Avodah Mailing List

Volume 09 : Number 084

Thursday, August 29 2002

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 03:00:45 EDT
From: T613K@aol.com
slits in skirts

[A two-topic email that I took the liberty of splitting, part II. -mi]

From: Turkel Eli <turkel@icase.edu>
> 2. In their discussion of tzniut they mention skirts with slits. Is this
> also so clear that a slit for the purpose of comfort is prohibited? I am
> not asking about a long slit but one at the bottom of a long skirt? 

> I doubt that a slit at the bottom of a skirt is really assur, but it's a 
> good idea to avoid it.  Many years ago my father told me, "You should know 
> that there is a general klal: all fashion is atzas hayetzer."

The slit allows a glimpse of the leg which is more tantalizing and
suggestive than just frankly seeing the whole leg. (I refer to the
lower leg, which is not forbidden.)

When my students in Bais Yakov asked me about slits, I told them,
"You girls think they're harmless because you are pure and innocent.
To really explain this to you I would have to spoil your innocence.
Suffice it to say, it is not enough that your intentions are innocent.
You have a responsibility not to be someone else's yetzer hara."

Toby Katz

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 11:20:32 -0400
From: "Brown, Charles.F" <charlesf.brown@gs.com>
liDovid Hashem Ori....not universally recited in Ellul-Tishrei holiday season

>: Siddur Eizor Eliyohu ('al pi nusach HaGR"A') says that it is not said
>: - that it is an addition al pi the Ar"i and not a part of the original
>: nusach Ashkenaz.....

> So what if Ashkenaz weren't nohagim to say something? Does that make
> saying another kapitl Tehillim wrong? To the point where one would
> poreish min hatzibbur over it?

The Ma'aseh Rav w/ footnotes (#26 and #53) brings the makor for the GR"A
as tircha d'tzibura - nothing to do with authentic minhag ashkenaz.
Nafka minah - there should be no problem with a yachid adding it as a
personal tefilah after the tzibur has finished; were it a nusach question,
I imagine it would be improper to say under all circumstances.

Many shuls now have the "minhag" of saying extra tehillim after davening
for E. Yisrael. Tefilah for an eis tzara perhaps is different than
l'david, and not saying them would be poreish min hatzibur.


Go to top.

Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 18:11:40 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Chata'im Velo Chotim

On Thu, Aug 22, 2002 at 05:28:16AM -0400, Joelirich@aol.com wrote:
: Interesting gemora and one of the basic sources which the rishonim
: wrestle with regarding the din of moser (interesting how moser is tied
: to rodef by some - it seems a case of neherag al shem sofo - but isn't
: ben sorrer a chidush?) ...

Perhaps the same chiddush applies here? Would explain the linguistic


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 11:50:54 -0400
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
Slichot on Yom Kippur

I would appreciate sources on the following issues.

Slichot on Yom Kippur (shacharit, mussaf, and mincha) started disappearing
from Lita and Polin during the 19th century - ? secondary to hazzanut and
time consraints, ? because of printers,? other reasons (I know the
discussion in the Goldschmidt machzor, and in the Aruch hashulchan, as well
as the sources from the Tur and the rash).

The Aruch Hashulchan (OH 620) advocated saying them, and RYBS also advocated
saying them.  I know that many yekke shuls still say the full nusach
haslichot, as well as shuls by talmidim of RYBS.  However, standard minhag
america according to Birnbaum and Artscroll does not have them.  

Are there any other sources that deal with saying slichot today - whether
there were any good reasons why they were dropped, should one try to
reintroduce slichot (either in a new shul that doesn't yet have a minhag, or
in a shul that currently doesn't say slichot) .  Furthermore, is it correct
that there is uniform acceptance that slichot are preferable lectachila,
even though we don't require it, or do any view the current minhag as
something desirable?  what is the minhag in the yeshivot? may one ever drop
the saying of slichot?

Second question:  If a neighborhood minyan starts to expand with newcomers,
and incorporates as a shul, is there any discussions of how the original
minhage bet haknesset should transfer over to the larger shul?

Meir Shinnar

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 18:18:31 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: women drivers

On Fri, Aug 23, 2002 at 08:47:33AM -0400, David Riceman wrote:
:> Can custom confer a torah issur on its violation?

: Minhag hasochrim koneh.

Did you mean to pun, or are you arguing that there's a connection between
giving a chalos to "what socherim normally do" and practices transmitted
via mesorah? If the latter, I didn't get your point and could use more
explanation. (If the former, I guess I didn't get the joke overly well


Go to top.

Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 22:43:15 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>

At 11:16 AM 8/21/02 -0400, Joelirich@aol.com wrote:
>IIRC He goes through the teku's and explains that while Eliyahu can't
>through nevuah be michadesh dinim but will be able to establish facts
>that halachik process can operate on. How do others understand teku -
>that it will be through superior intellect or intuition or broad enough
>shoulders to make a call in unclear areas?

IIRC, Eliyahu, according to the Rambam restores the *mesorah*.

Anyway, there are bas kol's that do determine halacha, so nevuah not 
determining halacha is not hard and fast.

Kol Tuv, Kesivah va'Chasimah Tovah,
ygb@aishdas.org      http://www.aishdas.org/rygb

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 11:55:37 -0400
From: Turkel Eli <turkel@icase.edu>
lo bashamayim

>I was listening to a tape from R' Frand where he quoted a Chidah
>explaining why we could have things like Tshuvot min hashamayim. The
>gist of it was Lo bashamayim he only applies when the halachik process
>can reach resolution (eg yachid vs. rabbim) but if not, then can rely
>on dreams etc.

I haven't looked at it in a while but from memory the Maharez Chayot
disagrees with this approach.

Eli Turkel

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 08:28:45 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Re: elu v-elu

At 06:54 PM 8/20/02 -0400, Turkel Eli wrote:
>1.When taking chumrahs to satisfy all possible opinions brings to greater
>awe of Hashem I agree that this is an admirable trait. However, some
>poskim eg MB take this as a standard psak for everyone.

>As an example MB discourages the use of a linen beged with wool tzizit
>even though the Ramah allows it. ...             Why should we have a
>general chumrah like this for the general population...

If the MB advocates a certain hanhogo does that mean that *he* intended
it for the general population? Perhaps it is the general population that
decided to take on the MB's benchmarks?

>2. In a recent Daf Yomi Rava was cursed by a woman when he followed
>the position of Shmuel against Rav. The curse that his boat should sink
>indeed happened. The Ritva explains because Rava should have paskened
>like most other amoraim like Rav.

>I am confused by this. The Ritva himself was the one to brought the
>shitah of multiple possibilties of truth. Since Shmuel is a legitimate
>opinion and Rava is an amora what can't he pasken like a minority view
>and it also be a correct viewpoint?

The Gemara caught my eye as well. My take on it is not that Rav should have 
paskened differently, but that some understanding of the makom for the 
chalos of the kelalah had to be found, and it is that shemetz of pgam the 
Ritva means to identify.

[Email #2. -mi]

At 09:00 PM 8/21/02 +0000, Micha Berger wrote:
>: In broad terms, we can identify four categories of chumros:
>: 1.  Based on halachic issues.
>: 2. Based on ahavas Hashem.
>: 3. Based on yiras Hashem.
>: 4. Based on separation from gashmiyus.

>I can't figure out a definition of yir'as H' as a motivating factor that
>wouldn't be identical to ahavas Hashem or to separation from gashmi'us.
>I guess what I'm saying is that I see #2 as an imperative PULLING to
>HQBH, an "asei tov", and #4 as PUSHING from (and not just gashmi'us,
>kavod and ka'as too), and don't know where #3 fits.

Good point. Perhaps the better term would be "Yiras Chet" as opposed to 
"Yiras Hashem."

[Email #3. -mi]

At 06:30 PM 8/25/02 -0400, Turkel Eli wrote:
>In the recent daf yomi Rebbi Eliezer calls someone who removes thorns
>from the field a "rasha" even though the chachamim allow it.
>Though he considers it kilyaim it seems strong to consider one a rasha
>who goes along with another opinion. Why would it not have been enough
>for him to say that he prohibits it?

Perhaps he took the person's mindset into account.

Kol Tuv, Kesivah va'Chasimah Tovah,
ygb@aishdas.org      http://www.aishdas.org/rygb

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 02:12:03 EDT
From: Phyllostac@aol.com
explanation of shitos of the GR"A in tefillo

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
> On Wed, Aug 21, 2002 at 01:52:57PM -0400, Phyllostac@aol.com wrote:
>: Siddur Eizor Eliyohu ('al pi nusach HaGR"A') says that it is not said -
>: that it is an addition al pi the Ar"i and not a part of the original
>: nusach Ashkenaz. So nusach haGR"A would not say it.

> I don't understand this, and a number of other Gra-isms.

> So what if Ashkenaz weren't nohagim to say something? Does that make
> saying another kapitl Tehillim wrong? To the point where one would
> poreish min hatzibbur over it?

> And what's so terrible about adding another pasuq to Aleinu...
> Why is an absence of a source considered a source for an absence?

In the absence of anyone else responding, I will attempt to explain
certain shitos of the holy GR"A z"l, as I understand them at present.....I
do not guarantee that I was yoreid lisoch da'ato vishitoso - aval Torah
hi vililmod onu tzrichim.......lo oleinu hamilocho ligmor aval ein onu
bnei chorin lihoboteil mimenoh....

A number of matters are raised above.....

1) 'Vine'emar, vihoyo Hashem limelech al kol ho'oretz.....' after

This ending was not part of the original Oleinu, as I mentioned recently
in a Mail-Jewish posting. This seems obvious when one considers the fact
that it is not included with Oleinu in the amida / 'shmoneh esreh' of
musaf on rosh hashono, which is the mokor for Oleinu (which only later
came to be said regularly at the end of tefillos at other times as well).

The thought came to me that perhaps a (the?) reason it is not said is
because it does not qualify as a prooftext for the conclusion of Oleinu,
unlike the posuk that the original text of Oleinu concludes with. To
elaborate, Oleinu concludes with 'ki hamalchus shelicho hi uliolemei
ad timloch bochovod' (loose translation - for the kingship is your's
and forever and ever you will rule with honor) - kakosuv bisorasecho
(supporting / proof text) 'Hashem yimloch liolom voed' (Hashem will
rule forever). That is a good fit - the end of Oleinu talks of Hashem
ruling forever as does the cited posuk. OTOH, the posuk 'vihoyo Hashem
limelech al kol haaretz bayom hahu yihyeh Hashem echod ushemo echod'
does not talk about Hashem ruling eternally - rather just about Hashem
ruling in the future over the whole world. Eternity is not addressed in
the words of the posuk.

2) re Adding perokim (I use that word advisedly, as I read a while
ago that Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky z"l held that the divisions in Tehillim
were from a holy source and therefore were worthy of the title 'perek'
[as opposed to those elsewhere in Tana"ch, e.g. in chamisho chumshei
Torah, which were from non-Jewish sources and therefore deserved the
title 'kapitel' rather than perek. Despite the fact that many of the
hamon do the opposite, calling pireki Tehillim kapitlach and kapitlach
of Torah perokim.]) to seder hatefilloh - the shita of the GR"A z"l was
that we do not add new mizmorim to the davening betzibbur. According to
nusach HaGR"A, mizmor shir chanukas...is not said before boruch she'omar,
Lidovid isn't said at the end of davening in Ellul, etc. IIRC, the siddur
Eizor Eliyohu cites Maaseh Rav (53 ?) re this. I don't have that in
front of me right now, but I saw a note in siddur haGR"A of Rav Naftoli
Hertz of Yaffo z"l before boruch she'omar that could help us understand
more. Commenting there on the omission of mizmor shir chanukas before
boruch she'omar al pi minhag haGR"A, he states that it says in the end
of the first perek in Brochos that 'they desired to add parshas Balak
in krias shema, but ultimately didn't - and why not ? because of torach
hatzibbur'. And if so, surely, afortiori, we (of later generations)
cannot establish any mizmor betzibbur, 'mipnei hatorach', only that
which is explicit prescribed meRabboseinu....

If individuals want, they can say all of Tehillim after davening -
but as yechidim.

If we take an honest look at tefilloh over the decades and centuries, we
will see how, despite the fact that the siddur has grown by many pages
over the years, the amount of kavonnoh and the level of davening has
declined. When we have a phenomenon of 'niskatenu hadoros' / decreased
levels of concentration / more distractions, etc., does it make sense
to add more to the siddur / pile more pages upon the tzibbur ? I have my
doubts......Such additions, although well-intentioned, ultimately overall,
especially after time goes by, IMHO, are not beneficial to most and
contribute to the growth of speed-davening with little if any kavonnoh,
when people see / think that they have many many pages to recite in a
limited amount of time.......There is a concept of 'kol hamosif goreia'.
More can be less and less can be more.......

I see nowadays how when perokim of Tehillim after davening become
institutionalized (e.g. now for 'the matzav' in EY), they often soon
degenerate into rote recitation by many, with little if any kavonnoh.
Tehillim can be said - gezunter heit - but must they always be
institutionalized betzibbur ? When they are said for special occasions
and not continuously, they seem to get much more kavonnoh....

If people have a limited amount of kavonnoh and are already overextended,
when you add to their load, any kavonnoh can come at the expense of less
kavonnoh in gufei hatefilloh like shmoneh esreh, krias shema, etc. Who
says that it is proper or allowed to add new recitations if they will
be at the expense of dimunition of kavonno on the main ancient parts of
our avodas hatefilloh ?

3) Re being poreish min hatzibbur - that is a legitimate and important
concern to be taken into consideration when deciding upon a course of
action. However, it should not stop us from trying to understand the
shitas HaGR"A, at least in theory, licheora.


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 09:40:37 -0400
From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>
Re: Basar SheNisalem Min HaAyin

Pardon the late response. R' Yosef Stern cited the discussion in YD
118 (quoted in Darchei Teshuvah 46) about Jews who leave their cholent
on Shabbos in the oven of a Gentile. Does it need two seals or one?
Clearly, no one holds that since cholent is a Jewish dish we can assume
that it is kosher. There are a number of chilukim between that case and
the one in which a kosher caterer drops off cholent at a shul and Gentile
(or non-religious Jews) handle it their. However, I'm not sure which
if any of the chilukim are halachically relevant.

An important source that says exactly my point, however, is the Shach
in YD 63:2 (quoted in DT 14 or 15) that we follow the majority of those
who eat a food in determining whether that food can be considered kosher
if left unattended. Certainly the majority of those who eat cholent
are Jewish. While the Shach adds at the end that if the food is found
in the hands of a Gentile it can be assumed to be non-kosher, our case
is different because we know that there was kosher cholent cooked and
placed in the shul. In the Shach's case (at the end) we do not know of
any kosher cholent.

Further support can be found in the Pri Chadash 63:3 (last paragraph)
cited in DT 63:5 that food found in a shul can be assumed to be kosher.
See also the ma'aseh with the Tuv Ta'am VaDa'as cited in DT 63:3.

Gil Student

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 12:33:47 -0400
From: <simchag@mindspring.com>
Re: Machshavah vs Ma'aseh

on Mon, 26 Aug 2002 07:02:59 -0400 R' Akiva Miller wrote:
> A person planning to do a mitzvah really does 
> want to do it, and machshava mitztaref l'maaseh
> works like it is supposed to. But
> a person planning to do an aveira does *not*
> truly want to do it.

You were m'chaven to the answer that i saw in one of the Chasidishe
seforim..(i don't remember which one but i think it was in Kedushas
Leivi al Hatorah from the Bardichiver)

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 17:27:10 GMT
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
Security devices on Shabbos

A few days ago my son asked me about being in front of a security camera
on Shabbos. I answered that of course one would not want to be in such a
situation, but if it happened or was difficult to avoid, he's really not
doing any melacha. I summarized for his the discussions we've had here
about how the camera is simply recording whatever lightwaves happen to be
bouncing towards it, and even that is happening several dozen discrete
times each second. At no point is the person ever actively "pushing"
anything into the camera.

At least, that's how I remember our discussions here. Then he asked me,
"That makes sense for a video camera. What about a tape recorder?"

Wow, does he ever have a good grasp of it all. It seems to me that
an audio recording differs from video in many significant ways. It is
continuous, rather than discrete. More significantly, one's voice does
push the soundwaves pretty directly. I'd imagine that most of the reasons
which forbid a microphone would also forbid an audio recording, though
"lo nicha lei" and such might end up allowing it in a security situation.

I'd like to hear what others think.

Akiva Miller

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 21:56:02 +0300
From: Akiva Atwood <atwood@netvision.net.il>
RE: Kotel Kam on Shabbos

> I can't see a reason it would be assur.
> There is no shevisas keilim, and there are no human beings involved
> who have an issur melachah at the time.

Well, RE the previous discussion on Avodah, there *might* be a problem for the
people in front of the camera.


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 12:50:08 -0400
From: <simchag@mindspring.com>
Re: Kotel Kam on Shabbos

on Tue, 27 Aug 2002 18:14:31 +0000 R' Micha Berger wrote 
> I can't see a reason it would be assur.
> There is no shevisas keilim, and there are no human beings involved
> who have an issur melachah at the time.

this is similar to the problem of chometz situated in EY where the zman
issur has arrived already, and the owner is in a timezone that the issur
did not arrive yet.

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 13:05:39 -0400 (EDT)
From: Harry Weiss <hjweiss@panix.com>
Ldovid Hashem Ori

From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
> Isn't there an inyan not to say an extra kapitl Tehillim at the end of
> davening when that causes an extra kaddish to be said?  [Could someone please
> provide the source for this?]  (My shul doesn't have l'dovid Hashem ori cause
> an extra kaddish, but in most shuls it does.)

We also don't add another kaddish at shachris. There is only one
kaddish after shir shel yom, and and other additions, Anim Zemiros,
Barchi Nafshi as well as Ledovi. But what about Mincha or Maariv.
there is always an extra Kaddish for Ledovid.

Regading the inyan of not adding Kaddishes, what about the frequent
custom of the quickie dvar halacha followed by Kaddish derabanan or taken
to the extreme the Chabad quick 1/2 mishna (machat) Rebbi chananya and
Kaddish derabanan.?

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 13:57:35 -0400
From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>
Re: 'learning every minute' - meaning of 'Vihagiso'

Mordechai wrote:
>Why do so many people think Vihogiso means davka / only in front of a
>printed work (as important as they are / that is) ? OTC, I find that
>sometimes deep and profound thoughts come to people more, davka when
>they are not in front of printed works !

I've been told that R' Chaim Soloveitchik used to sit for hours thinking
about a sugya. I was also told that Rav Hutner saw a talmid taking a
sefer with him to the subway and asked if he didn't have enough Torah
in his head to think about that he needed a sefer.

Gil Student

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 18:29:30 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Re: Teiku

In a message dated 08/28/2002 4:11:28pm EDT, sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu writes:
> Anyway, there are bas kol's that do determine halacha, so nevuah not 
> determining halacha is not hard and fast.
The Maharatz chiyut iirc would not agree 

joel rich

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 19:06:25 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: slits in skirts

In a message dated 8/28/02 12:11:32pm EDT, T613K@aol.com writes:
>  (I refer to the lower leg, which is not forbidden.)

That is with tights etc. Bgilui according to many Poskim including the Rav in 
his S"A O"C 75:1 the lower leg is also Ossur.

Ksiva vChasima Tova v'Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 18:59:31 -0400
From: Moshe Shulman <mshulman@ix.netcom.com>
RE: liDovid Hashem Ori....not universally recited in Ellul-Tishrei holiday season

At 11:06 AM 8/28/02 -0500, you wrote:
>From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
>From: Micha Berger [mailto:micha@aishdas.org]
> >: Siddur Eizor Eliyohu ('al pi nusach HaGR"A') says that it is not said -
> >: that it is an addition al pi the Ar"i and not a part of the original
> >: nusach Ashkenaz. So nusach haGR"A would not say it.
> > So what if Ashkenaz weren't nohagim to say something? Does that make
> > saying another kapitl Tehillim wrong?
>Isn't there an inyan not to say an extra kapitl Tehillim at the end of
>davening when that causes an extra kaddish to be said?  [Could someone please
>provide the source for this?]  (My shul doesn't have l'dovid Hashem ori cause
>an extra kaddish, but in most shuls it does.)

There are a number of chassidim who do not say it.  One of the main reasons 
is that it has no source in the Ari. The Rebbes of Lublin, Ropshitz, 
Ziditchov, and Tzanz (I think a few more) did not say it.

> > To the point where one would
> > poreish min hatzibbur over it?
>If one doesn't say something said by others by shul, I don't think that
>constitutes poreish min hatzibbur so long as the person is not very obvious
>about it (e.g., he draws out the shir shel yom, so people see him davening at
>the time that they're saying l'dovid).  This often comes up when you daven in
>a minyan which davens a different nusach than do you.

I do not doven from the omid in a shul which says it, so that I do not have 
this problem.

Moshe Shulman   outreach@messiahtruth.com 718-436-7705
Messiah Truth/Judaism's Answer:  http://www.messiahtruth.com/
Outreach Judaism:   http://www.outreachjudaism.org/
CHASSIDUS.NET - Yoshav Rosh       http://www.chassidus.net
Chassidus discussion list:        chassidus-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 22:11:19 -0400
From: I Kasdan <Ikasdan@erols.com>
Re: Teaching goyim Torah (Avodah V9 #83)

Regarding the issue of teaching Torah to goyim, see the Or Avrohom al
HaTorah (R. Avrohom Gurwitz) on D'varim 33, 4 ("Torah tzivah lanu Moshe";
os beis) who offers a pshat according to the Rambam that there is no
issur to teach a goy Torah, and there is no issur of "lifnei ivar",
though there may be a "midas chasidus" issue not to do so.

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 23:37:35 -0400
From: Arie Folger <afolger@ymail.yu.edu>
Re: WTC yahrtzeit

RMB wrote on Areivim:
> Speaking of 9/11, Shabbos will be the yahrtzeit of all those for whom
> there was no qevurah. (Since this is first yahrzeit, we would normally
> count from qevurah. Is this true even if the qevurah was nearly a year
> after the petirah?)

No. The whole matter includes some misunderstanding. Yahrtzeit is the
anniversary of death. 12 months of aveilut starts from burial or from
when the relatives have given up hope to bury the deceased. However,
some authorities suggested to hold out with the yahrtzeit until one
year after burial, in a case when there was more than one day between
death and burial, lest the aveil think that with yahrtzeit his 12 months
are up, while he really should wait for another day or more. IOW, the
yahrtzeit is really one year after death, but some suggest to fake it
in case there is more than one day from death to burial.

Yahrtzeit is thus this Shabbos for all the WTC victims.

Thus I recall.

Kol tuv,
Arie Folger

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 14:10:03 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: an interesting question...

I was asked for help answering to a non-frum person the role of teshuvah
in a situation where the offended party's mechilah can't be asked. (Either
because of logistics, or because one follows the CC that it's better not
to hurt someone by telling them what you said than to ask mechilah.)

The following is my response, which I was asked to post here.

Every interpersonal sin hurts three parties: the victim, the performer --
who has negatively altered his personality or reinforced a bad trait,
and G-d.

Not being able to ask forgiveness from one of those three does not
mitigate the ability to repair what you can of the other two.

I think this is what we mean in the poem added before Qedushah in the High
Holiday Mussaf. "Repentence, Prayer, and Tzedakah (Charity or Justice)
pass one through the evil of the decree." Repentence to heal the self,
prayer to help reassert the relationship with G-d, and Tzedakah toward
our fellow man.

The four steps of teshuvah -- abandoning the sin, feeling regret,
admitting, articulating and spelling out the problem verbally, and
planning how to handle similar situations in the future -- are useful
in and of themselves. They heal and improve the self.

They're also quite valuable to the person who would have otherwise been
the next injured party.

Ad kan. The bit about Uteshuvah, Utefillah Utzdakah ma'avirin es
ro'ah hagezeirah is based on the three relationships spelled out by
the Maharal in Derech haChaim on "al haTorah, al ha'Avodah, ve'al
Gemillus Chassadim". You'll also recognize the three relationship
theme as a core structuring element of the AishDas charter

I wrote a similar thought for Aspaqlaria for R"H 5757
<http://www.aishdas.org/asp/unsanehTokef.html>. There I concluded my
thoughts on Unsaneh Toqef with the following. You'll note in the first
paragraph a reference to the contrast of melech vs mosheil and how only a
melech can be "haYosheiv al kisei rachamim" that I posted here last week.

Three things "pass through" the evil decree: Teshuvah, tephillah and
tzedakah. Now, when we are in the throes of accepting G-d as a willing
subject, use that chance for mercy, and change ourselves, improve the
things we've been weak in.

Teshuvah -- a return. The UK Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks shlit"a,
likens this to all the waves of immigrants to Israel. The Yemenites, the
Morrocans, the Russians and the Ethiopians. They stepped off the plain
to a land they never saw before, and suddenly "we are home". Teshuvah
is return to our religious home. Even if you've never been there before.

These three things, teshuvah, prayer and charity (which, we should
remember, Jews call tzedakah -- justice), parallel the three relationships
that dominate our lives.

Teshuvah -- improve your self. Are you too quick-tempered? Haughty? How
much Torah do you know? How much Torah do you feel?

Tephillah -- pray to G-d. Remind yourself that you have a Third Parent,
Someone Who wants you to grow, be more than merely a sentient animal.

Tzeddakah -- How are you doing in your relationships to other people? Do
you give charity? Do you speak charitably? Do you help a neighbor? Smile
when you greet people? Say hello to the old man sitting on the porch
that you pass on the way to the train station? Thank your parents or
your spouse lately? Let your children know when they've done well?

It would behoove us, I when I write this monologue, you, as you read it,
to choose one thing, something we can commit to and have a real chance
of succeeding at, just one thing from each of these facets of our lives,
to add to our current behavior.


Micha Berger                 For a mitzvah is a lamp,
micha@aishdas.org            And the Torah, its light.
http://www.aishdas.org                       - based on Mishlei 6:2
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 14:23:27 -0400
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
Home pushkas

Many have pushkas at home and put money in them before hadlakas neiros
and on other occasions. When the pushka fills up, they send a check
equal to the money inside to the organization sponsoring the pushka
(and keep the cash for themselves).

1. Is the act of putting money in such a pushka a maaseh of tzedakah,
or merely making a neder to give tzedakah in the future (when the check
is cashed)? One could argue that the pushka is viewed as the property
of the organization and the act of putting money inside is tzedakah;
but when the cash is withdrawn and a check substituted, the person has
made some sort of tachlifin of the cash for a check.

2. What happens when one makes a tzedakah box on one's own and when
the box is full of money donates the money to one or more organizations
(often not determined in advance)? In that case, it's hard to argue
that the organizations--which have yet to be identified--have made a
kinyan on the money at the time that it is placed in the pushka. So,
again the question: Is the act of putting money in such a pushka a maaseh
of tzedakah, or merely making a neder to give tzedakah in the future?

3. Is there any nafka mina between actually giving tzedakah and making
a neder? E.g., does one fulfill the minhag of giving tzedakah before
davening by putting money in such a pushka?

Kol tuv,

Go to top.


[ Distributed to the Avodah mailing list, digested version.                   ]
[ To post: mail to avodah@aishdas.org                                         ]
[ For back issues: mail "get avodah-digest vXX.nYYY" to majordomo@aishdas.org ]
[ or, the archive can be found at http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/              ]
[ For general requests: mail the word "help" to majordomo@aishdas.org         ]

< Previous Next >