Avodah Mailing List

Volume 08 : Number 012

Monday, October 8 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2001 00:28:31 EDT
From: Phyllostac@aol.com
Hoshanos - choice and order

From: sadya n targum <targum1@juno.com>
<<Does anyone have an explanation for the choice and the order of Hoshanos
in nusach Ashkenaz?
<<The only consistency is that Lma'an Amitach is said on the first weekday,
and E'eroch Shuee is said on the first Chol Hamoed weekday.  Is there any
reason for the different orders and the different Hoshanos that are said,
depending on which day Sukkos begins?>>

I wrote the following last year in response to a similar question that
was posed on the Mail-Jewish list -

"Based on a pair of fine new siddurim that I have here, I will attempt to
shed some light on the matter (according to Eastern Ashkenazic custom -
I don't have information on Sepharadic customs here now).

The fine new siddur 'Shaarei Tefilah' (Feldheim Publishers 5759-1998)
brings reasons for some of the order (from the Machtzis Hashekel Orach
Chaim 663 in name of the Levush), as follows.

1) Limaan amitach - said first as it speaks about the honor of Hashem.

2) Even shisiya - said on second day due to it's importance as it speaks
of the honor of the beis hamikdosh (Temple).

3) E'eroch shui - said on first day of chol haMoed ( 3rd day in diaspora).
Reasons given are a) it refers to Yom Kippur when it mentions 'gilisi
batzom pishi' (I revealed my sins on Yom Kippur) so we try to say it
as close to Yom Kippur as possible while avoiding saying it on (non
chol haMoed) Yom tov because we don't say 'techina' (certain types of
supplications) on Yom tov [according to this reason it should be said on
second day in eretz Yisroel, notes siddur Eizor Eliyohu] and b) the third
day of Sukkos falls on the same day of week as Yom Kippur [according to
this reason Eretz Yisroel should also say it on day three seemingly.

4) Adon hamoshia - said on day # 6 as it contains a prayer for rain
and rain on Sukkos is considered bad (as it could prevent activities in
Sukkah, etc.), so it is said near the end of Sukkos.

Parenthetically, according to the GR"A, no hoshannas are said when Sukkos
falls on Shabbos, while others say 'om ani chomah'....

The excellent siddur 'Eizor Eliyohu' (Jerusalem 1998 and 2000 [revised /
improved edition])(a siddur whose focus is the nusach haGR"A, but which
contains very valuable notes on nusach Ashkenaz in general, as it uses
old editions of siddurim to try to determine the original and proper
nusach Ashkenaz when there is no received tradition from the GR"A)
states in it's recently issued improved edition that the Western branch
of nusach Ashkenaz has a different order."


I hope it sheds some light on the matter.

Go to top.

Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2001 11:13:56 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: [schochetfamily] Re: Lubavitch philosophy - bitul (fwd)

I am not really paying attention to the conversation, just relaying the
gradually petering out correspondence.

My initial point, I believe, remains valid (the learned on either side
of the divide may continue to discuss the issues if they so desire, but I
strongly suspect that none shall convince one another):

YK amd B are core issues in understanding the contemporary divide between
Chabad and Chagas; certainly between Chassidus and Misnagdus.

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/rygb

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2001 11:30:51 EDT
From: My Chabad Source
Subject: Lubavitch philosophy - bitul (fwd)

> Whether it is derived or not is not the issue. If they use that as the 
> support then they completely misunderstand the concept of the Tzaddik and 
> his relationship to the chasid. For example, why is there a need for more 
> then one??? The reason is that while there is a concept of the Tzaddik 
> HaDor, each chasid has a particular Tzaddik who relates to his nashamah, 
> and from whom he gains his spiritual/physical hashpuos.

My source (somewhat abridged):

what is his point? His last statement is definitely correct (and not only
re Rebbe-chossid but also in non-Chassidic context Rebbe-talmid) and as
stated clearly in Tanya, ch. 2 and so many other sources. Point is, that
aside of "roshei alfei Yisroel" (of which there are numerous ones with
their particular hashpo'oh, there is also the concept of ispashtussa
deMosheh (vehu al gabeihem), tzadik yessod olam, and esp. in context
of Gemara that "Ro'oh shehem mu'otin Amad veshatlan bechol dor vador"
which obviously does not relate to the plurality of tzadikim and roshei
alfei Yisrael shebechol dor vador. Indeed, as in the well-known story re
(acc. to many versions) R. Zushya of Annopol's chosid who decided to go
to the Maggid when he heard that R. Zushya goes there himself, but it
boomeranged on him, because R. Zushya was his particular tzinor, one has
to be makir et mekomo. That, however, has nothing at all to do with the
concept of ultimate tzadik yessod olam. His comment re "misunderstood"
etc. therefore is... [incorrect]...

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Date: Sun, 07 Oct 2001 23:56:00 -0400
From: "Michael Frankel" <michaeljfrankel@hotmail.com>
Loa Sisgod'du: an historical perspective

I continue to be amazed at the reflexive recourse to "loa sisgod'du"(LS)
on the part of shul machers and at least some baalei horo'oh to enforce
separate t'filin/no-t'filin minyonim often without consideration of
the social realities on the ground. In fact i can hardly think of a
better example of the text centered (vs respect for minhog) focus that
predominates in many of today's yeshivos -- i do not want to quote c
soloveitchik's article here as i personally find it a reach a bit too far,
but he's surely on to something and this has a related whiff.

Let me illustrate what i mean by consideration of the situation at
my own local shul in silver spring. We had been comfortably davening,
meqadmas d'noh, in a mixed t'filin/no-t'filin minyon with nary a thought
on anybody's mind to make a tsimmes out of anything, pretty much in the
same fashion that many individuals follow different davening minhogim
with nary a thought to suggest that they ought go form their own
minyon. e.g. these guys daven nusoch s'fard, those guys (to eliminate
the argument that such differences are all pursued privately) do lulov
na'anu'im in a completely different order than the rest of the qohol,
and there may even be somebody who publically removes his regular t'filin
and finishes davening with rabbeinu tam (admittedly we wouldn't ever have
a full minyon of the latter -- but if we did i am confident that nobody
would suggest they go form their own minyon), etc etc. After the current
rov had been here a while he introduced the qohol to the requirement for
separate minyonim citing -- what else -- loa sisgod'du. This in a shul
where it had never entered anybody's mind l'hisgodeid about it -- until
the new minhog was dropped on them ex machina. Then there were plenty of
arguments, i.e. recourse to the formal book solution of loa sisgodu is
what produced a previously non-existent hisgod'dus. I.e we're losing sight
of the goal, and replacing it with a new focus on the importance of the
(only?) right means to that goal. Note that i am not suggesting that LS
never has applicability even today. There may well be social situations --
and i can only presume that such was the environment in the MB's region --
where it is a realistic response to ease a real situation. But it is the
situation which ought predominate, not a blind recourse to a specific
course of action which may actually worsen matters.

Let me suggest a historical context for the application of this LS
principle to t'filin on chol ham'mo'eid. this is a conjecture on my
part and i will happily (ok, grudgingly) accept correction if anyone
has better info. So far as i know (and this is where i'm soliciting
any contrary input) the first poseq to be specifically asked about
the propriety of davening in mixed t'filin minyonim and who published a
t'shuvoh recommending separation because of LS -- far predating the MB --
was z'qeini, (my grandfather x7), r. moshe teitlebaum (the yismach moshe)
while he was still the rov in shinovoh.

this may be found in in his published responsa, heishiv moshe. But social
context for this t'shuvoh is important. The yismach moshe was writing
in the very early 1800's when the passions of the chasidic-misnagdic
conflict were still raging quite fiercely in many communities. One of the
major, and quite standard tainos that misnagdim hurled at chasidim --
everywhere except in vilna for obvious reasons -- was their neglect of
the mitzvoh of t'filin on chol ham'moeid. In the context of immersion
within a still raging polemic, the yismach moshe's p'saq to separate
minyonim to avoid hisgod'dus was nothing less than self-evident common
sense. But those times are long past and t'filin vs no t'filin are
now simply well recognized minhogim of long standing, and pretty much
everybody understands the imperatives of minhog avoseinu be'yodeinu
here, just as we do with a whole spectrum of other minhogim. Indeed
precisely this answer to the same question -- that passions had cooled
and it was by now a recognized minhog noshon and there was clearly no
need to separate minyonim if the existing social reality was not one
of hisgod'd'dus -- was offered by pos'qim in the early 1900s when the
extreme edge of chasidic-misnagdic antipathy had indeed dulled. I believe
that these latter p'soqim still have even more relevance now that we're
yet another hundred years down the road.

Mechy Frankel                       W: (703) 588-7424
michaeljfrankel@hotmail.com         H: (301) 593-3949

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Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2001 10:11:58 +0200
From: Baruch Sterman <baruch@deltathree.com>
Recent Postings regarding Tekhelet (fwd)

I have been following the recent postings regarding tekhelet and would
like to respond. Perhaps I should say clarify our position (our being
P'Til Tekhelet). First of all, Rav Mendel Singer's recent article in the
Journal of Halakha and Contemporary Society was supposed to have been
printed along with a response. Unfortunately, the response was not printed
and will be hopefully in the next issue. You can read the response, and
I invite anyone who wants to investigate the issues thoroughly to do so,
at our site: <http://www.tekhelet.com/ResponseJHCS.htm>

Most of what I will say here is better said in that article.

A recent article in Techumin by Rav Shmuel Ariel points out that there
are three possibilities regarding the murex tekhelet. A) It is definitely
not tekhelet, B) It is safek tekhelet, C) It is definitely tekhelet. In
case B or C, it is better to wear murex tekhelet as you have nothing to
lose. If you believe that B or C is the case, then according to Rav Ariel,
it is better NOT TO WEAR TSITSIT at all, than to wear tsitsit without
tekhelet and just lavan. Add to that, Rav Herschel Shachter's point
that if tekhelet is available, one who wears white only is over on Bal
Tigra. I cite this for two reasons. The first is to show that tekhelet
is not some hidur that only mehadrin should be interested in. It is a
mitzvah deorayta, and not wearing it may get people involved in L'avim
and possibly issues concerning chilul shabbat (if one wears a begged
with lavan in a rishut harabim).

The second reason follows from the first. If it is a big halachik deal
nowadays, then it was a big halachik deal in the times of the gemarah. So
statements to the effect that chazal didn't have to warn people not to
wear Murex tekhelet don't hold water. If Murex tekhelet is not kosher,
then it would have been imperitive for chazal to warn people. Look what
is at stake! Bal Tigra, Chillul shabbat, Being Over on an Asay, Shaatnez,
etc. Therefore one must come to the conclusion that if the potential for
mistake was there - ie that Murex tekhelet looks like real tekhelet -
but yet it was not kosher, then chazal would have had to warn the Jews
of the time.

We make a big deal about the archeological evidence precisely for this
reason. In 19 sites in Northern Israel, remains are found of Murex dye
installations. It is incomprehensible to assume that chazal did not know
of Murex dyes. If they knew about them and didn't warn people against
them, then that means that they felt murex tekhelet was kosher.

Is it possible to assume that Murex dyers did not know how to get pure
blue out of the dyes? I think not. We have about 15 years of experience
with dyeing. We have found out that 1) sometimes the dye just comes out
blue and not purple. 2) If you put the dye in the sun during its reduced
stage (a stage necessary for its integration into the wool matrix) then
it comes out blue. 3) If you steam the threads or put them in very hot
water after dyeing them purple, they turn blue. The ancient dyers had
thousands of years experience with dyeing. It was their livelihood. Can
one honestly think that they would know less than us? All of the things
that I mentioned above have nothing to do with modern chemistry. I do
not expect them to have known that if you put the purple strings in
tetrachloroethylene then it turns blue, but I would expect them to know
that putting them in hot water does. Rav Herzog didn't know these facts
about the murex dye. He never did much experimenting with the actual
dyeing, and relied mostly on what others had written.

Tekhelet looks like Kala Ilan. Kala Ilan is indigo according to the Aruch
and most everyone else. The words kala ilan seem to have come from the
ancient Chinese word for indigo - k'lan. According to the Rambam, Rav
Saadya Gaon, Rav Herzog and many, many others, the color of tekhelet
is the color of the sky - ie indigo. Murex tekhelet, as mentioned
above, through trivial natural processes can be made to be identical
to indigo. Therefore, according to all these poskim, Murex tekhelet is
identical to kala ilan which is identical to kosher tekhelet. Both the
Radzyner and Rav Herzog admit that if you could find a marine species
that gave a color identical to kala ilan, it would neccesarily be kosher
for tekhelet. Their reasoning is the same that I point out in my first
paragaraph - if this were not the case - ie that this other dye that
was identical to tekhelet was not koser - then chazal would have had to
warn us against this other fake tekhelet (Sefunei T'munei Chol, page 14,
1999 edition and Rav Herzog's doctorate, page 73).

If Murex tekhelet was identical to kala ilan = indigo, then what about
the tests in the gemara? Why would the halacha say that kala ilan was
pasul altogether? I don't have definitive answers for these questions,
but at the same time I don't believe that they are contradict the
assertion that Murex tekhelet is kosher for the mitzvah. I can make some
guesses. For example, I personally have proposed that although there
may be no difference molecularly between the tekhelet and plant indigo,
and therefore according to the methods currently used to dye wool, there
is no discernible difference in quality between them, historically, this
was not always the case. When dyeing according to natural methods in
the ancient world, tekhelet was dyed in a completely different manner
than indigo. The former was fermented together with the meat from
the snail. Current research by John Edmonds in England has shown that
bacteria present in the snail meat plays an active part in the reduction
of the dye. On the other hand, plant indigo was chemically reduced in
an entirely different manner. Consequently, it is quite reasonable that
the quality and fastness of wool dyed with tekhelet according to the
method employed in vat dyeing with snails, would have differed from that
of kala ilan. This may have been the basis for tests that attempted to
distinguish between the two. Nobel Chemist Prof. Roald Hoffman has told
me that he finds this proposition to be plausible.

Regarding the source of the dye - the tosefta in menachot compares two
halachot. Tekhelet min ha'chilazon kasher, she'lo min ha'chilazon pasul.
(Tekhelet must come from a chilazon). The other halacha is that gold
for the menora must not come from grutatot - scraps - but from a whole
piece of gold. Is there a difference molecularly between scraps of gold
or one piece of gold? The point is that sometimes the source is important
in halacha even if the resulting material is identical.

The bottom line is that we believe there is ample evidence to prove that
tekhelet from a murex is kosher. There are a lot of missing pieces and
open questions, but halacha is rarely cut and dried. That's where p'sak
comes in - to determine the halacha in the face of differing options
and competing ideas.

Yasher Kochachem to everyone involved in working to make this mitzvah
better understood.

Baruch Sterman

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Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 10:33:35 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Techeiles

I want to take more time before replying, however, I'd like to address
one of RSM's points:
: ... if you are wearing the wrong color, you have lost the mitzva of
: lovon. There are two shittos among the rishonim about what lovon is. The
: Rambam says it is the exact color of the garment on which the tzitzis
: are to be hung.
: Ashk'nazi rishonim say it is colorless: undyed wool....

The machlokes isn't over being /yotzei/ lavan, but in the /ideal/ lavan.

So, to rephrase your question: Does the chance of being yotzei techeiles
outweigh the loss of hiddur?

Also, while on the subject, our rishonim hold that lavan means white
(raw wool), but our and Sepharadi acharonim try to avoid the machlokes
by mandating white begadim.


Go to top.

Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 10:04:10 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Three Motzoei Y"K points

In v8n8, R' Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com> quoted and asked:
:> Do you know people who are alive but do not have a good parnasa?  
:> Clearly,  on this allegorical level, they are different books.>>

: OK, then why is it *besefer* instead of besifrei?

And then RSBA <sba@blaze.net.au> wrote (probably before he saw this
: IIRC last year someone asked the question about the various 'seforim'
: mentioned in the AM. Again, IIRC, we didn't get a satisfactory answer.

OTOH, I thought we did. We actually had a citation (pity I can't find
it in the archive) showing that "sefarim" are the person's neshamah
itself. I took this for granted in a post sent out last week.

This fits well with RGS's article on sechar as consequence of the state
of the self.

I therefore agree with RSBA's maskanah, but in a very different sense
than I think he meant it:
: Having given it some thought again this year, it seems to me that all
: those AM's are referring to one and the the same sefer - but asking
: that we be noted down not only for Chayim but for a Chayim with "all
: the extra's"...

I also wonder if translating "sefer" as "book" is overly limiting, or
if the entire /s-f-r/ concept as raised in the Seifer haYetzirah (which
I only know from the discussion in the Kuzari chelek 5).


Micha Berger                 "The most prevalent illness of our generation is
micha@aishdas.org            excessive anxiety....  Emunah decreases anxiety:
http://www.aishdas.org       'The Almighty is my source of salvation;  I will
Fax: (413) 403-9905          trust and not be afraid.'" (Isa 12) -Shalhevesya

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Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 10:20:09 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Avodas Yom HaKippurim- texts of the Avodah

On Mon, Oct 01, 2001 at 10:53:22AM -0400, RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com wrote:
: This is one classic example of how the "Minhag Ashknenaz" leaned towards 
: Minhag EY and away from Bavel, particularly in the liturgy as per the Tosafos 
: Yom Tov above. 

I had what may be a new he'arah on this subject.

The Y'lmi is far more oriented toward discovering what mesorah said on a
subject than the Bavli. Which is logical, since they had the advantage
of being colocated with the tana'im. The Bavliim had to spend more
effort figuring out and recreating lost information. Much like a similar
observation made about the difference between the task of being a Ga'on
with that of being a Rishon.

What this means is that the Bavli is more of a textualist's text. Again,
this shtims with R' Dr Haym Soloveitchik's thesis -- they had the
reconstruction period, and therefore they had the greater shift to

Given the position RRW assumes above, it would therefore mean that
Sepharadim, by adopting more of the BT perspective, are more textually
oriented. Yet again this fits -- they were the ones who first saw creating
codes as a desiratum. We didn't really get into that mindset until the
S"A was percieved as threat to the perpetuation of our pesak.

Therefore, as opposed to RRW's comment:
: It is {IMHO} only amongst some Acharonim that this process was called into 
: question.  This "revisionistic" trend tends to dismiss the Ashkenazic Minhag 
: in favor of the Sephardic Minhag.  

I would call this a "textualist trend". Which would therefore agree with
the Sepharadim and their greater textualist orientation more often.

However, that "tends to dismiss" is somewhat unfair anyway. If someone
really text-oriented like the Gra considers 100 chilukim in minhagim and
rejects the Litvish side one of the 100, he tends *toward* Ashkenazi
minhag. However, only that one becomes an issue, and makes it into
discussion. And then we unfairly think of this his norm.


Micha Berger                 "The most prevalent illness of our generation is
micha@aishdas.org            excessive anxiety....  Emunah decreases anxiety:
http://www.aishdas.org       'The Almighty is my source of salvation;  I will
Fax: (413) 403-9905          trust and not be afraid.'" (Isa 12) -Shalhevesya

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Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 10:22:05 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: rambam's iqqorim

On Mon, Oct 01, 2001 at 09:41:50AM -0400, Gil Student wrote:
:                                           To add, even among those who we 
: know believed in some form of corporeality, R. Moshe of Taku only believed 
: that G-d could, if He wanted, appear corporeal.  He did not believe that G-d 
: is, in general, corporeal (see Torah Shelemah vol. 16 pp. 308-319).  The 
: difference between this and the Rambam's view is, IMHO, slight.  
: Philosophically significant but practically neglible.  I might even say that 
: there are many today who would agree with R. Moshe Taku.  [It is arguable 
: that R. Shlomo min HaHar agreed with R. Moshe Taku]

I would wonder how the Ramchal could avoid that conclusion. Doesn't he
hold that omnipotence isn't limited by logic?


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Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 10:24:11 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Esrogei Shemitah

I'm confused. RMJB seems to address the issue of lachem, but wouldn't it
still be a mitzvah haba'ah ba'aveirah?


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Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2001 10:24:27 -0400
From: "Michael Frankel" <michaeljfrankel@hotmail.com>
Israeli Esrogim

RPET writes: <I am behind in my issues so pardon me if the question has been
answered. Did someone ezplain why R. Eliyashiv also uses a Morrocan esrog
rather than an Israeli one? Eli Turkel>

While i have no idea why R. Eliashiv specifically purchases morrocan esrogs
(or even if he does), R Eli's question can be read (i don't know if that's
his intention or not) to imply a natural preference for an eretz yisroel
esrog, with concomitant surprise when this instinctive preference is
deliberately passed over. However, the fact is that there have always been
segments of the community who davka preferred a non-israeli source.

The source of this dispute goes back to the latter decades of the 1800s,
before which there simply was no esrog agriculture in eretz yisroel and all
esrogim were "foreign." The very few esrogim available at this time from
eretz yisroel were universally acknowledged to be pretty sorry looking
specimens (on the hidur scale) and in any event were numerically completely
incapable of supplying the needs of the european market. The very best
(hidur) esrogim were also universally acknowledged to emanate from the greek
farmers of Corfu which had a monopoly on the premium end of the market
(though lubavitchers always preferred yannovah esrogim for the good reason
that that's what the alter rebbe used). In the 1870s three separate drivers
converged to challenge this foreign supremacy. One was economic, since the
corfu esrogim were getting ridiculously expensive, another was halochic as
a. a rov in corfu cast doubt on the agricultural purity of the corfu
esrogim -- claimed many were actually murkov and b. meanwhile the hashgochoh
at the port of trieste (their first transit point and major distribution
center) was long known to be highly questionable. And finally came the
zionistic push as promoters of the new immigration (as well as some
representatives of the yishuv hayoshon -- supporters and opponents of the
initiatives did not break out along the usual ideological lines) hit upon
esrog farming as a natural in their quest to develop productive industry and
a self reliant society (as opposed to the deliberate maintenance of eretz
yisroel as a national charity case living off and usually fighting over the
handout -- the chaluqoh. (A personal editorial note with all my prejudices
showing. Am i the only one who sees in the current israeli yeshivoh-kollel
scene a gilgul of the 18th century chaluqoh society in many of its
unfortunately worst aspects?)

R. Yitzhoq elchonon spector was the first european godol to issue an issur
against the corfu esrogim (though only in his local region and for economic
as much as kashrus reasons), while meanwhile the new israeli pardesim
trumpeted the natural preference for anything israeli along with pious
assurances of their non-murkov kashrus (while simultaneously spreading as
much loshon horoh as possible about the supposed murkov taint of the greek
esrogim). This was all pretty effective propaganda, and might have worked
except for the fact that many people -- especially the chasidim -- were in no
mood to acknowledge that corfu esrogim were no good, since that would mean
that their sainted admorim who had always used these esrogim prior to the
1870s, were all using posul esrogim, a simply unacceptable conclusion. so
the anti-israel esrog camp faught back quite effectively, pointing out that
the only chezkas kashrus going was precisely for the greek esrogim while the
eretz yisroel stuff, aside from being pretty miserable looking, never had a
chezkas kashrus and were themselves suffering from the dreaded chashash of
murkov which, after all, could not be guaranteed against even by a new
plantation since the source for the new trees might themselves be murkov a
few tree generations back. This claim was partly acknowledged by the
israeli promoters, some of whom then took to promoting only a few "special"
pardesim in eretz yisroel where they were "certainly" free of any chashash -- 
a claim which was of course immediately attacked. BTW I have no doubt that
the current israeli esrog scene (which i have not seen myself but has been
described to me) where "insiders" know where to buy esrogim from a few
special stores (psst! Want a real esrog?) and customers are by invitation
only -- if you have to ask, you're not on the list, stems from these old
fights and the conflicting claims of partisans that this, or maybe it was
that, pardes in eretz yisroel are the only truly non-murkov esrog source.
In any event, for a variety of reasons -- chezkas kashrus plus the fact that
people cannot coneive/accept the fact that predecessor g'dolim and admorim
had all used posul esrogim lead many, even today -- especially amongst some
chasidic groups but others as well (some of my rebbishe cousins used to
make an annual trip to, i think, cyprus) -- to actually prefer foreign
esrogim. Of course I do not know whether R. Eliashiv may be one of these,
but the general phenomenon is readily observable.

Mechy Frankel                       W: (703) 588-7424
michaeljfrankel@hotmail.com         H: (301) 593-3949

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Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 10:57:44 -0400
From: Stuart Klagsbrun <SKlagsbrun@agtnet.com>
RE: WTC and Tzniut

On Saturday, October 06, 2001 11:35 PM, Yitzchok Willroth 
<willroth@voicenet.com> wrote:
>> Let's get away from figuring out the big picture because we can't fix it
>> anyway which makes all the pilpul of the last few days about the tznius
>> of Osama'a wife a big bitul zman. We can however fix ourselves and hope
>> that is enough to keep the Empire State building standing.

> You don't think this was exactly the type of response that R' Elya, R'
> mattisyahu and others were arguing for?!

Not based on the presentation of his remarks as originally posted.

I had a chance to speak to a talmid at the Philadelphia yeshiva over
Shabbos. He learns in Philadelphia and heard Rav Elya's speech on RH.
According to him, the issue of tznius was one topic touched upon very
briefly out of many upon which Rav Elya spoke over the course of about 45
minutes. As he remembers it Rav Elya placed much greater emphasis on the
idea (with which I am not sure I totally agree, but that is irrelevant
as it at least makes more sense than just pinning the whole thing on
the tznius of bnos yishmoel.) that hashem allowed it to happen because
we (in the USA) are too comfortable and confident in our wealth and
military power and do not place enough of our fate in the hands of the
RBS"O. He also stated (this is where I might not buy in) this is a lesson
to us to stop thinking of ourselves as Americans and start thinking of
ourselves as Jews. However, according to this talmid, not every point in
the speech was clear so it was not necessarily clear whether he meant to
stop thinking of ourselves as American at all or merely to increase the
part of us that we see as Jews but not to negate entirely the American
aspect of our identity.


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Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 11:00:36 -0400
From: Stuart Klagsbrun <SKlagsbrun@agtnet.com>
RE: Havdala in the Succa

On Sunday, October 07, 2001 12:00 AM, Gershon Dubin 
<gershon.dubin@juno.com> wrote:
> According to what has been quoted from RSZA, that the chiyuv to sleep
> in the sukka is to GO to sleep, once you're asleep you're patur, that
> doesn't hold, the chiyuv is not for several hours.

The rov I asked holds it is not a chiyuv to make a brachah when going to 
sleep in the succah but it not a brachah l'vatalah either, so he in fact 
says one.


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Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 12:08:55 -0400
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
lulav in the sukka

I remember hearing about the Rogatchover (I think it is in R Zevin's Ishim
veshitot), that while in general he tried to find sources for minhagim
(and his ability to find such sources was extraordinary), with regard
to lulav in the sukka, he benched lulav before hallel, and said that he
couldn't find a rationale for it.

Meir Shinnar
(wjho benches lulav in the sukka except when davening vatikin)

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Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 11:56:27 -0400
From: Stuart Klagsbrun <SKlagsbrun@agtnet.com>
RE: Loa Sisgod'du: an historical perspective

On Sunday, October 07, 2001 11:56 PM, Michael Frankel
<michaeljfrankel@hotmail.com> wrote:
> I.e we're losing sight
> of the goal, and replacing it with a new focus on the importance of the
> (only?) right means to that goal.

I'm confused (as usual).

Isn't everyone's one goal in an Orthodox shul to follow the SA?


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Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 13:31:03 -0400
From: "Yitzchok Willroth" <willroth@voicenet.com>
Re: WTC and Tzniut

>> You don't think this was exactly the type of response that R' Elya, R'
>> mattisyahu and others were arguing for?!

> Not based on the presentation of his remarks as originally posted.

> I had a chance to speak to a talmid at the Philadelphia yeshiva ...
> briefly out of many upon which Rav Elya spoke over the course of about 45
> minutes. As he remembers it Rav Elya placed much greater emphasis on ...
>                               that hashem allowed it to happen because
> we (in the USA) are too comfortable and confident in our wealth...

It might be worth going back to the original posts on the topic - it
was stated clearly there that the pointed (albeit not terribly lengthy)
discussion of tznius was in R' Mattisyahu's drasha, not that of R' Elya,
his focusing more on American Jewry's acceptance of American culture
and values, of which pritzus is only a part. It was only the reponse to
these posts which attributed to R' Elya & R' Mattisyahu things which
they didn't say, such as a nevua-like attribution for the tragedy...
Perhaps everyone can take a lesson (myself included) not to be so quick
to respond to a pose that we forget to read for content.

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Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 13:45:55 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Simchas Beis haSho'eiva

A nekudah of a vort from R' Yirmiyahu Kaganoff (not our R' Yonasan K) who
contsructed it from a number of shmuisin from R' Hutner, along with some
bits from Pachad Yitzchok. (The latter I started looking into myself, as
well, so some may not be what was said in the vort.)

It says in Ber' 2:6:
    Ve'eid ya'aleh min ha'aretz, vehishqah es kol penei ha'adamah.

Where did this occur? Until seeing Rashi I had thought the eid ya'aleh
min ha'aretz was a feature of the gan, that it didn't require irrigation.
However, Rashi (sham) writes that the mist turned the dirt into mud,
which HKBH then formed into the shape of man, as the Chumash continues
(2:7), and finally "vayyipach be'apav nishmas chayim".

And notice that only after man is made (2:8) do we find "Vayyita H'
E' gan be'Eden miqedem, vayasem sham es ha'adam." All of this occurs
before we're introduced to the gan -- it's not about the gan! And this
is before man is put there.

Turning to the Rambam, Hil Beis haBechirah 2:1, we find that the location
where this occured is identified by a universal custom shared amongst
all Jews to be the maqom hamizbei'ach.

R' Hutner uses this point to explain the significance of Nisuch haMayim.
In Nisuch haMayim we are reproducing the creation of man, pouring water
on the very same location!

The difference is, however, that in Nisuch haMayim it is man who is
creating himself. Thereby making Nisuch haMayim a fitting conclusion to
yemei hadin, where we just focussed all of our energies on recreating

And this joy, the delight in our ability to constantly create ourselves
anew into better people, is the simchah of Succos.

But what about "vayyipach be'apav nishmas chayim"? When do we do that

I can't reproduce the poetic words about the power of music. About its
ability to animate a person. How a 21st cent CE Jew in the US can respond
to the music of an 18th cent German like Bach -- it goes beyond space,
and time. Of the 7 chochmos, musicah is the one placed right below
Chochmah E-lokis.

Music, in its power to motivate, the nonphysical moving the physical,
is the nearest we can do to adding a soul.

"Sof ma'aseh bemachshavah techilah" -- although the neshamah was put into
man last, it was created first (even before light). Therefore, /before/
nisuch hamayim we have the music and dancing of Simchas Beis haSho'eivah.

I'll leave off here. But you really need to see this inside. Simply
morah-dik. Much of the arichus in the gemara about SBhSh is explained,
the songs sung, the significance of juggling, and of juggling torches,

While we have not yet merited to know what simcha really is, this vort
is significantly mesamei'ach besimchas Torah.


Micha Berger                 "The most prevalent illness of our generation is
micha@aishdas.org            excessive anxiety....  Emunah decreases anxiety:
http://www.aishdas.org       'The Almighty is my source of salvation;  I will
Fax: (413) 403-9905          trust and not be afraid.'" (Isa 12) -Shalhevesya

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