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Volume 07 : Number 001

Saturday, March 24 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 11:32:54 -0500
From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
Lower Criticism

The discussion on Areivim and yesterday's slow work day encouraged me
to go through Avodah's archived discussion about Lower Criticism (which
took place a month before I joined the list). It was a good discussion
which sent me to the sefarim last night. I have a few comments. Let me
first preface this by saying that, despite appearances, I am NOT taking
any position on this subject. Not just because I have children that I
IY"H will have to marry off, but because this a very serious matter that
has many significant consequences.


Regarding malei/chaseir, R. Mechy Frankel
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol03/v03n185.shtml#14> noted an apparent
contradiction by Rav Yosef (not R. Yosi). In Kiddushin 30a, Rav Yosef
says that we are not beki'im in malei and chaseir. In Menachos 29b,
Rav Yosef apparently passuls sifrei Torah based on mistakes with malei
and chaseir. If we don't know what should be malei and chaseir, how can
we passul sifrei Torah based on it?

R. Micha Berger came up with some answers
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol03/v03n194.shtml#14>, one which is
IMHO worthy of being said by the Torah Temimah.

However, after looking carefully at the gemara in Menachos, I'm not
convinced that Rav Yosef said anything about malei and chaseir. It seems
very possible to me that this is a qualification by the stam gemara.
In other words, the editors of the gemara hold this way, not necessarily
Rav Yosef. However, since the stam gemara is basrai, this would mean
that we should pasken like this stam gemara and not like Rav Yosef in
Kiddushin, which is not the case.

Another possible explanation is based on the Nimukei Yosef (on the Rif in
Menachos) who understands the gemara as saying that something mistakenly
written malei DOES NOT passul a sefer Torah. Only something mistakenly
written chaseir does. Therefore, Rav Yosef can hold that whenever Chazal
had a doubt, they wrote something malei. Whatever is written chaseir,
however, we know must be chaseir. However, this Nimukei Yosef is not

R. Mechy Frankel quoted R. Reuven Margolies as explaining that only
Rav Yosef was not a baki in malei and chaseir because he was blind and,
at one point, became ill and forgot much of his learning. RR Margolies
proves this from the fact the we make berachos on leining from the Torah
and if there was a true doubt, we should not make the berachah.

Lo zachisi lehavin because there are rishonim and acharonim who pasken
that one can be yotzeh leining with a passul sefer Torah. Granted, we
are only someich on this shitah bedi'eved or bish'as hadechak. But if
all sifrei Torah were in doubt of being kosher, there can be no she'as
hadechak greater than that. See Chavos Yair 235.

However, I don't see what any of this talk about malei and chaseir have
to do with lower biblical criticism. Just because we are not entirely
sure about the spellings of malei and chaseir words, that does not mean
that we are not sure about other spellings. It is certainly not a proof
that lower biblical criticism has been or would be accepted by amoraim,
rishonim, and acharonim.

Some other mareh mekomos that I did not see mentioned: The Radbaz in a
teshuvah (vol. 4 #1172) says that we are not baki in malei/chaseir only
when it has no halachic ramification. The Meiri on Kiddushin accepts
that we are not baki on malei/chaseir but rejects this in Sotah 20a.
RMM Kasher (Torah Sheleimah, Vayikra 11:258) suggests that the Meiri holds
like the Radbaz. See the Torah Sheleimah for some more mareh mekomos.


I could not believe this when I saw it, but here it is. R. Yosef Engel in
his Gilyonei HaShas to Kiddushin 30a summarizes the Shu"t Halachos Ketanos
(14) as saying "Beteivos nami lo baki'inan". Teivos can mean letters
or words, based on context. I'm assuming that it means here letters.

Also, R. Aryeh Kaplan in his Handbook of Jewish Thought (vol. 1, 7:50-57)
seems to leave the door open for lower biblical criticism. His footnotes
are, as usual, extremely helpful.

Gil Student

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Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 11:44:10 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>

From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu
> If you propose that the mitzvos of Tashbisu and Bal Yeira'eh underlie
> a distinction, why should the mitzvah of Sukkah not work in a similar
> fashion by BKK?

        The chashivus of the chometz is a side issue which is taken care
of by our umdena that you don't want to be over on the lav chomur of
BY/BY (how's that for nonstandard abbreviation?). No such umdena that
you want to be mevatel something in the sukka to make the sukka kosher.


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Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 11:31:22 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Lot, His Daughters, and Tzoar

On Wed, Mar 21, 2001 at 10:50:54AM -0500, Kenneth G Miller wrote:
: My students' question: But having escaped to Tzoar, the daughters
: certainly knew about its residents. We know from the pesukim - and
: certainly from Rashi on those pesukim - that Tzoar WAS inhabited. So why
: did they think they were the last people alive?

Didn't his daughters act before they reached Tzo'ar?

Bereishis 19:23 says "viLot ba Tzoarah", not "Tzoar", and the subsequent
pesukim described the desolation that was around them.


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Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 11:42:38 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: [Fwd: Rambam, Karaites, and Jewish unity]

On Wed, Mar 21, 2001 at 01:17:03PM -0500, Gil.Student@citicorp.com wrote:
:: But in any case, the Kusi's shechitah is not being invalidated because 
:: he's a min, but because we have no ne'emanus that the shechitah was 
:: kasher.

: Presumably, you are referring to the gemara on 4a.  That is talking about 
: before the gezeirah.  The gezeirah is discussed on 5b-6a (I was off by a 
: blatt in an earlier e-mail).  It was made because the Kussim were found to 
: be worshipping avodah zarah...

I'm being frustratingly unclear, as this is my third shot at making the
same point.

The pre-gezeirah baseline halachah is that a Kusi could shecht for a Jew
(one we can prove it was really shechted). The gezeirah was on Kusiim
atzmam, not on all people who have comparable beliefs to their pre-A"Z
faith. IOW, even if a Kara'i has a din of a pre-A"Z and therefore
pre-gezeirah Kusi, his shechitah should be kasheir. The implication of
the Rambam is that Karaim can only shecht because they are [begeder *]
Tzedukim and Baisusim, and not Kusiim.

(* Interpolated to address R' Yonasan Eybeschutz's issue that their
shitos differ. I'm not sure how this became an issue. When we call
someone a tinok shenishba, are we saying he was actually kidnapped as
a child? And a woman who is a "zonah" legabei marrying a kohein isn't
having her reputation impugned.)


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, 23 Mar 2001 11:58:04 EST
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
Re: after sof zman tefila

> I learned that after sof zman tefilah *a woman has no heter* to daven
> any of the brachas before and after Shma- bircos Ohr, Shma or Goel.
> A man has the heter

If anything, the reverse should be true. A man's chiyuv is constrained
by the derabbanan's that fix a zman. If you accept the shita of MG"A that
women are obligated only in the d'oraysa of tefila, then any tefila said
any time during the day is sufficient. If you pasken against that MG"A
(which we discussed a few months ago), then a woman's chiyuv should
equal a man's.

Why would you say otherwise?

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Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 11:45:26 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Pesach

On Wed, Mar 21, 2001 at 04:02:36PM -0500, Feldman, Mark wrote:
:>: I assume the point is that it's not clear that any mechirah is valid.

Perhaps it's more accurate to say that there are people who want to be
chosheid that the mechirah may not be valid, even though mei'ikkar hadin
the safeik isn't close enough to matter. Same idea, but phrased to
stress the fact that this is a chumrah.

:>: Consequently, you are machmir for the deoraissas               ... but not
:>: you kept it, would cause you to violate bal yeira'eh bal yimatzay) but not
:>: for the drabbanans.  Concept of safek drabbanan l'kulah.

:> Li nir'eh the klal of s'feik s'feikah lekulah may come up more often....

: Maybe it's efshar l'varer, so you just can't sit back and say that you have
: a safek.

If so, your safeik dirabbanan likulah wouldn't work either.


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Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 12:43:30 -0500
From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
Re: after sof zman tefila

See Shulchan Aruch OC 48 and Mishnah Berurah s"k 26 (available in
translation at <http://www.torah.org/advanced/mishna-berura/S58.html>).

Gil Student

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Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 12:59:17 EST
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com
Vos Is Der Chilluk #5

I gave some time for this to hit the digest and for someone else to
break the ice this week.

1) R' Shimon Derech (Sharey Yosher 5:23 see last week's answers!) --
bittul chametz works because of the hitztarfus of 'shnei devarim sh'aino
breshuso shel adam' etc. with your bittul, i.e. the Torah defines chametz
as afra and batel, your da'as just is a trigger for that. Sukkah is
being defined completely by you.

2)The "simple" answers: bittul by chametz is a takanah that applies
to the whole olam -- Chazal were mesakain bittul (habodek tzarich
sh'yevateil) willy nilly of your da'as. Variations on the same theme:
Bittul is a mitzva, sukka is a hechsher miztva. Bitul is destrucive,
sukah constructive.

3) Sukah starts b'psul and bitul is a way to try to be machshir it -- it
is the combination (hitztarfus) of the objective psul with the fact that
you are going againt the da'as of the world which is the problem. Bittul
is done b'zman heter so there is no objective psul. (the reverse of #1).

4) The issur of chametz is taluy in baylus, which by definition is a
function of your personal ratzon. Sukkah is an objective idea.

5) For the Briskers: there are 2 dinim in bittul by sukkah 1) defining
the cheftza shel sukkah 2) the chovas hagavra of yeshivas sukah. E.g. by
rain on the first night the Ran and Tos. disagree whether it is a psul
in yeshivas sukah, or a psul in the cheftza shel sukah, nafkah minah
whether you have to go out in the rain anyway or is it equivalent to
sitting in nothing bec. there is no cheftza shel sukah. So perhaps batla
da'ato is a psul in being mekayeim the chovas hagavra, but in terms of
the cheftza shel sukah, ain hachi nami the height has been diminished. By
bittul chametz getting rid of the cheftza is sufficient.

Two notes: #5 is a stretch of imagination, and is not really worthy of
being called a Brisker teirutz. The elegance of #1 still strikes me (it
answers last week's kashe as well), which just goes to show that some
kashes lend themselves better to being resolved through some derachim
more than others. Sharei Yosher 5:23 at the end is worth the read --
the idea behind #1 is addressed there in a slightly different form.

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Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 13:17:32 EST
From: C1A1Brown@aol.com

Since the last 2 VIDC's have revolved around bittul, siluk, hefker, etc.:

Yesh lachkor by shnei devarim sh'ainam breshuso v'asao hakatuv k'ilu
b'reshuso (Peschim 6) is it a din in dinei mamonos that the Torah forces
you to be the ba'alim, and m'meila the chiyuv of bal yeraeh is chal,
or really you are not the ba'alim (in mamonos), but l'gabei bal yeraeh
there is a chalos issur as if you were?

How you resolve that issue effects how you understand the nature of
bittul. Three possibilities:
1) The chametz is in your reshus for dinei mamonos and issur; bittul
removes it from your reshus.
2) The chametz is in your reshus for dinei mamonos and issur; bittul
removes the chalos issur.
3) The chametz is not in your reshus for mamonos, but l'gabei issurim
(bal yeraeh) we treat it as if it was; bittul removes the chalos issur.

It sounds to me from Rashi (as'ao b'reshuso - *l'hischayeiv...*) that
at least the beginning of #3 is correct. You have to work out Ran/Tos
in #1 or #2, see Sharei Yosher 5:23. Anyway, that's a rough outline.


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Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 13:21:57 -0500
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: Pesach

From: Micha Berger [mailto:micha@aishdas.org]
> :> Li nir'eh the klal of s'feik s'feikah lekulah may come up more often....

>: Maybe it's efshar l'varer, so you just can't sit back and say that you have
>: a safek.

> If so, your safeik dirabbanan likulah wouldn't work either.

No.  My case wasn't one where efshar l'varer.  Your case was.

Kol tuv,

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Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 14:15:12 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Pesach

On Fri, Mar 23, 2001 at 01:21:57PM -0500, Feldman, Mark wrote:
:>:> Li nir'eh the klal of s'feik s'feikah lekulah may come up more often....

:>: Maybe it's efshar l'varer, so you just can't sit back and say that you have
:>: a safek.

: > If so, your safeik dirabbanan likulah wouldn't work either.

: No.  My case wasn't one where efshar l'varer.  Your case was.

I suggested to sefeikos, so I just want to spell it out:
1- The chumrah pretends that the mechirah is only bisafeik.
2- The safeik that this food that isn't chameitz gamur requires mechirah.

We both share the first safeik, you are combining it with the notion
of diRabbanan rather than a 2nd safeik. So I assume you efshar levareir
is on my 2nd safeik.

I think, BTW, we're both wrong. One doesn't even need to sell the stuff
we do, as they don't have a k'zayis of chameitz in them. The whole
chumrah is an inyan al pi ha'Ari that one should get rid of chameitz
bimashehu. But bal yeira'eh (unlike achilah) has a halachic shiur.
So the chumrah isn't about safeik, it's an inyan al pi nistar.


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, 23 Mar 2001 13:14:50 -0500
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <Richard_Wolpoe@ibi.com>
Us vs. Them

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
> I heard two similar notions besheim R' Yisroel Salanter...
> Apikursus. How can it be used litov? As we've been saying -- for me and
> mine, I can have bitochon. On yenem's cheshbon, one needs to be an
> "apikoreis" and not rely on Hashem's help.

I would explain the need for apikorsus differently

Hashem in his Global perspective needs Apikorsim. How could we have a
complet Torah wihout such figures as Korach, Dassan, and Aviram, nor a
PUrim w/o Haman not metion other anti-heores such as Kna'an, Amaleik...

So I would say this:
You cannot be meharher acharr middosov shel HKBH because where HE sits
(al kisei ram v'nissa) He desined a world of antagonists and protagnosits.

Where we sit we have no license to say: "I will help HKBH's cause by
enlisting to be an apikoros!"

I heard such a pesaht in Iyov.  That he cursed the day he was born in order to play the role of rebel.

How so?

As a loyal follower of HKBH he clearly did not serve to suffer BUT, once
he was suffering he realized he could do a Kiddush Hashem by rebelling!
Then lemafria he could advance HKBH's agneda. Somewhat analogus to the
mkoshesh eitzim.

But even Iyov would say this is a bedieved! lechatichila becoming an
apikoros is assur.

Good Shabbos
Rich Wolpoe

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Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 13:29:43 -0500
From: "Yitzchok Willroth" <willroth@jersey.net>
Re: water on Pesach

> Does "mashehu"on Pesach literally mean one part per billion etc
> is prohibited? I would suspect that all foods have some level of
> contamination from the outside world unless they are done under vacuum.

Precisely the reason that many people also hold of the chumra not
to purchase additional foodstuffs during the chag... So long as the
"contamination" occured prior to Pesach, the chometz is botul; that which
occurs during Pesach is not. The logic is that by purchasing everything
prior to Pesach, we assure ourselves that no "contamination" which would
not have become botul occured during production, storage, distribution,
etc. ... From there it's our responsibility to insure no post-purchase

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Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 13:10:35 -0600
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
the mitzvah of challah

I wrote this in response to a query from a family member, I figured I might 
as well share it with Oilem:

Mareh Mekomos on the Mitzvah of Challah

>Some mareh mekomos from a shiur I gave:

>Bereishis Rabba 1:4 d.h. Bereishis Bara: The world was created b'zechus 
>Challa, Ma'aser and Bikkurim.

>Bereishis Rabba 14:1 d.h. Va'yizer Hashem: Adam as "Chalaso shel Olam".

>Bereishis Rabba 17:8 d.h. Sha'alu Es: Mitzva of Challa given to woman 
>because she was mekalkel Adam ha'Rishon "chalaso shel olam".

>Maharal Netzach Yisrael Perek 3, p. 17, on the first B"R above: Challa 
>from "Harkovo Gemura", corresponds to the lowest of the Maharal's system 
>of three worlds. (Some arichus on a "Sod Muflah".)

>Sources in Reb Tzadok Ha'Kohen:

>Kometz Ha'Mincha 1:10: Why al pi Kabbalah/Chassidus one cannot make an 
>entire dough Chassidus (linked to the concept of l'asid lavo halacha 
>k'Beis Shammai).

>Likutei Ma'amarim p. 99: Why Kohanim ate Challa the night of Pesach, 
>Challa from pe'ulas people as opposed to terumah from pe'ulas HKB"H.

>Not directly related: Pri Tzaddik Terumah 3&6: Terumah as Yichud; and 
>connection of Terumah to Shabbos. (You might be able to connect the three 
>mitzvos in the Medrash to the three Se'udos Shabbos.)

>With a little coaxing you can get the three mitzvos in the Medrash above 
>to correspond, I think, to Chochma (Bikkurim); Bina (Ma'aser); Da'as (Challa).

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

[Perhaps you would like to contact R' Mordechai Torczyner
<hamakor@aishdas.org> for inclusion in Hamakor -- his index of mar'eh
mekomos <http://www.aishdas.org/hamakor>? Something that came up during
the melaveh malkah was the idea of collecting these mar'eh mekomos. I
noted that there already is someone keeping a collection, and we might
as well combine efforts between Hamakor and Avodah. -mi]

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Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2001 20:03:11 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Voss Iz Der Chilluk #5: MC vol. 2 p. 65

Perhaps the problem is merely a verbal confusion based on the word "bittul".

Yadu'ah that the multiplicity of meanings causes an ambiguity in understanding
how bittul chameitz works. The three shitos I'm aware of base it on: a-
neder makes it assur bihana'ah, thereby removing ba'alus; b- directly making
it hefker; c- rendering kia'frah di'ar'ah. In short, bitul chameitz is
about making the chameitz or one's ba'alus over the chameitz void.

None of those, though, as similar to the bitul discussed in hilchos sukkah.
There we aren't making the pillows and blankets void, we are making them
tafeil to the sukkah. If they were void, their height wouldn't add to that
of the floor. This is actually closer to basis lidavar ha'asur.

Perhaps bittul in the sense of making something tafeil simply runs by
different rules.

I would like to suggest that the machlokes between whether bateil
bishishim means 1 part asur in 60 of the total mixture (1/60th) or 1
part added to 60 mutar, or 1/61 of the mixture is over whether the
issur is being voided or subsumed as part of the total. In the former
case, we'd be discussing 60 heter, since there is no significance to
the issur's role in the mixture. In the latter, we'd be discussing
60 of the total mixture.


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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