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Volume 06 : Number 158

Friday, March 16 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 14:20:58 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Voss IZ Der Chilluk #4: MC vol. 1 p. 52

Shloshim Yom Lifnei Ha'Chag...

The Beis Yosef OC 432 writes that one does not make a brocho on Bittul 
Chametz because it is  in the heart ("B'Lev") and one does not make a 
brocho on a dovor she'b'lev.

Yet the Gr"a OC 47 holds that one does make a brocho on Hirhur in Divrei 
Torah, despite the fact that this, too is b'lev (because, the Gr"a holds, 
Hirhur fulfills "V'Hogiso Bo Yomom vo'Lylo".

Now, RCPS crafts this as a question on the BY, but, of course, the BY 
holds, like most Poskim, that one only makes a brocho on Verbal Torah - so, 
it would seem, this is really a question on  the Gr"a: According to the 
Gr"a, why is there no brocho on Bittul Chometz?

Voss Iz Der Chilluk?

What Derech have you used to resolve that Chilluk?

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

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Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 16:14:20 -0000
From: "Seth Mandel" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
Re: Huqos Hagoyim

Subject: mechitza v. talking in Shul and huqos hagoyim

> As for talking during Davening, you can't equate that to taking a
> Shul without a Mechitza. Though both are Assur,a Mechitza-less Shul is
> clearly a violation that has ramifications beyond an individual.

Akiva Miller:
> My point is this: Does a shul REALLY lose its kedusha when the men and
> women are mixed? And if it does, does it lose it to a greater extent than
> when people are talking during the davening? Or are they actually rather
> similar to each other, the main difference being that it is simple to
> determine whether the shul has a mechitza or not, and it is difficult
> to determine if the level of talking is above/below the shiur.

> Isn't this business of equating talking in Shul to non-mechita/mixed
> seating somewhat ridiculous? No Shul has a POLICY that members MUST
> shmooze during davvenen. It just happens (a mench iz nor a mench...),
> its wrong and usually someone will shush the shmoozers -- who mostly
> obey and refrain (until the Yetzer Hora is again misgabeir). Call it that
> or call it an 'oines' or whatever. And -- no shmoozer claims that he is
> doing so 'beheter'... This is completely unlike the idea of LEKATCHILA
> and BEMEZID having a policy of a no-mechitza -- against the Halocho.

I think both posters raise valid points. Everyone knows that before the
rise of reform in Germany and its desire to imitate Protestant churches,
there was no discussion of m'hitzos in shul. It was precisely because
it was a deliberate break with the past, with unholy objectives, that
the posqim started searching for halakhic strictures. Because the issue
is really only discussed in regard to the simhas Beis haShoeva, it was
very clear to the posqim that the issue was not going to be simple, and,
because of the difficulty, different rabbonim came to the same place
through different means. RMF learned directly from Simhas Beis haShoeva
to the rules of a normal shul. This is conceptually very difficult: the
rules of Simhas Beis haShoeva do not even apply to the Beis haMiqdash
itself the rest of the year, even though there were women present at
least in the Ezras Noshim. RYBS decided, then, since all Jewish shuls
had a separate area for women, that this must be a halokho in the q'dusha
of a shul. But what exactly are the guidelines there?

All g'dolim saw the issue of mixed seating as a direct break with Jewish
tradition for the sole reason of imitating the Goyim and destroying the
Torah. Talking in shul, on the other hand, is not similar at all. It is
not a deliberate break with anything: the people who talk in shul mostly
heard others talking when they were young. For sure, then, mixed seating
is osur, but how to define the issur?

And, of course, this ties directly to my questions about huqqos haGoyim
and what is permitted. I think that lurking in the back of everyone's mind
was the issur d'orayso of huqqos haGoyim, but that issur was not enough
to establish clear standards: do we require a m'hitza? How high? Do we
just change the seating patterns from mixed pews? The overriding agenda of
all the G'dolim then was the same as RSH: we have to draw some clear line
between Orthodoxy and deviations. Back in the 30's and 40's there were
no clear lines, with various shuls all over the map in terms of practice
(cf. the recent posts about Traditional shuls). In such a situation,
as RSH saw, you risk losing everyone. Better draw a clear line and save
the few, as he did in Frankfurt with the austritt, then risk losing all,
as happened in some other k'hillos. The issur of huqqos haGoyim, then,
was not enough to support the clear objective of drawing lines.

I am not impugning the halakhic reasoning of either RMF or RYBS or any of
the other Orthodox rabbonim who championed this battle. Nor am I using
a variant of "where there is a halakhic will, there's a way." What I am
saying is that underlying the seriousness that this issue suddenly assumed
in religious life lay the loss of hundreds of thousands of souls to C
and R in the 30's and 40's, and the clear need to separate the remaining
Jews from the C and R. In those days, if anyone remembers, C and R were
riding high, finding willing ears among most of the Jews who had come
from Europe with their half-truths and distortions of Torah. Most of the
Jews in America were not groise talmidei hakhomim, and most were already
familiar from their friends and family with the notion that "the Jewish
customs were for the Old World; here in the New World we need to behave
like modern people." And when they came to a shul, often one that they had
grown up in, and there was a respectable looking rabbi with black robes
teaching the people about the "real meaning of Judaism," with hundreds
of other Jews listening attentively and according him respect, it was
very easy to get swayed. So one clear outward manifestation that the
shul had left the chain of tradition assumed an importance beyond other
aveiros. So what I am saying is that the mehitza issue would doubtlessly
have been assured anyway by most if not all Orthodox rabbonim, but the
importance it assumed was beyond any intrinsic severity of its issur
versus other issurim, which, as the posters note, were also present. I
think the organ in shul, on the other hand, would not -- and, as a matter
of fact, was not -- assured by most Orthodox rabbonim, except as part
of the overt struggle against reform 100 years earlier in Europe.

This is also going to be part of my response to RMFeldman's good question
about how is seating in pews different than electric lighting, although
there is more to it than just this.

Seth Mandel

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Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 10:16:28 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Definition of ocheil for chameitz

In a message dated 3/14/01 9:31:24pm EST, micha@aishdas.org writes:
> However, chameitz is unique in that for it, ocheil is defined as ra'ui
> la'achilas kelev; not ra'ui la'achlah (for a human).

This is only Midrabanan and when he Bdavka wants to eat it, then his 
Machshava makes it an Oichel, see S"A Horav 442:32-34 (WRT other Issurim see 
Poskim Y"D 103, note that Chomeitz is Ossur Bma Shehu).

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 17:13:18 EST
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
Re: Voss IZ Der Chilluk #4: MC vol. 1 p. 52

1) Brisk (I always start with this one): 2 types of mitzvos aseh a)
chovas hagavra b) issur aseh. T"T is a chovas hagavra; tashbisu (biyur
chametz) is an issur aseh (GR"Ch al haRambam) and is not mechayev beracha.

2) There is a beracha by chametz - the beracha of bedika, dumya to saying
a berachas sh'hechiyabu when you build a sukkah, also GR"A's shita by
the birchas sh'hechiyanu by megillah day fits.

3) Telz - T"T is a mitzva chiyuvis which there is no way out of; bittul
chametz is avoidable if there is no chametz around; it is a kiyum mitzva,
but not a miztva chiyuvis (and yes, I know the invention of that chiluk
is attributed to the Rav (RYBS), but I think it can pass for a R' Chaim
Telzer answer).

4) Polisher - devarim sheb'lev ainam devarim, but there is an exception
if there is a clear umd'ma to the contrary (Tos. in Kiddushin). So by
T"T, a person clearly wants to be mekayeim T"T; but by bittul perhaps
he wants to be mekayeim tashbisu some other way, so there is less of an
umdena and we say disregard devarim sheb'lev.

5) By T"T there is never a ma'aseh mitzva b'poel. By tashbisu one can
be mekayeim the mitzva with a peula, so the chachamim were not mesakin
a bracha on a kiyum b'lev (similar to above, but more straighforward
for those who aren;t Polish : )

6) R' Shimon/Telz - by T"T it is the machshava itself which is the kiyum.
By bittul, the machshava is just a means of causing siluk reshus; it is
the siluk reshus which is the cause of the kiyum of the mitzva.

7) Brisk II: - there are 2 dinim in beracha a) the cheftza shel mitzva
b) the chovas hagavra. By T"T the chiyuv bracha stems from the cheftza
shel mitzva (like GRI"Z al harambam); the subject matter is mechayeiv
beracha, even if there is no ma'aseh b'poel by the gavra. By chametz,
the cheftza of chametz is not mechayeiv bracha.

> Now, RCPS crafts this as a question on the BY, but, of course, the BY
> holds, like most Poskim, that one only makes a brocho on Verbal Torah -
> so, it would seem, this is really a question on the Gr"a:

8) Sephardi derech - If only you guys would follow Maran haBeit Yosef
there would be no kashe at all!

: )  CB

(2 notes: all previous times I have felt the Brisker teirutz to be most
elegant, but I'm biased. This time, while I can't vouch for correctness,
the #6 answer above (what I classified as R' Shimon style) strikes me as
most elegant. YGB: there is hope for me yet! Second: I don't think I've
scratched the surface - I'm sure there can be some answers base don hirhur
k'dibbur, bittul m'ta'am hefker, etc....too many answers for this one!).


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Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 17:12:21 -0500
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
re: bishul aku"m and canned goods

R' Yisrael Dubitsky asked if
> hashgahot on canned goods (need) take into consideration bishul aku"m.

Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, Rabbinic Administrator of the Star-K, writes at
http://www.star-k.org/articles/king.html :
> Does bishul akum apply to canned goods? The answer is that it
> depends. Canned soups and canned pasta would present a problem of bishul
> akum without proper supervision. Canned fruit would not present a bishul
> akum problem because fruit is usually eaten raw. As long as the fruit
> has been processed on kosher equipment with kosher ingredients it would
> be permitted. Canned vegetables that are either eaten raw or are not
> elegant enough to be served at a state dinner would not have a bishul
> akum problem. Whole asparagus, when served alone, is a prestigious food.
> Therefore, canned whole asparagus should only be used with a reliable
> hechsher which surely addressed the bishul akum issue.

[Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com> contributed the same quote.
Akiva got dibs by providing the full URL. -mi]

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Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 21:53:30 EST
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
Re: Voss IZ Der Chilluk #4: MC vol. 1 p. 52

9) Hirhur b'divrei Torah entails thinking in "words" - framing the concepts 
into intelligent patterns similar to talking to oneself (l'mashal the diyun 
in achronim if one says a birchas hatorah if one doesn't understand what one 
is learning - thought must be intelligent, directed).  Bittul has no specific 
requirement for organized thought (again, works better acc. to ramban).   R' 
Tzaddok says it better than I wrote - 'yersh machshava v'hu hirhur b'lo 
hishpashtus, v'yesh hirhur b'lev sh'amru al zeh hirhur k'dibbur...' (Pri 
Tzaddik, Beshalach).

I liked answer #6 to be mechalek between T"T where hirhur is the direct sibas 
hamitzva vs. hefker/bittul, where is is goreim siluk reshus and m'meila there 
is a kiyum mitzva, but it opens a pandoras box.  It makes sense within the 
Ramban who understands bittul chametz not as hefker, but just as annuling the 
power of "shnei devarim sh'ainam b'reshuso shel adam v'asao hakasuv k'ilu hen 
b'reshuso'.  It is more difficult to say within Rashi's shita that bittul 
makes the chamtez direvtly k'afra d'ara - that is a direct causal 

Also, if you understand hefker like R' Yosef Engel in Esvan D'Oraysa that it 
is a neder m'ta'am tzedaka and hence a kiyum mitzva of hisnadvus - according 
to R' Yosef Engel (within Tos.) if hefker has an element of kiyum mitzva, why 
not say a beracha like the kiyum mitzva of T"T?  The kashe is esp. difficult 
acc to #1 (R' Chaim that tashbisu is an issur aseh) - even if tashbisu is an 
issur aseh, if one combines it with a mitzva of hefker, why would that not 
generate a chiyuv beracha?  


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Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 09:40:36 -0000
From: "Seth Mandel" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
Teimani tradition

Shoshana L. Boublil:
> About the Yeminite Mesorah...         The dividing issue is the 
> importance/validity of Zohar and Rambam.  They are known as Ike'shim and 
> Dor'dei'eim.
> They also have 4 nusachim of Tefilla, and no group will use the other one's 
> siddur.

Gil Student:
> This is the first I've heard of this. Is this a Rambam vs. Zohar issue
> or a Zohar/Rambam vs. ancient minhag issue?

You just don't frequent the right circles, R. Gil. When was the last
time you davened in a Teimani minyan?

It's a little simpler than R. Boublil makes it sound. Up until the
18th century, the Teimanim were more or less unified. They all followed
basically the p'saq of the Rambam, with a few minhogim left from the time
of the g'eonim. But it is important to understand, "more or less unified"
means the same as we say about Ashk'naz, that up until the 17th century,
all the Jewish k'hillos in Ashk'naz were more or less unified. If you went
from Worms to Frankfort to Prague to Krakow, you would find the same basic
nusah hat'filla, the same basic minhogim. There were differences in the
order of payet said when payet is said (almost all the time), differences
in how many Avinu Malkenu's were said on a fast or Yomim Nora'im, small
and inconsequential differences in the wording of some t'fillos. But if
you were from Krakow you could walk right in to the shul in Hamburg and
start davening, although your clothes would label you as from the east,
and you would have an accent when you spoke Yiddish (not as far as a
Galicianer Yiddish is from a Litvisher Yiddish, but still an accent).

So it was in Teiman. Tiny differences in Nusah from area to area, small
differences in pronunciation. (E.g. one major area pronounced holam as
"e," thus conclusively proving that the Litvisher pronunciation of a
holam, as in qadosh rhyming with shalev, is absolutely correct <grin>!)

Then came the influence of the talmidim of the Ari. Just as in Ashk'naz,
word of the holy Ari and his qabbolo made waves in the traditional
k'hillo, and many people started changing their minhogim to what was
reported in the name of the Ari, and inserting into their nusah of
t'filla various amounts of material from the Ari's nusah, as reported
by the sh'lihim from E'Y (who were the vector in Europe as well).

Just as in Ashk'naz, battles arose between those who fought for
maintaining the centuries-old nusah and minhogim, and those who championed
the innovations. It is important for the readers to note, since most list
members are Europeans and have little exposure to what Yiddishkeit was
like in Europe before the great sea changes of the 19th century, that
there actually were battles about such innovations as the introduction
of B'rikh Sh'meh when taking out a Sefer Torah, saying Qabbolas Shabbos,
saying mizmor shir hanukkas habbayis, etc. But these "battles" were just
small skirmishes, relatively cordial disagreements between groups in
the one unified k'hillo, in comparison to the no-holds-barred battles
that arose with the advent of hasidus, with its wholesale abandonment
of tradional Ashk'naz minhogim. Coupled with that the other upheavals
of the 19th century -- Reform in the Austro'Hungarian empire, haskolo
in the Poylin and Lita -- this led to a rapid breakdown in the one more
or less unified k'hillo that existed previously, and completely erased
from communal memory the relatively smaller and more cordial arguments
that came with the introduction of qabbolo.

Teiman, in this regard, was more like Ashk'naz in the 18th century. The
arguments were still relatively cordial, but only relative to European
standards of misnaggdim vs. hasidim and O versus R and haskolo. Otherwise,
they were taken very seriously by the two factions, one championing
introduction of nusha'os and minhogim of the Ari, the other opposed,
and the arguments grew quite heated.

This created two basic nusha'os of davening. One, called the Baladi
(i.e. national/local), remained virtually identical to the nusah of
t'filla that the Rambam recorded in the Mishne Torah hundreds of years
before (really: there are maybe two or three significant differences,
and that is all). The other, called the Shaami (i.e. E'Y-Syrian)
introduced many elements of the Ari's nusah. This split overlaid the
older smaller differences between one geographic area and another, and
eclipsed them to a great extent, so it is technically more correct to
talk of two major Teimani nusha'os nowadays, with several subcategories
of each. Furthermore, the Baladi-Shaami split was not by geographic
area. In most communities, there were groups that still davened Shaami
and groups that davened Baladi, with the percentages differing between
place and place. Very much like the description of pre-war Hungary given
in these lists by R. D. Glassner, R. Mechy Frankel, and R. S. Abeles:
most communities had both those who davened Ashk'naz and those who
davened so-called Sfard, with percentages varying depending on place
from overwhelming majority for one side to an almost even split. The
local differences in pronunciation also still existed. E.g. if you were
from Satmar, you pronounced things the same as every one else there,
even though you might daven Ashk'naz and the other Sfard; but you both
pronounced things differently from the Jews in Pozsany/Pressburg.

Similarly if you were from San'a (nice Yiddish-sounding name, no?) you
would pronounce things the same as any other Jew from San'a, regardless
of the fact that one davened Shaami and the other Baladi, and you both
pronounced things differently from Jews from the Hugariyya area (that's
Hugariyya with a het, not Hungary).

Gil Student:
> So much for all the claims I've heard that the Yemenites have the one
> true mesorah.

The problem is I don't know from whom you heard such a claim. In terms of
general minhogim, it is certainly true that Teimani minhogim are older
than current Ashk'naz minhogim, but they are not older than Ashk'naz
minhogim were in the 17th century. And the Shaami nusah is not that
old in Teiman. If you are talking about mesorah as the technical term
relating to the nusah of the T'Nakh, yes, they have a very old mesora
(that was not affected by the Shaami-Baladi, or Qabbolo vs. non-Qabbolo
split). So for afficionados of grammatical issues, there is basically
only one Teimani nusah, and that is extremely old, and very relevant to
discussions such as those conducted on the Mesorah list of this group.

Gil Student:
> Do the various factions pronounce Hebrew the same?

There are certain basic features common to all 3 major pronunciation
areas that will label you as a Teimani. Analogous to the pronunciation
of soft tav as "s" that will label you Ashk'naz. But there are fairly
significant variations in pronunciation between areas, such as the fact
that in one area hard gimel is pronounced "dj" while in the other area
it is pronounced "g."

In term of your "Rambam vs. Zohar" comparison, as stated above, that is
not really the issue. The difference is the extent of changes affected by
the Ari's qabbolo on the older customs, which followed the Rambam. As far
as R. Boublil's statement <2 major groups whose relationship is somewhat
similar (though not as virulent nowadays) to the relationship between
Chassidim and Mitnagdim during the time of the Gra>, the comparison
is only partially apt to most readers of the list. First of all, the
difference in minhogim excluding the nusah of t'filla is small between
the groups. Second of all, although the arguments became very heated in
the 19th century in Teiman, no one ever thought to put the other group
in herem.

As I said above, that is partially because the differences were mostly
limited to changes in nusah and the acceptance of Qabbolo, and did
not include a wide-ranging change in older communal minhogim such as
those that came along with hasidus. There never was an issue like the
geshlifene halef (the polished sh'hita knife -- anyone here aware of
that issue?) that split the posqim down the middle and was one of the
major causes of the mutual herem between hasidim and misnaggdim.

As a historical note, the grandfather of the late R. Yosef Qaafih z'l
was one of the leaders of the group in Teiman opposed to the innovations
based on Qabbolo and the introduction of the teachings of Qabbolo into
the old Teimani educational system.

Seth Mandel

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Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 22:58:30 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Definition of ocheil for chameitz

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
> cheftzah of ocheil (sheim davar, the neginah is milra, on the '-eil'), as
> opposed to the rest of kashrus which refers to the pe'ulah of achilah.>>

        An ochel, accent mil'el,  is a food.  An ocheil,  accent milera, 
is an eater.  I'm not sure what you're asking here.


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Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 08:42:21 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Definition of ocheil for chameitz

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
:> cheftzah of ocheil (sheim davar, the neginah is milra, on the '-eil'), as
:> opposed to the rest of kashrus which refers to the pe'ulah of achilah.>>

On Thu, Mar 15, 2001 at 10:58:30PM -0500, Gershon Dubin wrote:
:         An ochel, accent mil'el,  is a food.  An ocheil,  accent milera, 
: is an eater.  I'm not sure what you're asking here.

Serves me right for trying to be overly-clever. My point was that chomeitz
is a din in the cheftzah, not the pe'ulah. Ocheil as a noun, not a verb.

I raised the question because I had a thought on it that I wasn't sure
enough of. RYZ disabused me of it, as my sevarah would make ra'ui la'achilas
kelev a din di'oraisa.

What I wanted to suggest was that chomeitz is different because it not
only includes ocheil, but also machmetzes. Such as yeast, which isn't ra'ui
la'achilah (even for a dog) plain. Sourdough is possible because there
exists chomeitz that a human can eat but can serve as a leavening agent.

But as I said, it's already been ruled out.


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: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 09:04:01 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Fwd: Parsha-Insights - Parshas Ki Tisa

A vort on tzadik vira lo... Might also be a useful kavanah when putting
on one's shel rosh.


Rabbi Yisroel Ciner
Project Genesis

This week we read the parsha of Ki Tisa. After receiving the Torah,
Bnei Yisroel, thinking that Moshe had died, sought to fill that void
by creating an intermediary between them and Hashem. This led to the
Chait Ha'egel and near disaster for Bnei Yisroel until Moshe succeeded
in interceding on their behalf.

A fascinating result of Moshe's t'filos was the bringing about of an
'ais ratzon'--a time where Hashem seemed to be very willing to grant
Moshe's wishes. Moshe sensed this willingness on the part of Hashem and
petitioned Him on behalf of Bnei Yisroel.

"And now, if I (Moshe) have found favor in your (Hashem's) eyes, please,
make known to me your ways. [33:13]"

The Talmud [Brachos 7A] explains that Moshe wanted to understand why
some of the righteous prosper while others suffer and why some of the
wicked prosper while others suffer. Moshe wanted to fathom the seeming
injustices in the world as we perceive it.

"And He (Hashem) said: You are not able to see my face, for no man
can see my face and (continue to) live... and you will see the back of
me. [33:20,23]"

That explains it! No more problems in understanding the world's seeming

And just in case that doesn't do a thorough enough job of leaving us in
the dark, Rashi quotes the Talmud [Brachos 7A] that teaches that Hashem
showed Moshe the knot of His tefillin.

Now it's perfectly clear! You see it wasn't actually Hashem's back but
rather it was the knot of His tefillin! Thanks!

The Talmud [Brachos 6A] shows the source from which we derive that
Hashem wears tefillin and reveals that His parchments contain the verse:
"Who is like your people, Israel, a unique nation on the earth. [Divrei
Hayamim I 17]"

How are we to understand the idea of Hashem wearing tefillin, what is
the significance of the verse written in those tefillin and how does
this relate to Moshe's difficulty in understanding Divine Providence?

Rav Aryeh Kaplan z"l explains in the following way. Being that Hashem has
no body, shape or form, any physical terms used in relation to Hashem
come to express His relationship to the world. His 'eyes' become His
awareness; His 'arm' is understood to convey His power and involvement.

What do His tefillin express?

The tefillin, worn on top of the head, hover over the site of wisdom. They
are called the crown. They represent that which is above and even higher
than wisdom. They represent purpose and will--that which focuses and
guides wisdom in order to bring out its innate potential.

The Divine wisdom that manifested itself in the creation is astounding.
Hashem's tefillin represent His purpose and will in the creation. As
such, we understand that the knowledge that Hashem wears tefillin without
knowing what is written on His 'parchments,' would still leave us very
much in the dark.

The Talmud relates that Hashem's tefillin contain a verse about the
uniqueness of Yisroel. The tefillin thereby show that Hashem's purpose
and will in creation is intimately bound to and manifested by Yisroel.

As we understand, Hashem created the world as a vehicle upon which He
could bestow His good. The greatest good that He could bestow is He
Himself, as He is the epitome of good. Those who would be the recipients
of this good would have to freely choose to make this connection to
Hashem and instructions would have to be available as a means through
which they could partake of the G-dly. Lastly, a people would have to
accept these guidelines, to structure their entire lives according to
these instructions, and thereby ultimately receive Hashem's goodness.

Many nations roamed the earth but it was a few select individuals
who forged this connection to Hashem. It was only Yaakov, the third
generation, who attained the name Yisroel. His descendants as a whole only
attained that stature and name upon the exodus from Mitzrayim. By virtue
of their free will, they became Yisroel, the Torah of life were entrusted
to them and the crown/purpose of creation would be fulfilled through them.

All events that happen in this world are all focused on reaching
that ultimate goal of connection to Hashem and partaking of His
G-dliness. The straps that emanate from the tefillin emanate to the
right and the left. They represent the two opposing forces of Hashem's
Providence--chessed and gevurah. These forces join together and form the
structure of Hashem's justice. This is represented by the knot of the
tefillin--the point where the two join together. The straps then hang
down, showing the involvement of this Divine intervention and supervision
all the way down through history.

In the intertwining of a knot, some straps are revealed and others are
covered. Moshe was troubled by the seeming injustice in the world. Hashem
showed him that nothing is haphazard. Nothing happens by chance. Every
event is the practical application of the Divine will and purpose. As
such, every event is justice as it is comprised of the union of chessed
and gevurah.

Hashem showed him the knot of his tefillin.

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Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 09:48:31 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Voss IZ Der Chilluk #4: MC vol. 1 p. 52

In a message dated 3/15/01 4:20:08pm EST, sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu writes:
> Voss Iz Der Chilluk?

See Sdei Chemed Kuntris Hakllolim Ma'areches Habeis Ois 35 (he mentions also 
the issue of Truma)

> What Derech have you used to resolve that Chilluk?

Tzana ... :-)

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 10:09:19 EST
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
Re: Voss IZ Der Chilluk #4

10) "HaBodek tzarich sh'yevatel" - Bittul is not an independent mitzva,
but is just a 'machshir' on the bedika which was done, in case anything
was missed. T"T is an independent mitzva. (Difficulty: what if one did
bittul w/o bedika - would that be mechayev a beracha?)


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Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 10:52:57 -0500
From: "Markowitz, Chaim" <CMarkowitz@scor.com>
FW: Voss IZ Der Chilluk #4: MC vol. 1 p. 52

Two possible teirutzim.

The pshat in not making a bracha on devarim sh'bleiv is that a bracha can
only be chal when you accomplish something that is tangible (shaking a lulav
is tangible theer is a maaseh involved). Bittul by hirhur is totally b'leiv
so no bracha nothing tangible was accomplished.  However, torah is b'etzem
"seichal nivdal" and not a davar gashmi so hirhur b'torah is the equivilant
to accomplishing something tangible so you make a brachah.

The above approach foccused on the accomplishment (chalos) another approach
is to focus on the maaseh.

An intangible act (like hirhur) doesn't get a bracha. However, torah is
betztem not gashmi so vis a vis torah hirhur is considered a maaseh.

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Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 10:58:57 -0500
From: "Markowitz, Chaim" <CMarkowitz@scor.com>
Vos Iz Der Chiluk

two more answers.

3) famous chiluk of hechsher mitzvah vs mitzvah. Do you make a bracha
on hechsher mitzvha or not?

Bittul might only be a hechsher mitzvah so no bracha. However, this
ignores the reason given that you don't make a brocha cause it is b'leiv.

4) Is birchas hatorah a birchas hamitzvah or birchas hashevach?
Only time you say no brocha on devarim sh'bileiv is when it is birchas
hamitzvah. The mitzvah has to be a maaseh. By birchas hashevach we don't
say this so you make a brocha by birchas hatorah.


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Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 21:51:49 -0500
From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@juno.com>

Can anyone suggest some source material where I can learn about the
concept of "kapparah"?

For example, I believe that there are some shitos who hold that the
korbanos of Yom Kippur are m'chaper for our sins even without our
teshuva. What does that mean? How does it work? And for the shitos which
disagree, saying that teshuva *is* required, then what does the korban
add to the process? Having done teshuva (thus becoming a new person) what
more is needed?

(Somehow, I just can't shake this nagging feeling that our zeal to reject
Christianity has caused us to distort a genuine and legitimate Jewish
concept, and reject its very foundations. "How can A atone for B?", we
laugh, ignoring how crucial this concept is for the proper understanding
of korbanos in general and Yom Kippur in particular.)

Akiva Miller

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Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 11:34:36 EST
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
Bedikas chamtez - gezeirah or takanah?

While on the chametz topic:

We discussed on avodah the categories of takanos/chashashos/gezeiros/
minhagim etc. a few times and what the nafka minos are. 

Yesh lachkor - what is the nature of bedikas chametz: is it a *takanah*,
or a *gezeirah* (and for nitpickers, or a *chashash*)?

Nafka minos? Ra'ayos?

Some initial ideas - beracha seems to indicate takanah; I can't think of
berachos on gezeiros. Tos. 2a writes the reason for bedika is you might
find chametz and eat it - sounds like a gezeirah. Rashi writes without
bedika you are oiver bal yera'ah - perhaps Rashi learns that bedikah is
a takanah (Tos. immediatly asks that bittul removes the issur d'oraysa of
bal yera'eh) and the chachamim said you are oiver bal yera'eh derabbanan
unless you fufill the takanah. IOW: A violation of a gezeirah has to lead
you back to a d'oraysa (Tos kashe), a takanah entails setting up a new
issur of bal yera'ah derabbanan. It is easier to understand a takanah made
on all forms of chametz; if it is a gezeirah related to bal yera'ah, you
have to come on to lo plug to explain applying it to chametz noksha and
places where the gezeirah wouldn't apply (Tos. 2a discusses). Mitzva bo
yoseir m'bshucho - would apply if it is a takana/mitzva derabbanan,
not if it is just a gezeirah.

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Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 11:46:59 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Rambam, Karaites and the Principles

On Wed, Mar 14, 2001 at 12:57:28AM -0000, Seth Mandel wrote:
: I used the Arabic "qawaa'id alSharii'a" precisely because that is a
: defined term in the Perush haMishnayos there...
:                (translated by R. Qaafih as "yesodei haTorah," which is
: close enough)....

I think the difference should be pointed out, because it's relevent to
our discussion. Al Sharii'a, AIUI, is most closely "the religious law".
The Rambam is calling these things the foundations that underly halachah.

I think it's significant because it makes your later statement a real
:                                                                Karaites,
: according to his reading, accept the 13 Principles (and indeed they do,
: except for the authority of Hazal, although we may question how they
: accept Principle 8, Torah min haShamayim, which includes accepting that
: the "tradition is also 'mippi haG'vura,'...

Since their understanding of #8 is different enough to void halachah (al
sharii'a), I do not understand how the Rambam reaches this kulah. And I
surmize that without knowing his reasoning, we don't know how to treat
contemporary movements that only loosely acknowledge these principles.
(Assuming we pasken that they are the definition of "min" lima'aseh,)


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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