Avodah Mailing List

Volume 08 : Number 038

Thursday, November 1 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 23:26:41 EST
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: Ikkarim as normative

In a message dated 10/31/2001 4:39:23pm EST, Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu writes:
> Rav Eidenson phrased this
> in the distinction between academic and traditional, and argued that
> academic objective discussions were essentially irrelevant to halachic
> discourse, and not engaged in by any traditionally minded Orthodox My
> understanding is that in the Hildesheimer Seminary, several areas of
> biblical inquiry were pursued that would clearly be considered problematic
> by more traditionally minded, and these studies were approved of by Rav
> Hildesheimer and Rav Hoffman, although Rav Hirsch disagreed. I would
> have put the current argument in the context of this older machloket.

AIUI R. Weinberg Sridei Eish {SRE} via Dr. Shapiro's own book, the SRE
would make a serious distinction between the free-reign of academic
inquiry and changing Halachah based up0on Academic investigation.

What seems objectionable is that Academics are proposing to rehabilitate
long rejected opinions that have ONLY academic value and should not be
properly revived into Normative Judaism. If they are truly worthy of
being revived they should be revived via a Halachic process and not by
academic inquiry alone.

Lmashal, Imagine I was reading a Rashi manuscript and was convinced that
Sifrei Torah spelled Chanichav as chaseir in his era. Does that entitle
me NOW to direct Sofrim to change Sifrei Torah to match Rashi THEN?
And if it did, I think I would at least have to trace the process from
then until now to find out HOW and WHY it did change.

Shalom and Regards
Rich Wolpoe
Moderator - TorahInsight@yahoogroups.com
"Knowledge without Insight is like a horse in a library" - Vernon Howard    

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Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2001 09:06:03 +0200
From: Akiva Atwood <atwood@netvision.net.il>
RE: ikkarim

> as heretical a person who [no minors present, I hope] served pineapple
> chicken for Shabbat.

IIRC (unless there are more than one cases of women serving pineapple
chicken being called heretics), the lady in question said that her neighbors
looked at her *as if she was a heretic* for serving it.

(We know the lady in question -- she is a popular Jewish author).


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Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2001 00:31:49 +0200
From: "Daniel Eidensohn" <yadmoshe@bezeqint.net>
Re: Ikkrim

> Questions:
> 1) how did Avraham Avinu arrive at emunah?

There is a fundamental split. Michtav M'Eliyahu (5 page 211) cites Rav
Simcha Zissel (Chochma and Mussar #445) "Avraham Avinu was the head
philosopher and he - relying totally on his intellect - arrived at
recognition that the one G-d created the entire universe from nothing. In
constrast we have sources such as the Avodas HaKodesh (3:19) who strongly
criticise those who make such statements and he insists that Avraham had a
mesora. A middle position is the Akeidas Yitzchok #16 who says Noach had
emuna which was simple - meaing unexamined mesora as opposed to Avraham that
everything was studied and analyzed. Then you have Rav Elchonon Wasserman
who says according to the Rambam - emuna is so obvious on a rational level
everyone will readily acknowledge it - assuming he isn't motivated not to.

There is also the view that the test of the akeida was the fact that Avraham
had based everything on rational understanding - he was now being asked to
sacrifice his intellect. (Heard from Rabbi Bulman)

There are those (such as the Rambam) who assert that however Avraham Avinu
arrived at the Truth - it is no longer appropriate for us to reinvent the
wheel (because we might come up with the wrong answer) and that our job is
to understand the Truth not to discover it.

Rabbi Lamm acknowledges this in his essay "Faith and Doubt" but asserts that
in modern times when we are constantly being bombarded by heretical claims
and information - the situation has changed

note #52. page 40 "We need not belabor the point that a straight application
of Maimonides' decision to our situation would be doing a grave injustice to
Torah as well as misreading the intent of the halacha. In Maimonides' days,
most people were covered by his decision in Hil. A. Z. and the minority of
accomplished scholars and sophisticated intellects by the law in Hil. Yes.
haTorah. That was how the Halacha protected the integrity of faith. Today
there may be pockets here and there of those who will live in self-contained
communities without any access to the great sources of Western civilization;
for them the same decision holds true without change. But most of us,
despite our lack of halachic expertise and our doubtful philosophic
sophistication, are such that doubt is ubiquitous with us and if we do not
entertain it yet surely will be exposed to it before long. For us, and this
is the essence of what I am try to say, the study of Jewish thought,
accepting the challenges of modernity, and the anticiapation of the doubts
that will be imposed upon our children, are an aspect of Gemora, according
to the decision of Maimonides in Hil. Yes. HaTorah and Hil. T. T. (For an
anlysis of Maimonides' inclusion of philosophy in Gemora see Isadore

                                            Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2001 10:14:50 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>

R M Berger responded to my citation of yad Eliyahu, as brought down by RZY
> This does not imply that the label "apiqoreis" follows different rules
> than the rest of halachah.

> First, I can not tell from your citation whether he is speaking of the
> technical definition of apiqoreis, as required by hilchos tefillah and
> stam yeinam. Or if YE is speaking of someone who is writing people out
> of the group by applying the label informally.

> Second, even if the halachic label is meant, this is a strong case where
> being machmir in one din is being meiqil in another. The achdus of Kelal
> Yisrael is involved -- and being meiqil in that could very well be
> noqeiv veyoreid ad hatehom.

First, I realize that the opinion that RZYKook (following the Yad Elihayu)
may be  singular in this regard, but, in view of the gadol counting on this
group, I just wanted to bring  a raya that it is not so simple to label so
many epikorsim (even nebich epikorsim..)

Second, I am surprised at what you find unclear.  Calling a community
epithets is not nokeiv veyored al hatehom.
THe yad eliyahu is making a very explicit comparison:
	1) Making someone an epikores totally destroys him and removes him
from the community (nokev veyored ad hatehom) (not true about mamzerut,
agunot, etc)
	2) Destroying large communities is something that is halachically
forbidden (from ir hanidahat) 
	3) Ergo, we can not call large communities epikorsin.

It is precisely the first point that makes labeling someone an epikores far
more problematic than mamzerim or agunot.

We know from the gemara that on almost all issues, including mamzerut, there
were different shitot, and different communities had different norms, which
were viewed as acceptable for them, even if not for us.  Do we have anywhere
a notion that an opinion may be permissible for community x but epikorsut
for community y?  

By the way, this segues into an older discussion that was had quite a while
back about tinok shenishba.  Contrary to what RDE said, that all Reform,
Reconstructionist, Conservative were labeled epikorsin, my sense is that Rav
Moshe labeled the rabbanim epikorsin rather than the whole community, which
has more of a status of a tinok shenishba.  (even the rabbanim, as RDE
himselp posted once, RMF accepted the edut for kiddushin of Conservative
rabbanim who were shomer mitzvot). I think that there was a reluctance to
label entire communities epikorsim

Finally, R Riceman suggested that the taste for calling others epikorsim,
rather than a new phenomenon, has waxed and waned over the years.  I think
that this may be true of calling one's contemporary adversaries epikorsim.
However, it is far less true of calling previous generations, where there
was a reluctance (especially after the wars over the Rambam).  Somehow, I
can't imagine that 200 years ago, they would have blithely refered to a
ba'al tosaft cited by the ramban as maybe someone whom people didn't drink
his wine. 

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2001 15:22:17 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: iqqorim

On Tue, Oct 30, 2001 at 10:49:47AM -0500, Michael Frankel wrote:
:                                                        (try a test --
: walk into your local yeshivah's bais medrash and pick on a few random
: learners there. explain to them that the rambam's iqqorim today weren't
: really what the rambam meant exactly, but what is required was belief
: in your current version -- not the rambam's. see how far you get.)

Here is another test:

Try explaining to them -- without sheim omro -- the Rambam's position
on hashgachah peratis. See how far you get.

The "random learner" is sadly undereducated in hashkafah. His responses
do not prove anything.


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Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 23:34:19 EST
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: science and chazal

In a message dated 10/31/2001 4:39:29pm EST, Eli.Turkel@colorado.edu writes:
> This works because the length of time of the second bet hamikdash is
> not halacha lemaaseh. 

Not it IS halachah lemaa'seh!
It is critical to shmitta! and Birchas Hachama etc.
The consensus re: the Calendar is perhaps the single most instructive 
paradigm for concepts of 
1) conensus vs/ ideosyncratic - remeber R. Yeshoshua and Rabban Gamliel
2) the gap between theory and Halacha lema'ase

For example, in theory there is Zero need for YT sheini shel galus -
except maybe on RH atzmo - because the entire world today is makom
shemagi'im... Never mind the fixed calendar of Hillel Sheini...

Shalom and Regards
Rich Wolpoe
Moderator - TorahInsight@yahoogroups.com
"Knowledge without Insight is like a horse in a library" - Vernon Howard    

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Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2001 16:41:34 +0200
From: "Shlomoh Taitelbaum" <sjtait@surfree.net.il>
Re: Fish and meat

[Micha Berger:]
<I suggested back in v3n90 (when we last discussed these topics) that
the reason why this alone of all of the medical advice we find in Shas
survived is because the gemara includes the word tzoraas. Which may
imply a non-physical causality... or it may not. But it is enough to
distinguish this one concept.>

I wonder if this might be an extention of the inyan of the mitzva of
"Hishamer b'nega' htsora'as m'od," i.e anything that has the slightest
possibility (even tough not medically recognized today). Just a thought.


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Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2001 13:29:06 -0500
From: "Gil Student" <gil_student@hotmail.com>
Re: Talmud and science

Eli Turkel wrote:
>I strongly claim that position 3a is not realistic. First, to the best of 
>my knowledge the Mishna Brura was the first one to allow chillul shabbat in 
>the 8th month.
>Thus, this biological change took place in the last 100-200 years.

If it is true that the Mishnah Berurah was the first posek to permit
chillul Shabbos for a baby born in the eighth month, it does not mean
that the physical change necessarily happened in his time. It only
means that he was the first to codify that change into halachah.
It could have happened centuries before.

However, this is generally an observable phenomenon. Could Chazal not
have observed whether this was true or not? I seem to recall that
non-Jewish medical texts of the ancient world concurred that babies
born in the eighth month could not survive (IIRC, this is discussed by
R. David Feldman in his Birth Control in Jewish Law). Were they all
blind or was the reality different?

>A further point of Shlomo Sternberg was that a major problem is that almost 
>no major posek knows anything about modern science and medicine.

What major posek does not consult with doctors and engineers before
paskening important she'eilos? (rhetorical question)

Gil Student

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Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2001 15:16:59 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Talmud and science

On Tue, Oct 30, 2001 at 05:06:24PM -0500, Shalom Carmy wrote:
: I have similar problems with the quotation below.
:> To my mind, the goal of an academic is to find objective truth....
:> The aim of limud Torah is to make the truth subjective....

Since I wrote it, please let me explain.

The academic pursues a truth that is outside himself, and must be
kept that way. The attempt is to eliminate any personal bias, and
dispassionately reason one's way to the truth (or the most likely theory).

The talmud chacham is striving to make a truth internal. To learn
the Torah's way of thinking, to make its priorities, values, ethics,
weltanschauung, ones own. To get to the point where ones emotions and
preconscious attitudes are the Torah's. One therefore does /not/ pursue
Torah as an external, one does /not/ want to remain dispassionate. (To
my mind, this is the historic meaning of "da'as Torah", before R Yisrael
Salanter extended it.)

Therefore, to either community of students, the other lacks the basic
tools to get at the truth: one because it is being overly skeptical
and relativistic in ignoring mesorah; the other because it is overly
prejudiced in favor of a particular conclusion.

I then continued to say that a poseiq is not out to percieve truth,
but to create law. That requires getting a handle on the truth, but it
is quite possible that something is law because the forms to create the
law were met -- and happens to be based on an error about the truth.

On a slightly different tack but back to a central theme of this thread:

I want to remind people of what I noted back when we were discussing
the abiogenesis of maggots and their kashrus.

R' Dovid Lifshitz avoided the problem by saying that beitzei kinim
are too small to have any chalos. Neither does the maggot until it is
large enough to be nir'eh la'ayin. The only goreim that has halachic
significance that produced the visible maggot is the meat it ate.

IOW, RDL managed to save the theoretical basis of the halachah. The
change in science was made moot. I do not know what my rebbe would do
if he was unable to find any sevarah.

R' Kook followed the Gra, saying that every din could have unpublished
reasons in addition to the one(s) we know of. Therefore, if the science
is wrong, we only eliminated one reason. A chumrah can not be repealed
because other reasons for it may exist. However, a kulah can be repealed
the second a single reason exists to be machmir.

So, RAYK declared such maggots treif.

One could argue, therefore, that RAYK's reasoning would require us to
extend the list of tereifos -- but not eliminate any from the list.


Micha Berger                 A cheerful disposition is an inestimable treasure.
micha@aishdas.org            It preserves health, promotes convalescence,
http://www.aishdas.org       and helps us cope with adversity.
Fax: (413) 403-9905                - R' SR Hirsch, "From the Wisdom of Mishlei"

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Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 22:26:44 EST
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: disagreeing with rishonim

In a message dated 10/31/2001 8:53:09pm EST, micha@aishdas.org writes:
> So, one could say both things about Sepharadi pesaq: it "is generally
> based on 2 out of 3 from among the Rosh, the Rif and the Rambam" and
> it "(almost) always goes like the Mechaber".

Syrian/Iraqi have generally followed Ben Ish Chai {BIC} over the Mechaber
who is known as simply Maran.

When BIC over-rules the Mechaber, it is usually by citing the Zohar.
See an earlier thread where it was mentioned that the Mechaber might
not have had a complete text of the Zohar.

FWIW, the Rema rejected overruling the Ashkenaz Minhag by using Kabbalah.
Many Ashkenazic Kabblists obviously have disagreed.

Shalom and Regards
Rich Wolpoe
Moderator - TorahInsight@yahoogroups.com
"Knowledge without Insight is like a horse in a library" - Vernon Howard    

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Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 22:39:09 EST
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: R. Y. E. Henkin z'l

In a message dated 10/31/2001 5:36:55pm EST, henkin@012.net.il writes:
> "Eilah Ezkarah" about the aseret
> harugei malchut, the reason being that it (the fable about the shoes,
> and that all ten were killed at the same time) is historically false. In
> its place he substituted "Arzei Halevanon" from kinot.
> This, even though "Eilah Ezkarah" has "been used dor-doros."

FWIW the Geramn minhag says this at Mincha and usually starts with Tihar
R. Yishmael. This probably serves to omit the offending paragraphs w/o
starting a new minhag.

BTW, this is reminsicent of a pet peeve of mine. Some Gdolim seem find
valid objections in the way the litrugy is structured and then proceed
to innnovate. I suggest that instead they iught to first research
existing litrugical precedent to see if there have been alternatives
posited already.

For example. You can consult a Roedelheim Machzor or a Vilna Kol Bo
Machzor and find ample amounts of Selichos for YK Shacharis/Mussaf/Mincha.
At my shul in Teaneck they hand out Selichos sheets for Mussaf. AIUI
this is based upon RYBS insisting that Slichos should be said. But why
re-invent the wheel and put in new-fangled slichos when we have a rich
tradition of existing slichos with a long history and Masorah behind them?

And FWIW, while the German Minhag is to say Eileh Ezkerah albeit from
Tihar, Arzei Halvanaon is omitted on Tisha b'Av even though it is printed
in the Roedelheim Kinnos. R. Michael Poppers might be able to confirm
this but AFAIK it is the ONLY Kina omitted by Breuer's on Tisha b'Av.

Shalom and Regards
Rich Wolpoe
Moderator - TorahInsight@yahoogroups.com
"Knowledge without Insight is like a horse in a library" - Vernon Howard    

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Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 22:55:05 +0200
From: "Daniel Eidensohn" <yadmoshe@bezeqint.net>
Re: Mesoros and Minhagim (was Re: ikkarim)

> OK here is the situatoin. it is after shkias haGra and you are in Union
> City, NJ with the ONLY minyan (i.e the Klausenberger) davening VERY late.
> Do you
> 1) Daven before shkia w/o a Minyan?
> or
> 2) Daven betzibbur very late - but OK according to at least RT?

Igros Moshe O.H. I #24 "Regarding Mincha - do not pray after shkia - but in
emergency one can rely on those who are lenient.

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Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2001 21:21:07 +0200
From: Akiva Atwood <atwood@netvision.net.il>
RE: Ha'Chovel

> First, it is interesting that Islam uses A-llah, akin to our E-lokim,
> but has nothing paralleling the Sheim Havayah of Midas haRachamim.

Not quite correct -- there are 99 names of God in Islam, reflecting
different Middot.

Ar-RaCHim would probably be the name you are looking for.


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Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 21:41:07 EST
From: Phyllostac@aol.com
being mispalleil using the wrong name for a person (was re haRav Schach shlit"a)

From:  stugold@juno.com Stuart Goldstein
> How many (e.g.) Moshe ben Sarahs might there be in the world, and how
> many might be sick and have a MiSheberach said for them at the same time?
> Surely the great mailroom in Shomayim knows how to sort and deliver....

Yeish lichaleik - When there are a number of people or cholim with the
same name, and one gives the shared name without further distinguishing
detail, even though perhaps the tefillah was insufficiently addressed, it
was not wrongly addressed / misaddressed. However when one is mispalleil
for an (Rav in this case) Eliezer instead of an Elozor, the tefillah
was addressed wrongly / misaddressed - not just insufficiently.

Another thought came to mind here - would 'machshova tova HKB"H mitzarfoh
limaaseh' have application here WRT the zchus of the tefillah reaching the
popular account (perhaps in addition to the mispalleil getting credit)
when the tefillah was misaddressed bipeh (perhaps if the misaddressing
was only bileiv, there would be less of / no problem).


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Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2001 14:20:48 +0200
From: "Rena Freedenberg" <free@actcom.co.il>
RE: be mispalleil for Rav Elozor Menacheim Man ben Bas Sheva - not Rav Eliezer MM...

>: Which raises the question - If someone was mispalleil for Eliezer instead
>: of Elozor would that negatively impact on the koach of the tefillah?

> I think that if someone was not concerned enough to correct the name
> and tell others to do so when he hears he had it wrong, his tefillah
> is obviously not being sent along with the same ko'ach.

Probably not, but that wasn't really the question. I think that all of us
who davened with kavana using the name Eliezer [thinking this the proper
form of his name] got our prayers sorted and sent to the proper place by the
'Tfilla sorting office' [REL, ask your wife if she saw the play we did a few
years ago] since we had in mind Rav Shach and none other.

It is true that since the physical act of saying words has an effect in the
upper worlds, one might think that saying the wrong name might not have the
same effect; but since in this case the names are so similar [and since
Eliezer is really in the present tense and we are requesting action now] I
am not sure that the effect in the upper worlds would be adversely affected
in this case.


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Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 22:49:33 +0200
From: "Daniel Eidensohn" <yadmoshe@bezeqint.net>
Re: Giving aliyos to those who are intermarried

> Almost three years ago on Avodah, RYGB wrote
> <<...kind of similar to why we attempt not to give people who are
> intermarried etc. aliyos even if they are ma'aminim - so as not to give
> kavod to people who are not role-models. I believe R' Moshe has a teshuva
> on this topic>>

> I didn't find this tshuvah (though I saw a tshuva in Igros Moshe OC
> 3:12 permitting an aliya to a mechalel shabbos who believes in Hashem).
> Is there such a tshuvah (in Igros Moshe or in other achronim)?

O.H. 2, #51 page 238 O.H. 3 #21-22 [Yad Moshe page 310-311]

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Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2001 13:34:40 -0500
From: "Gil Student" <gil_student@hotmail.com>
Re: Giving aliyos to those who are intermarried

Moshe Feldman wrote:
>The only tshuva I found is in Minchas Yitzchak 3:65
>(which seems partially based on the fact that intermarriage is rare and 
>giving an aliya encourages a pirtzas geder; I wonder whether the fact that 
>the intermarriage rate is so high today changes the considerations;

My understanding of the teshuvah (written in 1959) is that someone 
intermarried violates an issur chamur.  Furthermore, the MY says, the 
loophole of tinok shenishbah does not apply to intermarriage.

My reaction when I first read this is that the American Jewish community has 
changed alot since 1959 and many sectors no longer discourage intermarriage. 
Therefore, perhaps tinok shenishbah would apply.  However, my feeling is 
that in an Orthodox environment it still would not.

Gil Student

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Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2001 13:57:46 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
RE: aliyot for mehallel shabbat

R M Feldman wrote:
> Almost three years ago on Avodah, RYGB wrote
> <<...kind of similar to why we attempt not to give people who are
> intermarried etc. aliyos even if they are ma'aminim - so as not to give
> kavod to people who are not role-models. I believe R' Moshe has a teshuva
> on this topic>>

> I didn't find this tshuvah (though I saw a tshuva in Igros Moshe OC
> 3:12 permitting an aliya to a mechalel shabbos who believes in Hashem).
> Is there such a tshuvah (in Igros Moshe or in other achronim)?

 From a previous go around on tinok shenishba, see seride esh 2:10,
about a youth whose father was mehallel shabbat, and did not do mila on
the boy, and now wants to do a bar mitzva for the boy and give him an
aliya. He says that there is no problem. Furthermore, with regard to
mila, the boy is dome to a tinok shenishba, so therefore he has no din
of a mumar leorla. Therefore, al pi din, one is allowed to honor him
(!!!), although, halacha lema'ase, whether that should be done is up to
the judgement of the local mara d'atra whether that would help or hinder
attemts at kiruv.

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2001 16:53:15 -0500
From: "Kenneth Miller" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Tevilas Kelim

As far as I can remember, every single article I've ever read about
Tevilas Kelim has gone out of its way to include a reminder to the effect
that "contrary to popular belief, a keli cannot be used EVEN ONCE prior
to its tevilah".

My questions are: Where did this "popular belief come from"? and Does
anyone really think that it is okay to use a keli just once prior
to tevilah?

Honestly, I've seen this warning so frequently that I can't help but
suspect these warnings are counterproductive, for they suggest to people
that there is indeed a daas yachid somewhere who allows this. Where else
would such a hava amina come from?

Does anyone think that I can wear a tallis "just once" prior to putting
tzitzis on it? Can a Bar Mitzvah boy daven Shacharis "just once" without
tefillin, and then start wearing tefillin tomorrow?

The only example I can think of is mezuzah, where there are cases
where one has up to 30 days of living in the house before the dirah is
considered "permanent" and mezuzah is required. Could it be that some
people think that a keli is not really a keli until it is used the second
time? Is that who these warnings are directed at?

Akiva Miller

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Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2001 16:27:08 +0200
From: "Shlomoh Taitelbaum" <sjtait@surfree.net.il>
Re: Confessions of a hyper correct leiner?

<whoever the Lyubavitche chasidim got to put in the niqqud to their
siddur followed R. Zalman's rules, which were a complete fabrication>

They weren't the only: The famous "Otzar Hatfillos" siddur also uses
RZ"H k'lalim. I think I know how the Lubavitcher siddur ended up with
them, and not because they necessarily held of RZ"H: I saw a siddur that
was printed around the same time as the original Tehillas Hashem siddur
(the common Lubavitcher siddur). It was also printed at the Romm press,
nusach ashkenaz. Not only is the page layout of the two siddurim almost
identical, but they both have the "Torah Or" mare m'komos of psukim
on the bottom of the page, and the k'lalei dikduk similarly are the
same. Simply the placement of the asterik over a sh'va na was done by
the house rules. (Of course I am not refering to spellings or standard
nikud, just something like indenitying sh'va na).

<They also preserve a Babylonian vowel pronunciation with segol = pasah,
and have almost a Litvish holam, excuse me, kheilem.>

Really? What I have read and heard (with my own ears) is their cholam
is just like an american would say it (the pure "O" sound)--without the
Rabbi's Sons exaggeration of it, of course. (A Teimani saying "kheilem",
how about that . . . )

But to the etzem ha'inyan, I find the sefaradim in EY are pretty makpid
on thei na's and nach's.


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Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2001 15:25:22 +0000
From: "Seth Mandel" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
Question about Keter tangent

R. Herschel Ainspan asked me <Tangentially, I read somewhere (maybe it was
an Internet bubbe maise) that the extant pages of the Keter do not exhibit
fire damage, implying that the missing pages might actually be hidden
somewhere, not burned in the fire of the Aleppo shul. Is this correct?>

I believe that that is the case. The pages that we have do show some
fire damage, but I have been told several times that the other pages
were not burned in the fire. I even saw an article in a newsletter from
a S'faradi Syrian synagogue that claimed that the missing pages were
being held by a particular S'raradi Jewish family (rich, of course),
who was negotiating their sale to the State of Israel. But that seemed
unlikely to me, since everyone would have heard of it.

So I turn to the chevra. Does anyone know anything about the facts
(beyond, of course, what is written by Yeivin in his book about the Keter
and in R. Breuer's Festschrift)? R. Akiva Atwood, do you know anything?


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Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2001 16:33:00 +0200
From: "Shlomoh Taitelbaum" <sjtait@surfree.net.il>
Tefilla for Nochachim During a Chupa

<Has anyone ever heard of dancing being a kapara for anything?>

The Arizal said that any mitsva that requires bodily exhertion till one
perspires is a tikkun for aveiros (specifically p'gam habris).


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Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2001 12:20:22 -0500
From: "David Glasner" <DGLASNER@ftc.gov>
Re: the Maharsham was the poseiq ha-dor

Sorry to resuscitate a point tangential to a thread that seems to
have expired a while back. However, it seems to me that the following
interchange (8:32) between Shlomo Taitelbaum and Seth Mandel about
the appropriateness of refering to the Maharsham as the poseiq ha-dor
requires further comment.

Seth Mandel:
> I was quoting R. Borshtein's book about all the g'dolim who refused to wear
> the Radzyne t'kheles, despite it being at that time a sofeq t'kheles. R.
> Taitelbaum objected: <However the Maharsham (who I believe could be called
> THE poseik of that dor for sure wore Radzyn techeiles and even wanted to be
> buried in that tallis, as he wrote in his tzavaah (to be found at the
> beginning of his "Techeiles Mordechai" on Chumash).>
> I am sure that most will agree with me that it is inappropriate for any of
> us to argue who was "THE poseik" of a century ago.

Shlomo Taitelbaum:
: I'll stand corrected. However, gedolim from all of Europe (including Lita)
: sent shalos to him so we can call him "from the great gedolim of his dor.

I am afraid that R. Shlomo was a bit too quick to retreat from his
characterization of the Maharsham. Earlier in the thread, R. Seth did not
object to R. I. E. Spector and R. H. O. Grodzenki being characterized
as the posqim of their generation. For whatever reason (I hope not
Litvish parochialism c"v) he found that characterization inapposite for
the Maharsham.

I would just note a couple of simple biographical facts. R. I. E. Spector
died in 1896, at which time R. H. O. Grodzensky was just 33 years old.
The Maharsham, who was born about 1835, if I am not mistaken, was 61 in
1896. The Maharsham died in 1913. In the period between 1896 and 1913,
or about seventeen years, who, pray tell, is the Maharsham's competitor
for being the pre-eminent poseiq? Unless one wishes to assert that such
a person can only be a Litvishe rov, I can't think of anyone else who
was then the Maharsham's peer. While the Litvishe community may not have
treated the Maharsham as defferentially as did the rest of the Diaspora,
there was no one else alive at that time who enjoyed comparable acceptance
as a halakhic authority throughout klal yisrael.

To document the special position occupied by the Maharsham I reproduce
the description of the Dor Revi'i (who was not indiscriminate in his
dispensation of praise) of the Maharsham in introducing the haskamah
of the Maharsham to the Dor Revi'i's kuntres on miqvaot, Ohr Bahir.
As a matter of fact, in those days, one simply did not publish s'forim
in Hungary and Poland without obtaining a haskamah from the Maharsham.

haskamat ha-rav ha-gaon ha-adir, mopheit ha-dor v'hadaro, rabban
shel kol b'nei ha-golah, y'sod ha-torah, v'amud ha-hora'ah v'khulu,
v'khulu, k'vod q'dushat sh'mo m'rana v'rabana shalom mordekhai 
ha-kohein ha-gadol sh'lita

David Glasner

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