Avodah Mailing List

Volume 05 : Number 024

Thursday, April 20 2000

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 06:45:06 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Chush-Limudei Hashem

On Mon, Apr 17, 2000 at 11:42:09PM +1000, SBA wrote:
: >Achieving God's Perfection  (author unknown)

I write this as the father of two "special children", one with emotional
handicaps, the other has Downs. It is therefore a subject I have considered
repeatedly, perhaps daily. (I once wrote about the challenges to emunah in
bechirah chafshi presented by raising a child with little impulsivity

This is actually a reprint. It's been in Avodah before (see
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol04/v04n260.shtml#06>). And I've stated my
objection to it before as well. The story sounds nice on the emotional level,
but I think the message it gives is horrid.

: "I believe," the father answered, "that when G-d brings a
:  child likethis into the world, the perfection that He seeks 
: is in the way people react to this child."

This man's son, Shaya, is able enough to play baseball. We're not talking
about someone r"l to incapacitated to excercise bechirah. IOW, this is someone
capable of facing his own struggles and his own self improvement. The fact that
his stuggles are on simpler subjects doesn't make them any less of a stuggle,
if anything they face far more imposing obstacles than you or I; it doesn't
mean that his neshamah develops any less from grappling with them.

And no, he won't be as "whole" in mind and body as us. But then, none of us
ever actually reach perfection either. OTOH, this man's son, Shaya, has a soul
the Chazon Ish would stand for -- one that can handle the greater challenges,
one that HKBH did NOT want to fully involve in the inanities of olam hazeh.


I must agree with his closing sentiments, though:
: That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face,
: "those 18 boys reached their level of G-d's perfection."

Yes, and b"h my other children too gain from having daily exposure to people
less mentally or emotionally able than themselves.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 12-Apr-00: Revi'i, Metzora
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Rosh-Hashanah 23b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Melachim-II 25

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 07:34:47 -0400
From: "Allen Baruch" <Abaruch@SINAI-BALT.COM>
Re: Avodah V5 #23

I will be out of the office from 4/19 to 5/1. If this is in regard to a technical issue, please call the Help Desk at x5516

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 06:35:44 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Request for your tefilot

R' Joel Rich wrote:
: My father , Avraham ben Bracha, suffered a heart attack last friday night
: after sheva brachot for his first grandchild to be married.

I am sorry to inform the kehillah that Joel's father was niftar on the 13th
of Nissan. HaMakom yinacheim osam bisoch sha'ar aveilei Tzion viYrushalaim.

I assume the aveilim are sitting a very shortened "shiv'ah" until Pesach. If
anyone learns that I am wrong, and that nichum aveilim is an option, please
let the chevrah know the details.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 18-Apr-00: Shelishi
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Rosh-Hashanah 26b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 06:37:32 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Administrivia: down-time

Our email list was down the past day. If you were frustrated, or thought
it was your own subscription that was at fault, it wasn't.

The problem was that I asked them for a new list, and they took it to mean
renaming the old one.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 18-Apr-00: Shelishi
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Rosh-Hashanah 26b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 07:38:54 -0400
From: "Edward Weidberg" <eweidberg@tor.stikeman.com>
Re: Avodah V5 #23

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 11:03:22 -0400
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Chilul HaShem

Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 06:26:09 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject: Re: Chilul HaShem

<<Second, how can double parking be any less "dirty" than dirt on one's
jacket? And yes, to the hamon am, anyone with a yarmulka seems to be a
"talmid chacham">>

	The story is that the Chofetz Chaim rebuked his son for behavior
unbecoming a talmid chacham.  His son was reveling in the compliment and
told the ChCh "but I'm not a talmid chacham".  The ChCh answered:  "oif
chilul Hashem bist du genug a talmid chacham"  (for chilul Hashem you are
enough of a talmid chacham.)


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 12:13:21 -0400
From: "Stein, Aryeh E." <aes@ll-f.com>
Re: Chamushim Alu...

R' Shimon Schwab, in his sefer on Chumash, does not take this literally;
rather, only a small percentage of the Jews living at the time were killed
during  choshech.  The 4/5 that the medrash refers to - which equals
millions of people - refers to the offspring that would have resulted had
these Jews survived.

IIRC, he illustrates the same concept by Kayin and Hevel, when Hashem tells
Kayin that "the bloods of your brother are crying out...."  Why the plural
of "bloods"?  Because Kayin killed not only Hevel, but all of Hevel's unborn

Chag Samayach V' Kosher



Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 01:29:07 IDT
From: "moshe rudner" <mosherudner@hotmail.com>
Subject: Chamushim Alu...

<<80% of the Jews were killed in mitzrayim>>

If this were literal its absence in the Biblical narrative would qualify as 
more than a little curious.

The Midrash actually says that 1 in 5 left and the rest were killed during 
Makat Choshech. Ample Biblical references are provided. Yet the issue is 
debated: "Some say (yesh omrim) 1 in 50 (left Egypt and the rest died during

the plague of darkness), some say 1 in 500, and Rabbi Nehorai says, "By the 
divine service! not one in 5000 left!".

600,00 + (approximately) 140,000 = 2,000,000 x 5,000 = 10,000,000,000.

Do you take this Midrash literally?

Chag Sameach,


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 11:23:24 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Meaning of Bedikas Chomeitz

I heard the following on the train two days ago. Sorry I missed sharing it
before bedikah, but the list was off-line.

There is a minhag to hide 10 pieces of bread before b'dikah. Just in case
the "spring cleaning" was so thorough (likely for many of us) that there is
no chomeitz around, we avoid the potential berachah livatalah by putting
out chomeitz to find. Why 10? Why not mi'ut rabbim -- just two?

My railway companion suggested that the 10 pieces of chomeitz are kineged the
eser sefiros. Not in some cosmic sense, but as they exist as facets of the
person doing the bedikah. Chomeitz, being unchecked expansion, is therefore
the excesses in, and misapplication of, each of these middos/kishronos.

And we make a point of doing bedikah li'or haneir -- ki neir mitzvah viTorah

Therefore an appropriate kavannah during bedikas chomeitz is to dedicate
oneself to utilizing the mitzvos one does as tools toward sheleimus and


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 19-Apr-00: Revi'i
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Rosh-Hashanah 27a
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         Yeshaiah 1

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 13:09:48 -0400
From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@bellatlantic.net>
[Fwd: Pesach shiurim]

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Content-Type: message/rfc822
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Disposition: inline

X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
Message-ID: <38FBE186.67A16EF3@bellatlantic.net>
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 00:16:06 -0400
From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@bellatlantic.net>
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.5 [en] (Win98; U)
X-Accept-Language: en
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: avodah@aishdas.org
Subject: Pesach shiurim
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

This post may be repeating something that was already discussed about
shiurim for matzoh, but I believe that the sentiment merits repeating.
In the quest for chumrot one can inadvertently  produce a "bedi'eved"
situation, or even a dangerous one.  Thus, the suggestion given in at
least one Pesach manual is to chew the matzoh until one has completely
stuffed his mouth with masticated matzoh and then swallow it.  As Eli
has brought down from Harav Auerbach, this is not derech achila and may
only count as eating your kazayit "bedi'eved".  More importantly it
represents a choking danger and should therefore not be permitted.

In addition, I see no conflict between the measurement of a revi'it
based on the volume of 1.5 of our large or extra large eggs and that
obtained from the measurement or estimate given often by chazal that 40
seah (or 40x24x4 revi'it) is equivalent to 1x1x3 amot (or 24x24x24x3
etzbaot), if an ama is taken as about 50 cm or 20 inches.  The apparent
large discrepancy in the egg vs etzba measure that was noted by Harav Y.
Landau (Tzlach, Arvei Pesachim), the Vilna Gaon, and Harav Shneur Zalman
of Liady can be attributed to the small size of the eggs that were
available to them (and, possibly, also to a large estimate for the ama
or etzba).  Attempts to obtain a direct estimate of an average etzba are
fraught with measurement problems as well as that of obtaining a
representative population sample.  Later Poskim, the Aruch Hashulchan,
and the Biur Halacha of the Chofetz Chaim, have questioned the suggested
doubling of our volume measurements that was based on the above apparent
discrepancy.  The Aruch Hashulchan brings an interesting observation
about the egg situation in Lithuania near the turn of the century.  The
natively produced eggs had been much smaller than the eggs produced by
an imported breed of hen.  As the result of breeding, however, the
Lithuanian eggs became nearly equivalent in size to the import.  This
suggests that the older East European eggs were, indeed, small.  Our
eggs have no such size problem and should be useable in determining
volume shiurim.  Concerning the volume of a zayit for matzoh, it is
difficult for me to understand how there are only 2 or 3 zaytim to an
egg.  The jumbo black olives that come packed in cans for the US market
are much smaller than a large egg.  Those of you in Israel or in other
Mediterranean countries may have access to a broader variety of olives.
Are there any olives that have a volume of 20 cc which is approximately
1/3 of the volume of a large egg?

Chag kasher vesameach,

Yitzchok Zlochower


Go to top.

Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 11:51:13 -0500
From: "David Glasner" <dglasner@ftc.gov>
Re: RW Revisionism

As long as we're on this topic, I thought that it might be of 
interest to report that on a recent trip to Baltimore I saw in 
two Jewish book stores (names provided on request) copies
of the infamous "My Uncle the Netziv" displayed prominently
among other ArtScroll publications.  A quick check 
revealed that these copies were printed in 1988, so that
they seem to have somehow miraculously been freed
from captivity.  I leave it to others to decide whether
a birkhat ha-gomeil is in order.

David Glasner

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 23:29:16 IDT
From: "moshe rudner" <mosherudner@hotmail.com>

David Finch wrote:

>I am unaware of any teaching to the effect that HaShem will reward >us with 
>the rebuilding of the Temple on the basis only of the >conduct of Jews 
>living in EY.

To which Carl Sherer responded:

>See the Ramban al HaTorah in numerous places (...)
>where he says that keeping mitzvos anywhere other than Eretz
>Yisrael is only for practice.

Rashi Dvarim 11:18  VISAMTEM ET DVAROY ELEH AL LIVOVCHEM: Even after you are 
exiled you are commanded to keep the mitzvot. Put on Tfillin and make 
Mizuzot SO THAT THESE THINGS WILL NOT BE NEW TO YOU when you return [to the 
land] - as it says: Make road markers for yourself... Yirmiyah 31:20


Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com

Go to top.


[ Distributed to the Avodah mailing list, digested version.                   ]
[ To post: mail to avodah@aishdas.org                                         ]
[ For back issues: mail "get avodah-digest vXX.nYYY" to majordomo@aishdas.org ]
[ or, the archive can be found at http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/              ]
[ For general requests: mail the word "help" to majordomo@aishdas.org         ]

< Previous Next >