Avodah Mailing List

Volume 06 : Number 022

Wednesday, October 25 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 13:12:00 -0400
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Re: Sukka on Shemini Atzeret

In Avodah V6 #20, RWolpoe replied:
> If indeed there is an old minhag to not eat on Shemini Atzeres it escapes
> me.

In a shiur two or three years ago, Moshe Feldman dealt with the topic,
and I vaguely recall his speaking of some family in Italy that had such
a minhag (and of his concluding that their actions did not constitute
sufficient basis for others to not sit in the sukka on SA). Perhaps he
can post directly on the matter....

All the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ

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Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 13:28:45 -0400
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
FW: AJL review.... Life and Works of Rabbi Jehiel Jacob Weinberg, 1884-1966

I am forwarding this with permission from the author.

I too read this book and found it fascinating. G-d willing I will add a few
points to Yisrael Dubitsky's in a later post.

Shalom and Regards,
Rich Wolpoe

-----Original Message-----
From: yidubitsky@JTSA.EDU [mailto:yidubitsky@JTSA.EDU]

Shapiro, Marc B.  Between the Yeshiva World and Modern Orthodoxy: the
Life and Works of Rabbi Jehiel Jacob Weinberg, 1884-1966.  London: The
Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1999. [8], 283 p. $49.50 (ISBN:

Great rabbis who "live" in two distinct religio-intellectual worlds
- men such as Rambam, Maharal, Samson Raphael Hirsch and Joseph B.
Soloveitchik -- lead complex lives and are essentially lonely men of
faith, rarely appreciated fully in their lifetime and often, much less
afterwards. Marc Shapiro's thoroughly researched and highly readable
intellectual biography clearly places Rabbi Jehiel Jacob Weinberg among
such men.

In seven tightly packed chapters, Shapiro charts Weinberg's life in
chronological units, beginning with his youth in Eastern Europe and
education in traditional yeshivot, through his pulpit in Pilwishki
(Lithuania) followed by his move to Berlin, university education in
Giessen, his position as lecturer and eventually rector in the Berlin
Rabbinical Seminary before and during the Nazi rule and Holocaust,
and ending with his post- war years spent in relative seclusion in
the Swiss town of Montreux. Throughout, the larger issues facing
the Jewish and world communities of the time are set as backdrop to
the stage of Weinberg's career. Thus, the reader is confronted with
a variety of issues such as the Russian haskalah, Reform, Orthodoxy
in its various manifestations, the Torah im Derekh Eretz philosophy,
Austritt/Gemeinde, World Wars I-II, Zionism and the State of Israel,
among others. Statements about Weinberg are generally followed with
2-3 pages of background to the issues involved.

Copious footnotes, documenting every published work of Weinberg's, his
private letters to individuals, as well as a remarkably comprehensive
secondary literature, support and elucidate every statement of history
and opinion. This is precisely where Shapiro's biography towers over the
popular type of rabbinic biography, which often makes pronouncements of a
life, without any supporting documentation. As such, whereas some popular
presses produce biographies of many and varied individuals, they all share
a common but hollow ring. Shapiro's Weinberg, on the other hand, proves
a very human and eminently credible, if at times faulted, individual.

If rabbinic biography is to be inspirational - some in the traditional
camp would say this, and not objective history, is the sole purpose of
such - Weinberg's life-tale is a moving and indeed inspiring story of
intellectual development and theological courage. What stands out in
Weinberg's life, and is hinted at in the title of this volume, is his
gradual move away from the "Torah-only" type of philosophy prevalent even
nowadays in the so-called yeshiva world, to a full if attenuated grasp
of modern culture and scholarship vis-a-vis Jewish studies. Weinberg
believed that "the uneasy interaction of tradition and modernity was the
essence of what Orthodoxy was all about." And yet -- some would say
precisely because of this tendency -- he was considered a world-respected
halakhic decisor. His four-volume set of essays and responsa, Seridei
Esh [Remnants from the Fire], is still an oft-consulted text in halakhic
pesak. His many and varied other writings are important contributions
to scholarship. It is unfortunate, however, that not all his writings,
including a doctoral dissertation on the Peshitta, survived the ravages
of the Holocaust.

No book review would be complete, however, without certain criticisms
and this book, as good as it is, suffers some minor technical flaws.
There are almost no Hebrew letters in the volume. It is very frustrating
then, from a bibliographical point of view, to be given titles in
translation and not romanization. To compound this, the transliteration
policy is inconsistent: some Hebrew titles are translated while others
are transliterated. On the other hand, none of the German titles are
ever translated. Moreover, the British spelling standards make reading
some of the words (e.g. honour; favour; foetus) a trifle annoying to us
Yanks. Finally, with so many things going on in various communities in
eastern and western Europe, it would have been helpful had there been
a map provided at some point in the book.

This is a truly excellently written book, highly recommended for
all college level libraries but, due to the generally high academic
terminology, only some yeshiva high schools.

Yisrael Dubitsky
Jewish Theological Seminary of America
New York, NY

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Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 12:54:11 -0400
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
RE: Succa on Shmini Atzeres

From: Carl M. Sherer [mailto:cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il]
>        I don't think it's necessarily correct that the shlichim reached
> everywhere in Eretz Yisrael in time, and if the shlichim didn't come in
> time, I suspect sfeika d'yoma was kept - even in Eretz Yisrael....

Shilchim for Rosh Hashnana certainly did not reach everywhere on time but
re: both Pesach and Sukkos they had 14 days of travel!

Shalom and Regards,
Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 18:55:09 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
RE: Succa on Shmini Atzeres

[Oddly, this only reached me AFTER I approved the reply. I was wondering
why RCS's words didn't look familiar... -mi]

On 24 Oct 2000, at 10:51, Wolpoe, Richard wrote:
> The Yersushalmi bugs me in one aspect, how would EY yehudim be dealing with
> the golah's sfeika deyoma? 

IIRC the Brisker Rav held (at least the d'oraysa's) of sfeika d'yoma 
across the street from the Edison theater, on what is Rechov 
Yehsayahu today. I don't think it's necessarily correct that the 
shlichim reached everywhere in Eretz Yisrael in time, and if the 
shlichim didn't come in time, I suspect sfeika d'yoma was kept - 
even in Eretz Yisrael. But much of this is speculation....

-- Carl

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

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Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 14:49:16 -0400
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
RE: Sukkah Sensitivity on Shmini Atzeres

Carl M. Sherer
> Yes, but see the Chaye Adam (I think it's 137:13, but I don't have 
> one at work...), who seems to say that even when one is going to 
> sleep in the Succa one should find a reason to say a bracha...

Aderabbo, the fact that the Chayei Adam requires a brachah WHEN A BRACHA CAN
BE REQUIRED, means with the absence of the ablity to even make such a bracha
the chance to make a distinction on Shmini Atzers is lost.  

IOW there is NO WAY to engineer sleeping in a sukkah on Shimni Atzeres to
appear differnt than on sukkos unless one sleeps during his s'eudah somehow.
(FWIW this happens to me every First Seder when the 2nd cup of wine on an
empty stomach does me in for about 10-20 minutes <smile>) 

Shalom and Regards,
Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 12:09:35 -0700
From: "Michael Frankel" <mechyfrankel@zdnetonebox.com>
Succoh on Sh'minie

While I've been on an extended vacation from this list, I have
been sampling from time to time, and couldn't help noticing the
inevitable annual recycling of the succoh on sh'mini issue.
For what its worth, I would refer interested readers to an
older posting of mine available from the mail-jewish archive,
Vol 26, no.59 (Mickey Mantle and the Succoh on Sh'minie Question -
where some of these issues are reviewed at greater length.

An addition which did not make it into the original posting, because I
was unaware of it at the time, is the S'fas Emes on Succos 47a, where
the intrinsic difficulty of the apparent girsoh of yoseiv yosveinon,
and thus its failure to be accepted at "face value" by a persistent -
but elite - minority ad hayom hazeh, described inter alia in my posting,
is dead on nailed by the s'fas emes, and brought to support the ancient,
honorable, and halachic nohag of not eating in the succoh on sh'mini. (not
that those who do are non-halochic since, with the rif, rambam, tur,
and shulchon aruch all agreeing with them I suppose there is some slight
al mah lismoch vector to their otherwise inexplicable action)

Mechy Frankel

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Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 15:41:29 -0400
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
RE: Sukkah on Shemini Atseres

-- Carl
> Do they deal with the issue of why {the Rishonim} are seemingly holding
> against an explicit Gemara? 

Rich Wolpoe
> As I've posted before, this can happen at times with Minhag Ashkenaz, E.G.
> Kitniyos

Sometimes there is an Asheknaz Mesroah to that paskens like a Yershalmi over
a Bavli.  I consider this analgous to the Gemara favoring a braissa over a
mishnah, which happens on occasion.

What would be questionable - even for those who sometimes favor the TY over
the TB - would be to pasken like a TY over the TB w/o a mesorah.  That would
be "unusual" at least. When the Rambam does favor a TY over a TB {on
occasion}, I always presume he did so due to a Mesorah, or something similar
perhaps an indedpendent source that co-incides with the TY.

Shalom and Regards,
Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 17:58:53 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
EMail about the four categories of legislation

Someone sent Avodah some comments correcting my contribution to the
soc.culture.jewish FAQ. Our clumsy moderator lost your email (including
your identity, which is why I'm troubling the list). If you could kindly
resubmit your email, I would greatly appreciate it. It is important that
we correct the FAQ of any errors I may have introduced into it.


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Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 15:17:11 -0500
From: Steve Katz <katzco@sprintmail.com>
Re: Succa on Shmini Atzeres

Harry Maryles wrote:
> On all seven days of Succos we daven for clouds, but on Shmini Atzeres,
> we daven for rain, and therefore we leave the Succa so that we should
> daven for rain b'lev shalem.

How does this relate to the question at hand. We are sitting in the succa
in Chutz and are praying for rain in Eretz Israel.


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Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 19:51:24 EDT
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Re: Avodah V6 #21

> I thought it was because HaRav Elyashiv came out with a well publicized
> p'sak a few years ago that smoking was no longer shaveh l'kol nefesh, and
> therefore usser on Yom Tov. I know that's when I stopped.

Take a look at Hilchos Yisrael where it ie related that RSZA was quite 
opposed to smoking as well.
                               Steven Brizel

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Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 21:11:02 EDT
From: Yitzi777@aol.com
Sukkah on Shemini Atseres

<< 2.) R. Tzadok wrote a sefer, which is in one of the volume of his
 Kol Kisvei, which tries to defend those Chasidim who eat in the house,
 (which by the way is not a universal chasidic practice, chabad does eat
 in the Sukkah on SHmini). >>

So do many other Chasidim. See the Nitay Gavriel for a list of who does what.

Yitzi Oratz

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Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 21:24:12 EDT
From: Yitzi777@aol.com

<< Kareis is not a loss of OhB. It is a severance of the lower regions of the 
 neshomo from the higher regions thereof, reducing a person's access to 
 kedusha and hashp'o'o and rendering teshuva difficult.
 Gehinnom is mechapper for Chayavei Kerisus.  >>

The Rambam in Hilchos Teshuva 8:1 disagrees. He writes "Shelo yizku lichaim 
alu (reffering to Olam haBa) . . . ela nichras birisho veavad kibihayma." And 
the Ramban in Sha'ar Hagmul agrees that this is the case for some, but not 
all, Chayavei Kerisus. 

Yitzi Oratz

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Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 21:14:56 EDT
From: Yitzi777@aol.com

Gil Student
> Dr. Elazar Hurvitz told me that almost every time the gemara says
> vehilchisa it is an addition by savoraim. Granted, he tends to be among
> those who are marbeh additions and who point to a much later for the
> chasimas hatalmud.

Tosfos seems to disagree. See Chulin 97a and Pesachim 30a on the Gemorah 
"Hilchisa chometz bizmano . . . bimashihu kirav." Tosfos says that the words 
"bimashihu Kirav" is an addition from the Behag. But the "Vihilchisa" part 
Tosfos agrees is part of the Gemorah.

BTW who is Dr. Elazar Hurvitz?

Yitzi Oratz

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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 09:44:28 +1000
From: SBA <sba@blaze.net.au>
Sukka on Shmini Atzeres

I have just looked at the sefer Minhag Yisroel Torah
(a very enjoyable easy-to-read chibur based on the arba chelkei SA
- a great collection of the writings of rishonim and acharonim
more or less to explain minhogei yisroel - especially those which lechorah
seem to be in contradiction to the SA - I have 4 volumes),

It has a very interesting birur on this matter and lists a number
of additional seforim who deal with it including Heichal Habrocho,
Mishmeres Sholom, Shu't Mharshag, Toras Yekusiel.


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Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 23:24:26 -0400
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
Re: Sukkah on Shemini Atseres

I think it was R' Rich Wolpoe who wrote: <<< The term Atzeres seems to
imply a chag w/o any special mistva (such as chometz or sukkah). >>>

Aha! Finally, a clear distinction between the day after Shvii Shel
Pesach, and the day after Shvii Shel Sukkos: The day after Shvii Shel
Pesach has no halachos to it, neither aseh nor lav. But, IIUC, the nature
of an Atzeres is that it should differ from Pesach and Sukkos, and be
free of any special holiday laws. Sitting in a Sukkah would go against
this principle, and would thus constitute bal tosif.

Two comments:

(1) Following this logic, I'd wonder if Kiddush is an even bigger problem
than Sukkah. Kiddush was instituted specifically for the supposedly
ritual-free Shmini Atzeres, while Sukkah does not contravene this
principle any more than Shema does. (I.E., Sukkah and Shema are Zman
Grama, while Kiddush is Shmini Atzeres Grama.)

(2) I'd *like* to say "And besides, the Gemara clearly paskens against
this chidush about Shmini Atzeres being ritual-free." But I *can't* say
that, because one of the things that I've come to learn from my chavrusas
here on Avodah, is that even the Gemara is not impervious to challenge
from strong enough evidence. Just because the Gemara says something,
doesn't necessarily make it so. (Of course, in this particular case, the
great majority of gaonim, rishonim, acharonim, and poskim happen to agree
with the Gemara, but it's the principle of the thing, you understand...)

Akiva Miller

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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 06:03:20 -0500
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Kares

Yitzi Oratz
>The Rambam in Hilchos Teshuva 8:1 disagrees. He writes "Shelo yizku lichaim
>alu (reffering to Olam haBa) . . . ela nichras birisho veavad kibihayma." And
>the Ramban in Sha'ar Hagmul agrees that this is the case for some, but not
>all, Chayavei Kerisus.

It is evident that the Rambam is talking about Ovdei AZ - not "run of the 
mill" chayavei kerisus such as, say, ochlei cheilev.

It is precisely such Chayavei Kerisus (such as the Arba Melachim) that DR 
say do reach OhB.

ygb@aishdas.org      http://www.aishdas.org/rygb

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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 06:04:52 -0500
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>

>In Sanhed. 104 "Dorshei Rshumos" darshen a pasuk to give olam haba to
>the Jewish kings and others against the Mishnah. However, they don't
>argue with the entire Mishnah. Apikorsim are still out.

I understand that they do argue with the Mishna. The persons enumerated 
there seem pretty much in the category of Apikorsim.

>The cited R Zadok (p122 in Yisroel Kdoshim) agrees with this understanding.
>He expands that apikorsim are different because they derive (spiritually,
>I think) from the "erev rav".

Since it is spiritual, it is difficult to sort them out from the rest of 
the Jews.

ygb@aishdas.org      http://www.aishdas.org/rygb

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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 09:01:15 -0400
From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
Re: Vihilchisa

> BTW who is Dr. Elazar Hurvitz?

Professor at YU's BRGS, annotator of the Ritva to Beitzah among many other 
Gil Student

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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 09:06:18 EDT
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
Re: four categories of legislation (was Re: Timers and bishul)

A few notes on micha's categories of gezeirah/takkanah:

> 1. Minhag. Custom. ...
> 2. Din dirabanan. A rabbinic law. These are set up by the rabbinate,
>    instead of the masses..

Minhag also requires some degree of Rabbinic authority- the Rambam
in Mamrim ch. 2 refers to B"D 'shegazru gezeirah, hitkinu takanah,
v'hinhigu minhag', also see Tos. Pesachim 51.

> Note that a "gezeira dirabanan" becomes binding only if it is accepted
> by the community.

And the same applies to takkanah and minhag acc to Rambam Mamrim 2:5.

> 4. P'sak. A Rabbinic Ruling.. A p'sak can only be over ruled by another
>    body which is both larger in number, and greater in "chochmah"....

The same apples to a din. Only (acc. to Rambam) is a seyag excluded
from being overturned.

> The distinction between the second and third categories is subtle.
> The law being violated will still be applicable in most situations...

This is the chiddush of the Taz that we discussed on avodah in the past -
many achronim disagree.

Some general comments - your 'taxonomy' is interesting in so far as the
gemara does not explicitely draw the distinctions. It seems to be based
on the Rambam's classification into gezeiros, takkanos, and minhagim, but
you leave out the Rambam's additional category of derashos. Nafka minah:
B"D gadol b'chachma u'minyan is not required to challenge an earlier
B"D's derasha, it is a requirement to overturn an earlier takkanah or
gezeirah. A 'seyag' may not be overturned either even if the new B"D is
gadol b'chachma u'minyan once pashat issuro b'chol yisrael.

One might have expanded the categories even further - the Ramban in
Shmos (sorry, can't recall where - by one of the Shabbos issurim) and
in his Derasha on Rosh HaShana hinges the concept of shvus to d'oraysa,
similar to the idea of 'lo masaro hakatuv eleh l'chachamim' by chol hamoed
where the concept is d'oraysa but the implementation is left to Chazal.
We also discussed the Ra'avad (in Mamrim) once before who categorizes
asmachta as more then a regular derabbanan with a mnemonic, but as a
new category. You can also throw divrei kabbalah on the list as not
being m'Sinai, though different than derabbanan in that the enactment
is a result of prophecy - you have Purim as a din derabbanan, but divrei
kabbalah would be more accurate (nafka minah: some achronim say a woman
may not be motzi a man in megillah because af hein hayu b'oso hanes is
derabbanan but megillah is divrei kabbalah). You can also expand the nafka
minos, e.g (since it is inyana d'yoma): we don't say a beracha on minhag
(chibut arava), but we do on a din derabannan - and others.

What I find puzzeling is that it is unclear how to distinguish a seyag
from a takkanah without a guess at Chazal's motivation - e.g. how do I
know that basar oif b'chalav is a seyag derabbanan and not a takkanah
which equates chicken to meat? Or, to take a different example - is
bishul akum a takkanah that says a goy's cooking=ma'achalos assuros,
or a seyag that says really it isn't ma'achalos assuros, but you might
come to a greater issur if we permit it (nafka minah: I might not assur
ta'am if it is a gezeirah, but I would if there was a takkanah equating
it with ma'achalos assuros).

Sorry if this was too long!

Good Y"T,

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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 10:22:36 -0400
From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
Re: Kares

Yitzi Oratz wrote:
> The Rambam in Hilchos Teshuva 8:1 disagrees. He writes "Shelo yizku lichaim 
> alu (reffering to Olam haBa) . . . ela nichras birisho veavad kibihayma." And 
> the Ramban in Sha'ar Hagmul agrees that this is the case for some, but not 
> all, Chayavei Kerisus. 
See R. Yosef Kafih's comments to this Rambam (I think he is ma'arich at the end 
of the chapter as well).  He disagrees with the Ramban and understands the 
Rambam as RYGB did.

Gil Student

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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 10:27:53 -0400
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
RE: four categories of legislation (was Re: Timers and bishul)

: Minhag also requires some degree of Rabbinic authority- the Rambam
: in Mamrim ch. 2 refers to B"D 'shegazru gezeirah, hitkinu takanah,
: v'hinhigu minhag', also see Tos. Pesachim 51.

FWIW I agree that for a legitimate Minhag to have any binding status it
must have been set up by some Poseik at some time.

The problem is that 700-1500 years later, the details sometimes get
lost and all we may have is the mimetics. But the fact that the minhag
persisted w/o serious objections is a chazakah that it was ratified,
somewhat analogous to chezkas habatim. The Absence of mach'a is a form
of ratification, expeically in the VERY long run.

Shalom and Regards,
Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 15:32:51 GMT
From: "" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
RE: Sukkah on Shemini Atseres

The messages going back and forth on this issue in the past several days
have created, in my mind at least, a degree of obfuscation of the basic
facts. I shall endeavor to list the facts as clearly as I can, and point
out some misunderstandings that may have arisen. As my Rebbi always did, I
encourage everybody to look at the sources instead of relying on second -- or
third-hand reporting (including mine).

1) The earliest sources, such as the Sefer HaPardes and Mahzor Vitry that
have been listed before, ALL refer to customs of eating part of the day of
Shmini Atseres in the sukka and part outside. They ALL record the
opposition to these minhagim by the poskim of that time (Sefer HaPardes:
"originally he ate in the house at night and the next day in the sukka
[until] his friend Rashi and the other rabbis rebuked him and he changed"
[my translation]).

2) All these sources basically add nothing to what we already knew from the
Tur, who mentions such a custom and says it is not kahalokho. But they do
provide valuable evidence that the customs goes back a long way.

3) The custom was ALWAYS referred to by the rishonim as the minhag of some
individuals. NOWHERE do we find in the rishonim evidence that there were
whole communities that followed this practice. (This is the importance of
the attribution of the minhag to the family of "Tryvush" or "Dreifuss" by
the Ashkenaz sources in the 17th century: that it was regarded by all as a
unique custom of that family that went back a long ways, but not a
wide-spread custom.

4) Attempts to justify this custom by reference to the Yerushalmi (as
recorded already in the Sefer HaPardes) are inappropriate. The Yerushalmi
is transparently discussing Shmini Atseres in Eretz Yisroel, not the first
of two days in hutz lo'orets. This is already noted by some of the rishonim
that deal with the custom, e.g. Sha'arei Dura,

5) Among the earliest hasidim, the custom was not fixed: the BeShT stayed
out of the sukka entirely on Shemini Atseres, whereas his primary disciple,
the Mezricher Maggid, ate in the sukka both at night and during the day. No
one really knows the reasons of the BeShT, since nowhere do we find a custom
of not eating in the sukka AT ALL on Shemini Atseres, and nowhere is there a
mention before his time in kabbolo that one should stay out of the sukka (to
my limited knowledge). And so Sefaradim until today in huts lo'orets eat in
the sukka on Shmini Atseres AFAIK. And this is also why the first
Lubavitcher Rebbe paskened that one should eat in the sukka: he was
following his rebbe, the Mezricher Maggid, while most other hasidic rebbes
(but not all) followed the BeShT.

6) Following the widespread adoption of the BeShT's custom by most hasidim,
we find for the first time rabbonim who justify the custom. Most of these
sources are from hasidic rabbis.

So: yes, Carl is still right that there are not poskim who justify staying
out of the sukka all Shmini Atseres. Further, virtually all poskim condemn
even eating part of the time outside the sukka; the only poskim who say
"yesh lohem 'al mah sheyismokhu" were referring specifically to the custom
of eating only part of the day in the sukka, and referring to a custom that
was recognized as being outside the norm.

And: the custom of staying outside the sukka entirely is confined solely to
hasidic circles. (And even among them caused occasional discomfort: the
justification to the BeShT's customs given by a direct descendent of the
Mezricher Maggad, the Sadigorer Rebbe, in a book published in, says that
the BeShT was "meqaddesh es 'atzmo biqedushas Eretz Yisroel"). R. Haym
Soloveitchik may be right about the forces leading to the spread of the
custom, and others, including his father, have given various other reasons,
but it does not change the fact that the various and sundry explanantions
are ex post facto, since there was no psaq halokho that led people to change
the common practise of eating in the sukka (except insofar as the BeShT's
practices were considered a psaq halokho to his followers).

This also points to a major limit of mimetics: when a charismatic figure and
movement (like chasidus) appear, that can lead to widespread abandonment of
old established customs and the development of new customs. 200 years
later, these new customs are considered "minhag avos," as Harry Maryles has
so eloquently testified.

One note: I first heard of the historical sources from my Rebbi, RYBS, who,
when discussing the issue, would often say, "Yes, the custom goes back at
least to Rashi's time, but it was condemned even then by Rashi and all other
authorities" (this is a poor paraphrase of my Rebbi's wonderful locutions).

Seth Mandel

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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 11:50:10 -0400
From: "David Glasner" <DGLASNER@ftc.gov>
Re: sukkah bi-shemini>

Rabbi Bechhofer wrote:
>>My grandfather suggested that the source for the minhag is the targum
>>yonatan ben uziel on the pasuk bayom ha-shemini atzeret tihiyeh lakhem...
>>                               my grandfather referred to a p'lugta in
>>the Yerushalmi between Rav and R. Yehoshua b. Levi on what one must do,
>>in Israel if one wishes to eat in the sukkah on Shemini Atzeret. ...

> Baruch she'kivanti 'da'as Gedolim. I actually learned the Yerushalmi like 
> the DR when first having learnt it - albeit not knowing about the TYBU at 
> the time.

Just for the record. It was my grandfather, R. Akiva, in his book
Dor Dorim, not his father, the Dor Revi'i, who explained the inyan of
sukkah b'shemini.

> I should note that it is a Bavarian custom - that was the minhag in the 
> Bechhofer family (no longer kept) - to eat inside SA night and outside SA 
> day - I assumed, as a variation on the pshat below, because of the tartei 
> d'sasrei of saying in Kiddush "Shemini Chag Ho'Atzeres" yet eating in the 
> Sukkah, and linked to the Y-mi. The TYBU adds a dimension.

Just to clarify, my grandfather did not explain the issue in terms of
tarti d'sasri. The problem is that there is (or may be) a separate
mitzvah that, according to TBYU, is latent in the name Atzeret to return
into the house. The Yerushalmi shows that one has not discharged that
obligation unless one makes kiddush in the house. Without the obligtion
to return to the house, there can be no tarti d'sasri. One can assume
that the takanat hazal would take care of any bal tosif problem. It is
harder to assume that the takanat hazal would have annihilated a mitzvah
d'oraita mi-kol va-khol in hutz la-aretz.

David Glasner

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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 13:29:12 -0400
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
RE: four categories of legislation (was Re: Timers and bishul)

>> 4. P'sak. A Rabbinic Ruling.. A p'sak can only be over ruled by another
>>    body which is both larger in number, and greater in "chochmah"....

>The same apples to a din. Only (acc. to Rambam) is a seyag excluded
>from being overturned.

I am aware that a gezeira has a rquirement of gadol bechachma uv'minyan,
where is the source for a Psak needing Gadol Behcachma uv'minyan to overrule

Or just what is meant by "Psak"?  It does not seem unusual for poskim to
overule earlier poskim...

Shalom and Regards,
Rich Wolpoe

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