Avodah Mailing List

Volume 03 : Number 196

Tuesday, August 31 1999

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 16:36:41 -0400 (EDT)
From: micha@aishdas.org (Micha Berger)
Administrivia: Editting down quotes

Okay, I've been criminally negligent at least as much as the next person on
this one, but some people have made it their standard reply style...

We really don't need to put out 2 or 3 digests each weekday. Much of it is
just quotations of emails from the previous couple of days. Please edit down
your messages to only include the relevent text. We saw the email that you're
replying to the first time, we only need the line or paragraph you're referring
to -- not the entire post. Just quote enough to get your point across (but no
less than that).


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287    MMG"H for 31-Aug-99: Shelishi, Nitzavim-Vayeilech
micha@aishdas.org                                   A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                              Pisachim 31a
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.   Nefesh Hachaim I 16

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Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 17:13:08 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jonathan Schwartz <jschwrtz@ymail.yu.edu>
Re: Mental Health: Reality therapy

A Yaasher Koach to RDE and RJR for opening an interesting line (regarding
the original question) of discussion. Although RDE correctly noted that
there are many issues where hours of psychotherapy were sought but a good
schmooze of emunah and bitachon were the right prescription, there are far
more instances where serious interventions were necessary only to be
brushed off accidentally as a lack of emunah and Bitachon. Lately the
movement in the United States among Gedolim and Roshei Yeshivos has been
to make their talmidim -- mechanchim and rabbonim alike -- aware of some
of these issues and to avail themselves of the ability to consult with
mental health professionals who are knowledgeable in halacha in order to
determine what the right course of treatment for a particular case may be.
Recent Psychological Journals have noted that in Eretz Yisroel, treatments
often offered by rabbonim who consult can often open a breakthrough in
what has been often perceived as difficult to treat populations. Maybe the
Bnei Brak program will further bridge the gap and bring these essential
services to those who need them.


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Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 17:40:05 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Eit Sheker Sofrim and Dr. Birnbaum

On Tue, 31 Aug 1999 david.nadoff@bfkpn.com wrote:

> than RAEK's remark (which, as I recall, appears as a prominent banner
> under the title and before the first paragraph of the article), and set
> the tone for the whole article. 

I was not responsible for the JO layout.

> Second, my objection to those statements has not led me "to dismiss
> [your] entire essay."  On the contrary, in a prior posting on this list
> (V3#164), I described your article as a "fine essay" and in my letter to
> the Jewish Observer (Kislev 5758), I devoted a full paragraph to praise
> of your article. I have also recommended your article on a number of
> occasions and consider it a valuable contribution to our knowledge of
> Dr. Birnbaum's ideas (as I said in my letter to TJO). 

Thank you. I stand corrected.

> alienating a segment of your readers (V3#193) led me to wonder whether
> something similar was at work in your perpetuation of the idea that Dr.
> Birnbaum is not a ba'al teshuva in your essay on him. 

It was not meant that way. Were it to be proven that it would offend a
significant group of people, I would not have put the quote and
explanation in. Since I have not seen this happen (and certainly did not
anticipate it), and do not subscribe to your interpretation of the
following paragraph (deleted), I do not think it is essential to tamper
with the essay now. Nevertheless, let us invite Avodah members to visit
the website and then give us their opinions. If a significant number agree
that the first paragraph does harm to the message, we can alter the essay
as it appears on the Aishdas website.

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, 31 Aug 1999 18:48:30 -0400
From: rjhendel@juno.com
Rav Moshes Greatness

I couldn't resist to tell you what I told
my neice about Rav Moshes greatness.

I was thinking of Carl's statement that Rav
Moshe is the only one machmir on not letting
a husband and wife (niddah) drink from a common
soda can even if it is in different glasses.

Just think..here we have a European Rabbi steeped
in learning all day and yet

...he was aware of the coach of a can of soda on an
american date.

True Gadlus. (My neice said nothing to this)

Regards Russell
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Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 18:46:32 -0400
From: rjhendel@juno.com
Women speaking before men

Hi everybody

While vacationing with my nephew and neice they 
were showing off their new computer which allowed me
to access my Juno account. My neice was STRONGLY 
interested in this Rashi that women should not talk before
men and urged her Uncle Russell to respond (Interestingly
by not responding herself she was following Rashi's directions).

Recall that from the case of the slandered newlywed and the 
Chumash's explicit mention of the father defending, that Rashi
stated 'From here we learn that women should not speak before

I responded to David Glasner that Rashi is obviously only speaking
about court cases. David asked why Rashi didn't say this EXPLICITLY
I believe the answer is because the context is obvious (we are talking
about court cases). 

David could still ask me "why not generalize."

Chaiim Brown asks

>From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
>Subject: ein reshus l'isha l'daber bifnei ish

>' mikan she'ein r'shut l'isha l'daber bifnei ha'ish'

>Someone suggested that Rashi is a din in court cases only.  See Torah
>who  understands it as an extension of the general deference a woman
>show to her husband/father (Rambam Ishus 15:20).  

>Intrestingly, the specific din is not codified by Rambam or cited in

So let me elaborate. Using my favorite CD ROM (my head) 

1) Judge 5:1 (Devorah takes precedence over Barak)

2) Number 12:1--Miriam tried to bring piece between Moses and Tzippy
(NOTE: Even though she was wrong, she was wrong for doing it to
Moses--it is clear from the Chafetz Chaiim that her act was well
intended and proper--she was trying to get a couple back together)

3) The whole Zlafchad Daughter incident (Number 36? & 27?)
Rashi makes a point that they were "learned people" (My point is
they didn't ask their uncles to bring the case they brought it

Using the above three examples I think we can conlcude that

a) In "female matters'"--praising God, bringing peace
 between people--women SHOULD take the 
initiative (Any dissents out there)

b) In judicial matters a women should
 instigate her own case if she
is not a partner with a man
(That also answers Chaiim on why the
Rambam did not codify it...in fact the 
rambam explicitly codifies the
law that halachah favors reverse 
discrimination for women and will
take their case first in certain instances).

As I look back I believe the above 3 cases also answer David
Glasner since part of my restricting Rashi to court cases is
based on the fact that women are encouraged to initiate 
various things.

(My niece concurs witl everything I just wrote)

Regards Russell (From rustic Boston)

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Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 22:04:40 -0400
From: rjhendel@juno.com
DaM vs DoM: Rabbi Elazar Teitz and I do NOT disagree!!!!

Forgive the length of this posting (due to citing everything
verbaturm) but  
--Rabbi (Elazar) Teitz and I disagree on nothing (yet)
--I would have preferred to discuss this with him
off line but I do not have his email address.
--I directly cite him on all 6 points I make below.
The topics are

1) Rabbi Teitz and I completely agree that
1a) It is a nuisance to the Tzibbur to reread if there is no 
need to and
1b) If halachah requires repetition that IS a good reason
to repeat (See FOOTNOTE 1 below from R Teitz)

Rabbi Teitz completely agree that
2a) IF a mistake is made that doesn't change meaning
then you DO NOT require the BAAL KORAY to go back
2b) But you do mention it to him (or yell at him).
SEE FOOTNOTE 2 below from R Teitz

2c) Consequently since Rabbi Teitz agrees with me
on this I assume (though I have no citation) that it
would be a violation of causing anguish if somebody
DELIBERATELY PUBLICLY made someone go back
on something without a meaning change (and hence
it would be an inadvertent violation of causing anguish
if someone did it inadvertently).

I can in fact testify that in PESACH of 97 I lained in
Elizabeth and read the word  ZANU
(in the Shabbath laining of Pesach) with the wrong
accent (my niece had gotten sick (104 fever)at the 
seder and I was very upset) and someone came up 
to me afterwards and told me about it (Although I was
embarassed, and I nodded to the person, no 'causing
anguish' law was violated).

3a) Rabbi Teitz and I completely agree that Rabbi Teitz made
his comments WITHOUT looking up the Radack (which in
fact was my main proof). He explicitly states this in FOOTNOTE
3a. I am explicitly stating that this was my main proof  and refer
Rabbi Teitz or anyone else to FOOTNOTE 3c in my original email
where I in fact make it appear that I was relying on both RDQ
and statistical evidence (That is, I made myself unclear)

3b) Rabbi Teitz and I completely agree that my language was
incorrect--the issue is not whether DM is a noun or adjective
but whether DM is in a construct state or not.  (In defense
of myself I was just borrowing Moshe's original language
though in defense of Moshe I believe he was referring to
whether NKI is noun or adjective). At any rate, Rabbi Teitz
I (and Moshe) are in complete agreement.
(See FOOTNOTE 3b in Rabbi Teitz' email)

3c) Having said all that (and again noting that Rabbi Teitz has
not yet read the RDQ) I again state that RDQ EXPLICILTY states
that DM is construct whether it has a KAMATZ or PATACH.

The Word sequence DM NKI can mean BLOOD OF AN 
RDQ is clear that no doubt in meaning can be created

Rabbi Teitz could retort 'But even so--DM NKI could
mean INNOCENT BLOOD--all you have done is
shown that I cannot prove this from the Kamatz'

Again---I have no problem with observing that my whole email
is based on the premise that DM NKI means BLOOD OF AN
INNOCENT.  Hence if you reject this the rest of my email
(with comments about annoyance to the congregation and
mental anguish) is irrelevant).

But I would strongly respond to Rabbi Teitz that he is
creating a doubt where there is NO BIBLICAL PRECEDEnT
for phrases like INNOCENT BLOOD (we never have 
adjectives modifying BLOOD in Hebrew only in English)
Furthermore the phrase BLOOD OF AN INNOCENT (with
a patach) definitely occurs in TnACH and there is no
reason to suppose that there is an additional phrase
INNOCENT BLOOD (MURDER is always associated with
the spilling of blood;hence we can have the phrase BLOOD
would mean in Biblical Hebrew (the phrase is an English one)

Rabbi Teitz & I disagree on "the 100% consistency" but this
is a simple matter of checking sources (which i will do when
i return from Boston). To the best of my memory there is
NO 100% consistency. DM (Kamatz) occurs in construct
states with words other than BLOOD.  See FOOTNOTE
4 below

Rabbi Teitz and I don't disagree that much on arguments 
from silence. In fact I explicitly state that such arguments

Rabbi Teitz and I do not disagree that he is a POSAYK and 
I am just stating things for the sake of learning. However

Rabbi Bechoffer (who is also a Shule Rav) DOES disagree
with Rabbi Teitz about going back for a change of meaning
where there is no change of letters (He cites a yerushalmi)

I was a bit surprised at Rabbi Teitz giving a definitive 
conclusion (PSAK?) while at the same time admitting that
he had not read the RDK, a major rishon in these matters.

To summarize the above:
--Rabbi Teitz and I do not agree about major premises
--Rabbi Teitz openly admits to forming a conclusion 
without reading the RDK
--Rabbi Teitz PERHAPS cites some incorrect statistical
evidence (I will definitely check this 1st thing when i get
back tomorrow).
--Despite all the above Rabbi Teitz's conclusion that
AN INNOCENT may be correct (but does NOT contradict
anything I said in my posting).

I hesitate to add that there is not a shred of evidence
that Biblical Hebrew recognizes such idioms nor
is there reason to deviate from the known Biblical

I again apologize for the length. I would appreciate
it in the future if people who forward emails of
recognized POSAYKS at least forward their
email addresses so that these things could
be checked off line.

Russell Hendel; Phd ASA
ModeratoR Rashi Is Simple
A non posayk
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
To: "Avodah (E-mail)" <avodah@aishdas.org>
Cc: "'<rjhendel@juno.com>'" <rjhendel@juno.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 11:51:56 -0400
Subject: RE: DaM vs. DoM

The following comes from Rav Elazar M. Teitz, the rav of Elizabeth, NJ:

I must take issue with virtually every point raised by Dr. Hendel in his
remarks about the need to repeat when DaM and DoM are interchanged.

First, his "two other issues": true, as far as tircha d'tzibura is
concerned, "it is a nuisance to have to hear verses over and over for no
good reason," but
that is exactly the point: is it indeed "for no good reason"? If Halachah
requires repetition, that is certainly good enough reason.

Secondly, "causing anguish."  This is totally a non-issue.  After all, a
mistake *was* made, even if repetition is not required.  The Mishnah
B'rurah in 142, citing the Pri Chodosh in Be'ur Halachah, explicitly
states that even for mistakes not requiring repetition, "Ain machazirin
otho, rak go'arin bo."

As for the proofs: Unfortunately, I do not have the Michlol to consult. 

(I would mention parenthetically that the noun-adjective distinction was
made--as Dr. Hendel seems to assume--with regard to the word "DM."  It is
definitely a noun, whatever its nikud.  The distinction is in the word
NKI: is DM NKI "blood of an innocent" (noun) or "innocent blood"
(adjective).  The question about DM is whether or not it is possessive.

Statistically:  other than the combination DM NKI, there is 100%
consistency.  DaM is exclusively possessive, DoM is exclusively not. 
When HaNoki appears, DM must be possessive (since otherwise grammar
requires that the wording be HaDM); and 
indeed, in each case the reading is DaM.  Thus, since the only case about
which there can possibly be a question is that of DM NKI, it should seem
obvious that "Yilamed sothum min ham'forosh," that the same distinction
applies in those cases as well.

These statistics would also answer the "argument based on silence."  I
doubt that there is a reference anywhere distinguishing the word AYiN
(eye) and AYN (eye of), since there is no question as to the distinction.
 One may equally well presume that lack of any doubt explains the silence
on the DaM/DoM distinction.  (What *can* be questioned, but is irrelevant
to the question of difference in meaning, is the apparent lack of a
Mesorah notation of those with kamatz and those with patach.)

Since the requirement to repeat where there is a difference in meaning
seems to be undisputed, and at the very least there is reason to believe
that DaM and
DoM change meaning, from "blood" to "blood of," I would unhesitatingly
insist that a
substitution of one for the other require the re-reading of the phrase
the correct



Original message:


Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 09:17:53 -0400
From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@juno.com>
Subject: Apologies on DM/DM: A definitive solution by RDQ

My apologies for the hasty way I wrote my DaM DoM posting
last week.

If I had followed my usual practices I could have come up with
a definitive solution printed below. BOTTOM LINE: Even 
according to Moshe's criteria (that you make a Baal Koray
go back for changes in meaning), you should NOT make a 
Baal Koray go back for DaM / DoM since there is no change
of meaning. I give 3 proofs below: a) RDQ, b) Statistical
c) Mesorah-Silence

Furthermore I would argue that you should stop Baalay Kriah
and gabaaim from making them go back since there are at least
2 other issues here

- ---bothering the community--it is a nuisance to have to hear verses
over and over for no good reason 

- ---causing anguish--it is an explicit Rambam (sales 10:15) that it is
a Biblical violation of the anguish prohibitions to make a person 
appear that he doesn't know something (So if DaM DoM has no
change of meaning we should not make him go back)

Now for the proofs. I believe I have 3

1) The RDQ in MICHLOL under discussion of NOUNS, form 
X(Kamatz)Y explicitly states that
- --even words like TzR , RA (and DM) belong to this class
- --these words have not one but TWO construct states
(one with PATACH and one with KAMATZ).
- --there is no difference in meaning (certainly not a NOUN
ADJECTIVE difference (innocent blood/blood of innocent)

The examples RDQ gives there are well worth researching.
The include AV OV (Ayin Beth), TzaR, TzOR, RA, RO
etc. You cannot possibly make these into noun-adjective

The RDQ points out that even RA which frequently appears
with a PATACH or TzR is really a KAMATZ noun.

The RDQ also points out that sometimes the mesorah gives
a list of exceptions one way or the other

Finally--of all the examples that RDQ gives, RDQ explicitly 
singles out DM as possibly being a PATACH noun to begin 

Thus it is clear that this has no radical change of meaning (like
noun adjective). Although the RDQ does not give this analogy
I would suggest that it is like the difference between CHIRIK
and TZARAY in HaaLiThA (in Ki Tisah)--two forms of the
same grammatical function (It happens).

2) Statistically DM occurs about 3-400 times in Tenach. Here are
the stats

- ---about 100 (25%-33%) the context is clearly COnSTRUCT and
the word is clearly PATACH
- ---about 65-75% the word is a stand alone and clearly Kamatz
- ---DM+NKI seems to cause problems but occurs only 18 times
This includes 
- --DoM+ NKI
- --DaM +NKI
- --+HaNaKi
- --hyphenated/not hyphenated.

There is no text that has a clear demarcation based on meaning.
The Leningrad codex's punctuation seems to have entered the
KORAIN Tenach. The Mendelkorn 8th edition has some of
the variations Moshe mentioned.

3) If there had been a difference in meaning then either
- --some Midrash would mention it (a la Minchath Shai)
- --some mesorah would mention it
- ---someone (Rashi, Minchat Shai ) would mention it

I checked mesorahs in Leningrad and Aleppo. The mesorah gedolah
- --the 3 DM+Hnaki
- ---the 3 hyphenated DM
It doesn't seem to care at all about the Kamatz-patach issue. In
fact there is one mesorah about "2 examples with a Kamatz" but
that mesorah is referring to the word ShaFacH not to DoM.

This is an argument based on silence (and is admissable as 
supportive evidence). The whole function of the mesorah
and a major function of midrashim is to preserve the mesorah
If the mesorah said nothing it couldn't have been that important.

In summary based on the RDQ and the statistical evidence I would
conclude that although differences exist the word DM is **always*
construct and has its adjectival meaning (Blood of..) The clearest
proof of this is not from the usage of DM in Tnach but from the
usage of other 2 letter words (like AV=Cloud, TzaR, RA etc).
The clearest analogy to stop people from correcting baalay kriah
would be RA, ROH (I assume even Moshe would not correct
someone on this).

My apologies again for not checking RDQ, the Konkordance and
the mEsorah first. (BUT...I get this posting in just in time for
another DM in this weeks parshah).

Russell Hendel;  Phd ASA; 
Moderator Rashi is Simple

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Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 23:23:02 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Women speaking before men

In a message dated 8/31/99 6:52:32 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
rjhendel@juno.com writes:

> Miriam tried to bring piece between Moses and Tzippy

Her name was Tziporah!!!


Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 23:25:28 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Women speaking before men

In a message dated 8/31/99 6:52:32 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
rjhendel@juno.com writes:

> Using my favorite CD ROM (my head) 

Did you consider posting about your Gadlus.


Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Wed, 1 Sep 1999 07:33:20 +0300
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Lashon Hara About the Dead

Let's try this one again....

Moshe Feldman wrote (in #184):

> > I also have a svarah to distinguish motzi shem ra from lashon 
> > regarding the dead.  It's not right to falsify information about a
> > person whether he's dead or alive.  But the sin of lashon hara
> > (speaking the truth) is really one of causing the person pain; 
> > people don't feel pain (see Brachot 19a).
To which I responded:

> >> Ah, but we don't pasken like that Gemara. We pasken like the 
> >> Gemara at the bottom of Brachos 18a that says that we don't wear 
> >>tztzis or tfillin in a Beis HaKvoros because of loeg larash. If the
> >> meisim don't understand anyway, why would we pasken that way?
> >> (See Yoreh Deah 361:3). Obviously the meisim do feel something. 
> >> (And yes, that's what the Zera Chaim I cited yesterday brought as
> >> proof).
> > > > > >>
> [Moshe:]
> > > The flow of the gemara Brachot 18-19 does not accord with your
> > > assertion.  
> > [Carl:]
> > The flow of the Gemara may not accord with my assertion, but the 
> > Shulchan Aruch certainly does. See YD 367:2-3 (or 3-4 depending 
> > on what counts as the first s'if). In any event, if you look at the
> Ein 
> > Mishpat, the part of the Gemara which is actually cited l'halacha
> is 
> > further up on 18a, whereas the part that you are citing starts 
> > towards the bottom. 
> I am mystified as to your reasoning.

Actually, it is really quite simple. You are arguing the semantics of 
the Gemara and whether or not the statement that one who talks 
about the dead is as if he is talking about a stone can be 
reconciled with the Gemara's earlier statement (which is 
gepaskened l'halacha) that one cannot wear tzitzis and t'fillin in the 
Beis HaKvoros because of loeg larash. And I am arguing that 
because we do pasken loeg larash is assur, that it is assur to 
speak lashon hara about meisim.

So we are actually talking about two different things. 

> > Third, the Mordechai refers to "motzi laaz." It's not clear to me
> > that 
> > means the same thing as "motzi shem ra."
> > 
> There are 2 Mordechais.  The Mordechai dealing with the cherem says
> motzi shem ra.
> In any case, motzi laaz implies falsehood, not truth.

Look at the Rabbeinu Yona in the sugya in Brachos top of 11b in 
the Rif, s"v Kol HaMesaper. He specifically states that it's assur to 
repeat the gnus and the aveiros of a talmid chacham, and he does 
not make the distinction between truth and falsehood that you 
make. While that may not mean that we cannot speak (truthfully) 
b'gnus of ANY meis (because the Rabbeinu Yona attributes it to 
the fact that we have a chazaka that a talmid chacham who sins 
does tshuva immediately), it nevertheless would forbid airing out a 
talmid chacham's dirty laundry after he dies - for example, by 
publishing his private letters or a book about him in a derogatory 

And I think you and I have already agreed that it is forbidden to 
speak *falsely* b'gnus about any fruhm meis, based on the 
Mordechai in Bava Kama forbidding motzi shem ra (Number 106 

BTW the Mordechai in Bava Kama Number 82 speaks of asking  
forgiveness from meisim for "cheruf." (He also alludes to this at the 
beginning of 106). AFAIK cheruf is a curse, without regard to its 
truth or falsity.

This may not be my last word on this subject - I am still looking for 
proofs that one cannot talk lashon hara on the dead in general, 
even if what one is saying is true. So far, the only thing I have to go 
on is the Tanchuma in v'Eschanan that I cited in an earlier post, but 
I am looking for something more specific.

-- Carl

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much.

Ksiva vaChasima Tova (or Ktiva vaChatima Tova, depending
on your preference). May you be inscribed and sealed in 
the books of life, health and happiness.

Carl and Adina Sherer

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