Avodah Mailing List
Volume 04 : Number 274
Monday, January 10 2000
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 01:10:51 +0200
From: "Mrs. Gila Atwood" <email@example.com>
Subject: Conservative/Reform/Orthodox/Whatever - Who cares?
> Let's focus on the real issues, people. Kiruv is important, but let's not
> be yotzay s'charo b'hefsedo.
re the minyan- fine, but here's another shaila that was on Torah Forum a
Can you give food to someone knowing he won't say a bracha?
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zatzal ruled that if he would be otherwise be
alienated, the food should be offered since alienating the person is worse
than being an accessory to a person who won't say a bracha.
On the whole- enjoyed the post. The ikkar is Ratzon Hashem- the rest is
labels. However, we still have need of those labels to some extent-
orthodox vs reform conversion for example. Mrs GA
Go to top.
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 19:21:16 -0600
From: Micha Berger <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Intrinsic value, kashrus vs arlah
On Tue, Jan 11, 2000 at 02:19:59AM +0200, Mrs. Gila Atwood wrote:
: GA- One possibility I could offer for what it's worth is that da'as
: concerning tahor and non tahor animals was already revealed to Avraham
: Avinu, but Bris was not yet revealed.
Going back to the top:
The assertion is that the Avos kept kol haTorah kulah. According to R' Chaim
Vilozhiner, this is because they could feel the chisronos in their nefashos,
and were able to deduce the proper actions without a tzivui.
The famous question on this is what about Avraham Avinu and b'ris milah? Why
did he wait for the tzivui?
The Brisker Rav's answer is that until their was a tzivui, there was no din
arlah, there was therefore no arlah to remove.
I asked on this, what then about treif animals? Until there was a tzivui,
why was there a chalos sheim of "beheimah asher einenu tehorah"? How is it
that kosher vs. treif animals have their status without a tzivui, but arlah
It's not a question of what was revealed, it's a question of what kind
of lack could the avos feel, and what kind not. The BR would lead one to
conclude that a lack of milah wasn't a lack until arlah got *declared* arlah.
Whereas a treif animal was tamei without a tzivui.
: Another question comes to mind- even if we accept that Avraham Avinu was
: makpid with regard to tahor animals- did he also understand basar vchalav -
: and what about trumos and ma'aseros?
Certainly this is included in the notion of "kol haTorah kulah". In fact,
many note the order in Bereishis 18:8: Vayikach chem'ah vichalav, uven habakar
asher asah... Avraham Avinu served the mal'achim the milchik dishes first.
This would imply that on the level of what the mitzvah is supposed to address,
milah requires the tzivui in order for arlah to be arlah, but kashrus does
NOT require a tzivui for beheimos temei'os or basar bichalav to be assur.
There's an assymetry here that begs explanation.
As I said, it does make it look like milah is less inherent than other mitzvos.
: GA- ... if we don't require it, what exactly are we getting from it?
: We're clearly still gaining something. Love of the mitzva itself, doing
: ratzon Hashem? We're not metzuveh.
Mitzvos have two roles: they impose a value -- mitoch shelo lishmah ba lishmah;
and they allow the expression of a value already held. Perhaps we could say
that by not making women mechuyavos we are saying that the mitzvah need not
be done if there is no desire to. IOW, a woman doesn't require this mitzvah
in order to be instilled with some particular nekudah. However, by saying
there's zechus in its voluntary fulfillment we are saying that if she wants
to express this value, the mitzvah is a proper way to do so.
Micha Berger (973) 916-0287 MMG"H for 10-Jan-00: Levi, Bo
http://www.aishdas.org Pisachim 97a
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.
Go to top.
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 21:24:21 -0500 (EST)
From: Russell Hendel <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: Rav Soloveitchick is Modern
Aviva asks why Rabbi Soloveitchick is called the father
of modern orthodoxy
I learned with the Rav for 7 years and my approach to Rashi
came from him
The Rav had
-----a strong Talmudic background
-----a strong secular background
-----a strong background in philosophy(Phd)
Hence among all Gedolim (Rav Moshe, Hutner, etc) the
Rav was the ONLY one who could make definitive comments
on BOTH philosophy and halachah.
Consequently if he is called the father of modern orthodoxy
he is so called because of his capacity to bridge two worlds,
something that no other Gadol could do
I hope this adds some insights
Russell Hendel; Phd ASA; Math; Towson Univ
Moderator Rashi Is Simple; http://www.shamash.org/rashi/
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Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 20:01:45 -0600
From: Steve Katz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Two mothers are bouncing their babies on their laps. One say, "what a
cute baby, what's his name.
"Shlomo," answers the other.
"That's an unusual name," says the first.
"He's named after is
Go to top.
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 22:04:58 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <email@example.com>
Subject: Kavana beTfilah
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 06:55:25 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Kavana BeTfilah and Shelo Asani Isha
<<For years my mind would automaticly wander as I began to say the Amidah
by rote. Trying to have Kavanah on the same words 3 times a day is very
difficult, at least it is for me. I once heard R. Zucker, Rosh Kollel of
the CKK, say that one Bal HaBos told him that he "travels around the
world 3 times a day"... when he davens Shmone Esreh. I wonder if anyone
else on this list has the same difficulty as me. Or... is it just ME!>>
Is there anyone who doesn't? The Gemara (sorry no cite) says in the
name of an Amora that he thanks his head for bowing down on its own when
he gets to Modim.
Rabbi Reisman told a story once of a Jew who owed money to the poritz
and couldn't repay it on the due date. However, it appeared that the
poritz had forgotten. The Jew came to his Rebbe to ask if he should
remind him and have him dun him, or not remind him and take his chances
on his ire if he remembered later. The answer given was not to remind
him. The rationale: the poritz doesn't daven; how could he his
business affairs suddenly occur to him as it does to Jews when they
Go to top.
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 22:12:34 EST
From: Kenneth G Miller <email@example.com>
Subject: Missing Masechtos - was: value of Shas
R' Wolpoe wrote: <<< The point I was attempting to make was that IF the
Bavli were designed to be the BE all and END all of TSBP, they
woulda/shoulda/coulda included all 63 masechtos. TB did not. Which
implies to me that the Gemoro did not consider itself as nigmar (lo
loech hamlocho ligmor) and therefore it was never designed as a
stand-alone sefer (unlike the Rambam's Yad!) >>>
It is true that there are many masechtos missing from the Bavli, i.e.,
there are masechtos which exist in the Mishna but not in the Gemara. R'
Wolpoe seems to be saying that they were deliberately omitted. I had
always thought that they were simply missing, i.e., that Ravina and Rav
Ashi never got around to compiling them, and/or they got lost over the
I had expected to see someone question R' Wolpoe on this point, but I
have not seen such a point made by those who know history better than I,
and I'm wondering if I've been wrong all along. So now I'm asking --
What's the deal with the missing masechtos?
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Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 22:23:45 EST
Subject: Re: Conservatives
In a message dated 1/10/00 12:25:42 PM US Central Standard Time,
<< One final point. I know many fine, God-fearing, halakhic Jews who
emerged from the Conservative movement and are now leading members of
their Torah communities. We obviously cannot know for certain what
would have happened if they had grown up in a completely assimilated
environment. But I personally think it it would have been far less
likely that they would have ended up where they are now.
R'Clark's post on Conservatism is thoughtful, well-written (as usual), and
pretty much dead-on accurate. One statement, however, troubles me a little:
<<Where is the Conservative movement headed? Unfortunately, my answer is a
sad one. Since the mid-1950's, the Conservative elite have moved
progressively left, embracing egalitarianism, questioning the halakhic
perspective on homosexual relations, softening halakhic restrictions, etc.
And, on the communal level, those rabbis who oppose this trend are in a
These trends cannot be usefully grouped together as a single phenomenon. Some
of those Conservatives embracing egalitarianism have also been in the
forefront of the movement -- a strong movement, by the way -- to make
stricter day-to-day halachic observance more commonplace. There may be those
in favor of softening halachic restrictions, but typically only those
restrictions are related to such politically-hot topics as women, gays, etc.
These same people have successfully spread the word on kashruth, Shabbos
observance, regular attendance at minyanim, etc. If you go to a Conservative
Shabbos service, you'll see more young families than transplanted
old-neighborhood types who grew up in the Orthodox world.
You're not going to get young, college- or graduate-school educated suburban
Conservatives to denounce gays, or to shun the idea that women should have
complete egalitarian rights. That battle is over, among the laity as much as
the rabbinate. If that keeps them away from Orthodoxy, I guess they'd say,
"So be it." At the same time, many of these same people are facscinated by
traditional Judaism and want to make it the centerpiece of their lives.
Spiritually, they have more in common with their grandparents, or
great-grandparents, than they do with their more recent forebears who spent
the post-World War II period trying to escape emotionally from old-time
ghetto Judaism. It was this attempted escape that produced some of the more
bizarre aspects of doctrinal Conservatism in the 1950s and 1960s.
I know more than a few young Conservative Jews who wear kippot and tzitzit to
work. One wears these items while arguing jury cases in court. Another (not
me) wears them in the locker room while changing into his hockey gear. At the
same time, the majority of those who pay dues to Conservative shuls show up
once or twice a year, and display little interest in anything religious
beyond Federation charities.
Maybe all of this is beyond categorization.
Go to top.
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 22:32:05 EST
Subject: Re: Kavana beTfilah
In a message dated 1/10/00 10:22:47 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> The Gemara (sorry no cite) says in the
> name of an Amora that he thanks his head for bowing down on its own when
> he gets to Modim.
The Mokor is the Yerushalmi Brochos 2:4, brought in Tos. D"H Iyun Tephila B"B
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Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 23:19:21 -0500
From: "Zuckerman, Jeffrey I." <JZuckerman@CM-P.COM>
Subject: MO and the Rav
In the late 70's and very early 80's, when Rabbi Riskin was living
in New York, I heard him speak several times concerning the differences
between "Modern Orthodoxy" and "Right-Wing Orthodoxy." I understood him
then as identifying three areas of difference:
1. MO sees intrinsic value in what are generally called "secular
studies" (which Rabbi Riskin considered a misnomer); RW does not.
2. MO sees religious significance in the establishment of the State
of Israel -- reishit tzmichat geulateinu; RW does not.
3. MO does not accept that gedolim (or lesser talmidei chachamim)
have binding authority with respect to non-halachic questions -- what is
called "daas Torah"; RW does.
To Rabbi Riskin, there was no difference between MO and RW with respect to
accepting mesorah or observing halacha.
I also recall back then either hearing Rabbi Lamm cite the same
three differences between MO and RW, or hearing someone else quote Rabbi
Lamm to this effect.
Unfortunately, I was never a talmid of the Rav. However, based upon
my understanding of the Rav's life and teachings, he would seem to be the
paradigm of MO as defined by Rabbi Riskin. Not surprisingly, Rabbi Riskin
cited the Rav in support of his three definitional characteristics of MO.
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Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 23:23:47 -0500
From: j e rosenbaum <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Kavanah and Shelo Asani Isha
On Mon, Jan 10, 2000 at 05:42:48PM -0600, Micha Berger wrote:
> About women being mechuyavos bitifillah... My understanding is that they are
> not mechuyavos in any particular matbei'ah. Therefore, saying "Modah ani"
> (no, I didn't mean "ModEH") daily might be sufficient.
by those holding that only a minimum is required, i don't think modah ani
can be sufficient since it has no shem and malchut. iirc rambam requires
several parts, using shmoneh esrei as guide: praise, some type of request
(don't remember if there was preference for community/self), etc.
i recall that by this definition going just up until the akeida would
certainly suffice; up until the torah brachot probably do, and perhaps
even just the torah brachot. i have maybe seen one opinion that any
brocha will do.
still, i've yet to see a source saying that a woman should do only
this --- i've learned that the order of preference is roughly (though
they vary a lot): amida, shma (the one line, or line + paragraph), psukei
d'zimra, all of shma, all between shma and amida, (after which there is
much variation.) iirc magen avraham refers to the habit of many women
not to daven and says he doesn't know what source they get this from.
Go to top.
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 00:48:56 +0000
From: sadya n targum <email@example.com>
Subject: standing for choson
Carl Sherer writes, "When I went to a wedding in the States six weeks
ago, I almost forgot to stand for the Chosson and Kallah because I had
not seen it done in so long."
It is my recollection that the minhag of standing for choson and kallah
(a) is only about 20 years old, and (b) is apparently unique to
America--I haven't seen it practiced in Israel at the few weddings I've
attended there. I have been searching for a valid reason for it.
One answer given is because choson domeh l'melech. However, he is not a
chasan in the Talmudic sense until after the nisuin, and certainly not
before even the erusin has taken place. I have heard it said -- I
believe it was in the name of Harav Hershel Schachter -- that it was
justified on the grounds of honoring one going to perform a mitzvah, just
as those bringing bikurim were honored by the anshei Yerushalayim, This
would explain standing for the choson, but not for the kallah. (Of
course, she is the cheftza with which he fulfills the mitzvah of
marrying, but isn't it politically incorrect to refer to a woman as an
object, especially in this context?) Can anyone supply a source?
Sadya N. Targum
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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 00:33:20 EST
Subject: Prenant women and cemetaries
Anyone know where the idea of a pregnant woman not going into a cemetery for
a funeral comes from? Is there any legitimacy to it?
Any information would be most helpful.
Go to top.
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 23:50:46 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Another Interesting Phenomenon
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
A new era in religious Zionism
By Yair Sheleg
With the approach of the High Holy Days last fall, students at Bar-Ilan
University were invited to attend prayer services in a congregation =
as having a Habakkuk format. This format combines the influences of four
religious groups - Habad (or Lubavitcher Hasidism), Bratzlav, Kook =
Kook) and Carlebach (Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, creator of the phenomenon =
modern Hasidic nigun or tune). Hence the name: Habakkuk.
But Habakkuk is far more than a manner of praying. It is also the code =
for four schools of Jewish thought that are having an increasing impact =
religious Zionism, especially among the members of the younger =
Habakkuk represents a new direction, if you will, a new era in religious
Zionism. Essentially, this new orientation sees the search for a =
experience, not just the observance of halachic precepts, as the core of
modern Jewish life.
Moreover, whereas in the past the religious experience of modern =
Zionists used to express itself primarily in the realization of =
Zionist goals - military service in the Israel Defense Forces and the
creation and protection of new settlements - the members of today's
generation of religious Zionist communities are placing the emphasis on =
search for spiritual experience within their own religious world. =
this is a far more individualized experience than the previous =
This new phenomenon can be observed in today's congregations, many of =
over the past few years, have begun to stress the importance of the =
can also be seen in quite a number of weddings where the traditional =
dance is replaced by a range of dances that are more spontaneous and
In fact, the Habakkuk approach has even penetrated the conservative =
the yeshiva. At many yeshivot, especially the more recently established =
there is a strong emphasis on Hasidic studies. The increase in the =
young religious Israeli Jews traveling to India is an additional =
of the Habakkuk phenomenon, and is especially interesting in view of the =
that Jewish thought has traditionally regarded Hinduism as idolatry.
The source of the Habakkuk phenomenon is the feeling among many young =
religious Jews that established patterns of religious observance are =
them. They sense that their parents are expecting them to "meet the
standards" of collectivism in their observance of halacha and in the
realization of the goals of religious Zionism. At the same time, they do =
feel that their parents are paying enough attention to their inner, =
world and are not placing sufficient emphasis on the spiritual =
The feeling of being stifled has increased in the wake of the secular =
stepped-up emphasis on personal authenticity. Religious Zionism has =
chosen to adopt some of the values of secular Israeli society when these
values have suited the particular needs of religious Zionism, as, for
example, in such areas as the realization of Zionist ideals and the =
women and, more recently, in such areas as "authenticity" and "spiritual
experience." The adoption of the latter two values is also expressing an
aspect of secularization which has become a prominent element over the =
few years in modern religious Zionist circles, because of the sense =
members of the younger generation that they are being stifled by =
Jewish observance. Some modern religious Zionists have stopped wearing a
kippa, while some are demanding that religious Zionism display greater
relevance for the present-day world.
For this reason, many religious Zionist educators are welcoming the new
Habakkuk phenomenon. There are also those who fear it, however. =
they are afraid that a phenomenon that consists primarily of a search =
spiritual experiences and authenticity could end up introducing anarchy =
modern religious Jewish life in Israel, with each individual seeking out =
personal and authentic spiritual experience.
In practice, there are already some phenomena that seem to be justifying =
educators' fears. For example, Ohad Ezrahi, a born-again Jew, is =
that modern religious Zionists adopt the concept of the yeshivaram - an
amalgam of the traditional yeshiva and the Hindu ashram. Ezrahi wants to =
even further and, in an interview to Jerusalem newspaper Kol Ha'ir, has =
spoken of easing restrictions on sexual behavior in Judaism, =
among single men and women. This message is so reminiscent of the spirit =
the false Jewish messianic movement of Shabtaism that the very =
rabbis at the Siach Yeshiva, where Ezrahi was employed as a teacher, =
to fire him after the interview appeared.
Religious Zionist rabbis are not just afraid of a single individual - =
they fear that a religious phenomenon that defines itself along =
not halachic criteria could lead to the weakening of halacha. Not only =
they worried about a possible watering down of the individual's =
religious observance, but they are also concerned about a more subtle =
danger because halachic restrictions also constitute the only common
denominator that transforms individual Jews, regardless of their =
social and political attitudes, into a unified "religious community."
The public debate on the new Habakkuk phenomenon has begun and is =
intensify and soon destabilize the already shaky world of religious =
copyright 2000 Ha'aretz. All Rights Reserved
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<META content=3D"text/html; charset=3Dwindows-1252" =
<META content=3D"MSHTML 5.00.2614.3500" name=3DGENERATOR>
<BODY><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>
<P>A new era in religious Zionism<BR><BR>By Yair Sheleg<BR>With the =
the High Holy Days last fall, students at Bar-Ilan<BR>University were =
attend prayer services in a congregation defined<BR>as having a Habakkuk =
This format combines the influences of four<BR>religious groups - Habad =
Lubavitcher Hasidism), Bratzlav, Kook (Rabbi<BR>Kook) and Carlebach =
Shlomo Carlebach, creator of the phenomenon of the<BR>modern Hasidic =
tune). Hence the name: Habakkuk.<BR><BR>But Habakkuk is far more than a =
of praying. It is also the code name<BR>for four schools of Jewish =
are having an increasing impact on<BR>religious Zionism, especially =
members of the younger generation.<BR>Habakkuk represents a new =
you will, a new era in religious<BR>Zionism. Essentially, this new =
sees the search for a spiritual<BR>experience, not just the observance =
halachic precepts, as the core of<BR>modern Jewish =
whereas in the past the religious experience of modern =
to express itself primarily in the realization of collective<BR>Zionist =
military service in the Israel Defense Forces and the<BR>creation and =
of new settlements - the members of today's<BR>generation of religious =
communities are placing the emphasis on the<BR>search for spiritual =
within their own religious world. Obviously,<BR>this is a far more=20
individualized experience than the previous=20
collective<BR>orientation.<BR><BR>This new phenomenon can be observed in =
congregations, many of which,<BR>over the past few years, have begun to =
the importance of the nigun. It<BR>can also be seen in quite a number of =
weddings where the traditional hora<BR>dance is replaced by a range of =
that are more spontaneous and<BR>individualized.<BR><BR>In fact, the =
approach has even penetrated the conservative world of<BR>the yeshiva. =
yeshivot, especially the more recently established ones,</P>
<P>there is a strong emphasis on Hasidic studies. The increase in the =
of<BR>young religious Israeli Jews traveling to India is an additional=20
expression<BR>of the Habakkuk phenomenon, and is especially interesting =
of the fact<BR>that Jewish thought has traditionally regarded Hinduism =
idolatry.<BR><BR>The source of the Habakkuk phenomenon is the feeling =
young Israeli<BR>religious Jews that established patterns of religious=20
observance are stifling<BR>them. They sense that their parents are =
them to "meet the<BR>standards" of collectivism in their observance of =
and in the<BR>realization of the goals of religious Zionism. At the same =
they do not<BR>feel that their parents are paying enough attention to =
inner, personal<BR>world and are not placing sufficient emphasis on the=20
spiritual dimensions of<BR>religious life.<BR><BR>The feeling of being =
has increased in the wake of the secular world's<BR>stepped-up emphasis =
personal authenticity. Religious Zionism has always<BR>chosen to adopt =
the values of secular Israeli society when these<BR>values have suited =
particular needs of religious Zionism, as, for<BR>example, in such areas =
realization of Zionist ideals and the status of<BR>women and, more =
such areas as "authenticity" and "spiritual<BR>experience." The adoption =
latter two values is also expressing an<BR>aspect of secularization =
become a prominent element over the past<BR>few years in modern =
Zionist circles, because of the sense among the<BR>members of the =
generation that they are being stifled by traditional<BR>Jewish =
modern religious Zionists have stopped wearing a<BR>kippa, while some =
demanding that religious Zionism display greater<BR>relevance for the=20
present-day world.<BR><BR>For this reason, many religious Zionist =
welcoming the new<BR>Habakkuk phenomenon. There are also those who fear =
however. Essentially,<BR>they are afraid that a phenomenon that consists =
primarily of a search for<BR>spiritual experiences and authenticity =
could end up=20
introducing anarchy into<BR>modern religious Jewish life in Israel, with =
individual seeking out a<BR>personal and authentic spiritual=20
experience.<BR><BR>In practice, there are already some phenomena that =
seem to be=20
justifying the<BR>educators' fears. For example, Ohad Ezrahi, a =
is proposing<BR>that modern religious Zionists adopt the concept of the=20
yeshivaram - an<BR>amalgam of the traditional yeshiva and the Hindu =
Ezrahi wants to go<BR>even further and, in an interview to Jerusalem =
Kol Ha'ir, has even<BR>spoken of easing restrictions on sexual behavior =
Judaism, particularly<BR>among single men and women. This message is so=20
reminiscent of the spirit of<BR>the false Jewish messianic movement of =
that the very open-minded<BR>rabbis at the Siach Yeshiva, where Ezrahi =
employed as a teacher, decided<BR>to fire him after the interview=20
appeared.<BR><BR>Religious Zionist rabbis are not just afraid of a =
individual - rather,<BR>they fear that a religious phenomenon that =
itself along spiritual and<BR>not halachic criteria could lead to the =
of halacha. Not only are<BR>they worried about a possible watering down =
individual's commitment to<BR>religious observance, but they are also =
about a more subtle social<BR>danger because halachic restrictions also=20
constitute the only common<BR>denominator that transforms individual =
regardless of their particular<BR>social and political attitudes, into a =
"religious community."<BR><BR>The public debate on the new Habakkuk =
has begun and is expected to<BR>intensify and soon destabilize the =
world of religious Zionism.<BR><BR><BR>copyright 2000 Ha'aretz. All =
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