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Volume 10 : Number 013

Wednesday, September 25 2002

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 23:46:40 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: 3 year cycle

On Mon, Sep 23, 2002 at 08:38:09PM +0000, Eli Turkel wrote:
: I have heard some people claim that the 3 year cyclw was to split 
: each of our present sedrot in 3. Others deny it.
: Does anyone know of any proofs beyond theories

Ha'azinu was never split.


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Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 16:04:26 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Triennial Cycle

From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>
> <Actually, even in the time of the Rambam (see: Hilchot Tefilla
> 13:1) there were communities still on the three-year Torah reading
> cycle.>
> I have heard some people claim that the 3 year cyclw was to split 
> each of our present sedrot in 3. Others deny it.
> Does anyone know of any proofs beyond theories

Here's a pointer to a couple of articles, one based largely on the other
(from an encyclopedia), with something of a bibliography. I glanced at
Mann's book once when I was in college, but didn't read it in detail.

It's hard to piece together what the original readings were. I think
Mann only figured it out for about 2/3 of the Torah, from Geniza and
other sources. It's interesting to note, though that the number of
parshiot (rather than sedrot, which we call parshiot), is about right
for a three-year cycle of 2 regular years and 1 leap year (154 parshiot,
156 shabbatot, but some shabbatot drop out around Yom Tov, just like
this year, on average).

See also

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Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 11:25:06 -0400
From: Jay Lapidus <jlapidus@snet.net>
"The seventh month" 3X in Emor

Rashi and various other traditional sources account for the repetitious
commandments regarding Sukkot that appear in Emor except for one:
Why does the Torah in Emor repeat three times (Lev. 23: 34, 39, 41)
the injunction that Sukkot must be celebrated "in the seventh month"?
R' Abravanel raises that question, claims to answer it, but doesn't.
The Torah Temima points to Talmudic sources, which do not really answer
the question.

Allow me to offer a traditionalist solution:
Emor anticipates the heresy of Jerov'am ben Nevat, who among other
transgressions moved the observance of Sukkot to the eighth month.

Each occurrence of "in the seventh month" in Emor teaches respectively
that no such postponement is permitted, not for:
1. the qorbanot,
2. the arba minim, nor
3. dwelling in the sukkah.

The qorban Pesach, in contrast, does have a "make-up" one month after
Pesach. One might think that the observances for Sukkot would have
similar provisions (even though the Qorban Pesach is not truly analogous).
But to prevent any seeming legitimization of Jerov'am's innovations,
the Torah is emphatic in its prohibition of any eighth month Sukkot

The Maccabees did have a make-up of sorts for Sukkot (the first observance
oh Hanukah), but that took place of course in the ninth month and not
on the 15th but on the 25th.

Moadim lesimcha!
Jay S. Lapidus--Check out <http://jlapidus.tripod.com/ocr>

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Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 17:06:24 EDT
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: drinking on simchas torah

In a message dated 9/20/2002 1:52:32pm EDT, HaLeviY@aol.com writes:
> R. Isaac Tirna and other Ashkenazi sifrei minhagim of that period discuss
> dukhanen at Shacharis already.

People DID make kiddush BEFORE Mussaf after their aliyos which made the
Koahanim unsuit for Dauchanening at Musaff

However this state of Shasuy is not quite the same as Shikor Mamesh.

As one who enjoyed many good lechayyim's on Simchas Torah, I have found
the excesses to be repulsive. If people cannot drink with moderation,
they should not be drinking at all.
Shanah Tovah
Richard Wolpoe

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Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 17:17:14 EDT
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: Tziruf for a zimun

In a message dated 9/12/2002 1:21:44pm EDT, gershon.dubin@juno.com writes:
> The pesak of the Shulchan Aruch is that preferably one should eat pas
> in order to be part of a zimun. The implication of the lashon of the
> Sh"A is that the minhag is to be metzaref those who've eaten even yerek.
> Our minhag, AIUI, is to be metzaref only people who eat mezonos.

See the Tur and the Beis Yosef etc. on this.  IIRC There are a number of 
Shitos here that can be inferred from the Gmara.  

Shanah Tovah
Richard Wolpoe

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Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 20:12:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Sukkah: Muktzah?

From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
> From: Gil Student [mailto:gil@aishdas.org]

> > Wouldn't it qualify as "noyei sukkah" that are muktzah (i.e. 
> > can't be taken down) throughout Sukkos?
> I don't understand "muktzah" in that way in this context.  I understand it
> means that it's hukzah l'mitzvaso and therefore you can't use it for a
> different purpose (can't have hana'ah from it).  But you could take it down,
> esp. if you intended from the beginning that you sometimes remove it.  

What about moving the whole sukkah?  E.g., I notice on the first day that
at lunchtime, the sukkah is in hot sunlight.  It's one of these Ease-Lock
jobbies, that aren't too heavy.  Could I move it so that it's closer to 
the house, and thus likely to be shaded a bit earlier?

It can't be really muktza in the standard shabbos "no-tiltul" mode,
because if it blows down in a storm, you can put it back together
afterwards - I've done this with our old shul sukkah.  It came down
second day of YT, we put it back up first day of HhM.

  Jonathan Baker     |  Ksivechsimetoiveh!
  jjbaker@panix.com  |  (It's a contraction, like Shkoiech, or Brshmo)
  Webpage: <http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker/>

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Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 20:22:51 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
RYGB's YK Kabbalah; Six Temidi'os

From: sbechhof@casbah.it.northwestern.edu
> Subject: Re: My Kabboloh for YK: Six Temidi'os
> Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> writes on Wed, 18 Sep 2002 15:32:14 +0000: 
> > : One of my correspondents, Reb F"B Silverman from Atlanta, mentioned to 
> > : me that the six mitzvos temidi'oscan form a box. 
> > : Below: Yichud Hashem - to make Hashem Melech al kol *ha'aretz* 
> > Besheim H' E-lokei Yisrael... 
> I did take that passage into account in formulating my box. Until last
> night I had executed my kabboloh (i.e, to think about the 6 Temidi'os
> upon entering my car) every time since after YK - last night driving
> home from shul I forgot.

Well, then.  If it forms six sides of a box, and you want to remember
them when you're in the car, the clear heiker is to paste a word on
each side of a fuzzy die.  Make another die with the Sheish Zechiros,
the six things one is supposed to remember (although my German siddur
in the office only has four (Exodus, Sinai, Amalek, Miriam), so I don't
remember the other two), and you can have a pair of Torah Fuzzy Dice
hanging from the rearview mirror.

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Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 21:39:59 -0400
From: MIKE38CT@aol.com
[Areivim] Rabbi Berkovits

[I thought given our earlier conversation here about his philosophy,
this post belonged more on Avodah than its original destination,
Areivim. -mi]

An interesting article on Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits. Sorry for the
length...I got this as an e-mail without a URL.

Michael Feldstein
Stamford, CT


Orthodoxy is, in a sense, Halacha in a straigtjacket... Eliezer Berkovits

Controversial philosopher Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits, who died 10 years ago,
had an unorthodox approach to Orthodox thinking.

Most Friday afternoons in Skokie, Illinois, one of the greatest
Jewish philosophers of the 20th century could be found checking out
his synagogue, the Ohr Torah congregation. If it wasn't clean, Rabbi
Dr. Eliezer Berkovits would sweep it himself. "He felt that sweeping up
and arranging the chairs before the others arrived was in keeping with the
dignity of the synagogue. It was essential to create this physical spirit,
and he never shrank from doing this work himself," recalls Tamar Stern,
a former congregant, on the 10th anniversary of Berkovits's death.

The pre-Shabbat ritual illustrated a modest nature, well-remembered by
those who knew him. But modesty never got in the way of his integrity.

In one area, Berkovits boldly stepped where no Orthodox rabbi had dared
go before - for the sake of Jewish unity he entered the minefield of
religious pluralism. Yet Berkovits's Friday afternoon habit reflected
the critical significance he gave to the physical, concrete sphere of
life in his worldview, developed in the 19 books and dozens of articles
he produced over half a century.

The issues he addressed may hold the key to problems that have only
become more pressing since his death: What meaning does a sovereign
Jewish state have beyond its role as a refuge for Jews? Why do Halacha
and morality seem to overlap less and less? Are fundamentalist pieties
and New Age mysticism the only options available for those who want
religion in their lives? What is a sensitive yuppie Jew to do?

Berkovits put the situation into a nutshell. "We have plenty of Orthodoxy,
but very little Halacha."

Berkovits is best known for his book Faith After the Holocaust (1973),
the first Orthodox work to broach that painful subject without the
benefit of religious platitudes. Yet, according to David Hazony of the
Shalem Center, Berkovits's work was not limited to theology and God's
relations with the Jewish people; Jewish morality and its relation to law,
as well as Jewish nationality and the state were central.

Although Berkovits didn't denigrate the importance of the Jewish state
as a physical refuge, nor belittle the view of Rabbi Abraham Kook - the
first chief rabbi of Palestine - concerning Israel's redemptive purpose,
he offered a third way for Zionism.

While he shared with modern Jewish philosophers such as Franz Rosenzweig
and Hermann Cohen the belief that the Jews have a unique moral mission on
earth, there were differences. These philosophers envisioned the Jews as
fulfilling that mission dispersed among the nations - a view that still
informs the thought of an influential portion of Jewry today. But for
Berkovits, morality meant not just right thought or right learning,
but achieving something good in the world. Only a sovereign state
dealing with problems faced by real nations - from defense to taxes -
could serve as an example of how a moral nation might act.

Israel had once been a sovereign state, facing the challenges that
other nations faced, and producing its greatest works such as the Oral
Law. In exile, however, the ability of the Jews to build a moral nation
was taken away; instead of fulfilling a dream, Judaism focused on just
keeping the dream alive.

Equally disastrous was what Berkovits called the "exile of the Torah." As
it became defensive, Jewish law ossified, and lost the capacity to fulfill
its own purpose. Five years before Israel's creation Berkovits wrote:
"Jewish corporate life does not mean only the synagogue or the Hebrew
classes or the intimacy of the famous Jewish home. It implies the total
life of the Jewish people, under the control of the Jewish people. This
kind of Jewish reality we lost centuries ago. We lost it with the
destruction of the ancient Jewish state, with the exile. By the time the
Talmud was closed, Judaism had in fact reached a point where development
was no longer possible, for the great partner of Torah - Jewish reality -
was lost. From then on, the Jewish nation has been subject to conditions
in which the Jews, as Jews, have had no say... "Jews from now on had to
suffer an existence imposed upon them by others. ... The creation of an
autonomous Jewish body corporate is the sine qua non for the regeneration
of Jewish religion and culture. Without it, further development of
Judaism is impossible. Without it Judaism can hardly be saved in the
present circumstances." (Towards Historic Judaism, Oxford, 1943).

These lines remain as compelling today as the day they were
written. Berkovits's conception of Jewish sovereignty is even
more powerful when linked to his principles of autonomy, choice and
consequence. He believed that God hides Himself so as "to protect the
spiritual independence of man in making his decision for God." God
remains elusive to reason's grasp and allows man his intellectual freedom.

Says his youngest son, Dov: "My father understood that the verse 'You
shall be a holy people and nation of priests' means in a sense that
God moves away from the place of limitless power and turns towards the
world in compassion, in an invitation to relationship. Likewise, God
demands of us not to use our powers, our basic drives, human instincts
(yetzarim) as an animal would, but rather to move towards compassion in
human relationships."

Michael Rosenak, who contributed an essay on Berkovits for Hebrew
University professor Aviezer Ravitsky's upcoming book, Twentieth-Century
Thinkers and the Land of Israel, explains that in exile, Jews were
powerless. In fact, seen through the lens of history the survival of the
Jews and their faith is a fantastic proposition - they zigzagged their
way to survival.

That the Jews now have their own state is on the one hand a vindication
of that faith history, yet paradoxically, for a state to survive it
must practice realpolitik. Says Rosenak: "Berkovits believed that this
should be done, yet the vision of faith history must be kept intact,
and should never get intoxicated by power history [where nations put
their own interests and own power above all others]."

Hazony, who edited Essential Essays on Judaism, a recent collection
of Berkovits's writings, goes even further. For him, Berkovits's work
means that Israel can only be a light unto the nations when it is a
physical reality. "If you were to turn to a Frenchman, an Italian,
and an American leader and point to the Jews in the Diaspora and say:
'You should learn from the Jews, look at them, they are moral' then
[they] would be justified in saying, 'What have I to learn from the
Jews? They don't have to deal with the threats I have to deal with, the
security issues, the economy, the questions of my own political survival,
so what do I have to learn from them?'"

The Holocaust was power history carried to its ultimate degree. To the
usual question, Where was God?, Berkovits supplied the now famous retort,
"Where was man?" Yet he found inspiration for belief in man's power to
choose for good, such as the tortured European Jews clinging to their
history and their very idea of Judaism, despite everything. Only in
Rabbi Akiva, who famously said the Shema as he was being tortured by the
Romans - not as a dramatic gesture, but simply because it was the time to
recite it - could Berkovits find a parallel: "A group of young Hassidim,
their names are on record, are assembled at the point when they were
to be taken to Treblinka. The cattle trucks are not ready yet. There
is time. It is Saturday at dusk, the hour for the traditional third
Sabbath meal. One of them finds some bread, some water. With the water
they wash their hands; they sit down to the Sabbath meal. They intone
the traditional song... All this was done in the tradition of Rabbi
Akiva - contempt for a form of reality that does not even deserve a
reaction... One is unimpressed by Nazi Germany as one was unimpressed
with Hadrian's Rome. One continues the 'routine' of being a Jew. This
too is sanctification of God's name."

It is ironic in the light of these lines, and those of Berkovits's loving
paeans to divine law, that it is precisely his position on Jewish law
that caused many Orthodox figures to push the panic button. He may have
been ahead of his time, but Berkovits's life story stopped at nearly
every station that 20th-century Jewish geography had to offer. He was
born in 1908 in a small town in the Transylvanian hinterlands of the
Austro-Hungarian Empire (now a part of Romania). He studied in Pressburg
at the yeshiva of the Shevet Sofer, the Hatam Sofer's grandson. While
his brother remained there, Berkovits went on to Frankfurt-am-Main
in Germany. He continued on to Berlin, where he was awarded a PhD
in philosophy from the University of Berlin, and where, at Berlin's
famous Hildesheimer Seminary, he was the legendary Rabbi Yehiel Jacob
Weinberg's leading disciple. Escaping Nazi Germany for England, Berkovits
was entrusted with that towering authority's responsa papers. Berkovits
serve! d as a communal rabbi in Leeds, and later Sydney and Boston before
joining the faculty of the Hebrew Theological College in Chicago in 1958,
where he taught philosophy until 1972, when he moved to Israel. Here
he produced a steady output of books and articles - including regular
Shavuot pieces for The Jerusalem Post.

Berkovits also played a civic role in the Jewish state: Only seven years
after his aliya he served as the only non-judge on the 1982 three-man
commission of inquiry appointed by then prime minister Menachem Begin
to delve into the 1933 murder of the Zionist leader Haim Arlosoroff.

Berkovits was a distinguished halachist, and had three books on Halacha
published by Mossad Harav Kook, the religious Zionist publisher in
Israel. The first of those books, Tnai Benisuin Veget ("Conditions in
Marriage and Divorce," 1967), received Weinberg's seal of approval. With
such bona fides, it hardly seems likely that any critic would dare strip
Berkovits of his rabbinical title.

Yet that is exactly what happened in the November 2001 issue of a journal
put out by Hebrew Theological College, where he had taught. The article
critiques Not in Heaven: The Rule and Function of Halacha, originally
published in Hebrew by Mossad Harav Kook. The author, and editor of
the journal, Rabbi Chaim E. Twerski, accuses Berkovits of taking a
Conservative rather than Orthodox position. In addition to omitting
Berkovits's rabbinical title in the article, his name is repeatedly
misspelled, and it was wrongly claimed that this was Berkovits's last
book; instead he went on to write four more.

What is it about Berkovits's halachic position that makes Orthodox
figures lose all decorum, even in scholarly polemics?

Berkovits held that if it is not logical it is not halachic, and if it
violates basic moral values, it is not correct. These two principles then
become a halachic basis for employing common sense. Unethical, repulsive
behavior under the guise of piety would no longer be justified by Halacha.

Berkovits didn't mince words in his criticism of the dominant halachic
directions of our time: "Orthodoxy is, in a sense, Halacha in a
straitjacket... It was part of the spiritual tragedy of the Galut [Exile]
that exactly what Halacha, in its original vitality and wisdom, intended
to protect us from has happened. In a sense, we have become Karaites."

His son Dov, director of the Jerusalem-based Beit Av Center for Renewal
and Creativity in Torah, and a senior faculty member at Kolot, a joint
study center for religious and secular professionals, comments that Rav
[Shlomo] Goren (the late chief rabbi) was one example of an Israeli rabbi
who reflected in his important halachic decisions "the direction that my
father had hoped rabbis would set in Israel, taking in mind a new reality
where we define our identity from within and not from out... He wanted
to free Judaism from the mind-set illustrated by that Chicago article,
of that need to put up a strong dividing line between us and the goyim,
us and the non-Orthodox."

"I was touched... most of all by his profound belief in the unity of
the Jewish People at all costs," says Stern. There were times when I
knew his ideas were being challenged by the rabbinic authorities as
too controversial, even threatening. He was modest, he listened, yet he
never compromised either his ideals or his practices."

Although Berkovits often faced criticism for his views, Dov says he was
also respected as a major Orthodox thinker. "He was a frequent contributor
to Tradition, the American Orthodox journal, whose then-editor Rabbi
Dr. Walter Wurzberger often asked my father to write. For one or two
articles, however, he felt the need, for political reasons, to insert
a disclaimer."

But why is a neo-conservative think tank like the Shalem Center promoting
Berkovits's version of Judaism?

"We are concerned with developing ideas in the areas that are most
crucial to Jewish thought, law and morality," answers its head, Daniel
Polisar. "And Berkovits developed ideas that are crucial for the public
life of the Jewish people."

While it may not specifically address neo-conservative political thought,
Berkovits's philosophy, emphasizing result and not intention as the
measure of morality, certainly coincides with it. As Rosenak observes,
"Berkovits is a wonderful example of an attempt to come to grips with
modernity within the rabbinical halachic world, of how the authority
of the Halacha has to deal with the sense that individuals have of
autonomy and choice. In fact, Berkovits is very insistent on the idea
of choice. He talks about the universal human power that God gave us of
choice, and that whatever the choices are dictate that consequence."

Concerned as he was with the uses and abuses of power, it comes as no
surprise that Berkovits wrote works aimed at improving women's personal
status in Jewish law, including divorce. Although, notes Hazony, Berkovits
did so not on the basis of the modern concepts of liberty and equality,
but on traditional Torah principles such as human dignity, the protection
of the innocent, and the covenantal symbolism of marriage.

With the unity of the Jewish People being of supreme concern to him,
he sought a halachic basis for religious pluralism. Hazony writes that
"[Berkovits] was opposed to the social boycott that Orthodox Jews have
tended to apply to Reform and Conservative congregations, and was in fact
one of the first Orthodox leaders to speak in non-Orthodox synagogues. In
this sense, he was truly 'post-denominational.'"

Berkovits also offered a halachic justification for non-halachic
conversions. In the early seventies, during the first of what was
to become a series of eruptions over the question of non-Orthodox
conversions, Berkovits proposed using bedi'avad, an after-the-fact
recognition for such conversions. According to Halacha, a conversion is
valid even if it later becomes clear that not all the prerequisites were
fulfilled, for example, conversion not out of religious commitment but
simply for marriage. In light of the Torah obligation for preserving the
unity of Israel and love of Israel, Berkovits felt that such recognition
was necessary now. In return for this compromise Berkovits expected
that non-Orthodox officialdom, also motivated by love for the people of
Israel, and concern for its unity, would also modify its approach. "At
least instead of shouting at each other," wrote Berkovits, "we might
start talking to each other."

Psychologist Rina Rosenberg remembers that it was Berkovits's intellectual
sophistication in a Chicago seminar that helped her deal with the
onslaught on faith in her college psychology courses. "His classes were
very important to me, coming from a closed society, to meet a teacher
with great involvement in the intellectual world who at the same time had
stable feet in the Orthodox world. I remember that he presented prayer in
a way that allowed me to enrich my faith. Whether in specific dialogue
or conversation, if I had something to bring out, he would never say it
was forbidden - he would have the philosophical tools to deal with it."

Her husband, Hebrew University professor Shalom Rosenberg, recalls Rina
bringing him to the Berkovits's house in Chicago. "I dream of being
able to either argue with or justify him. So far his influence has been
limited here, as his Hebrew books are addressed to rabbinical experts and
are difficult to read. In order to have influence among the rabbinate,
you have to belong to the same collegium. Just as in an academy,
everyone gives credit to his friend, and only members of the clique are
appointed. You need someone of a multidimensional courage, not only for
facing colleagues, but also for facing heaven. Some rabbis are sincerely
afraid of heaven's judgment should they initiate change. Berkovits spoke
of the catastrophe of the Oral Law being written down, and its resulting
ossification. Yet writing down the Oral Law also democratized it, taking
it out of the exclusive authority of those in the know. There are pluses
and minuses even in that."

"Berkovits's vision was that in modern times, the mass of Jews could
follow Halacha in terms of their own sensibilities," says Rosenak. "He was
critical of contemporary rabbis for not taking freedom and individuality
into account when making halachic rulings, for turning off so many Jews
and making it difficult for the Jewish state to become a commonwealth of
Torah-observant Jews, a halachic state friendly to - not just tolerant
of - democracy."

A distant vision, but, as the title of Berkovits's most provocative
book says, "not in heaven." Rosenberg, an original Jewish philosopher
himself, sums up, "I'm not surprised that it has taken a while for his
influence to grow. But if his books make people better, I'm sure he'll
get an upgrading in heaven."

 1995-2002, The Jerusalem Post - All rights reserved,

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Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 21:59:59 -0400
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
Re: Why teach the other opinions

Rabbi Rich Wolpoe wrote <<< So if Poseik A paskens AND it gets accepted
by a community or a range of Communities over a period of time, it is
reliable. >>>

R' Micha Berger asked <<< So if JTSA has a community that observes C
rules, those rules are valid? >>>

My understanding is this: If there would be a community that was otherwise
Shomer Mitzvos, and accepted certain C decisions, and over a period
of time was successful at integrating them into their Shomer Mitzvos
lifestyle, then it would be very hard to pin them down, and explain how -
or whether - they are beyond the pale. The comparison to Mayim Acharonim
and others is very hard to shake. We'd be in quite a pickle if such a
community would actually exist.

But does such a community exist? Perhaps this is what Rav Aryeh Kaplan
meant when he wrote (Handbook of Jewish Thought, 12:6-7) "The unique
relationship between G-d and Israel guarantees that we will always be
able to ascertain His will... This relationship also guarantees that
collectively Israel will always obey G-d's will in the long run..." That
is, HaShem will make things work out so that the opinions which *are*
beyond the pale will never gain popular acceptance.

But if so, then how do I explain the continued existence of real
communities of Samaritans and Karaites, even after centuries and millenia?

Akiva Miller

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Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 12:05:38 +0200
From: S Goldstein <goldstin@netvision.net.il>
rov vs kavua

RMB asked a nice kashya. I want to expand so all can appreciate.

The Torah says concerning a Sanhedrin that the majority rules. This is the
source for majority rule throughout halacha. Yet, there is an exception
to this rule. Any situation where the items are fixed in place (kavua)
one ignores the majority. This is learned from a pasuk: if a Jew threw
a rock into a crowd to kill one member of that crowd, and the crowd
was composed of 9 Jews and one non-Jew, the murderer is not considered
as having intent to kill a Jew and therefore is exempted from the death
penalty. Another Talmudic example is when there are 9 kosher meat stores
and one treif store; a Jew bought meat but forgot which store; here also
one may not rely on the majority and the meat is treif.

Therefore the question arises that in every Sanhedrin the minority is
kavua, so one should not be able to follow the majority. Meaning kavua,
the exception to the rule of majority, should in fact destroy the very
concept that we follow majority ever.

The Mordechai in Hullin and the Sefer HaKrisus at the end answer that
kavua only applies when we are trying to identify one of a crowd (ie
which meat store, which victim was intended). But in a Sanhedrin we know
who voted in favor and against the defendant so we can rely on majority.

The Mordechai offers a second answer. By a Sanhedrin we follow the
opinions expressed by the judges. Since their voice has left their body,
it is not kavua and we follow the majority.

So for those who wish to follow a majority of Poskim on any issue,
there is no reason to be concerned that the minority Poskim are kavua
as this issue has already been answered by the Rishonim for a Sanhedrin.

Shlomo Goldstein

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Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 20:14:26 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
Yaknehoz candles and Avukeh

For those who are still interested in this subject - and I suppose we all
(at least those in ChuL) should be, as we have another go at it this
Motzo'ei Shabbos - please point your browser to SA 298 - especially
s. 1,2 and 15 - and see the MB and the other NK.

A few points -

Avukeh (ie the need for 2 candles/wicks) is a Mitzvah min Hamuvchar -
and is not me'akev.

The Be'er Heitev [2] brings from Sefer Hakavonos - 'davka shel shaavo'
- which lechoireh knocks out using a match.

The Remo, Biur Halocho and MB (s.2) discuss a double-wicked ner.

The last se'if talks about a 'ner betoch aspeklaria' and has a long
Biur Halocho which I have not yet had a chance to learn but may be of
interest to those of us who purchsed the Yaknehoz candles - which have
to be placed in a glass holder.

BTW one of our Yeshiva Bochurim who learns in Manchester and ate RH
evening at the home of RYC Horowitz shlit'a - rav of Satmar there,
said that the rav had no compunction about putting together and then
separating 2 candles for havdolo. He claimed that it is similar to when
lighting another candle and then removing the first.

Someone else told me that our rov brought a rayeh from a halocho (or
maybe he said Mishna) about the permissibility of burning a wick in the
middle to create 2 of them.


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Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 15:20:30 +0300
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Re: 3 year cycle

On 23 Sep 2002 at 23:46, Micha Berger wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 23, 2002 at 08:38:09PM +0000, Eli Turkel wrote:
>: I have heard some people claim that the 3 year cyclw was to split 
>: each of our present sedrot in 3. Others deny it.
>: Does anyone know of any proofs beyond theories

> Ha'azinu was never split.

Including Shvii? (I know that the Shira was never split - there are 8-
9 psukim at the end after the Shira). 

-- Carl

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much.

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Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 15:23:19 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: 3 year cycle

On Tue, Sep 24, 2002 at 03:20:30PM +0300, Carl and Adina Sherer wrote:
:>: I have heard some people claim that the 3 year cyclw was to split 
:>: each of our present sedrot in 3...

:> Ha'azinu was never split.

: Including Shvii? (I know that the Shira was never split - there are 8-
: 9 psukim at the end after the Shira). 

But remember the context: would the last 9 pesukim make 7 aliyos for
the next two weeks?


Micha Berger                 The mind is a wonderful organ
micha@aishdas.org            for justifying decisions
http://www.aishdas.org       the heart already reached.
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

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Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 11:24:53 -0400
From: Arie Folger <afolger@ymail.yu.edu>
Re: Bowing during the Avodas Yom Kippur

Reb Markowitz, Chaim wrote:
> When it came time to bow down by the Avodas Yom Kippur, first everyone
> did it and then the Chazzan did it separately. Everywhere else I have
> davened the chazzan and tzibbur did it at the same time.
> Has anyone else seen such a minhag?

Yes. I was ba'al sha'harit at the Yorkville Synagogue (rav J.D. Bleich) and 
that is what the ba'al mussaf did. Since rav Bleich insists on maintaining 
his shul minhaggim except when he thinks it violates halakhik principles 
(nixes 'Oseh hashalom as a final brakhah of 'amidah vehemently, for example, 
because it is not matbe'a shetavu 'hkhamim bevrakhot), this must be
* an original minhag of that shul, and
* an acceptable minhag acc. to RJDB.

I also saw something strange: the ba'al mussaf, a Vizhnitzer 'hoosid, did not 
crouch when doing his hishta'havayah, but rather layed down flat, a more 
literal form of pishut yadayim veraglayim. Textually, he seems right, because 
the technical term is pishut yadayim veraglayim, however, culturally and 
mimetically, we are used to crouching. Anybody know meqorot that discuss this 
alternate form of hishta'havayah and the relative merit of each?

Kol tuv,

Arie Folger
It is absurd to seek to give an account of the matter to a man 
who cannot himself give an account of anything; for insofar as
he is already like this, such a man is no better than a vegetable.
           -- Book IV of Aristotle's Metaphysics

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Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 17:22:52 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Birchat kohanim/hoshanot/ naanuim

Is it the universal custom for the kahal to say the ribbono shel olams or
is there a custom only for those who have dreams that they're concerned
about to say it?

Are there any shuls out there that are minhag ashkenaz but do hoshanot
after hallel during chol hamoed in order to speed up the davening?

Why does the shatz only do 2 naanuim at hodu and the kahal does 4?

Gmar Tov
Joel Rich

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