a difficult task and some are more reliable than others.
Note that the CI himself relies on Teshuvot Maharshal and Yam shel Shlomo
(which were unknown to R. Yosef Karo) to disagree with SA.
III. KI 3:2
There is a divine plan that decided which manuscripts were handed
down through the generations.
(why doesn't the same plan say we now discovered them for a reason?)
Note: KI I:32 uses manuscripts to change girsa in a Gemara so that it
conforms with SA.
IV. Numerous gedolim have noted that on the contrary much of what has been
accepted for generations is not true. For example. Rashi on nazir and
Taanit id not by rashi. Rabbenu Gershon in some places is not by
"the" rabbenu Gershon. Chiddushom of Ramban, rashba, Ritva etc. have been
confused (see Kovetz Iggerot R. Wasserman 2:p37)
see also CI - OH 39:6 where he accepts the opinion of a Gaon becuase
it is obvious that it was written by a Gaon.
My personal conclusion:
1. Manuscripts are almost never used to overule SA
2. Not all manuscripts are equal. Depends on original author, and work
involved in reconstructing manuscript. Much of the recent work is
superior to that of a 100 years ago.
3. Over time many manuscripts have become accepted. I would be suprised if
most younger poskim do not rely on Rabbenu Chananel. Each new manuscript
takes it time until it is accepted or not by the yeshiva world.
4. Hence, manuscripts add a lot to out knowldege but must be used with
caution. Work by R. Kapach and others on improving the editions of
Rambam based on old manuscripts is invaluable. Similarly other recent
editions of Tur and SA based on earlier manuscripts or printings can
hardly be argued with.
Given, these factors I don't understand the yeshiva world opposition to
the Cairo Genizah.
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