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Volume 06 : Number 162

Tuesday, March 20 2001

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Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 21:20:17 EST
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Fwd: RAV -13: The Need for Action

Another segment of this series.
               Steve Brizel

			     by Rav Ronnie Ziegler
			LECTURE #13: The Need for Action

Given Rav Soloveitchik's emphasis on inwardness, which we have explored in
the last few lectures, we might well be tempted to ask: why does Judaism
require action at all? What is the point of the myriad commandments
governing every aspect of our lives? Why not suffice with religious
feeling and thought?

Much of lecture #8, dealing with the sanctification of physical existence,
dealt with this question. Before offering new answers, let me briefly
reiterate some of the conclusions reached there. Judaism wants man
to live a full natural life, and the commandments relating to the
physical side of his existence force him to involve himself with the
natural world. In this manner, he can avoid the temptation of a purely
ethereal, otherworldly spirituality, which leads to a dualistic approach
of affirming the spirit while rejecting the world.

On the other hand, while Halakha demands involvement in natural life, it
also demands that one actively sanctify his physical existence. This is
attained through the observance of mitzvot, which affect every facet of
one's worldly existence, from the moment he wakes up until the moment
he falls asleep. These mitzvot have the effect not just of sanctifying
one's personality (e.g. by asserting control over one's physical drives),
but of sanctifying his very actions and his physicality. Thus, one
does not live a divided existence, but rather infuses all areas of his
life with meaning, giving the totality of his existence significance
and purpose. The all- encompassing demands of the mitzvot ensure that
one will be conscious of God at all times, not just when one is in the
synagogue or beit midrash. Serving God by all means at one's disposal,
the individual's entire life becomes consecrated to God, offering God
an integrated and complete service.

While lecture #8 focused on the concrete ways in which observance of
mitzvot sanctifies one's physical existence, I would now like to focus
on the dangers inherent in a religious posture which ignores the arena
of one's natural worldly existence, concentrating instead on religious
feeling and contemplation. I believe that the Rav's objections to such an
approach can be grouped under four headings: this form of religiosity is
1) otherworldly;
2) unrealistic;
3) subjective;
4) esoteric and undemocratic.
Let us examine each of these.


According to Rav Soloveitchik, what distinguishes Halakhic Man
from the general homo religiosus (religious man) is his attitude to
olam ha-zeh (this world, i.e. the physical world, as opposed to the
World-to-Come). While homo religiosus seeks to flee the impurity of our
mundane world towards a supernal region of pure spirit, Halakhic Man
seeks to do precisely the opposite: he attempts to bring the sanctity and
purity of the transcendent realm INTO the material world. The existence
of Halakhic Man is firmly centered in olam ha-zeh, which he tries to
fill with sanctity by realizing the ideals of the Halakha.

Religiosity which does not concern itself with man's physical activities,
social interaction, etc., will thereby withdraw from engagement with the
outside world and will not be able to sanctify it. It will encourage
man to view his physicality with contempt, as a barrier between his soul
and its ultimate felicity. Judaism, however, believes that the world is
"very good," and frowns upon monasticism. Furthermore, an otherworldly
religiosity leads one to adopt a quietistic mystical approach which looks
inward while ignoring the reality of others' suffering. Judaism finds this
morally repugnant, and instead enjoins man to engage in tikkun ha-olam,
mending the world.


Ideally, a strong component of action in one's religiosity will strengthen
the internal component; at minimum, it will preserve religiosity at
times when the internal component is lacking. In Rav Lichtenstein's
words ("R. Joseph Soloveitchik," [=RJS], in S. Noveck, ed., Great Jewish
Thinkers of the Twentieth Century, 1963, p. 294):

    "With its pervasive psychological realism, Halakha has recognized that
    ordinary mortals need to be jogged out of their spiritual lethargy,
    and that unless they are prodded to specific action, many will be
    quite content to neglect the religious life completely. Habitual
    observance ingrains moral and religious sensibility into the very
    fiber of the personality. It strengthens the inner power of spirit
    and, at a deeper level, human emotion is profoundly affected by the
    very process of externalization...

    "We should keep in mind, however, what we often tend to forget:
    the most legalistic ritualism is better than no worship whatever;
    and the individual who, within Halakha, lapses into a formalistic
    rut, would very likely be bereft of religious awareness completely
    were he without it. At the very least, ritual establishes a floor
    for religion; at most, it leads man to the scaling - and holding -
    of the loftiest spiritual heights."


Rav Soloveitchik believes that it is not only undesirable for man to
try to escape his corporeality, but it also is impossible for him to
accomplish this. Therefore, any ideology based on the premise that
man can become a purely spiritual creature is inherently false and
doomed to failure. By focusing solely on man's contemplative-spiritual
side, it fails to acknowledge the strength of his inner drives and
passions. Seeking to do the impossible - to eliminate or ignore man's
physical nature - it lacks the power to do what is necessary, namely,
to restrain and channel man's drives and thus use them positively.

If religion does not provide man with an objective framework of action,
containing specific divine norms, it will at best be vague and transient,
and at worst will lead to the most horrible excesses.

    "Religiosity lacking an objective-revelatory foundation, which
    obligates one in certain actions, cannot conquer the animal in
    man. Even if it assumes a guise of love of God and man, the subjective
    faith of which Paul of Tarsus spoke ... cannot endure if it does
    not contain explicit commands to perform good deeds and to fulfill
    specific mitzvot... The Holocaust can serve as proof of this. All
    those who spoke of love stood by silently and did not protest. Many
    of them even participated in the extermination of millions of human
    beings." ("U-vikkashtem Mi-sham" [=UVM], pp. 162-3)

Thus, despite the importance of the spiritual and contemplative sides
of religion, "Confining religious experience and existence to a purely
spiritual framework deprives religion of its splendor and influence"
(UVM, p. 162). In addition to its spiritual facet, religion also plays
a practical role: "to straighten man's earthly actions and to impose
severe authority upon him, which will stand fast in the face of attacks
of burning desires, covetous and evil drives" (ibid.). Freedom from the
authority of specific norms, and from a sense of coercion in following
them, leads to moral anarchy.

Rav Soloveitchik identifies the major feature of the Halakhic process
as taking the components of religious subjectivity and quantifying
and objectifying them. By making it concrete and specific, religion
acquires the strength to affect man's entire life, to withstand the
assaults of temptation, to endure regardless of the individual's mood,
and to survive from generation to generation. This accounts (in part)
for Judaism's attention to detail, its concentration on standards and
measures - times of the day (e.g. when to pray, when Shabbat begins),
amounts of food and drink (how much wine to drink at Kiddush, how much
matza to eat at the Seder), etc. (This is no less true in "ethical"
matters as in "ritual" matters - but we will deal with this in the next
lecture.) As Rav Soloveitchik memorably puts it:

    "The fundamental tendency of the Halakha is to translate the
    qualitative features of religious subjectivity - the content of
    religious man's con which surges and swells like the waves of the
    sea, then pounds against the shores of reality, there to shatter
    and break - into firm and well-established quantities, 'like nails
    well fastened' (Kohelet 12:11), that no storm can uproot from their
    place." (Halakhic Man, p. 57)

Both by emphasizing the necessity of action, and by specifically
regulating man's internal states, "The objective halakhic mold
... channels religious feeling into 'the depth, and not the tumult,
of the soul'" (RJS, p. 294). In Rav Soloveitchik's words:

    "The Halakha wishes to objectify religiosity not only through
    introducing the external act and the psychophysical deed into the
    world of religion but also through the structuring and ordering of the
    inner correlative in the realm of man's spirit. The Halakha sets down
    statutes and erects markers that serve as a dam against the surging,
    subjective current coursing through the universal homo religiosus,
    which, from time to time, in its raging turbulence sweeps away his
    entire being to obscure and inchoate realms." (Halakhic Man, p. 59)

A final consequence of the Jewish focus on action is noted by Rav
Lichtenstein (op. cit.):

    "The objective character of the Halakha helps the Jew transcend
    his own subjective existence. In one sense, the Halakhic way of
    life serves as a distinctive mark of identification. As a minimal,
    uniform tradition, it helps weld the organic whole of the community
    of Israel. Halakha places the Jew's life in a total perspective:
    he can see his isolated efforts as part of Israel's timeless and
    universal enterprise..."


A purely internal religiosity based on a deep feeling of the sublime,
or a purely intellectual religiosity based on serene contemplation, is
by its very definition confined to a small elite of particularly gifted
individuals. The average person is incapable of attaining the requisite
state of mind, depth of experience and detachment from materialism. By
emphasizing the centrality of clear-cut action, which can be accomplished
by anyone, Judaism maintains a democratic and exoteric character. The
Torah is the inheritance of ALL of Israel, not just a clique of spiritual
adepts. One does not need to be privy to secret knowledge or mystical
techniques in order to fulfill God's commandments. The simplest and
most obtuse individual can observe the mitzvot to the same extent as
the spiritual genius - both eat matza on Pesach, honor their parents,
are bound by the same restrictions, etc.

Thus, all individuals are equally able to approach God. A religion
lacking this common basis of connection to God

    "gives rise to ecclesiastical tyranny, religious aristocracies,
    and charismatic personalities. And there is nothing that the Halakha
    loathes and despises as much as the idea of cultic mediation or the
    choosing of individuals, on the basis of supernatural considerations,
    to be intercessors for the community." (Halakhic Man, p. 43)

Of course, there are areas of Halakha where individuals of differing
talents will achieve different levels. Returning to our distinction
between chovot ha- evarim (duties of the limbs), chovot ha-levavot
(duties of the heart), and mitzvot which are performed externally
(ma'aseh be-yadayim) but fulfilled internally (kiyyum ba- lev), the
area of differential achievement would refer primarily to the latter two
categories. For example, the level of one's love of God (a duty of the
heart) or prayer (an external performance with an internal fulfillment)
depends on his emotional depth and spiritual capacity. To take another
example, through hard work and innate ability, one person may reach
greater heights in his Torah study than another will.

This is as it should be. Halakha must give a person the ability to
express his individuality in his service of God, and must allow him the
opportunity to strive for ever greater heights in his worship. However,
the strong component of action in Jewish religiosity, emphasizing the
simple ma'aseh ha-mitzva (performance of the commandment), maintains
the underlying basis of equality of individuals.


In exploring the Rav's concept of catharsis, we began by examining the
catharsis of the body (lecture #8). Our subsequent discussion of catharsis
of the emotions (lecture #9) led us to explore the Rav's emphasis on
inwardness (lecture #10), which we rounded out by studying the crucial
roles of thought (lecture #12) and action (lecture #13). Having examined
the interplay of thought, feeling and action, we will complete the topic
of catharsis in the next lecture with a presentation of catharsis of the
intellect and of the religious experience. After that, we will finally
begin our study of "The Lonely Man of Faith."


1. Halakha as quantification of religious subjectivity: Halakhic Man,
chapter 9.

2. Esotericism and exotericism: Halakhic Man, chapter 8; UVM, chapter 7,
sections E & F.

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Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 00:25:18 -0500
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
Re: Shidduchim: Parameters for revealing information

From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@bezeqint.net>
> A young man was informed by his kalla - a week before the chasuna that she
> her family had a terrible genetic disease which had left several of her
> brothers severely retarded and that the doctors said that any child she had
> would have a 25% chance of being retarded. When he asked why she hadn't
> revealed the information she replied that her Rav - a major talmid of Rav
> Moshe - had told her not to...

Based on a shiur I once heard from R Moshe Tendler (who says "Contemporary
Halacha" at RIETS is a waste? :-) ), I think that the issue is not
permissibility of concealing but RMFeinstein's understanding of nature
and bitachon.

R Tendler explained RMF's shittah regarding smoking and "shomer psa'im
Hashem" in a quasi Desslerian way: we are not supposed to be machnis
ourselves into sakanah. However, if there is a statistical sakanah which
many "psa'im" are machnis themselves, then Hashem will cause a person
to live or die solely based on their zechuyos. IOW when psaim are doing
something, someone who imitates them is acting "normally.". Consequently,
Hashem's preservation of such an individual would not be viewed by
others as an outright miracle. In such circumstances, the percentage
chance of the person's survival is irrelevant--everything depends on
Hashem's direct actions. This is similar to R Dessler's view of nature
as an illusion--to cover for Hashem's direct governance of the world.

This understanding of nature + bitachon could explain RMF's view
regarding concealing a 25 percent chance of retardation--it's all up to
Hashem anyway.

As I've made clear before, I side with Dr David Berger (article on
Ramban + miracles) and R Shalom Carmy (Suffering article) regarding
their contention that rishonim took nature seriously--that Hashem created
nature as a force which He does not readily overturn.

Kol tuv,

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Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 00:49:14 -0500
From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@bellatlantic.net>
[Fwd: Rambam, Karaites, and Jewish unity]

As a poster said, "It's amazing to me that 2 or 3 people....can read
the same paragraph (a translation of a teshuva of the Rambam) and see
totally different things". It is dangerous to make such bold statements
as, "The Rambam DID NOT (the author's emphasis) consider the Karaites
to be Jews, period" without any kind of evidence. In fact, the opposite
appears to be true as can be seen in the following Responsa of the Rambam:

263. And the Karaites are not those that the Rabbis call minim, but they
are those who are called tzedukkim and baytusim - not Samaritans...

[In Mishne Torah, Hilchot Shechita 4: 14,16, the Rambam distinguishes
between those who would deny the sanctity of the written torah, and the
Saduceean sectarians who deny the validity of the oral torah and Rabbinic
decisions. The shechita of the former is as invalid as that of a Gentile,
while the latter may shecht under supervision.]

So, the Karaites are like the Saducees, their supervised shechita is
valid. Hence they can not be considered like Gentiles.

265. Regarding comprising a minyan, whether of 10 or 3, they can not
because they do not accept it as an obligation...

So, the problem is a technical one of not being able to count someone
who doesn't believe in the procedure. If they were like Gentiles then
this argument is unnecessary.

351. .... one who marries a woman according to the customs of the
Karaites, she is a married woman and can not be divorced except through a
(Rabbinic) get. But the divorce of the Karaites is not a divorce at all
according to our laws...

Clearly, if the marriage is valid and a proper get is required to dissolve
that marriage, then the Karaite spouse can not be seen as a Gentile.

449. I have already cited the first part of this teshuva wherein the
Rambam says that we should respect Karaites and act towards them in an
upright, humble, peaceable, and friendly manner if they will reciprocate
by not attacking or mocking our rabbis and the sages, and will act with
integrity towards us. He continues,

"..And with this (the above) condition, it is appropriate for us to honor
them, and to inquire after their welfare, and to go to their homes, and
to circumcise their children - even on Shabbat, and to bury their dead,
and to console their mourners....And their wine, according to my opinion,
there is no aspect that is problematic.."

So, there should be no question that the Rambam holds the Karaites to
be Jewish. Of course he does not defend their beliefs and considers
their ideology to be false, but he distinguishes between the ideology
and the person. If the person acts properly towards us and does not mock
our beliefs, then we have a brotherly obligation towards him - even to
the extent of doing a circumscision for him on Shabbat. Now, some might
consider some Conservative and Reform Jews to be worse than Karaites
if they question the validity of the written as well as the oral torah.
However, few of us would be prepared to consider them Gentiles who would
require conversion in order to marry an Orthodox person. That being
the case, then it behooves us, it seems to me, to strive for amicable
relations despite ideological differences.

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Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 12:59:26 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: somech geulah litefillah

Eric wrote:
>> I thought somech geulah litefillah only applied to shacharis.
>> Which is why we have chatzi kaddish in between, no?

RGS responded:     
> Berachot 9b
> R. Yochanan said: Who is among those in the world to come? He who connects
> the redemption of arvit with the prayer of arvit (hasomech geulah shel
> arvit litefillah shel arvit).

In general this is a Machlokes of the Baalei Tos. Tos. D"H V'hilchsa (Brochos 
27b), says that is why we say Kaddish, however Tos. D"H D'omar brings 2 
opinions, and see Tos. D"H Kivon (Megila 23a, brought by RA"E in Gilyon 
Hashas), also see Mogein Avrohom O"C 232 S"K 1, from the Rashba that Tfilas 
Arvis Rshus is used as "Snif".

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 03:57:18 -0000
From: "Leon Manel" <leonmanel@hotmail.com>
Erev Pesach SB

>Why did RYBS hold that one may not flush the crumbs down the toilet on
>Erev Pesach Shechal Bishabos and RMF held you could. Does anyone know?

I found the Biur in Masorah choveres gimel p 16 to be chosesh ldass harambam 
3.3 as explained according to the melchamos.

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Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 12:59:28 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Water on Pesach

In a message dated 3/17/01 10:27:48pm EST, gil_student@hotmail.com writes:
> Even though the Taz (OC 442:8) and the Magen Avraham
> (442:15) wrote that it is permissible to derive benefit from chametz that
> has become inedible for a dog, implying that it is forbidden to eat it,
> never the less the Chok Ya'akov (442:19) wrote that if it becomes mixed
> with something else it is neutralized (batel), even in a simple majority,

As previously mentioned the S"A haRav rules that way too 442:33, HOWEVER
that is if it became Nifsal Meiachilas Kelev prior to Zman Habiur.

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 22:02:56 -0500
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: Pesach

From: MIKE38CT@aol.com [mailto:MIKE38CT@aol.com] (in Areivim)
> I never like to generalize, but in my limited lifetime--and from the rabbis 
> i've known and my parents have known and asked shailos of--i've found an 
> inverse relationship between those who are machmir about Pesach and about 
> other kashrus issues.  That is, a rabbi who tends to be machmir during the 
> rest of the year about kashrus issues will be more lenient regarding Pesach 
> issues, and those who are less machmir during the rest of the year will be 
> more stringent about Pesach.

Rav Menachem Genack said in shiur that there is a logical reason to be much
more machmir regarding hilchos Pesach--the Torah itself is machmir: (1) The
pasuk says "u'shmartem es hamatzos," and we learn from here to be extra
careful regarding matzos/chometz; also (2) there a din of bal yay'ra'eh bal
yee'matzay--a kind of built in syag mandated by the Torah itself [MF--I
don't recall whether RMG said one or both of #1 + #2].  Because the Torah
was machmir WRT to some hilchos Pesach, we can learn from here that the
Torah wanted to instill in us an attitude of chumrah towards Pesach.

Personally, I was not convinced by the sevarah, especially when the
potential issur is just drabbanan and there are other snifim l'hakel.  For
example, we pasken that the whole issue of chometz she'avar alav haPesach is
just a k'nas m'drabbanan.  I would think that consequently we should meikil
in cases of safek, etc.  I was surprised that in Bnei Beraq they are
extremely machmir in this regard--they won't buy from Jewish stores which
sold their chometz and locked their merchandise for the entire Pesach, even
to the extent that they won't buy bread baked after Pesach if the flour had
been *sold* to a goy for the period of Pesach because of a chashash that the
flour might be chometzdik (i.e., it's not kasher l'pesach flour).  I
disagree with this approach--after all, regular flour, which comes into
contact with water during processing, isn't necessarily chometzdik, just
that we can't ensure its status.  And, I understand not relying on mechiras
chometz for oneself, but why be machmir on the mechirah made by someone
else?  Surely, chachamim were not gozer the k'nas in such a situation.

(This also connects with R. Shimon Shkop's explanation in Sha'arei Yosher of
safek drabbanan l'kulah.  Ayein sham.)

Kol tuv,

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Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 10:31:38 -0800
From: Eric Simon <erics@radix.net>
When do we stop eating chametz?

We stop eating chametz by the end of the fourth hour.  So far so good.

So, I went to my calendar, and was going to subtract two halachic hours
from chatzos . . . but then I noticed (duh) for the first time, that this
calulation doesn't match sof z'man tefilla, which is supposed to be at the
end of the fourth hour.

Then I read that most calendars use the shaa zmanis of the Gra for all
calculations except for sof zman shma, and sof zman tefillah (where the
shita of Magen Avraham is used).

So how would I calculate the fourth hour for "sof achila chametz" ?  Should
I match it up with sof zman tefilla (which is M"A) or use a Gra 4th hour?

-- Eric

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Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 11:17:16 -0500
From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
RE: Pesach

Let us not forget that in many issues of pesak we rely on a tradition of
how to approach the issue. For example, in hilchos niddah we tend to be
machmir while with agunahs we tend to be meikel. There is no question
in my mind that regarding chametz we tend to be machmir. This does not
mean that we follow every crazy chumra that people think of (there are
those who claim that we do). However, we need to approach all halachic
issues with that in the back of our heads.

Gil Student

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Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 08:53:54 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: Rav Moshe Feinstein story

At 02:34 PM 3/19/01 -0800, Harry Maryles wrote:
>We discussed that very same Maharsham in our Daf Yomi. Wasn't this what
>R. Goren based his psak on in the Langer case? And did not R. Goren's
>reputuation suffer subsequently? IIRC, the Sugya relates that according

We already discussed this matter this morning.

R' Goren did not use the Maharsham as his primary vehicle l'heter, and this 
is not what got him in trouble - he used it only as a snif, an additional 
sustaining tool, for his heter.

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

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Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 10:47:31 -0500
From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
Re: Shidduchim: Parameters for revealing information

Perhaps RMF meant that since the possibility is less than 100%, it is not 
considered a mum that would nullify the kidddushin.  Just thinking out loud.

Gil Student

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Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 10:35:58 -0500
From: Elazar M Teitz <remt@juno.com>
Re:Parameters for revealing information

Regarding the woman who did not inform her chosson of a genetic defect
in her family because "her Rav - a major talmid of Rav Moshe - had
told her not to. The rav said that since it wasn't 100% that she would
have retarded children she did not have to reveal the information. The
rationale was that they needed to have bitachon that everything would
work out," without discussing the psak itself, two questions:

(1) Is one permitted to "have bitachon" at another's expense?

(2) Why should the defect not be told immediately, and the woman have
bitachon that everything will work out and she will find her basherter?

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 10:29:38 -0500
From: "Noah S. Rothstein" <noahrothstein@mindspring.com>
Actual Shabbos vs. Tosfos Shabbos

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
>If the tzibur is mekabel Shabbos,  or if an  individual
> is mekabel Shabbos,  does that mean he is mechallel Shabbos?  Would
>he get sekila for melacha based on zeman kabala,  or on objective
>criteria i.e  tzeis hakochavim?

R' Leibel Katz, shlita, [1] spoke about this in a shiur that I heard
over 7 years ago at Camp Ohr Shraga.  I do recall that he said that
there is a difference between the time that it is not actually Shabbos
when an individual has accepted Shabbos upon himself and when it is
actually Shabbos. This is why it is muttar for someone who was mikabel
Shabbos early to ask another Yid who has not yet been mikabel Shabbos
to do melacha for him. Also, on Motsai Shabbos it is muttar for one
who is still keeping Shabbos to ask another Yid who already davened
maariv or at least said "boruch hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol" to do
melacha for him.

I am almost sure that the issur is not the same as well; I don't think
it is more than an issur d'rabonon for one to do melacha when it is
only _tosfos_ Shabbos.

By the way, as I am sure many here know, we derive the mitzvah of
tosfos Shabbos from the posuk about Yom Kippur and while tosfos Yom
Kippur is d'oraisa, it is a machlokes whether tosfos Shabbos also is.
Even according to those shitos that tosfos Shabbos is d'oraisa, it
does not have the same severity as Shabbos itself as it is 'merely' a
mitzvas aseih and not an issur kareis.

I believe that this is the reason that many do not add time to their
z'man motsai Shabbos for tosfos Shabbos: they are someich that Shabbos
really ended at least a minute or two earlier, thereby giving them the
minimum tosfos Shabbos.  In the case of those who go by a later z'man
and consider it a chumrah to do so, this is more understandable but in
the case of those who rely on the earliest z'man, I find it difficult
to understand.


[1] A posek and Rosh Yeshiva in Borough Park who is a talmid of Torah
VoDaas. ( Not to be confused with the Chasidishe R' Chaim Leib Katz,

From: "SBA" <sba@blaze.net.au>
> <<He also mentioned the SA (263:12) that if the majority have been
> mekabel Shabbos, the rest are nimshach after them - baal korchoch,
> creating a situation that by accepting an early zman for kabolos
>  Shabbos, we are causing all the irreligious Jews to be be mechallel
> Shabbos more (or longer) - as Shabbos begins earlier...>>

I have to wonder: what about the great inyan of being mikabeil Shabbos
early? It  seems that the SR held that not causing other Yidden to
sin* was docheh this.   (* And, based on my previous post, not the
issur kareis of chilul Shabbos but issurei d'rabonon)

Can we find a parallel in the halachos that we do not blow shofar or
take the arba minim on Shabbos? That Chazal held that not possibly
causing another Yid to sin was docheh these mitzvos d'oraisa?

>         And,
> <<(I once heard from a visiting rav, that the SR was unhappy with the
> Chabad 'mivtza' of (irreligious) women and girls lighting candles
> ES for a similar reason, ie that once they light candles - which is usually
> not the latest zman possible, they are immediately susceptible to
> being mechallel Shabbos from an earlier zman.
> Ma sh'ein ken, if they didn't light candles at all,  the chillul shabbos
> would only begin at a later (or latest)  time takne on by the
> tzibbur...)>>


>         While we're at it,  wouldn't kabalas Shabbos earlier push those
> who were borderline shomrei Shabbos to desist from melacha at a time where
>there was at least a safek that it was layla?

Ah, but the Satmar rov held like RT all the way and therefore held it
was vadai yom until 58.5 mins after shkia.

- Noach

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Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 10:43:40 -0500
From: "Stein, Aryeh E." <aes@ll-f.com>
RE: Parshas Poroh/Poroh Adumoh/Baal Mechaber

"He says that by the maaseh eigel it says Z'chor al Tishkach, but Chazal
didn't want to mesaken leining about it betzibur thus (mipnei shehi
genuson shel yisroel - MO (60)), so they were rather mesaken Parshas Poroh
("tovoi imoy utekanach tzoas bnoh...") and with this we are mekayem a
mitzvas asei... (They note that the Malbim writes similarly in Artzos

This reminds me of why the first two aliyos of Ki Sisa are so long and the
remaining aliyos are disproportionately short.  Chazal wanted to minimize
the busha, so it arranged the aliyos so that a levi should get the aliya
dealing with the maaseh eigel.  (Aaron made the eigel, so it would make a
kohein feel bad, and the yisroelim were the ones who were nichshal with the


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Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 09:39:08 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Voss IZ Der Chilluk #4: MC vol. 1 p. 52 - Initial Summary

We asked:

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?

Now, as RSG pointed out very succintly:

>The question of why didn't Chazal institute a bracha is not a question 
>inside the minimal halachic universe. Rather it is a question from outside 
>the halachic circle. Hence one need not search for an answer. Note this 
>has not been true of all previous 'vos iz...' questions.

And, as my cousin RCGS noted, the Sefardi answer is probably the most 
correct here:

>Uncomplicated terutz: The Gra holds the second reason of the BY ayin shom, 
>therefore mtzad dovor she'b'lev there  really would be a Brocho. Lehoir: 
>Many of the answers don't answer the original question, which is why 
>dovorim she'b'lev of TT has a Brocho unlike dovorim she'b'lev of bittul.

Reminds me of what I heard in Sha'alvim b'shem RSYZevin: "yesh l'yashev 
b'dochak one can say, but one cannot say yesh l'hakshos b'dochak!" - but, 
as a mental exercise I think the effort was worthwhile, even if not 100% emes.

My brother in law RCB, our moderator, RMB, RCM and RYZ (well, he provided a 
mareh makom, but I didn't, I admit, look it up!) did yeoman's jobs in 
providing material.

RCPS himself provides two answers, the first, highly Ba'aleibattish, one I 
believe none of us proposed:

Bittul Chometz (BC) can only take place b'lev, so there is no brocho, 
as  opposed to Talmud Torah (TT), that, since it can be fulfilled verbally, 
was susceptible to a takkono to make a brocho - once the takkono was 
implemted, it extends even to TT b'lev.

Don't like that one, do you?

His second answer is one of those we gave here, the difference between a 
machasheves silluk or hefker (Bittul) that is negative vs. a positive 
machashovo like the one by TT. May be recast to several possible derech 
permutations, of course.

I would like to add a couple of possibilities of my own:

Hungarian Derech (again, my favorite): BC is b'lev, but TT is b'mo'ach. 
There was no takkonos brocho on an emotion, but there is on a thought. 
(This can be coaxed into a Brisker chilluk if you try!).

Poilisher Derech (this is for real!): R' Yosef Engel in the Lekach Tov klal 
11 attempts to prove that all Birchos ha'Mitzvos, including Birkas 
ha'Torah, are the same category and geder as Birkas ha'Nehenin - thus, we 
may say, TT even b'lev is of course a Hano'oh - but BC is not a hano'oh (as 
RCB noted, it is removal of issur). This needs some work.

There should be room to work with the Brisker Rov''s logic (b'shem R' 
Chaim) for why women make Birkas ha'Torah (Torah is a cheftzo that requires 
brocho); and with the Rogatchover who says that according to R' Yehuda 
bi'ur is mevattel kammus, but according to Rabbanan bi'ur is mevattel 
eichus, as well, but I believe you end up more or less with RCPS #2.

Yasher Ko'ach to all, a new VIDC later this week, again IY"H mei'inyana!

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

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