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Volume 03 : Number 048

Wednesday, May 12 1999

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 22:32:43 +0100
From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk>
Re: assur of sporting events

In message , Tara Cazaubon <cazaubon@qualcomm.com> writes
>E. G. said what I've been thinking during this whole debate over whether
>sporting events are assur during sefirah or not.  My understanding was that
>sporting events fell into the category of goyische activities to be avoided. 

Tell that to a certain R' Yosef Gutnick - multimillionaire
(billionaire?), Lubavitcher and president of the Melbourne football
club.  Apparently, from my sources back home in Australia, last grand
final season, when it looked like there was a distinct possibility that
Melbourne might make the grand final, there was a fair bit of discussion
in the national press about whether it was appropriate to hold the grand
final on Shabbas if that meant the president of one of the clubs
couldn't come, and whether if Melbourne made the grand final, any prize
giving should be put back for an hour or two so shabbas could go out,
and the president could turn up.  As it happened, Melbourne did not make
the grand final, and the question was moot, but I gather that it has
done more for awareness of shabbas observance in Australia than anything
else.  (To provide a bit of history - Melbourne Football club, this
being Australian rules football, not soccer or the American version, was
struggling financially, and the powers that be in the AFL, the
Australian Football League, wanted to force it to amalgamate with
another club.  At which point R' Gutnick stepped in with a million
dollar donation which saved the club from closure and earnt him the
undying gratitude of Demon (the nickname for Melbourne) fans everywhere.
He explained (on national television - hat, beard, the works), that he
had been a Demon fan since he was a kid, even though he couldn't go to
matches (in those days, all the matches were on shabbas, not like now,
when a good third at least are on Sunday).

>Arielle Cazaubon



Chana/Heather Luntz

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Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 10:53 +0200
From: BACKON@vms.huji.ac.il
Phrase: GADOL HADOR in shas and rishonim

R. Maryles' comment on the "recent" coining of the phrase *gadol hador*
piqued my curiosity so I ran a search on the phrase *gadol hador* in shas
and rishonim. Here's what I got:
GEMARA: Moed Kattan 22b, Sotah 12a, Kiddushin 32b
RASHI: Sukkah 39a, Taanit 29a, Moed Kattan 22b, Sotah 12a, Kiddushin 80b,
       Chullin 103b
TOSAFOT: Brachot 31b, D'H "Moreh halacha"; Moed Kattan 22b D'H "Maaseh b'gadol"
MEIRI: Berachot 24b, Moed Kattan 16a, Gittin 6a, Pirkei Avot 3:14
RITVA: Moed Kattan 25a, Avoda Zara 7a
TOSAFOT HA'RID: Beitza 38a
YAD RAMA: Bava Batra 14b
TOSAFOT HA'ROSH: Berachot 31b, Gittin 14b


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Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 07:30:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
Re: Sefirah: Does Excitement Equal Simhah?

I'm perfectly willing to go along with the Rabbim, and assume that since
the aveilus of omer is a minhag, it may not strictly follow any of the
known categories of aveilus -- such as yud beis chodesh.

HOWEVER, R' YB Soloveitchik teaches otherwise. Which means that that he would
have to rely on a different answer.

Also, I find it ironic that we prohibit simcha merei'us during the omer. Isn't
it a lack of rei'us in the form of lo nahagu kavod zeh lazeh that made omer
into yimei eivel to begin with?


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 11-May-99: Shelishi, Bamidbar
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H O"Ch 318:29-35
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Eruvin 78b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Kuzari II 25-28

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Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 09:56:21 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Gadol Hador - Semantics

You raise some interesting questions.  My intuition tells me that the 
term "Gadol" or "Gadol HaDor" was coined in yeshivishe circles.  I have 
no idea how far back the terms go. My best guess is that it must have 
originated about the same time that R. Chaim Volozhiner established the 
Yeshiva as we know it today.

It's possible that we are just playing with semantics, though. The 
nomenclature of today may not be the same as it was 200 or 2000 years 
ago but the idea is the same.  The Gadol of today may be the Rish Galusa 
of yesteryear.  <<

Good point.  Think of earlier "titles":
Maor hagolah
Rosh kol Bnai hagola

I believe the Meiri has a list including Gadol hameforshim, Gadol hamechabrim, 
etc. etc.

Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 09:52:57 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Rav Aharon

Jordan: >>There indeed may be other qualifying factors in determining Gadlus as 
 in the case of R. Aharon Kotler who re-established the yeshiva system of 
 Europe on American soil.  W/o that event who knows where Torah Judaism 
 would be in America today.  OTOH you can argue that the Eis Laasos of 
 transplantation of Jewry from Europe to America post Holocaust would 
 have created the same situation and that the Yeshiva would have evolved 
 anyway.  I don't know. >>

This is a side point, but I wonder why you say this about R'Aharon, Ztz"l. 
Weren't Torah Vodaath, MTJ, Yeshivas R' Yitzchak Elchanan, and even Chofeitz 
Chaim already established by the time R' Aharon came to the states?<<

Good point.  Rav Aharon spearheaded and mentored the postholocaut yeshiva 
revival in North America.  Dr. Joe Kaminetzky's autobiography points out how 
much effort he put into Torah uMesorah.  He was THE leader of the Aguda (in 
conjunciton with R M. Sherer).  Plus, he "divorced" Chinuch Atzmoi from the 
Agudo do that the Rav (JBS) could participate. (While itt was possible to equal 
his scholarship, (Griz, Chazon Ish and others probaly were on par with him) his 
leadership was unparalleled.  True enough, many of the institutions pre-existed 
him, he was the "spur" that made them thrive.

Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 10:25:55 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com

S. A Drebin>>
In this past week's Parsha, the Torah describes The halacha of Erachin. 
I have not seen this discussed anywhere, but the Torah apparently puts a
monatary value on human beings based solely on their sex.  In all cases,
men are worth more then women, even at the age of 1 month!

Doesn't this seemingly negate all of the last 20 years of religious
popular literature, scholerly articles, and assorted apologetic Klap-Trap<<

Here goes my bit of apologetics:
Arachin is based upon "earning" power.  It is only recently that the idea of 
equal pay for eaul work as been popularitzed.  Traditionally (I'm talking for 
over 3,000 years!) men got compensated more for labor.  Especially in the age 
where muscle counted for a lot.

Lemoshol, if you were bidding on slaves 3,000+ years ago, the average man would 
fetch more on the open market than would the average woman.

While an infant has little value as is, there is speculative value that it will 
grow up to earn more.

Rich Wolpoe


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Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 09:47:04 -0400
From: mluchins@Zweig-Dimenna.com
Gadol hador nomenclature

"You raise some interesting questions.  My intuition tells me that the
term "Gadol" or "Gadol HaDor" was coined in yeshivishe circles.  I have
no idea how far back the terms go. My best guess is that it must have
originated about the same time that R. Chaim Volozhiner established the
Yeshiva as we know it today."

     Actually the term goes back at least to Tannatic times - see Pirkei
Drebbi Eliezer ( his father Hurkonos is called the gadol hador).  There
though it means the leading financial supporter of Torah.

Moshe Luchins

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Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 10:35:00 -0400
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Sefiro History Questions

1) What is the earliest source mentioning Aveilus during Sefiro 
2) What caused aveilus to be observed during Sefiro
3) What prohibitions are observed because of Sefiro?  How did they evolve? 
4) There was a minhog to refrain from melocho during Sefiro.  What are the 
reasons given?  
5) What is the earliest source for Lag Bo'mer?
6) There are 2 prevalent minhiogim wrt to observing aveilus. How did they 
evolve?  (Hint: this relates to question 2)<<

Most points have been well-covered. 

New Question re: Aveilus
When it came to the holocaust, many Gedolim opposed a new day of Aveilus, and 
proposed using Tisha b'av for this purpose.  So how is Sefiro different in that 
it got it's own aveilus period separate fro mTisha b'Av?

Re: #4:

The Piskei Halocho quotes the Mor uK'tsio, who quotes the Ramban that Sefiro is 
Similar to Chol Hamoed, just like Sukkos ends with Shmini Atzeres, Sefiro ends 
with Chag hoAtzeres.

2 prominent issurim of Chol haMoed are: 
1) No Nesuin (ein me'arvin)
2) Taspores.

Speculative Chidush:
Perhaps the origin of our minhog to regarding from Chasunos and Taspores stems 
from this reason, and that the aveilus as the underlying reason came about 

This night answer ny new question.  If people were already refraining from 
Nissuin and Taspores, the only chidush of Aveilus would be to give a new 
underlying reason to a pre-existing "condition".  Therefore, aveilus during 
might not be a new institution, rather just a new spin on an "old" one.

Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 10:03:51 -0400 (EDT)
From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@idt.net>
The Sho'a vs. mourning for the Crusades

I am a bit cautious about those who try to compare the Crusades to the
Sho'ah based upon the number of people involved..
1. While 5,000 is only 1/4 of 20,000 (and 6,000,000 is 1/3 of 18,000,000
[which was -- I think -- the then-estimated Jewish population],  I suspect
that the Kehilla considered the events AT LEAST as traumatic.  In addition
to the killings, there was lots of other disruption...
2. Another factor may be simply that given the SECULAR Jewish
"commemoration" of the Sho'ah to the exclusion of the other tragedies of
our past (such as the Tach V'Tat massacres of Chelmnietzki (I am not even
sure if I spelled that correctly) -- which ARE mentioned in S"A as a time
to mourn) -- so the "FRUM" Jewish population has "gone the other way" in
"downplaying" any religious significance...
3. The "survivors" at the time of the Crusades were all Frum (I think) and
the Gedolim who saw that this all tended to occur between Pesach and
Shavuot (either because of Easter of because that was when the roads
became usable after the Winter) saw fit to link this to the existing
mourning of Sefira (esp. in terms of the fact that both -- each in a
different way -- represented an attack on Torah (Talmidei R.A. were the
ones who could have brought much Torah to all and the Crusades were an
attack upon Jews to convert).  In our case, first of all, many of the
"survivors" (who escaped) were not frum (we will not even get into the
opposition that the Orthodox encountered from the Non-Frum in trying to
save Jews from Europe...) and second, the killing was not limited to
between Pesach and Shavuot and third, the attack was not specifically
against Torah -- it was against JEWS (even converted ones...).  Thus, I
can certainly see a reluctance to link the Sho'ah to Sefira and they would
not make up NEW periods of mourning....


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Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 09:57:33 -0400
From: mluchins@Zweig-Dimenna.com
Subject: Re: Sefirah: Does Excitement Equal Simhah? / Baseball /Yeshiva dinners

Does anyone have a makor that RYBS held one couldn't go to bb games during
sefirah?  I spoke to a talmid from the 60's (my father) and he said he
asked RYBS about a Yankee Twin game during sefirah and he had no problem
with it.  He also asked Rav Aharon Soloveitchik, years later, about going
to a game during the 3 weeks and RAS said it was ossur.  (RAS was masbir
that at least in Chigaco the ikar is to be with the fans.)

Moshe Luchins

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Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 10:25:00 -0400
From: "Clark, Eli" <clarke@HUGHESHUBBARD.COM>
Brisker Torah -- Who's the Academic Now?

RYGB writes:

>It is a a trait that Brisker Torah has imparted to us, almost as second
>nature, to pursue the neat classification of practice into hypothetical
>constructs of conceptual pigeonholes.

>It don't always work.

>Sefira's restrictions were not decreed by Chazal to be equivalent with Yud
>Beis Chodesh.
>They evolved on their own.

>They therefore are not necessarily internally consistent, nor more than
>approximately similar to Yud Beis Chodesh.
>(Otherwise we would *all* be shaving everyday of Sefira.)

Alas, it is sad, but true, that the world does not always fit into the
neat and tidy conceptual constructs of Brisker lamdut.  But this fact
simply challenges us to engage in tikkun olam, so that through our
efforts the world WILL fit into our Brisker constructs. :)

More seriously, I have no objections to the observation that the nihugim
associated with Sefirah essentially evolved on their own.  However, I am
more than a little surprised that it is RYGB who is putting forth this
view.  The notion of self-evolving minhagim is one more generally
associated with an academic worldview than that of the yeshiva world.
Indeed, there are some Aharonim who argue that all minhagim are rooted
in one takkanah or another, even if its original source is now lost.

Put another way, since at least the time of the Ba'alei ha-Tosafot, a
susbstantial amount of time spent in the beit midrash has been dedicated
to fitting common practice into halakhic constructs.  Did it "always
work"?  It is not for me to say, but much of what I and most other
Ashkenazim do is rooted in that tradition.  In any case, while a number
of denizens of the academic world, including Yisrael Ta-Shema, have
noted that practice cannot always be reconciled with halakhic
constructs, I think that RYGB was very nearly the last person on this
list I would have expected to present such an analysis.  Will wonders
never cease!

Kol tuv,

Eli Clark

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Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 12:58:42 EDT
From: TROMBAEDU@aol.com
Baby news

This morning, our son was given his Bris Milah. His name is Akiva Shlomo. 
Needless to say, we are delighted. And grateful as well.

Jordan and Marjorie Hirsch 

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Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 14:30:45 -0400
From: mluchins@Zweig-Dimenna.com
Census Totals - Bemidbar

"Census totals for each shevet are divisible by 100, except for Gad, which
is divisible by 50.  Are these numbers rounded to the nearest 50, or are
they the exact count?  If they are exact, is it not phenomenal how round
they are?  Even if they are rounded to the nearest 50, is it not phenomenal
that for 11 out of 12, the nearest 50 is divisible by 100?  Do any
meforshim take note of this?"

     In Pinchas the Chumash only gives a non 100 number by Reuvein (30).  I
once heard a pshat that this is done by Gad and Reuvein because in Matos
they put their animals before their children when making their land
request.  (Note: Moshe Rabeinu flips the order.)  The point is to show the
importance of every person.

Moshe Luchins

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Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 14:22:57 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Brisker Torah -- Who's the Academic Now?

On Tue, 11 May 1999, Clark, Eli wrote:

> constructs, I think that RYGB was very nearly the last person on this
> list I would have expected to present such an analysis.  Will wonders
> never cease! 

I hope they never do cease. Guess you had me in a Brisker box ;-).


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: Tue, 11 May 1999 20:20:43 EDT
From: EDTeitz@aol.com
Re: riddles

> 8. On what date in the Jewish calendar do we sometimes recite Hallel
> while, in other years, on the same date, we recite Tachanun?

I am quite far behind and do not know if anyone answered this, but 3 Teves is 
the answer to all opinions, even those who never say Hallel on Yom 
HaAtzma'ut.  It depends on whether Kislev is maley or chaser, and when 
Chanuka ends.


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Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 20:25:04 EDT
From: EDTeitz@aol.com
Re: riddles

> 6. What is the shortest word in the Torah?

Working my way through the old posts, how about "Ha" in Ha-La'Shem tigm'lu 
zos, in Haazinu.

> 13. We read the next regular Shabbat weekly Torah reading at Shabbat
> mincha. What weekly parashah is read at Shabbat mincha in Israel but
> NEVER in the diaspora?

B'reyshis.  In Israel it can happen, when Simchas Torah is Shabbos.  But that 
can't happen in Chu"l, so we can never read it to mincha.


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Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 19:53:10 -0400
From: "sweinr1@icarus.cc.uic.edu" <sweinr1@icarus.cc.uic.edu>
Improper Terminology

Rav YGB wrote "It is a a trait that Brisker Torah has imparted to us,
almost as second nature, to pursue the neat classification of practice
into hypothetical constructs of conceptual pigeonholes. It don't always
work. Sefira's restrictions were not decreed by Chazal to be equivalent
with Yud Beis Chodesh. They evolved on their own. They therefore are not
necessarily internally consistent, nor more than approximately similar to
Yud Beis Chodesh."

Reb Moshe Feldman wrote "Kind of like figuring out a shver Rambam. Remember
the joke about Rav Chaim--you can't trust a Frank to figure out the Rambam."

First of all, I don't think it is appropriate to use the term Frank to refer
to a sephardic Jew. It was historically used by ashkenazim in a derogatory
way to refer to their sephardic brethren. I don't think that it complies
with the "darchei noam" rule that governs our group. I know that reb Moshe
didn't mean any insult, but I think it is my reposibility to be mocheach.

Second, I would like to agree with RYGB, that halachah does not necessarily
follow the perfect "brisker" logic as we would like it too. I have spoken with
R'YGB several times regarding how we seem to approach the entire Torah as if
it has to fit into these logical constructs such as the "shtai dinim" rule
and the other "lumdishe" constructs. These may be convenient and effective
ways to understand a complex sugya, and they may sometimes even be emes, but
they are not necessarily the correct understanding of the particular text -
no matter how ingenious they may sometimes be.

The famous joke referred to by Reb Moshe Feldman is a perfect illustration of
what I am saying. A sephardic Jew (trained in an old-fashioned real sephardic
derekh) may not understand the Rambam in the same way that an ashkenazi lamdan
would, but they are both equally valid, and possibly the sephardic method,
which may be much simpler just might be closer to the emes. The undercurrent
of the joke is that the ashkenazim like to make a "mountain out of a molehill"
with all sorts of fine distinctions and comparisons whereas the sephardi,
in this case the Rambam himself (and I refuse to use the aforementioned term)
just understands what was really meant.

In the same vane we have to analyze hilchos sefira. We need to search for the
truth of the origins of the halachah, and I agree with RYGB's assessment, and
not try to fit the halachos into our construct of what we think the rules are.

Shaul Weinreb

This message has been posted from Mail2Web (http://www.mail2web.com/)
Web Hosting for $9.95 per month! Visit: (http://www.yourhosting.com/)

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Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 05:41:10 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Improper Terminology

This conversation provides ample excuse for reposting an old piece of mine


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

  An Analysis of Darchei HaLimud (Methodologies of Talmud Study)  

                     Centering on a Cup of Tea                    


        I am attempting to define the differences between the 

major classical Darchei Halimud in the 19th-20th century Yeshiva 

world, focusing on a well known jest. This is an albeit 

light-hearted, but hopefully illustrative example. 


        In Brisk they would mockingly say that in Telshe one would 

klerr (analyze) the following chakira (problem): 


        What makes tea sweet, is it the sugar or the spoon 



        Now, the truth is that in Telshe, there were two derachim, 

that of Reb Chaim Rabinovitz (Reb Chaim Telzer) and that of Reb 

Yosef Leib Bloch & Reb Shimon Shkop. This chakira captures the 

hallmark of the former (Reb Chaim Telzer's) derech - Contingencies 

- but not the latter, which we'll explore later. 


        Let us now go through how the various darchei halimud 

would approach this important conundrum: 


Brisker Derech: Intrinsic Categorization and Definition - There 

are two (tzvei) dinim in sweetening tea: The cheftza (substance), 

i.e., the sugar; and the pe'ula (activity), i.e., the stirring 

with the spoon. Everyone knows that Lipton is the "Brisk" tea 

bacause it has a double (tzvei dinim) tea bag. 


Poilisher Derech: Brilliant Novelty (pilpul) - Neither. It is the 

tea itself, as the heichi timtsei (sine qua non - medium) for 

making the tea sweet,which makes the tea sweet, for if there was 

no tea, there would be no sweet tea either. 


The Rogatchover's Derech: Combination of the Two Previous Derachim 

- There are three dinim in sweetening the tea: The cheftza, the 

peu'la and the niph'al (the impacted entity), i.e., the tea 



Hungarian Derech: Extrinsic Resolution - Since wine is sweet and 

it is not stirred, it follows that the stirring is not what makes 

the tea sweet, but the sugar. 


Reb Yosef Leib & Reb Shimon's Derech: Abstraction to an Essence - 

It is the Hitztarfus (Fusion) of tea molecules and sugar molecules 

that makes the tea sweet. 


Sephardi Derech: Uncomplicated Grasp - The Sephardi would walk 

away from the argument that the six Ashkenazim were engaged in 

over the tea shaking his head in disbelief about how silly these 

Ashkenazim were - obviously the sugar stirred into the tea is what 

makes the tea sweet! 


Another, more serious example of the difference between the 

Brisker and Reb Yosef Leib/Reb Shimon Derachim is in the area of 

Shee'abud HaGuf (personal liens). The Briskers are satisfied to 

explain Shee'abud as a "partial acquisition" (a "miktzas kinyan"). 

They classify all such amorphous transactions in a category known 

as "chalos" (roughly: "transaction"). They concentrate on defining 

"What." Reb Shimon, on the other hand, feels compelled to explore 

the "Why." He therefore explains that Shee'abud is a logical 

construct of the social contract between individuals which 

precedes Halacha. He draws an analogy between Shee'abud and Emuna 

in the existence of G-d - which also, perforce, must precede the 

acceptance of Torah, and is based on logical constructs. 


Reb Shimon on Acharecha: Just as it is possible to divide the

usages (tashmishim) of an object, that one of the object's usages 

belongs to one person and the other usage to another, it is also 

possible to divide up the usages in time, that the usage for this 

time should belong to A and the usage for that time to B... If a 

person sells the kinyan peiros (right of usage) of the next few 

years, such as... a rental for ten years and similarly a palm tree 

for the next few years of fruit, the essence of this kinyan is 

that the buyer is buying this aspect of the house or palm, which 

he acquires immediately by a chazaka in the house or palm, in a 

manner that now (mei'achshav) he acquires the rights for the 

entire time that he will possess the house or the palm... There is 

no distinction between a case where the time of the kinyan peiros 

starts from today or from several years from now, because each 

year and every day is a distinct period. Just as one can reserve 

for himself and his heirs space in a field for fruit of several 

years, so too he can reserve the fruit for the time after twenty 

or fifty years, and the time before that will belong to the 

buyer... This also applies to actual ownership (kinyan haguf). 


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