Avodah Mailing List

Volume 06 : Number 048

Tuesday, November 21 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 11:16:41 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Kol yimei chayecha

On Fri, Nov 17, 2000 at 02:08:37PM -0500, Gil.Student@citicorp.com wrote:
:: According to R' Gamliel, though, the special mitzvah of leil Pesach (which 
:: is not what we were talking about) does require vision. "Matzah zu" 
:: requires being able to see the matzah. And yet, the mitzvah is at night.

: One need not see the matzah.  It just has to be "munachim lefanecha".

"Zu" implies pointing, as rashi states on "hachodesh hazeh lachem rosh
chadashim". At least figuratively pointing.

I'm happy with RCS's answer, given that the light for lavan vs techeiles is a
different inyan, and perhaps one that rules out artificial light at night.

On Mon, Nov 20, 2000 at 10:16:06AM -0500, Wolpoe, Richard wrote:
: If there is a Mesorah about Tzitzis how come there was not a mesorah wrt to
: zchiras mitarayim?

How can you ask that? HKBH said one, but didn't say the other.

:> According to Ben Zoma, because of the "kol" in "kol yimei chayecha". The
:> Chachamim coupld simply say that it's because sippur, unlike tzitzis,
:> doesn't require vision.

: The whole process begs several questions. There seems to be a presummption
: that pre-Ben Zoma there was no recitation of the 3rd paragraph of shma at
: night because of ur'isem oso - at shedrashah ben Zoma...

No, REbA didn't know why until he heard Ben Zoma. Which implies that
people definitely WERE saying it -- otherwise REbA wouldn't have had
anything to wonder why about.


Micha Berger                 When you come to a place of darkness,
micha@aishdas.org            you do not chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org       You light a candle.
(973) 916-0287                  - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

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Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 18:25:35 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
Re: Kol yimei chayecha

On 17 Nov 2000, at 14:08, Gil.Student@citicorp.com wrote:
> One need not see the matzah.  It just has to be "munachim lefanecha".

Huh? What's the point of saying "matza zo" if you cannot see it?

-- 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: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 12:41:15 -0500
From: "Edward Weidberg" <eweidberg@tor.stikeman.com>
RE: Kol yimei chayecha

MSB wrote:
> The mitzvah of sippur yetzi'as mitzrayim is in the parashah of tzitzis in
> Shema. It would be logical to think that Shema, when said at night when
> there is no chiyuv tzitzis, shouldn't include this parashah. IOW, his
> question only arises because the pasuk puts it in a parashah that isn't
> nogei'ah baleilos

AIUI, there's no need min haTorah to say davka the last posuk in parshas
tzitzis to be be mekayim the mitzva of zechiras yetzias mitzrayim.
The same can be accomplished by saying any other similar posuk (or
perhaps just mentioning the fact-- I seem to remember that one can be
yotzei bidiavad by being mechavain during the brocho of Emes v'emuna
or Emes v'yatziv, but I don't have a source handy). So this could not
have been the source for REBA's hava amina that ain mazkirin yetzias
mitzrayim balaylos.

Avrohom Weidberg

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Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 11:22:52 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Hoshei'a 1:1

On Sat, Nov 18, 2000 at 09:30:51PM -0500, Isaac A Zlochower wrote:
: On second thought, I believe that I have a better answer to Micah's
: question on why only Yeravam ben Yoash (Jeroboam II) is mentioned as the
: king of Israel together with 4 Judean kings.  All the the kings
: mentioned are legitimate....

Insteresting thought. My question, though, was how to understand Rashi --
who gives the reason of the zechus of not accepting LH (read: motzi shem
ra) about Amos.


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Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 11:22:57 -0500
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
RE: parts of psukim

> I wrote that kamatz b'zakef was common. You replied it is rare.

I don't know what I wrote but what I meant <smile> was that if you applied
the same rule of Tipcha as the pausal the same would be true for Zokeif too.
IOW generally, any time thre is not esnachta then the ZK can act as the

I should NOT have implled the converse that with an esnachto that koemetz at
a zokef was otherwise impossible or rare.  However, I'd be curious to know
when a ZK is pausal and when it is not.  E.G. See shmost 33:16 re: Amecha
and Amcha both falling on ZK and both in the same passuk.  I'd be curious to
know what cause one to have the sheva and the other the segol.

Sadya N Targum:
>          it would seem that the MA has a different pshat in KPDLPM: not
> that it is a prohibition against quoting parts of psukim, but rather not
> to divide up an entire pasuk in a manner other than what appears in the
> kisvei hakodesh. This would apply to his case, of breaking up Nehemiah
> 9:8 at "V'charos," and to all the cases cited in the g'mara...

There are other cases besides V'charos including Yehallelu.

There is also a German minhag at a Bris to split not only v'Chraos but other
psukim too in a repsonsive reading. (some today have a similar responsive
reading but other than v'charos, no passuk is split)

An earlier poster mentioned a minhag kadom re: Hallel being split
responsively too.

IOW, this MA is not so pashut.

Shalom and Regards,
Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 14:11:11 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: kol psuka dlo pasak re:sirtut

At 09:43 PM 11/18/00 +0200, Shlomo Goldstein wrote:
>TE is attributed with connecting the laws of sirtut to the laws of kol psauk

>Earlier in Avodah there was a discussion if the shiur of 3 words which
>requires sirtut can be applied to 'kol pasuk dlo..'  This idea that 2 words
>of a pasuk does not require one to finish the pasuk, I did not find in TE.

I do not know where I put my notes on the topic, perhaps the source was 
another acharon.

In any event, I am willing to take acharayus for the chuiddush myself.

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

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Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 18:25:46 -0500
From: "Noah Witty" <nwitty@ix.netcom.com>
kamatz b'zakeif

Has someone mentioned Rav Y. Kaminetzky's opinon mentioned several
times in his sefer on chumash that KBZ intends a stop? As i recall,
in at least one place, he states that it has the effect of an etnach
and that therefore what follows belongs together with the next pasuk,
(now, if *I* had ever said this, I'd be thrown out of ... bais middrash,
shul, town, but despite his short physical stature RYK, zt"l is deemed
to have broader shoulders) so those of you opining on this topic might
wish to peruse his sefer.


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Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 21:18:52 +0000
From: sadya n targum <targum1@juno.com>
re:parts of psukim

While attending a bris, I was struck by the mohel's saying "Asrei sivchar
us'karev mishkan chatzeirecha," and the kahal's response of "nisb'ah
mituv beisecha k'dosh heichalecha."  Isn't this l'chol hadeios an example
of "kol pasuk etc."? (Except, of course, those who would apply it only to

Sadya N. Targum

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Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 12:10:09 -0500
From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
Re: Krias Shma and tzitzis

Sadya Targum wrote:
: Most people I have seen, when sitting, put the back of their tallis in 
: their lap, probably to keep the tzitzis from dragging on the floor. Since 
: Shma is said sitting, all four tzitzios are in front, whether or not they 
: are held.

Maybe they shouldn't.  I don't.

Gil Student

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Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 12:17:09 -0500
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
RE: faith

Daniel Eidensohn:
> Sorry if I wasn't clear. The issues that form Rav Soleveitchik's dialectics
> did not involve alternative non-Torah systems such as science or archeology.

I'll confess I'm no expert on RYBS's hashkafa.

1) I would be surprised if he would have allowed science to influence
halachos, chazakos, etc. in  terms of overtruning a Chazal, etc.

2) I would be equally surprised that a man who was profoundly influenced by
Immanuel Kant and existentialism would have opposed scientific concepts from
influencing his Hashkafa/Machshava.

Shalom and Regards,
Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 12:56:56 -0500
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
RE: Nishmat

Stein, Aryeh E.:
> I recently came across a transcript of a question and answer session from a
> Torah U'Mesorah convention, where R' Yaakov Weinberg, zt"l...

> Should Torah Shebe'al Peh be taught to girls? ...

> But again, besides the halachic aspect, you are doing an incredibly
> destructive act by teaching Torah shebeal peh to girls.  And the reason is
> obvious.

How is TSBP defined?

Rashi on Chumash?
Tz'ena u'r'ena?
Shulchan Aruch?
Halacha Psuka?
How to kasher livers?
Hilchos Niddah?
Haggadah shel Pesach?

Shalom and Regards,
Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 20:42:57 EST
From: Akiva051337@aol.com
re: nishmat

Some of the most intelligent women learned Torah Shebe'al Peh when very young 
from their fathers, who were in these cases rabbis.  Not only didn't it 
destroy families but cemented them as the families I know are quite frum.  
Learning Talmud doesn't make men and women the same; in fact it clarifies 
positions allowing women to have a better understanding of men, ghereby 
strenthening the family rather than threatening it.

I have a feeling people do not understand the purpose of education.  In the 
past weeks the discussion of education in the Yeshivas cutting down on 
secular education as if Torah and secular subjects are separate entities.  If 
one believes our world is a reflection of shemayem then secular knowledge 
enhances Torah knowledge.  I know of a group of kabalists who get up to study 
at midnight and if they have problems they contact the top mathematicians and 
physicists to clearify concepts so they will understand shemayem more clearly.

Our finests, in my opinion, commentators were either scientists or 
mathematicians or familiar with the subjects.  The Rambam was a medical 
doctor, the Malbim was an engineer, the last Labovitcher Rebbe was an 
engineer, RYBS studied science and philosophy at the University of Berlin, 
Rashi was a winemaker and understood the science invokved, Avraham Avino 
understood science which led him to understand Hashem, etc.

Nehama Lebowitz, z"l, brought forward Judiasm by introducing many 
commentators who fell into obscurity such as the Alshich (my information). 
She enhanced the learning of Judiasm because of her studies of Torah Sheb'al 
Peh.  There are other such examples as women lecturing to Yeshiva 
students(they were not allowed to look at her).  Restricting knowledge is a 
Christian concept, so are monastaries.

Joel Zuger

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Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 22:25:27 +0000
From: Chana/Heather Luntz <Chana/Heather@luntz.demon.co.uk>
Tav L'meisiv

In a message dated 11/15/2000 1:49:38pm EST, Daniel Eidensohn
yadmoshe@bezeqint.net writes:
>> If sociology indicates that women today don't feel the need for marriage
>> while Chazal assert they do - neither would entertain that the halacha
>> has changed [Rav Soleveitchik indicated it was apikorsus to entertain
>> such an idea].

Joelirich@aol.com writes:
>Also on the tape I heard where the RYBS discussed the above, it was pretty 
>clear that he felt that the woman's needs were inherent in the bria and that 
>"sociology" in this case was "bad."  I think this is a much differnet thrust

I have been waiting for this one to come up again, ever since we did the
daf yomi in Yevoamos 118b and Kesuvos 71a.  Because once you read these
two gemorras, they seem, at least to me, to give a very different
understanding of the concept of tav l'meisiv than the way that RBYS
explains it or the way it has been explained on this list.

Let us look at these two gemorras:

In Yevamos they are discussing the question about whether a man can
appoint a shaliach to accept a get for his wife.  The general position
is that he cannot, because "ain chovin l'adam shelo befanav", however
the question is raised about two specific cases a) where he is giving
the get to patur her from yibum; and b) where there is a great deal of
strife between them.  In response to a) there is a discussion about how
a woman feels about her yavam, and the fact that while sometimes she may
well dislike him, sometimes she may well like him  and hence, since
there are some women for whom getting a get would not be a zchus, it
cannot be done. In response to b) the gemorra brings the statement of
Resh Lakish of tav lmeisiv tan du. Abaya then says (and it would seem to
be an explanation of Resh Lakish's statement) that even if her husband
is the size of an ant a woman still takes her seat among free (chosuva)
women. Rav Papa says, even if her husband works with the flax /guards
vegetables (ie not choshuva work) she is not embarressed to call him
over the threshold of the home and sit next to him, and if he is
ugly/comes from a tainted family she doesn't even require lentils in her
pot, and it was learnt in a mishna, all of the forementioned (kulan) are
mezana, and the ofspring of those (illicit) relationships they present
to their husbands as their own (ie as children of those husbands).

In Kesuvos they are discussing the issue of whether if a tnai was made
in the kidushin that the woman does not have nedarim or mumim and in
fact the woman has nedarim which can be subsequently nullified by a
chocham or mumim which can subsequently be healed by a doctor is or is
not the kiddushin  valid.  And Rava explains a braisa which says that
the kiddushin is not valid on the basis that it is talking about a case
where the woman is a chashuva woman, and the man does not want to be
forbidden to her relatives (ie so merely divorcing her does not solve
the problem). And this is then contrasted to the case at the end of the
same braisa in which the tnai is if the man has nedarim which can
subsequently be nullified by a chochom or mumim which can subsequently
be healed by a doctor, where the braisa states the kiddushin is valid.
And the argument is brought, if Rava is right and the first part is
talking about a choshuva woman, surely the second part is talking about
a choshuva man and hence similarly she might want to marry his
relatives, and so why should the tnai be valid there, and this argument
is rebutted by bringing the statement of Resh Lakish of tav l'meisiv tan
du. And again Abaya is brought seemingly to explain Resh Lakish saying
even if her husband is the size of an ant a woman still takes her seat
among free (chosuva) women. Rav Papa says, even if her husband works
with the flax /guards vegetables (ie not choshuva work) she is not
embarressed to call him over the threshold of the home and sit next to
him, and if he is ugly/comes from a tainted family she doesn't even
require lentils in her pot, and it was learnt in a mishna, all of the
forementioned (kulan) are mezana, and the ofspring of those (illicit)
relationships they present to their husbands as their own (ie as
children of those husbands).

Now the discussion we had previously focussed on two matters.  The first
was what seemed to be the position of RYBS which seemed to posit from
the statemen of tav l'meisiv some existential type state of inability to
cope with loneliness which is inherent in women (which, as I pointed out
at the time, would seem to suggest that all women always fell within
this category, it being inherent in their nature).  The second
suggestion made on this list was that it was a form of chazakah, ie a
rebuttable presumation.  However, a chazakah still seems to suggest that
it is the norm, and even though there may be exceptions, they are just
that, exceptions.

However, it seems to me that these gemorras are saying something quite

It seems hard to say that this describes some existential desire of
woman for a husband, predicated on the banishment of loneliness.
Firstly, because she is actually getting her pleasure from illicit
relationships (which could be one or many), and secondly because it is
clear from Abaya's statement that what is key is to be seen among the
other women.  Rather this last would seem to be a socialogical pressure
to be "seen to be married" ie to take her place among the other married
woman and the husband himself is completely irrelevant (can be the size
of an ant, hardly much of a consolation for loneliness).

Secondly, these would not seem to be either desirable marriages or the
norm.  Not the norm, because if it were, then the majority of children
should be suspected of being mamzerim.  Not desirable, because such
marriages, according to the gemorra, lead inexorably to mamzerim
(remember, if the husbands/beis din knew the truth about such marriages
divorce would be enforced).  If there is a chazaka that women are like
this, surely there is a similar chazaka that all children are mamzerim,
which would need to be rebutted in order to be accepted.

Which led me to wonder if we could not read the gemorras rather
differently, ie not that this is something found in all women, or even
the norm, but something found in enough women that we cannot rule it out
of halachic consideration, even though it is a miut.  And it seemed to
me that you could, although for some gemorras it is easier than others.

The gemorra in Yevamos is easy, after all, if there is even a small
chance that a woman prefers to stay married with strife than not (ie the
social status of being married outweighs the personal unhappiness), then
it is not a zchus to give a get, and hence a shaliach cannot be

Similarly we would have to say regarding the gemorra in Kesubos that the
tnai can only nullify the kiddushin if there is absent a small but
sufficiently noticable chance that a woman would want the marriage to go
ahead anyway (in a circumstance where the man would not). However, note
that at issue here is a choshuva man.  If, as I have suggested, the
issue is social standing, and social standing being more important to at
least some woman than the relationship between husband and wife inter-
se, then this distinction would be expected to particularly show up when
we are dealing with a choshuva man, as such a man would attract a woman
for whom social standing is particularly important, perhaps more
important than other, particularly personal, qualities.

There appear to be three other places where the statement of tav
l'meisiv is brought in the gemorra - twice in kiddushin (7a and 41a)
aand once in Baba Kama (111a) in each of which the statement of Resh
Lakish is brought without the explanation of Abaya, Rav Papa et al. 

The  case in kiddushin 7a deals with situations in which women have
accepted kiddushin where the value of the kiddushin is not your straight
pruta, but rather some other less tangible value such as that value of
having given a gift to a choshuva man - ie the man says I am mekadesh
with the hana'ah you have gotten from having given me a gift and the
reason why this is valid is because of the principle of tav l'meisiv.
Again here we seem to be dealing in the main with choshuva men, and with
women who have made it clear already that they are desperate to be
married to such men (in the case of the hana'ah from a gift, the
Shulchan Aruch Even HaEzer siman 27 si'if 9 brings the case as as only
occuring where she has already tried to be mekadesh the particular man
by giving him the gift and stating that he is mekadesh to her, and only
then does he respond effecting the kiddushin by being mekadesh her with
the hana'ah of him accepting such a gift).  All you need here is some
small but halachically significant  percentage who are willing to go
into marriage on this basis, and you would seem to be there.

The case in kiddushin 41a discusses why there is no issur on women
appointing a shaliach to receive kiddushin where there may be an issur
(based on v'ahavta re'echa k'mocha) for a man to do so without seeing
her, because he might see something undesirable in her, the answer being
given by Resh Lakish's principle.  Again, in the case of a woman whose
sole desire is to be married to achieve the necessary social standing,
the nature of the husband is irrelevant, and hence seeing him (and
seeing whether he is desirable as an individual or not) is irrelevant.
And for such a woman, marriage by way of shaliach would therefore not be
an issur, and hence you could not generalise the issur to all women
(even if this only applied to a small but halachically significant

The last case is that of Baba Kama 111a, where there is an attempt to
argue (based on some previous logic of Abaya's in a completely different
case) that a woman who fell to yibum with a yavam who was a muka schin
should be able to go out of the relationship without even chaliza,
because when she accepted the original kiddushin to the yavam's brother,
she surely did not accept it the basis that she would fall to such a
yavam, and therefore the whole kiddushin should be nullified
retroactively. The rebuttal to this particular piece of logic being Resh
Lakish's statement of tav l'meisiv.  Tosphos states that this has to be
talking about a situation where she fell to yibum during the erusin, not
after the nissuin.  Now this is particularly interesting.  Because
during erusin she is not living with the husband, but remains where she
was before the kiddushin (which certainly does not help from a
loneliness point of view).  Thus the *only* benefit that can be said to
accrue to her from the erusin is the status of marriage which is now
conferred (ie in Abaya's language, she can sit with the married women,
not as the poor spinster at the corners of the women's gatherings), and
yet it is this value that rebuts the argument, because otherwise she
would only have accepted the kiddushin assuming she would enter the
nissuin. And again, you do not need every woman or even a chazaka to
make this argument.  Even some chance that this benefit was the
motivating factor for her accepting the kiddushin would mean you could
not automatically invalidate the marriage ab initio and hence you would
require chaliza.

So it does seem to me that you can explain all the gemorras
satisfactorily this way. However I am having difficulty seeing how the
other explanations that have been posited deal with the elongated
explanations of the statement given in Yevamos and again in Kesubos.

Chana/Heather Luntz

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Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 15:26:10 -0500
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
RE: science and Torah

> One is saying that a
> single wrong "eilu" was chosen but mesorah is still emes. The other is
> saying that mesorah as a whole failed to embody "divrei E-lokim chaim".

> While the mesorah at Sinai might have been a complete system in no need of
> any outside help, I firmly believe we have lost vast layers of THAT Mesorah
> and live with a remnant.

Plus I never meant for Science to supplant Torah, only to elucidate it.
Using secular illustrations to explain what the Torah meant is imho a far
cry from saying the Torah w/o science is somehow "faulty" or incomplete.

Science is the parparos of Chachmah.  

Illustration: halachically what makes a sukkah complete is different from
the added on decorations.  By way this way of thinking wouldn't a
anarchically complete Sukkah that is decorated be detracted from and not

I don't think so.  The Halachah fills in the requirements and are artistic
creative side adds another dimension to beautify said sukkah. A Sukkah is
not just an engineering job, there is an artistic, creative element, too.

Similarly, Torah's halachos and mitzvos are complete in a technical sense
but when Yaft is in ohalei Shem, he adds beauty to the Torah.  I for one,
see no need to kick Yaft out of Ohalei Shem 

> The difference is, and I promise the rest of the chevrah to drop
> the subject after this email, that halachah isn't about right and
> wrong. Second-guessing an earlier p'sak for a less popular or even
> neglected one, is actually less problematic to me that second-guessing
> the entire body of mesorah about some aggadita...

When does a halachic opinion ever get finally rejected or is the process
always remain in a state of continuous flux?

How do you learn the Mishna in Brachos re: R. Tarfon following Beis
Shamaai's opinion re: hatiyo for Shma? 

How do you learn the Gmoro in Arvei Psachim about Hagam Lichbosh es hamalka
legabei continuing one's seudah?  (l'inyan being kovia' somethign lehalacha

Can we legitimately site opinions lehalachs such as the man d'amar that
Chizkiyahu was Moshiach? Can we pasken like R. Akiba that Bar Kohcba was
Moshiach?  Can we pasken like R. Yehoshua re: the calendar against Rabban
Gamliel? Can we pasken like Ben Meir against R. Saadya Gaon re: teh cheshbon
of the calendar?

Can we now say a bracha on tefillin derabbineu Tam when a pair of Rashi
Tefillin is not available?  

Can Ashkenazim eat kitniyos on Pesach by siting the TB that says it's OK?

Can we modify the birchos hashachar to say she'asani Yisrael if supported by
Ge'onic sources?

Shalom and Regards,
Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 22:07:17
From: "" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
RE: changes in nusach and minhagim

On Fri, 17 Nov 2000 10:26:20  Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> I am opposed to 2nd guessing or invalidating earlier models Adding
> kabbalas Shabbos does not Pass'l the rishonim. Neither does removing
> Brich Shmei due to the SZ debacle invalidate earlier customs.

Agreed. But you mean adding Brich Shmeh. Frankfort does not say it
because it was an new addition to davening in the 17th century, and they
concluded that it best not be added for reasons that perhaps included
SZ but may not have. See R. B. Hamburger's discussion of how it crept
into the siddur in the first volume of his Shoroshei Minhagei Ashkenza.

> Omitting Piyyutim becauese of Tircha is not a problem for me. Omitting
> them due to HEFSEK is because you are ipso facto over-ruling a defacto
> psak that it was always OK to do so. Similarly, Tefillin on ChhM, or
> Barchu Hashem l'olam at Maariv.

>> more than 40 qolos are the egregious examples, although KAJ does make a 
>> shinnui in where the ShaTz stands.

> please elaborate, RRW

I was told that the final kolos are done near the rov, not standing
where the other kolos were.

> aiui Hirsch insisted on not abridging or eliminating piyyutim, etc. davka
> beause Reform did, RRW

Yes about the piyyutim. But about other elements of davening that was
not a point of argument with the Reform, he let the old minhagim lapse.
Note also the criticism he endured by some contemporaries for wearing
the Taler.

> My point is that changing Minhag w/o regard to precedent undermines
> Mesora.

> If earlier generations "goofed" wrt to partial psukim or siyyum brachos,
> etc. what other mistakes fell though the cracks? And even if they weer
> not wrong, once you admit the possiblity that we know better than our
> predecesors, then it makes sense to give women aliyos and to redfine
> kavod hatzibbur etc.

Again, I agree. But you don't see any problem with adding brikh shmeh or
abandoning the old brokho of magbiah shfolim said in birkhos hashahar by
all Ashkenaz up until recent times (Frankfurt abandoned it), I will say
that others will disagree. I find it hard to draw a hard and fast dividing
line between what changes are OK and what constitute disagreeing with
previous psaq. Maybe Ashkenaz rabbis paskened not to say brikh shmeh,
despite the fact that the zohar was around from the 15th century, so
how could most kehillos start saying it? Maybe Ashkenaz rabbis opposed
qabbolas shabbos because the mitzva d'oraiso of tosefes shabbos is more
important than spending 20 minutes on saying the thillim out loud with
the tzibbur?

> I mean that the old minhag was responsive. IOW Shtaz: nekadeish thru
> v'amar; k'hal says Kadosh. AIUI it was The Ari who re-structured kedusha
> so that the khal says the shatz parts.

Yes again. And it was precisely the Gra who opposed this change and
insisted that people follow old Ashkenaz and not say nekadeish (see
Ma'ase Rav, s. 44).

>> But in many cases, the Gra was trying to hold onto the old minhag
>> Ashkenaz,

> I'm not familiar with these cases. It seem to me that the GRA, like the
> Ba'al Hatanyo, went on the premise that the Zohar was "more" correct han
> the old minhag including those Yerushalmi based minhaggim (e.g Tefillin
> on ChhM)

This is not a correct analysis of the Gro. The Gaon made no changes based
on the Zohar or kabbolo alone. His changes, like not saying barukh hashem
in Maariv, were based on his analysis of the rishonim on the issue. On
that change, note that his own minyan in Vilna said barukh hashem, he
was the only one who didn't (op. Cit. S. 67). As far as payyut goes,
he said all the payyut of hazoras haShaTz, but before kaddish.

I went through the Ma'asa Rav for this conversation. Most of the Gaon's
minhogim were not necessarily changes from Ashkenaz, just his own humros
(like eating garlic on Friday night) based on the rishonim. Out of
all of his minhogim that did concern minhogim of Ashkenaz, I found 23
that opposed changing the old minhog, and 13 that changed it (including
tefillin on ChhM. But I will say once again, that the Gaon's few changes
to existing minhag Ashkenaz must be looked at in the context of the times,
when the Hasidim were introducing wide ranging and wholesale changes in
the davening, and even such gedolim as R. Noson Adler of Frankfort were
adopting nusah haAri.

The Gaon's changes pale in that context. Furthermore, there was no
overarching theme to them, such as following Sefaradim or following the
Ari or following the Rambam. Each change, like saying kiddush on Friday
night before n'tilas yodayim, was based on his analysis of the issue.

> R. Hamburger I believe notes this in his sefer. A number or people have
> noted the irony that the changes made by the Ba'al Hatanya often resemble
> those of the Gra...

The poor Gaon. He climbed out of his attic window so that he would
not have to talk with the Ba'al haTanyo, at least in part because he
opposed all of his changes, and after his death he is compared to him
in that context!

Seth Mandel

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 12:31:16 -0500
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@segalco.com>
shiva for intermarried


This is the story I heard: 

A great Rabbi, perhaps from many hundreds of years ago, had a son who 
intermarried. He wrote that he sat shiva for his son. Many people in later 
generations accidentally assumed that he sat shiva **because** the son 
intermarried. However, what the Rabbi meant to say (or perhaps he actually 
did clearly) was that his son died young, so he sat shiva (perhaps to 
educate his followers that Jews should not decline to sit shiva for someone 
(who just died) who had intermarried). 

I'm curious if anyone at Avodah heard the same story I did. Perhaps the 
above story might stir someone's memory as to the source. 

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2000 14:26:58 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
DY Insight


K = Klal
P = Prat
R = Ribbui
M =Mi'ut

I proposed this morning that the way R' Yishmael deals with KPK or PKP as 
distinct from KP or PK is based on his last principle: "Shnei Ksuvim 
ha'Machishim  Zeh es Zeh ad she'Yavo ha'Kasuv ha'Shlishi v'Yachri'a 
Beinehem" - a KP or PK lacks a "Kasuv ha'Shlishi", and they contradict each 
other - the resolution is to discard the first term in the couplet and 
follow the second term. A KPK or PKP has a Kasuv ha'Shlishi, so both are 
sustained - we are machri'a beinehem based on how many prattim there are 
(one requires one parallel; two, two).

RM and MR do not contradict each other, thus the irony that while a PK is a 
contradiction, so the P falls off, MR is not, so its ramification is 
actually more limited.

V'yesh l'hosif, v'ein kan makom l'hosif.
ygb@aishdas.org      http://www.aishdas.org/rygb

Go to top.


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