Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 466

Monday, March 27 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000 23:48:22 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Another slice of life (off topic)

> Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 00:09:30 +0200
> From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
> Subject: (Fwd) Another slice of life (off topic)	
<<This one was posted on tachlis yesterday morning....

Purim Bus Ride>>

	Thank you.


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Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000 23:47:13 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Kom Rabba v'Shochtei l'Reb Zeira

> Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 18:05:34 -0500 (EST)
> From: Claude Schochet <claude@math.wayne.edu>
> Subject: Kom Rabba v'Shochtei l'Reb Zeira

<<The story and the Rebbe's interpretation make a beautiful dvar Torah
for the Purim Seudah that will hold the attention of all, young and old

	It's a little late for that,  but could we please have the story?


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Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000 23:44:54 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Diyyuk Redux

> Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 00:45:39 -0500
> From: sambo@charm.net
> Subject: Re: Diyyuk Redux

<<If R' Weinberg zt"l allowed it (actually he encouraged a seperate
minyan, but for some reason there isn't one for Minhah on weekdays),
maybe you could be tolerant?>>

	I'm afraid you missed my point.   The issue is not my tolerance or lack
thereof.  The issue is how this practice fits in with the halachic
principle  (which Rav Weinberg himself was invoking in encouraging a
separate minyan) that obviously different minhagim should not be
practiced in the same place because of lo sisgodedu.

	My question was whether this person was correct in attending the
Ashkenazi minyan (there are many Sefaradi minyanim in Flatbush;  this was
about 5 PM which is when they would all have been davening) or,  if for
some reason he did need to be there,  whether he should have been a 
little more discreet and davened in the ezras noshim or such in order to
minimize the lo sisgodedu.

	My tolerance is irrelevant to the issue (some of my best friends are
Sefaradim <g>.


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Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 09:47:19 +0200 (IST)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>

> But we know from R' Hayyim Vital that the Ari was an Ashkenazi. We're
> told so repeatedly.
> The Ari, from what I understsnd, used straight nusah sefaradi.

The usual halachah is that minhag hamakom overrides minhag avot.
Thus, if an Ashkenazi moves to an Edot Mizrach community he should
daven edot mizrach. Since the Ari grew up in Egypt he would daven
Nusach Sefard even though his family was originally Ashkenaz.

(Many say these halachot don't apply today because of the movements
of all communities - that is different topic).

Eli Turkel

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Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 09:56:28 +0200 (IST)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>
Tan Du

In Daf Yomi the gemara asks whether giving a get is positive or negative
(chav) when the couple is fighting. The gemara answers that it is better
to live as two rather than as a widow.
This is sometimes used as a justification to avoid forcing a get when the
husband beats the wife.

However, I saw of a Ritva that asks the obvious question of why not just ask
the wife what she prefers rather than guessing. The Ritva answers that indeed
this would work but only for the future and not for the past. Based on this
answer it would be difficult to use Tan Du as a defense when the wife insists
that she prefers a divorce rather than living with a man who beats her.

Eli Turkel

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Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 12:55:34 +0200
From: "Akiva Atwood" <atwood@netvision.net.il>
RE: Golus Mentality

> On Thu, Mar 23, 2000 at 10:53:17AM +0200, Akiva Atwood wrote:
> : I would define Golus Mentality as a non-Jewish Weltanshaung
> (World-view).
> As pointed out by others, it is a valid notion, but not what
> the term means
> to other people. Humpty Dumpty may have been happy taking
> mastery over his words, but he still left Alice confused.

I'd agree with you, if what people refer to as GM was the pathology. I think
of that type of GM as a symptom -- my post was suggesting a cause.

> I think the US is finally catching on to the idea.
> Politicians now speak
> of a "glorious mosaic" of immigrant peoples and cultures, not
> "the great melting pot".

But in practice they still deal with the world at large as if everyone
thinks like native Americans.

> hadoros. Moshe Koppel has an interesting take on this idea in his book
> "MetaHalachah".

Which I have to get -- thanks for the pointer.


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Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 09:09:46 +1000
From: SBA <sba@blaze.net.au>
Kom Rabba v'Shochtei l'Reb Zeira

Micha Berger wrote:             Subject: Re: Kom Rabba v'Shochtei l'Reb Zeira

    >SBA wrote:: : I remember some years ago seeing a beautiful pshat from the
   : >Lubavitcher Rebbe zt''l on this puzzling Gemoro.

>And that p'shat was ...?

I couldn't do it justice - translating it and condensing it for Avodah.
(Maybe RYZirkind?) I have just read  it again in Shaar Moadim (which is
probably available at a Chabad House near you...).
If no one posts it, I am prepared to photocopy and fax it to those interested.


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Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 11:07:29 -0500 (EST)
From: Claude Schochet <claude@math.wayne.edu>
Re: Avodah V4 #465

The story of this extraordinary Purim seudah is found in Megillah 7b. In 
succinct translation is is something like this:

Raba and Rav Zeira celebrated the Purim feast together. They became 
intoxicated. Raba stood up and "shechted" Rav Zeira. The next day, he 
prayed for mercy and brought him back to life.

(But that is not all!)

The next year, Raba again invited Rav Zeira to his Purim seudah. Rav Zeira 
answered him (declining reluctantly): "A miracle does not happen every 

Anyone who learned this in Yeshiva remembers it, but not many can make 
sense of it. The Rebbe does a masterful job. He does not dismiss it as 
allegory or purely spiritual teaching (as does the Marharsha and others), 
for the folowing reasons:

1. It is cited in the context of the obligation of "ad d'lo y'dah", 
something based in actuality, so the example must be actual; and
2. It is used as an example to argue that the Talmud did not accept "ad 
d'lt y'dah" as an obligation, based on this actual event.

So the Rebbe presents an interpretation of the story that is consistent 
with the plain meaning of the word and also is consistent with the 
stature of these two leading Talmudic sages; first so that Raba is not 
in any way associated with an aviera and that Rav Zeira' reluctance 
(instead of outright rejection) is understandable.   

The Rebbe exlpores the concept of intoxication in the context of 
the service of Hashem of Nadav and Avihu, together with the analogy of 
wine to the Torah's inner secrets and the maxim (Eruvin 65a) "When wine 
enters, the secrets come out." The Rebbe emphasizes that this is not 
just metaphor but a real phenomenon. He then explains the story as follows:

At Raba's Purim Seudah, Raba and Rav Zeira imbibed the wine of Torah. 
They delved so deeply into the mystical aspects of Torah, that Rav Zeira 
experienced "Klos HaNefesh" - his soul left his body in its desire to 
cleave to Hashem. Why then use the word "shecht"? The acatual word usedis 
"vishachat." Citing Chullin 30b, the REbbe explains that this ritual 
slaughter means "and he drew after" - as a schochet draws the knife back 
and forth over the animals neck until the proper cut is made.  So Raba - 
the "great one" drew Rav Zeira - meaning the small one" into the 
mystic realms of Torah, where Raba could maintain his standing, but Rav 
Zeira's soul left his body in love for Hashem. Raba had thepower to bring 
Rav Zeira back into this world, and Rav Zeira was able to "depart in 
peace." However much Rav Zeira wanted to repeat that extraordinary 
experience on the following Purim, Rav Zeira wasn't sure he wouldn't lose 
it again, and preferred not to take the risk or rely on another miracle. 

Especially realizing that the ultimate intent of Torah study is to serve 
Hashem within this material existence, Rav Zeira declined. How does this 
story support the obligation of "ad d'lo y'dah"? (Orach Chayim 695:2)
The Rebbe concludes 
that this story shows the special power of Purim to allow a person to go 
out of themselves with love of Hashem and yet return to the more 
disciplined everyday avodas Hashem with a heightened awareness and 
without negative consequences.     

From Lekutay Sichos 31, p 177ff, and Beacons on the Talmud's Sea (English 

Rivka Schochet
Claude Schochet				claude@math.wayne.edu	
Mathematics Department			313-577-3177	office phone		
Wayne State University		    	313-577-7596	department fax
Detroit, MI 48202

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Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 14:12:45 -0500 (EST)
From: Edward Weiss <esweiss@ymail.yu.edu>
Bitul zman

Hello all,

 I wonder if anyone could steer me toward sources that discuss the
nature of bitul zman. On a larger scale, is there actually any
specific injunction mentioned against wasting time ("moshav leitzim"
nonwithstanding) or, more specifically, doing things aren't necessarily
productive, but don't involve issurim of any kind? 

 Incidentally, did anyone perchance attend Dr. Haym Soloveitchik's lecture
today at the 5th Ave. Synagogue?

 Shlomo Weiss

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Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 16:34:42 -0500 (EST)
From: David Roth <droth@pobox.com>
Translation of Rambam's Introduction to His Perush on Mishnayot

On Wed, 22 Mar 2000 22:51:23 -0500, Gershon Dubin wrote:
> Does anyone know if the hakdama to the Rambam's perush on mishnayos
> is available in English?

Dear Friends,

A translation by Fred Rosner, published by Jason Aronson press is
Title:   Maimonides' Introduction to His Commentary on the Mishnah
Author : Maimonides, Moses/Rosner, Fred

I bought mine as a remainder book for ~$10.  The regular price is
$35.00, though elgrande has it for $19.95.  (They also have
R. Bechhofer's Eruvin book for a nice price.  When R. Bechofer
pointed out that Marc Shapiro's Seridei Eish Book was available
there, he must have been too modest to mention his own. :)

Kol Tuv,

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Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 00:40:53 +0200
From: "Shlomo Godick" <shlomog@mehish.co.il>
Yarak, not yerek

FWIW, the Hebrew word for vegetable in the singular form is
"yarak", as in "gan ha-yarak"  (a meforashe "Rega shel Ivrit").
Baalei dikduk should correct me if I am wrong, but I believe
the word "yerek" in Hebrew means "greenery", "foliage".    

Shlomo Godick

R' Micha Berger wrote: <<

Exactly, and on this night, we only eat a particular yerek, not only the
rest of them. Implied is that maror is a yerek, not a white root.  >>

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Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 18:56:52 -0500
From: Alan Davidson <perzvi@juno.com>
Nusach Ha-ari

To folks who hold by the teachings of the Lubavitch Rebbeim, Nusach Ari
as elucidated by the Baal HaTanya is what one should daven -- the issur
of switching also applies if one switches from Nusach Ari or Sefard to
Nusach Ashkenaz -- you can switch but the switch is permanent and any
attempt to go back to what you once davenned requires hataras Nedarim. 
The reason why it is mentioned in Sefer HaMinhagim that the Lubavitcher
Rebbe said one can switch to Ari provided the switch is permanent is
because Sefer HaMinhagim is addressed to Lubavitchers -- in fact the
Lubavitcher Rebbe made sure folks knew what they were doing if they took
on Rabbeinu Tams or wanted to switch from Rashi tefillin to AriScript --
it wasn't higher necessarily depending on one's motivations for doing so.

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Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 15:09:51 EST
From: ShShbsNY@aol.com
Quick Lesson By Example From Rabbi Kotler

Quick Lesson By Example From Rabbi Kotler

     As soon as Rabbi Aharon Kotler escaped to the 
United States at the beginning of the Second World 
War, he established the famous wartime Vaad Hatzalah 
(Rescue Committee) which kept alive many refugees 
in Europe, Russia, and Shangai all through the war. 

     Rabbi Kotler went to the American Secretary of 
the Treasury, Mr. Henry Morgenthau, a Jew, and asked 
for his assistance. Accompanied by an interpreter to 
translate his Yiddish into English, Rabbi Kotler pleaded 
to Morgenthau for government cooperation in the rescue 

     "If I am seen to favor my Jewish brethen, I will soon 
be out of office," said Mr. Morgenthau.

     To this, Rabbi Kotler told the interpreter to reply:
"Saving Jewish lives is more important than holding 
even twenty positions like yours."

     At first, the interpreter refused to translate these words.
But noticing the argument, Morgenthau insisted that he
wanted to be told what Rabbi Kotler had said, and the
interpreter acquiesced. Rabbi Kotler's reply so impressed
him that he said, "If so, I will do my utmost and face the

    As it turned out, Morgenthau's sympathy proved invaluable,
yet he continued in office until after the death of President
Roosevelt, who had appointed him. 

SOURCE: Love Your Neighbor, by Zelig Pliskin, page 272,
            quoting Righteous Lives, p.123.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Rabbi Aharon Kotler (1892-1962, 
                    Orthodox). Founder and leader of the famous
            Bais Medrash Gavoha Yeshiva in New Jersey.

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Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 06:46:18 -0500 (EST)
From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@shamash.org>
19th Century Dress

I do not understand this answer, since it is clear that this lvush is in
no way "authentic" jewish, it is simply the standard lvush of 18th or 19th
century Eastern European gentile nobility. So there was clearly a "Shinu
Es Lvushom" to get to this point, so why does "Shloi Shinu Es Lvushom" now
come into play? 

 > From: Yzkd@aol.com
> mosherudner@hotmail.com writes:
> > But I can not figure out what is so heilig (holy) about the 
> >  way people dressed in the 19th century.
> Shloi Shinu Es Lvushom, (see Michlol for Mokor, but nonetheless it is a 
> Loshon Hamrgual).
> Yitzchok Zirkind

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator

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