Avodah Mailing List

Volume 10 : Number 039

Thursday, October 24 2002

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 20:15:42 +0200
From: S Goldstein <goldstin@netvision.net.il>
Re: Avodah V10 #36

RAS>can't the baby's grandparents be podeh their grandchild without
divulging this

unlike mila where there is a mitzva on beis-din if the father is not mal,
by pidyon ha-ben only the father or the son himself may do the mitzva.
the acharonim discuss whether zchiya to the son is possible.

REMT>Just as sperm from someone other than the husband does not make the
child a mamzer, since it requires birth by act of biah to produce a mamzer
(as opposed to b'ambati ibrah), so too should it not require bias kohain,
rather than just a kohain's sperm, to make the child a kohain?

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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 22:33:40 +0100
From: Chana Luntz <Chana@KolSassoon.net>
artificial insemination and selection of gender

In message , remt@juno.com writes
>                          Just as sperm from someone other than the
>husband does not make the child a mamzer, since it requires birth by
>act of biah to produce a mamzer (as opposed to b'ambati ibrah), so too
>should it not require bias kohain, rather than just a kohain's sperm,
>to make the child a kohain?

>And if the cases are not comparable, there is a simple solution for the
>childless couple's dilemma: find a kohain donor.

There is quite a well known case here in England of male triplets born
by surrogacy (non Jewish birth mother, genetically the children of the
Jewish parents, the father a kohen). While the various poskim here gave
various divergent positions when they were born, the couple, I believe are
following the position that the children are both born Jewish and kohanim.

On the subject of gender selection - there has been quite a lot in the
secular papers (eg the Times) recently about this. Apparently in the US
there is a clinic now that has a method of separating out male sperm from
female sperm (using some sort of dye). The woman can then take all one
sort and use artificial insemination (ie not IVF) to ensure the sex of
the baby. According to the clinic, requests are generally for "family
balancing" - ie a perfectly normal couple already have a child of one
sex and they want one of the other. Apparently various British couples
have used the service in the US - and the papers have been commenting
that although there are no such clinics here, there is nothing in the
law that would seem to prevent it (as the legislation governing IVF does
not deal just with sperm).

There was a lot of handwringing about it, but I was wondering about the
halachic implications of this when I was reading it, before the issue
came up on this forum. (You should know, BTW, that many if not most NHS
hospitals in London will not tell the sex of the child to the parents -
because, apparently, the sizeable Asian community is liable to abort
the child if it is a girl, and therefore as a matter of policy they
won't tell).

And then In message <3DB36488.6775.6A9F342@localhost>, Carl and Adina 
Sherer <sherer@actcom.co.il> writes
>On 20 Oct 2002 at 23:12, Avi Burstein wrote:
>What's next? Wanting a boy so one doesn't have to pay for a
>> future chasuna? Or wanting a girl because he already has 6 and he
>> wants the 7th to get the bracha of someone having 7 girls goes
>> straight to gan eden (or something like that - or is it 7 boys?
>> Whatever!)
>Keep in mind that you have to have a boy and a girl to be yotzei
>pirya v'rivya and that most fruhm people just aren't going to start
>with this unless there's a really good reason. This case was highly
>unusual and I don't think we can draw conclusions from it.

Well, wouldn't therefore the argument for family balancing be stronger 
for frum Jews than others?  ie you could ensure that people fulfilled 
their d'orisa mitzvah a lot faster if you had them have the first kid 
naturally, and the second kid with selected sperm to be the opposite 
sex.  It seems a bit odd, but I was trying to work out what the counter 
arguments were, and being a bit stumped.

Chana Luntz

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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 21:12:22 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Rambam: Pesicha to the Moreh

On Mon, Oct 21, 2002 at 10:14:37PM -0400, Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer wrote:
: But like the Rambam, s'iz doch pashut: A Navi and a Chacham are al oso
: ha'gvan, the Navi, however, is constrained by the intellect that is
: "awarded" him; the Chacham can, at will, expand his intellect.

See the first intro to Gevuros H':

Nevu'ah can only be about that which parallels something in the navi's
existance. He needs a chazon that can serve as a metaphor.

Chochmah includes extrapolation beyond that reach.

Interestingly, the Maharal includes ma'aseh bereishis in this -- man
has no parallel in his experience, so the nevu'ah in the chumash about
creation can't be accurate on a literal level. Whether or not you agree
with the conclusion, note that he implies the Torah was revealled in
a vision!


Micha Berger                     Time flies...
micha@aishdas.org                        ... but you're the pilot.
http://www.aishdas.org                           - R' Zelig Pliskin
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 18:21:07 -0500 (CDT)
From: sbechhof@casbah.it.northwestern.edu
Re: RE: Atzas Gedolim

"Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu> writes on Tue, 22 Oct 2002 17:05:03 
> however, for most of the discussion here on avoda, the advice of a talmid 
> chacham has been claimed to be somewhat more, and the claim made that the 
> requirement for going to a talmid chacham is far more. Furthermore, in all 
> the examples given (and which were the basis of the discussion), the issue 
> of the advice is not merely a greater understanding and clarification of 
> the issues involved, but a sense that the chacham will sway towards one 
> of the options. I do not necessarily lose my freedom, but the reason for 
> going to a chacham is not merely for education, it was to help decide 
> among the options - that he would sway towards a particular decision. 

So far, correct - we differ on the above. My original contention, borne
out by many Ma'amarei Chazal you dismiss as "Agada", is that Torah is
Toras Chaim and imparts a special Chochmas ha'Chaim, and that is part
of Sod Hashem l'yerei'av. As I have noted, the preponderance of Chazal
and later literature on the topic makes other positions dubious to the
extent that I find them less than Torah-true.

> That is your story with RSZA, that is your story with Rav Gold - he 
> went to get advice about the decision, the problem was that he got 
> two decisions, and then the issue was what to do with it. Clearly, it 
> remained his decision, but the notion was that one went to a chacham not 
> merely for clarification, but for decisions. Once he got a decision, 
> other factors may have been operative, but the nature of etza that he 
> initially went for was fundamentally decisive. 

If one goes for advice, one looks for advice that will help to make

> That is precisely what my number 3 meant - that one is to be guided by 
> the advice, even if one retains the freedom of action - that the advice 
> directs one in a particular direction. 

If a situation clearly indicates to a sagacious person that a certain
course of response is indicated, he should probably indicate it... Betcha
even RYBS would!

> Thus, when RCS went for advice to Rav kanievsky, it wasn't so that Rav 
> Kanievsky could explain the medical options better. He still retained his 
> freedom of action, but the sheelat chacham was precisely in the realm 
> of action....
> The "connection to the heavens" that you suppose inherently means that 
> the advice will and should influence the outcome, not merely outline 
> the options and consequences, even though the final decision does remain 
> the individual's. 

> It is here that RYBS is radical - he argues that in the whole sphere of 
> moral action, many options are available, and while he may instruct 
> about the basis for the options, the decision has to remain the 
> individual's, and he will not influence it. While the individual may 
> seek some guidance, the ultimate advice is that it is the individual's 
> own choice to make. Therefore, in a very real sense, the advice was not 
> really necessary. Where is the role for connection to the heavens there?? 

Radical? Is it not the obvious case that several moral options may be
available, and that RYBS was critiquing certain individuals whom he
understood incapable of that perception? Is that radical?

And, bear in mind that RYBS was a Brisker and you will understand what
he is saying:

A Brisker believes that siyata d'shmaya's ultimate gretest gift is to
understand both sides of a chakira, and apply them as tzvei dinim.

[Email #2. -mi]

"Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu> writes on Tue, 22 Oct 2002 13:26:53 
> Ultimately, every discussion about complex issues of machshava reduces to 
> a simplistic accusation that the dissenter is a kofer, even without any 
> proof, and no matter of past discussions (where this has been clarified). 
> How often do you beat your wife? Whether you choose to respond is, 
> of course, entirely up to you. 

While you are sidestepping the 13 Ikkarim issue, in this issue I am not 
accusing you c"v of Kefirah - I am merely stating that you are wrong! :-) 

> First, the issue is how far hilchot deot extends beyond the 13 ikkarim. 
> The notion that there is a universal understanding (at least, among 
> minimally torah true Jews) that maamre hazal about deot (rather than 
> aggadta about maasim) need to be understood literally, and are as binding 
> about hilkhot deot as they are about hilkhot kashrut is, quite simply, 
> false. 

Fascinating. And you can prove this? 

> I didn't see a good (or even any..)proof (and as a former mathematician, 
> I know proofs.:-)..). You are starting from assumptions about how we 
> deal with maamre hazal that I reject. Furthermore, the rambam is highly 
> relevant - it rejects the methodology of dealing with maamre hazal that 
> deal with hilchot deot that you accept. stating it is irrelevant doesn't 
> constitute proof. 

Shucks, I missed the Rambam that you reference. Where is it, exactly? 

> Rav Meir, in praising the value of limud torah lishma, associates it with 
> tremendous praise. In general, statements of hazal in praise of certain 
> issues are full of guzma, and do not need to be understood literally 
> (although clearly, the issue is being viewed positively) (this is no 
> different than the guzma of describing, for example, yemot hamashiach). 
> This is simple pshat in how the maamar al aggadot hazal, and much of 
> rambam understands divre hazal. 


So unless a Chazal has to do with Halacha (itself a moving target),
you are entitled to brand it "guzma" and reject it...

I sure hope the other Centrists don't beleve this. I cannto believe
R' Saul Berman or R' Yosef Blau do - Centrist leaders I am aware of,
am acquainted with and respect - could someone get them to comment -
aren't one or more of them on board here? Indeed, perhaps they might
comment as to whether they ever asked RYBS for advice? Did he answer?

> We are in agreement that the pre war gdolim were gdole olam, who were 
> osek bitorah lishma. They were, if any one were to fit the category 
> of venehenin mimenu etza vetushia. However, the advice they gave was 
> far inferior to the advice of Zeev Jabotinsky...
>                        This is why RYBS and many others have rejected 
> daas torah ...
> and have argued that advice should be sought from those expert in the 
> field ...
> Not that chachamim should be ignored, but the simplistic view (and I 
> have failed to detect complexity) that the baraita mandates an advisory 
> role for chachamim is rejected. 

Firstly, you are conflating again, we are talking Eitza, not DT. 

Secondly, we specifically rejected infallibility. 

Thirdly, we know there is a concept of "Meishiv da'as Chachmim achor." 

At this point, I think we have, as usual, reached an impasse, no? 


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Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 00:08:20 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: RMF on microphones and modern gezeirot

On Tue, Oct 22, 2002 at 09:28:56PM +0100, Chana Luntz wrote:
: The nature of a gezera is toput a fence around the Torah, - something
: is not assur min haTorah, but is forbidden for various policy reasons.

But what about other forms of takanah?

I also think that associating "gezeira" -- protection from errors due to
habit, accident or misunderstanding -- with "policy reasons" is faulty.

IOW, the CS taking an anti-R position isn't technically a gezeirah. It's
a takanah to bullwark the process we call mesorah. After all, isn't
that what "chadash assur min haTorah" boils down to? (Of course,
given my attitude of the role of "what the hamon am does" in pesaq, I
might not feel as comfortable with the CS's slogan than with some other
achronishe positions on the subject. OTOH, I wonder if RRW would agree
with the CS...)


Micha Berger                     Time flies...
micha@aishdas.org                        ... but you're the pilot.
http://www.aishdas.org                           - R' Zelig Pliskin
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

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Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 00:11:00 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Gedolim...connections to the Heavens

On Sun, Oct 20, 2002 at 08:09:18AM -0700, Harry Maryles wrote:
: Connections to the Heavens? Exactly what do you mean? This strongly
: implies supernatural powers. There is no Nevuah today...

Ru'ach haqodesh?

(I see it raised, but never resolved. Do we claim there is zero ru'ach
haqodesh bizman hazeh? That's against the Rambam, who has a scale that
goes well below into the kind of 'inspiration' artists claim.)

On Sun, Oct 20, 2002 at 01:26:51PM -0500, RYGB
<sbechhof@casbah.it.northwestern.edu> wrote:
: There are many areas in which I cannot accept RYBS, but they only relate
: peripherally to the matter at hand.

I'm not sure this is true. If RYBS has a minimalist definition of the
role of a rav outside the 4 amos of halachah, perhaps it's because he's
a Soloveitchik. Replete with the Brisker habit of minimizing the role
of all of Torah outside the 4 amos of halachah.

On Mon, Oct 21, 2002 at 05:54:51PM -0400, Shinnar, Meir wrote:
: The question, of course, is what truths are imparted by the torah
: shebeksav and torah sheb'alpe - and this is of course a matter of great
: machloket. That is why the ikkarim,to the extent that they are normative,
: derive their strength...

The ikarim have strength because they have halachic import.

: With regard to the advice from chachamim, and the mishna/braita cited -
: this is related to the general issue of how we relate to maamre hazal -
: whether we take Rav Sherira Gaon's position that we may dismiss them,
: or the Rambam's position that we need to properly interprete, or a more
: haredi position...

The Rambam says this about the aggadic story, not necessarily outright

Second, R' Sherira allows one to take an aggadic position that isn't
within chazal. As I noted above, the only "crossroads" (sorry R' Gil)
between halachah and aggadah are on the dinim that we use the ikkarim
to define. That doesn't make mesorah meaningless WRT aggadita -- but
that one can't assur abandoning mesorah.

On Mon, Oct 21, 2002 at 08:38:50PM -0400, Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah
M. Bechhofer wrote:
: You fail to distinguish between Agados and Hilchos Dei'os v'Chovos 
: ha'Levavos (I am being Hutnerian here, and not for naught).

If I may again "blame" the Briskers...

If you deny the existance of obligations that can't be codified into
specific rules -- how can you touch this question?

Only the ikkarim have specific dinim. There are other chovos halvavos
that are no more itemizable than "vehalakhta bidrakhav" but still
chiyuvim. And then there is weight to be given to mesorah even if not
a chiyuv of any form.

This is a tad circular: I'm arguing that obeying a gadol's advice isn't
mandatory, but still we're to give it weight. On the basis of what? Of
aggadatos that I'm arguing that we must give them weight because of the
ba'alei mesorah who uttered them.

On Tue, Oct 22, 2002 at 03:11:43PM -0400, Shalom Carmy wrote:
: [RAL] has another unpublished essay, written in the 1960's, on the importance
: of developing independent judgment, which starts from the assumption
: that one would always want guidance from the dwellers in migdal ha-shen,
: banuy l'talpiyot.

So, DT is an MO concept too. Proves RYGB's contention that the chareidi
uniqueness is in considering it infallible, or a chiyuv that you MUST
follow the advice. Not that the advice ought be sought.



Micha Berger                     Time flies...
micha@aishdas.org                        ... but you're the pilot.
http://www.aishdas.org                           - R' Zelig Pliskin
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 20:01:49 -0500 (CDT)
From: sbechhof@casbah.it.northwestern.edu
Fwd: Re: Atzas Gedolim

Chaim G Steinmetz <cgsteinmetz@juno.com> writes on Tue, 22 Oct 2002 20:01:08 
> Concerning the story you mentioned about Rabbi Gold asking the LR and RYK 
> - a nice story! - and the ensuing pilpul, may I ask what reason the LR 
> gave to RG for not making aliyah? Am I correct in assuming that the 
> reason was not because of a possible lack of hatzlocho in EY, but because 
> the Rebbe felt that he was needed in his community etc (like many similar 
> stories I've heard). If so, than the whole discussion about "right" 
> advice and "wrong" advice is out of place. 

My cousin RCGS is correct. I believe the language used by the LR was that a 
captain should not desert his ship. 


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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 20:02:44 -0500 (CDT)
From: sbechhof@casbah.it.northwestern.edu
Re: Gedolim...connections to the Heavens



Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> writes on Wed, 23 Oct 2002 00:11:00 +0000: 
> On Sun, Oct 20, 2002 at 08:09:18AM -0700, Harry Maryles wrote: 
> : Connections to the Heavens? Exactly what do you mean? This strongly 
> : implies supernatural powers. There is no Nevuah today... 
> Ru'ach haqodesh? 

[Long post deleted. RYGB may insist on having his ZGG, but I don't
see the value in repeating my post en toto. -mi]

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Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 03:01:42 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Re: Orthodox vs. Torah-true

On 21 Oct 2002 at 17:32, Harry Maryles wrote:
> However, phraseology which has a certain intrinsic meaning will often
> be co-opted by a specific political group and become a code word for
> something else. I think this is the case with the expression
> "Torah-true". Charedi organizations, such as Agudah, have adopted this
> phrase and it is used to express THEIR version of Orthodoxy, to the
> exclusion of other Hashkafos, such as possibly TIDE or most certainly
> TuM. 

Except if I'm not mistaken, the OU's name in Hebrew is Hitachdut 
HaKhillot HaCharediyot b'America.  

That would seem to shoot up your theory, wouldn't it? 

-- 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: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 20:53:20 -0400
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
IVF and spousal abuse

On an Areivim thread, R"n Rena Freedenberg wrote <<< Rav Eliyashiv holds
in regard to IVF that it is not forbidden, but a husband cannot force his
wife to undergo IVF treatments. >>>

I want to make sure I understand this properly. We need to define our
terms better. Can someone please define the word "force" in this context.
For example, are there other things which a husband *CAN* force his wife
to do?

Perhaps what R"n Rena Freedenberg *meant* to write was <<< Rav Eliyashiv
holds in regard to IVF that it is not forbidden, but if a wife chooses
not to undergo IVF treatments, she would not be considered a moredes who
would thereby forfeit her kesuba. >>> Would this be accurate?

Akiva Miller

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Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 01:14:40 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>

Some RCVilozhiner-esque thoughts about a very common berakhah...

RCV (Nefesh haChaim, begining of sha'ar beis) sees berakhos as tracing
the descent of the shefa within the thing you're making the berachah
on. This is why berakhos shift from 2nd person ("atah H'" -- closer)
to 3rd (qidshanu bemitzvosav).

Berakhah, as is well noted, is an odd concept to apply to HBNH. It's
a lashon ribui, like a bereikhah, and yet what would it mean to
add to H'?

Hirsch takes it to be a statement of dedication: I add my own efforts
to advance HQBH's Will.

Another approach is "You are maximally increased; ie infinite".

RCV's is "You are the Bereichah", the Source of all we receive.

So we start with the Bereichah, and descend down to the cup of
tea in hand.

Atah H' -- incredible. We have an I-Thou relationship with the
Transcendent Hayah-Hoveh-Veyihyeh, with the Cause of all existance
(sheim havayah as hif'il for /hvh/, also an idea in Nefesh haChaim).

The latter fits the trend of thought I'm developing. The Bereichah of
all shefa is what causes existance.

E-lokeinu -- Master of all the kochos (as RCV puts it). The kochos being
what He is mehaveh. However, you can let loose a force and not have
control over where it goes. Therefore we add "E-lokeinu melekh ha'olam"
Master of the kochos who weaves them into an orderly existance, an olam
where the Yad Hashem could be hidden by the very presence of predictable
forces following predictable laws. The way a king oversees his society.

(As opposed to "E-lokei Avoseinu"'s lema'alah mi hateva.)

Shehakol nihyeh bidvaro -- Why the nihyeh? Doesn't "shehakol bidvaro" that
all exists through and within His Word get the same point across? We
stress the nif'al for /hvh/, that we exist passively, though Another's

The last three words mirror the opening of the berachah.

The Bereichah emits Devaro. He is Havayah, we are nihyeh. The sum of forces
controlled and woven by E-lokeinu make up HaKol -- The All.

The trip ends at the recieving side of where it began.


Micha Berger                     Time flies...
micha@aishdas.org                        ... but you're the pilot.
http://www.aishdas.org                           - R' Zelig Pliskin
Fax: (413) 403-9905          

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Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 01:20:35 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Orthodox vs. Torah-true

On Wed, Oct 23, 2002 at 03:01:42AM +0200, Carl and Adina Sherer wrote:
: Except if I'm not mistaken, the OU's name in Hebrew is Hitachdut 
: HaKhillot HaCharediyot b'America.  

: That would seem to shoot up your theory, wouldn't it? 

RHM could argue that the (U)'s name well predates the transvaluation of
the term.

(My neighbor named "Gay" doesn't disprove the fact that the word changed
in meaning. She is simply older than the semantic shift.)


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Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 11:26:00 -0400
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
RE:Rambam and hashgacha pratit

RGS wrote

Who receives this hashgachah peratis? According to the Rambam, individual
providence - sharing divine knowledge of the world - is based according to
one's knowledge of HKBH. Those who have greater knowledge have greater

If so, does this not imply that gedolim, not "gedolim" in quotation
marks but those who are truly great in kowledge of Torah and G-d, have
extra knowledge that average Joes like me lack?

THis is one possible (but, IMHO, dachuk) pshat in the rambam, where
the entire question of the definition of hashgacha pratit is complex.
The hacham's extra knowledge seems inherently a natural phenomenon (and
it seems that even nevua (at least partially) is, but that is a different
issue, and the navi's knowledge is a different issue (as RDR has noted,
nevua is related to the koach hemedame))

However, note that even for this pshat, for the rambam, chachamim have
knowledge not merely of Torah and G-d, but of the world itself through
secular knowledge (which is essential to their knowledge of G-d).
Their understanding of the world may (by this pshat) be enriched through
providence, but is ultimately derived from their original understanding
of the world. The very definition of what is a chacham is different,
making their advice inherently more valuable. It is not that Chochma
automatically leads to extra knowledge in every area

Furthermore, the rambam distinguishes in several places between practical
advice (and the skills needed for that) and philosophical knowledge.
Thus, I think it quite clear that the rambam would be horrified, for
example, at the thought that one would go to a chacham batalmud who has
not studied refua for advice on medical matters, or to someone without
political training about geopolitical issues (I even vaguely recall some
statements to that effect, although I can not locate them now)

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 22:49:13 -0400
From: Arie Folger <afolger@ymail.yu.edu>
Re:Torah True

RYGB wrote:
> Secondly, more importantly, why allow groups to co-opt terms that should be
> more broadly applicable?!

> I think, for example, that every "Dati" should rue the day they allowed
> "Charedi" to be co-opted! Who does not aspire to be a Chared l'dvar Hashem!

A few years ago I had a conversation with the current rav of the Agudah
of Avenue L in B'klyn, rav Pin'has Breuer. He was still in Antwerp then
(about two years before he came to the US), and, being an old talmid
of his, we talked about me and my yeshivah - YU. He asked me whether
they were 'Hareidim, upon which I explained the shades of O in the US,
as they differ from the shades of O in Europe (more clear demarcations
and not much of an MO-phil, to use RJB's term). I stressed that YU
did have some more or less RW types, but was mostly rather associated
with Mizra'hi, OU, YI, etc. Anyway, at that point he interrupted me,
explaining that he wasn't asking about politics, but whether they where
'hareid lidvar <haShem>, which they (and I should say "we", being a YU
talmid) of course are.

I guess rav Breuer didn't like the co-opting of the term, either, even
though he is a strong Agudist, probably out of sympathy for all Torah
True Jews ;-).

Arie Folger

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Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 19:37:45 +0200
From: "Mishpachat Freedenberg" <free@actcom.co.il>
FW: Torah Insights - Parshas Vayera

Geshmack...Brought to us by Rebbe Meir of Boston:

-----Original Message-----

Dear Friends,

The minhag in Eretz Yisroel at a bris is that three brochos are recited.

1.      Asher Kideshanu etc. al hamilo 
2.      Asher Kideshanu etc. lehachniso bebriso shel Avraham avinu 
3.      Shehecheyanu.

Also, after the bris olaynu leshabayach is recited, why?

I'll attempt to explain why in Eretz Yisroel three brochos are recited
by nearly every group, Chassidic, Litvish, Sefaradic or otherwise, and in
Chutz La'aretz most kehillot do not say the third brocho of Shehecheyanu.
(I am of course not referring to the obvious disagreement between the
Beis Yosef in Shulchan Oruch and the Remah, but rather to the fact that
even those who in chutz le'arretz do not say shehechiyanu , do so in
Eretz Yisroel

The mitzvah of bris was preformed by all of Klall Yisroel three times.
Most well known is before the exodus from Egypt, Klall Yisroel had to
perform bris millah before they could sacrifice the Pascal lamb.

The second time was when Klall Yisroel entered Eretz Yisroel, Yehoshua
circumcised all those who had been born and had not preformed bris millah
in the forty year sojourn in the midbar (desert).

Chazal tell us that the reason millah was not done in the midbar was
because there was no Ruach Tzevonit (northern wind).

This is seemingly strange because if Hashem could give us Mana from
heaven, water from a stone and Anane Hakavod, why then did Hashem not
make a northern wind blow.

It would seem that this was done for a specific reason, as we shall

The third time that all of Klal Yisroel preformed bris (which was in
sequence of time the first,) was what we read about in this week's parsha
Vayera when Avrohom Oviynu was mal Yitzchak avinu at the age of eight
days old. Thistoo was all of Klal Yisroel for Yitzchak represents all of
Klal Yisroel. Proof of this may be found in the Gemara Rosh Hashana which
says "blow a rams Shofar before me (Hashem on Rosh Hashana) and I shall
consider it as if you have sacrificed yourself on the mizbeach (alter).

Technically the Gemara should have said 'and I will consider your
blowing of the Shofar as if Yitzchak or the ashes of Yitzchak are on
the mizbeach'.why , as if you have sacrificed youursleves?

 From here we may infer what is well known today . Had Yitzchak been
sacrificed on the mizbeach there would be no Klal Yisroel. I.e. in the
vernacular our DNA would not exist. Therefore Yitzchak ovinu at the
time of the akayda and at the time of bris is all of Klal Yisroel and
his bris represents all of Klal Yisroel being circumcised.

With the above knowledge we can now state that the first bris is
referred to when we say 'lehachniso bebriso shel Avraham avinu' (i.e.
the way that Avraham preformed the bris on Yitzchak.)[although this is
the second bracha recited]

The brocho which is stated first "al Hamillah" refers to the mitzvah of
bris which we received from Hasehm via Moshe Rabeinu when we left Egypt.
This then refers to the second time that all of Klal Yisroel preformed
bris Kodesh.

The third time is "Shehecheyanu", which relates to the time of Yehoshua
, when we were zoche to enter Eretz Yisroel and through "Bris Kodesh"
were zocheh to the fulfillment of Hashem's promise to Avraham avinu that
his descendants would inherit Eretz Yisroel. (By the way, this need to
perform communal Bris explains why Hashem did not cause a north wind
to blow, so that through the mitzvah of bris preformed by Yehoshua on
all of Klal Yisroel we would have merit to inherit Eretz Yisroel.)

Thus we find that Bris affected men (Yitzchak), as well as time (Pessach
and all the festivals connected to Pessach) and also affected world
(i.e. Eretz Yisroel).

Now, if as we explained the brocho of Shehecheyanu is for our receiving
through Bris Eretz Yisroel, then we can understand why in Eretz
Yisroel everyone says Shehecheyanu. Because b"h, we in our times can
and may choose to live in Eretz Yisroel. However in Chutz La'aretz
what is missing is this third ingredient, and therefore many do not
say Shehecheyanu.

This may also answer why we say olaynu after the bris even when Bris is
not preformed during Shacharis. For, since we mention Avarham's bris on
Yitzchok in one brocho(lihaniso bibriso shel Avrohom). And we mention
Moshe Rabeinu's commandment of bris in the brocho of "al Hamillah"(ie
the commandment received via Moseh Rabaynu). But seemingly we do not
mention Yehoshua who also performed Bris on all of Klal Yisroel either
specifically or even hiddenly . But we do have a kabala (handed down
from generations) that Yehoshua wrote the Teffila of olaynu. This may
be why olaynu is said after a bris, to incorporate Yehoshua into the
ceremony of bris Kodesh.

Have a good Shabbos,
Rav Mayer Horowitz

Shiurim at the Shul:

We are pleased to announce that this week Hagaon Harav Dovid Assulin
Shlita will iy"h give a memorial Shiur in memory of the Rebbitzen a
twice monthly shiur at Givat Pinchas in Har Nof as of Monday, October
21 at 8:30 pm. in Hebrew. The public is welcome.

Here is a partial list of the daily shiurim given at Givat Pinchas:

Daf Yomi English: 5:30 am, 5:30 pm, - Rav Perkal,   7:30 pm - Rav
Weinberger,   9:15 pm - myself
                  Hebrew: 6:00 am - Rav Strauss,   7:00 pm - Rav
                  Yiddish: 5:30 pm - Rav Stark

Go to top.


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