Avodah Mailing List

Volume 06 : Number 071

Tuesday, December 19 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2000 12:09:02 -0500
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <richard_wolpoe@ibi.com>
RE: Ashrei

Steve Katz asked:
>Why is there no posuk starting with the letter nun in Ashrey?

There is a version - I believe in the Dead Sea Scrolls or perhaps the
Septuaigint - that has a Nun Passuk begining with "Ne'man:

And there are  {at least} two versions of how to deal with this version:

1) The Nun in Ne'man was originally there and was lost via scribal omission
2) The Nun was NOT there originally, and some payttan or scribe sought
to fill in the missing piece.

Shalom and Regards,
Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2000 13:20:00 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Ashrei

On Mon, Dec 18, 2000 at 12:09:02PM -0500, Wolpoe, Richard wrote:
: There is a version - I believe in the Dead Sea Scrolls or perhaps the
: Septuaigint - that has a Nun Passuk begining with "Ne'man:

They way I heard it, it's the LXX which has a line that would
back-translate to Ne'eman. It also appears (from those Notzri editions
of "Psalms" that have it) that the line is "Ne'eman H' bichol divarav,
vichasid bechol ma'asav. The similarity to the line for tzadi is very
strong, even for Ashrei which has such parallels between p'sukim (the
strongest being "...shimcha li'olam va'ed" in alef and beis). Enough
for me to suspect its authenticity. (Aside from any mesorah issues.)


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: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 10:43:52 -0500 (EST)
From: jjbaker@panix.com

Steve Katz asked:
>>Why is there no posuk starting with the letter nun in Ashrey?

From: Eli Linas <linaseli@netvision.net.il>
>The Gemara in Brachos 4b asks your question...

It's worth pointing out that the Septuagint and the Qumran version
have a nun verse.  The Septuagint version (from an Xtian bible) is

: In all his promises the Lord keeps faith, he is unchanging in all his works.

while the Qumran version has

: The Lord is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.

In both cases, the word is clearly "ne'eman". Now, odds are that
these versions are later additions to fill in the gap. But still,
what reason is there that the negative connotation of "nafla" overrides
the positive meaning of "ne'eman"? Why did David hamelech not find a
suitable "ne'eman" type word to use there? After all, one could find
negative words to use in any of the verses.

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Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 00:47:43 -0500 (EST)
From: jjbaker@panix.com
Halachic History and Halachic Process

One idea that has been batted around on this list is the question whether
or not we can separate our academic pursuit of halachic history from our
practice and our loyalty to the halahic system, the halachic process.
Some of those who would answer affirmatively have felt somewhat put-upon
by those who would answer negatively.  Some would cite the Conservatives
as evidence that one cannot separate intellectually honest contemplation
of halachic history from effects on actual practice and actual psak.

I (and one or two other members of the chevrah) participate on the UTJ-L
list, associated with R' David Weiss-Halivni's Traditional Judaism movement
(not that R' W-H actually participates himself).  One of their rabbonim
posted recently that one of the things that makes UTJ great is its ability
to separate academic history from halachic process.

: This reminds me of the UTJ approach to halacha in the age of historical 
: scholarship.
: Even though said scholarship may illuminate additional reasons for the 
: practice of certain laws or minhagim, or even discover possibly faulty psak 
: derived from gersaot of maculated transcripts, we hold that their observance 
: generally still obtains owing to the weight of their endurance in the 
: collective mind and memory of Israel.

OK, so now the non-detachers might think, we have support in that one 
of the "heterodox" movements holds this position, therefore maybe we should
suspect it.

On the other hand, consider the following from Dayan Dr. I. Grunfeld's
introduction to RSRH's Horeb, pp. li-lii:

: There is another fundamental consideration to be taken into acount
: in research into the motives of the laws of the Torah and their under-
: lying ideas; it is the distinction between Shemathetha and Aggadetha.
: The first refers to the legally binding material of our tradition, the
: second to our reflection on it.
:   Whereas in the search for the legal part--i.e., Shemathetha, every
: thinker is bound by the rules of the halachah, his meditation on the
: underlying ideas of the laws is, however, free--as long as he is aware
: that his theories on the motives of the laws are merely hypotheses and
: do not infringe either the  binding power of the law itself or the range
: of its validity.  This view, which Hirsch made abundantly clear in his 
: Foreword to the Horeb, coincides with the view of Shemuel HaNagid,
: expressed in his famous Introduction to the Talmud.  It has aptly been
: said that Shemathetha and Aggadetha--i.e., the law and the meditations 
: on its motives, are to one another as the centre of a circle to its circum-
: ference. Shemathetha is the centre of the circle, and Aggadetha is the
: cirucmference, representing one's philosophy and outlook on life pro-
: jecting forth from Shemathetha, the halachic part of Judaism. [See Solomon
: Ehrmann, Einfuhrung in S.R. Hirsch's 'Neunzehn Briefe' (Frankfort-on
: Main, 5680/1920), p.vi].

I'm not exactly sure how he gets this from Shmuel haNagid; Shmuel's
comments on Aggadeta address comments on biblical verses not affecting
halacha, rather than halachic history, but one can see how the one
idea might extend into the other.

At any rate, it's something to chew on in the debate about separating
history from halacha.

    Jonathan Baker        |  Happy [H|'Ch']an[u|'oo'][c[c]|k[k]]a[h]
    jjbaker@panix.com     |  Web page <http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker/>

P.S. See the proposal for the KSA/PMB translation project at
<http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker/ksamb.doc> or 

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Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 12:34:09 -0500
From: "David Glasner" <DGLASNER@ftc.gov>
Re: Avodah V6 #70

Gil Student wrote:
: I finally read R. Yakov Elman's translation of the introduction to
: the Dor Revi'i (http://www.math.psu.edu/glasner/Dor4/elman.html)...
: The Dor Revi'i seems to say that the chachamim in every generation have
: the right to darshen pesukim as they see fit, regardless of how previous
: chachamim darshened pesukim...
: I know the Dor Revi'i was a gadol beTorah, so what am I missing? How is
: this different from Karaism?

Well, the Dor Revi'i was controversial in his day, and there have
been those who challenged the orthodoxy of his hashkafot. I met
an old acquaintance recently who told me that he had heard Rabbi
H. Schachter discuss the Dor Revi'i in his tape series on the Oral Law.
While acknowledging the Dor Revi'i's gadlus, R. Schachter nevertheless
described, according to my source, the views of the Dor Revi'i concerning
halakhah and science (i.e. halakhot may have been decided in the Talmud
based on incorrect scientific knowledge, and those halakhot would in
principle be changed except that without a Sanhedrin there is no mechanism
to change a halakhah once it has been written down in the Talmud.

Rather than try to defend the Dor Revi'i, let me just ask you how you
would explain the Rambam in Mamrim 2:1 in which he codifies the law
that a Sanhedrin may change a halakha decided by a previous Sanhedrin
based on an alternative interpetation of the Scripture? How would you
interpret the gemara in BM 59 conerning the dispute over tanur achnai in
which hazal disregard an explicit directive from the Almighty to pasken
the halakhah in accord with R. Eliezer?

As to Karaism, it is the Dor Revi'i who, by saying that rabbinic
interpretation of the Scripture is the conrolling halakhic authority
rather than some supposed literal interpretation of (an inherently
ambiguous) text, stands at the opposite pole from Karaism, not those who
say that there was an oral mesorah about how to interpret every jot and
tittle of the text that was transmitted along with the written text.

David Glasner

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Date: Mon, 2 Dec 1996 10:54:47 -0500
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@bezeqint.net>
New volume of Igros Moshe

[Copied from an old mail-jewish post, sent by RCS to Areivim. -mi]

... I would like to address the issues of authoritativeness raised by
---. I have a certain amount of familiarity with the nature of the Igros
Moshe having produced the Yad Moshe - which is the widely used index
to the 7 volumes of the Igros Moshe. I have just finished indexing the
new 8th volumue. In addition I had a chance to discuss this issue with
Rav Dovid Feinstein shortly after the 8th volume was published. It is
important to remember that I am only presenting my views and am not in
anyway representing anyone else.

First of all it is a bit presumptuous to publicly question the validity
of the published writings of one of the leading halachic expert of our
time and by implication the integrity of the Torah scholars associated
with this work. However, I will give -- the benefit of the doubt and
assume he is merely concerned with understanding rather than challenging
the validity of the 8th volume in relationship to the other volumes.

Rav Moshe himself addresses the nature of his authority primarily in two
places. The first being the introduction found in the first volume of
the Igros Moshe. The second being an extensive tshuva found in the new
8th volume YD IV #38 page 250. Rav Moshe asserted that his authority
came from one source - the validity of the logic which led him to
his conclusions. His son, Rabbi Dovid Feinstein told me that he does
not recall his father ever relying merely on his status as the leading
legal expert to assert that he was right. In fact, in one of the tshuvas
Orech Chaim I # 109 page 173 he states "there is no one today who has
the status of a gadol that can not be [theoretically] disagreed with".

The question then, is what is actually the difference between the first
7 volumes and the recently published 8th?

There are two major differences. 1) The directness of Reb Moshe's
authorship of the tshuvas varies considerably in the 8th volume. 2)
Explanations were added in the 8th volume by the editors to clarify
various issues in the tshuvas. As Rav Dovid Feinstein pointed
out, the editors went to great pains to label the nature of the
source. There is material which was in Reb Moshe's own handwriting.
Other material was dictated by him to Rabbi Tendler but was reviewed
carefully by Reb Moshe. Other material was not reviewed carefully by
Reb Moshe. Some of the tshuvas are difficult to understand without
the explanations. Explanations which are added are set in different
size letters so it is easily noticed. In addition, the editors provide
extensive cross references to other relevent tshuvas in the Igros as
well as the source material Reb Moshe utilized. Reb Dovid said simply,
"it is up to the reader to understand the carefully labeled nature of
each tshuva and to do with it as he see fit." The alternative was to
discard much valuable material. It was decided that it was better to
present a product with clearly labeled warnings and explanations than to
deny posterity the access to Reb Moshe's thinking on many critical issues.

The Igros Moshe was not intended by Reb Moshe to be a cook book for
halacha for the layman. It is a collection of his carefully reasoned
decisions to provide guidance and suggestion for Rabbis. The jury of
our present day rabbinic authorities will decide the authority of each
of the rulings found in the 8th volume as they decided the authority
of the individual rulings found in the other 7 volumes and as they
decide whether or not to accept the particular rulings of any rabbinic
authority. Anyone who has any question concerning the ruling found in
any halachic work should always consult a competent rabbi.

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Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 01:48:40 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
RE: Glatt Yacht, Back to the Future and the 1950s

I own the sefer [Bnei Banim by R. Yehudah Herzel Henkin (vol 1) -mi]
- it was recently reprinted. 

I have not gone through the entire tshuva [#37 -mi] yet (it is quite
lengthy), but Rav Henkin is on this list [...] and if he thinks it
appropriate to add, I'm sure he will. In any event, any mistakes in this
post are mine and not Rav Henkin's.

To summarize the issues we have been discussing [on Areivim -mi] yesterday
and today (and omitting much of the lomdus):

1. He says that a husband and wife should not dance "tzmudim guf l'guf"
in front of others because it is like being shochev b'chek, but otherwise
he permits a husband to dance with his wife who is tehora.

2. He says that walking in the street holding hands with one's wife
who is tehora is mutar even for a talmid chacham, "im lo b'mkom sig
l'fi ha'tzorech."

3. He says that we hide leil tvila more than y'mei tahara, because a
woman on leil tvila is omedes l'tashmish and therefore hirhur about her
is more shayach.

4. He permits a men's circle to dance alongside a women's circle, but
assers a women's circle inside a men's circle (because of achrei ari
v'lo achrei isha) and a men's circle inside a women's circle (because
of issues of people not participating who would watch and because of
pritzus of men going through the women's circle to get in and out).

5. He brings the Ritva at the end of Kiddushin that I cited a couple
of days ago and the Pischei Tshuva in EH 21:3 who states that only a
"chasid gadol" can be meikil in Histaklus. He cites the Chinuch (188)
and the Otzar HaPoskim (19:2) that we cannot be poretz any gdorim in
these matters today. But he also brings the Yam Shel Shlomo (Kiddushin
4:25) that a man may only talk to women who are not his wife if he can
control himself and if he cannot control himself he has to be machmir
on himself. Rav Henkin summarizes by saying that he interprets this as
meaning that a person may not be meikil for himself more than for others,
but he may do the things that others do provided he does not find himself
tempted. Community standards? I'd suggest letting Rav Henkin speak for
himself on that issue.

It's too late at night for me to go through the entire tshuva, but I
thought I would post these items. As RMF indicated it's replete with
mareh m'komos.... At this point in the tshuva it says "v'ata la'dvarim
ha'kashim," and LAN"D 12:30 A.M. is not the time for someone who davens
hanetz to start with dvarim kashim.....

-- Carl

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


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Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 06:57:38 +1100
From: "SBA" <sba@blaze.net.au>
Daas Zkenim

From: Eli Linas <linaseli@netvision.net.il>
> I'm surprised no one's mentioned the Da'as Zekeinim m;baei Tosfos that
> makes a cheshbone that Rachel was 13 or 14, and not three...

BTW did anyone notice how the DZMT says pshat on V'einei Leah Rakos-
punkt farkert to Rashi!


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Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 09:29:46 -0500
From: "Markowitz, Chaim" <CMarkowitz@scor.com>
Chashad on Chanukah

Issue # 1

1) The halachah is that bzman that they lit chanukah neiros outside, if
one has 2 doorways then one has to light by both doors due to ma'aras
ayin. 2) During the days of the Tur it seems that they lit for b'nei
bayis but they still lit by the doorway to get the hiddur of being
surronded by mitzvos. Therefore, the Tur says (and the mishna berurah
brings it l'halachah) that since there is still an element of persum for
the people outside, the halacha of chashad still applies and if one has
2 doorways one should lightby both doors.

My question is that bzman hazeh that we light by the window should we
be worried about ma'aris ayin also? Granted that the ikkar hadlakah is
for bnei bayis, but along the lines of the Tur, since there si a persum
for people outside, maybe we should be choshesh for chashad. Therefore,
if one has windows facing reshus harabim from 2 sides of the house,
one should have to light two menorahs.

I saw brought down that the Baruch Ta'am asks this but I haven't seen
anyone give a clear psak. Obviously, the minhag is not to do this. Maybe
a possible reason is based n the Bach. The Bach understands the minhag
of the Tur that in his day everyone lit by the door. It could be in our
day since not everyone lights by the window, we don't have to be choshesh
for maaris ayin.

Issue #2

Someone commented to me that he thinks there would be a chashad problem
in the following scenario. If you eat in one house and sleep in another
house, there is a machlokes where one lights. Assuming one paskens that
you light where you eat, it is possible that you would still have to
light where you sleep because of chashad.
(people see you are home at night and have not lit) . I thought maybe
it is not true. Maybe chashad only applies ifthere exists a chiyuv to
light in that place. L'moshel, if you own 2 homes and only live in one
we won't say you have to light in the other house due to chashad-ther
is no chiyuv to light in the second house. Same thing here, your chiyuv
(assuming you pasken this way) is to light where you eat. You have no
chiyuv to light where you sleep so maybe chashad doesn't apply.


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Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 14:53:21 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Yotzer Or

On Fri, Dec 15, 2000 at 02:52:40PM -0500, jjbaker@panix.com wrote:
: I tend to like the last one.  I don't recall seeing Micha's variant,
: which combines the latter two opinions: shir shevach shelayom.  Who
: uses it?

I have it in two siddurim, one printed in British Mandate Palestine,
the other in 1970s Israel. I had assumed (based on the earlier siddur) that
it was the Israeli talmidei haGra minhag.


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