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Volume 11 : Number 011

Monday, May 12 2003

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Fri, 9 May 2003 07:35:00 -0400
From: "JosephMosseri" <joseph.mosseri@verizon.net>
Hakham Obadiah Yosef's Teshoubah on Eroubin

Teshuvah of our Mentor and Leader
The Splendor of Our Generation
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef ????"?
Rishon Lesiyon

Concerning the possibility for Sepharadim to rely on an eruv made around
a portion of any city by constructing surot hapetah (door frames).

The teshuvah was originally printed in Hebrew in Yabia Omer IX, Orah
Hayim, 33 and is translated and distributed to all with the permission
and authorization of the eminent author. Any amendments made from the
original Hebrew to the body of the teshuvah itself were requested by
the eminent author. The footnotes, section headings, and biographical
notes were added by the translator. This English version was reviewed
by Rabbi Shimon Alouf .????"?


I was asked if we, the Sepharadim, who follow the rulings of Maran
(Rabbi Yosef Karo)1 author of the Shulhan Aruch, may rely on an eruv
made with door frames as is common practice, and thereby carry from a
private domain (reshut hayahid) to a public domain (reshut harabim).


Contradiction in Maran's ruling -  HYDA's interpretation (stringent)

A) The argument among the Aharonim2 with regards to Maran's opinion as
to what constitutes a public domain (by Torah standards) is well known.
[The argument stems from the fact that] in Shulhan Aruch (Orah Hayim,
345:7) Maran wrote:

"What is a public domain? Streets that are 16 amot wide (or more), that
are not enclosed. Some say that if there are not 600,000 people passing
through the street every day it is not considered a public domain."

It is also well known that whenever Maran writes two laws and begins
one plainly and begins the other with the words "some say" we always
rule according to the plain law rather than the one introduced with
"some say". Yet, [with regards to our issue,] elsewhere in Shulhan Aruch
(Orah Hayim, 303:18) Maran wrote:

"These days our women are accustomed to going out [to public domains]
with jewelry that is prohibited to carry by law, [yet] it is better they
do so unintentionally than intentionally3. Still, there are some that put
merit in the women's practice based on the opinion that permits wearing
jewelry in a courtyard that hadn't been fixed with an eruv. And being
that we don't have actual halachic public domains today, all our public
domains are halachically considered as a carmelit4 thus it is like a
courtyard without a fixed eruv where ["carrying" jewelry] is permitted."

R. Hayim Yosef David Azoulay (HYDA)5 wrote in Birkei Yosef (345:2) that
based on these two sources Maran holds like the plain halacha brought
first, that states that we do have a genuine public domain by Torah
standards even without 600,000 people walking through it daily. And what
Maran wrote in chapter 303 of Shulhan Aruch was only to find merit in
the women's practice. What's more, is that even in chapter 303 he wrote
plainly that it was prohibited for women to do so. The HYDA also wrote
this in Mahazik Beracha (303:2). See also: Tosefet Shabbat (303:36);
Shiyurei Keneset Hagedolah (345, Hagahot Bet Yosef, 3); Michtam Ledavid -
Pardo (Ch. 2, pg. 4a); Yismah Lev - Gagin (Orah Hayim, 5); Kiryat Hannah
David II (Orah Hayim, 61) among others that concur with HYDA's opinion.

The Lenient Opinions Outnumber the Stringent Ones

B) Furthermore, the HYDA also wrote in Birkei Yosef in the name of Morenu
Yaakob Faraji (printed in the latter's responsa Chapter 59) that:

"One should not include the opinion which requires 600,000 people to
establish a public domain because the majority both in number and
authority hold that 600,000 isn't necessary to establish a public
domain. What's more is that it is the opinion of R. Yishak Alfasi (Ryf)
and R. Moshe Ben Maimon (Rambam)."

It is true that the stringent opinions that don't require 600,000 are
great and powerful. Among them are:
    1) Rambam
    2) Ramban
    3) Rashba
    4) Ritba
    5) Ran
    6) Magid Mishneh
    7) Ribash.
(As I have written in Yabia Omer, V, Orah Hayim, 24:1). Nevertheless,
those that are lenient are also very great and many. For the lenient
opinion is held by:

1) Ba'al Halachot Gedolot (as cited in Tosafot Eruvin, 6a, s.v. Kesad -
?"? ????) who writes: "The definition of public domain is a place that
600,000 people walk through every day similar to [Yisrael traveling
under their] flags in the desert."
2) Rashi (Eruvin, 6a, s.v. Reshut Harabim - ?"? ???? ?????; ibid, 6b;
ibid, 47a; ibid, 59a)
3) Tosafot (Shabbat, 6b, 64b; Eruvin, 6a)
4) Rosh (Eruvin, Ch. 1:8; Besa, Ch. 3:2)
5) Sefer Ha'itim (Ch. 92, pg. 113)
6) Teshuvot Hageonim (Shaa'rei Teshuvah, 209; Hemda Genuzah, 70)
7) Sefer Ha'Eshkol (Albek ed., Laws of Sisit, pg. 203)
8) Mahzor Vitri (31 & 41)
9) Rabenu Tam as brought in the Shibolei Haleket (106)
10) Rokeah (end of 175)
11) Ra'aban (349)
12) Ra'avya (391, pg. 448) writes:
    "Our cities are [public domains by standards] of the rabbis...as is
    understood from the ruling of Rabenu Tam that I heard in his name. For
    he ruled like R' Anani bar Sason that said when an area is roped off,
    courtyards are permitted and public domains are prohibited. This is
    what the women relied on to carry their jewelry for these days we
    have no real public domain according to Torah law (and it therefore is
    considered like a courtyard which is permitted)."
    See also:
13) Or Zarua II (53);
14) Sefer Ha'Itur, (3:1);
15) Rabenu Yishaya Matrani (Eruvin, 6a);
16) Ryd (107);
17) Sefer HaTerumah (239);
18) Samag;
19) Samak;
20) Rabenu Shimshon ben Avraham (Hagahot Maimoniyot, end of Hilchot
Shabbat, Ch.    16);
21) Rabenu Simha;
22) Maharam of Rotenburg (Short Responsa, 69);
23) Mordechi (Perek Hazorek, 375; Perek Hadar, 509);
24) Orhot Hayim (Shabbat, 284);
25) Seda Laderech (pg. 96a);
26) Piskei Rikanti (91);
27) Besamim Rosh (359).
Cf. Bet Yosef (Even Ha'ezer, 42, s.v. Masati Katuv Beshem Ribbi Hayim
Ha'aroch - ?"? ????? ???? ??? ?' ???? ?????). Many Aharonim also concur
that 600,000 people is necessary to establish a public domain in Torah
law. Among them are:
28) Maharitas (251)
29) Maharil (138)
30) Teshuvot Hadashot II (40)
31) Aguda
32) Terumat Hadeshen
33) Maharyo (cited in Turei Zahav 345:6)
34) Maharashdam (Orah Hayim, 4)
as well as others.

[Even] the HYDA disputed the words of R' Yaakob Faraji whom we brought
earlier saying that the majority of opinions were in fact on the lenient
side rather than the stringent side. The Magen Avraham and the Turei
Zahav also wrote that the majority of opinions hold leniently, and in
light of what I've written there are very many with us who hold the
opinion of Rashi (and that 600,000 are necessary).

Mishnah Berurah questions whether 600,000 must pass through daily;
proof is brought that it is indeed necessary.

C) Still, the Mishnah Berurah6 (345:24) opposed the fact that Maran
wrote some require 600,000 people passing through every day saying that:

"I have searched through all the Rishonim7 who hold this way and haven't
found one that required the people to be passing through every day."

Maharsham (Responsa III, 188) was also asked about this point from another
rabbi. The rabbi inquired saying that "it didn't seem to him that 600,000
people needed to actually pass through daily, rather, that the street be
suitable for this." Maharsham answered this point saying that "the Bet
Ephraim already dealt with this question and rejected it by saying that
600,000 people did indeed need to actually pass through daily, and that
he (Maharsham) didn't see a definitive reason to disagree with the Bet
Ephraim." Thus, any city without 600,000 people passing through daily
is not a public domain. Yet I wonder how they did not see the words
of the Ran (beginning of perek Bameh Isha) in the name of the Ba'al
Haterumah? He wrote:

"These days, we have no public domain according to Torah, for we don't
have 600,000 people passing through every day..."

The Ramban also wrote this in the name of the Ba'al Haterumah. Also,
I already brought the Ba'al Halachot Gedolot above who wrote it
explicitly, as did the Me'iri (Shabbat, 57a, pg. 213), Rabenu Yeroham
(Netiv 12, pg. 70c), and Rabenu Ovadia Mibartenura (beginning of Perek
Hazorek). Cf. Igrot Moshe I (Orah Hayim, 139, Anaf 5); Maharsham
III (188, s.v. Ume'ata - ?"? ?????); Minhat Yishak VIII (32, s.v.
Vhashe'elah Hasheniyah - ?"? ?????? ??').

Contradiction in Maran's ruling - R. Yishak Tayeb's interpretation

D) One that sees clearly [will note] the words of the brilliant Morenu
Harav Yishak Tayeb8 in Erech Hashulhan (345:2) who wrote:

"Maran holds that if 600,000 people do not pass through every day it is
NOT a public domain -- which is in accordance with the opinion he brought
introduced with "some say" -- for he plainly wrote in Chapter 303 that
600,000 is required. What's more, it is evident from his ruling at the
beginning of chapter 325 where he writes that it is permitted to send
food with a gentile via a public domain to a violent gentile or to a
gentile in a situation where not sending it would cause animosity. And
in Bet Yosef it is explained that the reasoning for this law brought in
the Hagahot Maimoniyot (Hilchot Shabbat, 6) in the name of the Or Zarua
is that we have no public domain today since there is not 600,000 people
walking through it."

This is not how HYDA understood Maran's opinion. Yet, the Bet Ephraim
(Orah Hayim, 26) also proved that Maran's opinion leaned more towards
the lenient side and that there can't be a public domain without 600,000
people walking through it. The Erech Hashulhan also added as a rule (based
on Bet David): that in cases where Maran brings a plain halacha in the
way it is worded in the Talmud, and follows with a halacha preceded with
"some say", he holds like the "some say". The reason being, that in the
plain halacha he didn't specifically include the point written in the
second halacha. And the second halacha is brought to define the first. If
that is so, then that is the case here as well. For in chapter 345 he
only wrote the law as brought in the Talmud and then defined it in the
opinion beginning with "some say". Therefore, he holds halacha is like
that opinion. This is how Ge'noei Yerushalayim wrote in Admat Kodesh II
(2) in the wording of the question, as well as Sedei Ha'ares III (Yoreh
De'ah, 10, pg. 29, col. 3) that wrote:

"We have no real public domain today as Maran wrote in Shulhan Aruch

And although it is possible to explain Maran's reasoning for the ruling
in chapter 325 above differently, as I explained in my book Livyat Hen
(pg. 114) that it is permitted because one who carries from a private
domain to another private domain via a public domain is exempt from
bringing a korban (i.e. not prohibited from the Torah but still prohibited
by the rabbis) according to Ramban, Rashba & Ritba. The Hazon Ish also
ruled this way as halacha (62:19). It is a Shevut Deshvut9. However,
since Maran already wrote in the Bet Yosef that the reason is because we
don't have a public domain these days, it is certain that when he ruled
that way in Shulhan Aruch it was for the same reason. Compare Rabbi
Hayim Palachi's words in Lev Hayim I (99, s.v. Ve'aharei - ?"? ?????) who
wrote similarly, as well as Morenu R' Y. Germon as cited in Avraham Ezkor
(Pg. 63, col. 4). Extrapolate from there and establish it in our case.

Ben Ish Hai is stringent

In Rabbi Yosef Hayim's10 Rav Berachot (Shin, Letter gimel) he brings
Maran's responsa Avkat Rochel (29) where he was asked whether it is
permitted for a gentile to bring bread and other needs for a meal via
a public domain and rules against it as Rambam did (Hilchot Shabbat,
6) who holds there are public domains these days. R' Yosef Hayim then
deduced that since Maran wrote differently in Bet Yosef and Shulhan Aruch
(and was lenient), and we are not sure which was written last, we must
be stringent in accordance with the opinions of HYDA, Kenesset Hagedolah,
and Tosefet Shabbat who say it is prohibited.

Others are lenient

Yet, Rabbi Shelomo Eliezer Alfandari wrote (Orah Hayim, 9) that even
though it seems Maran is stringent in Avkat Rochel, he doesn't establish
the law that way. Rather, he is simply concerning himself with the
stringent opinions. Still, we have not alleviated doubt and common
tendency is to follow the lenient approach. Also, the author of Vayomer
Moshe (Orah Hayim, 6) wrote that Morenu Harav A. Hajaj and Morenu Harav
M. Shamama both fully endorsed the words of the Erech Shulhan (that we
have no real public domain today) to be followed as practical halacha.
He rewrote it in his book Vaydaber Moshe (5, s.v. Ve'od Ki - ?"? ????
??). The author of Zera David (8) also wrote that Maran's opinion leans
towards leniency, and it is quoted in Simhat Cohen VII (45, pg. 119).
Also Maharamaz is quoted in R. Yosef Buchris' Zichron Yosef (7, pg. 12)

"We hold like the Erech Hashulhan's opinion in Maran and we are lenient,
and that this is the way all the early judges of Tunisia ruled. See also
the new Zivhei Sedek III (101, pg. 192) who wrote that the great and
saintly R. Eliyahu Mani ZT"L testified to the fact that the brilliant
Rishon Lesiyon R. Yom Tov Elyakim ZT"L answered in a response to a
question saying "all the cities of Europe have already accustomed
themselves to follow the opinion, that although the streets may be
wider than 16 amot we still consider them to be carmelit and are only
prohibited by the rabbis. R. Moshe Pardo also said that this was the
custom of the city of Bombay."

The Zivhei Sedek III (102) continued to write that:

"It is a case so simple that without a doubt there is a need for 600,000
people to pass through every day to determine a place to be a public
domain. For this is what we learned from the way Yisrael traveled by
their flags in the desert! Therefore, the city of Bombay followed the
lenient opinion. The Turei Zahav (345:6) also wrote that 'The majority of
authorities are lenient. It is also commonly known that we have no public
domain today -- which follows the opinion of "some say" as brought in
chapter 345', thus the custom of the city of Bombay has its foundations
from their great sages in accordance with the opinion of the majority."

See also Shevitat Yom Tov (Orah Hayim, 6) in the response of R' H.
Yaakov Danon who wrote:

"In my opinion, Maran's opinion is not clearly established; does he
rule like Rambam, or like Rashi who requires 600,000 people? [although]
Maran's opinion is left uncertain, there is room to allow [carrying],
for many doubts (sefekot) can be included in the issue."

Doubt has not been alleviated

However, in Rav Pe'alim I (Orah Hayim, 22, s.v. Teshuvah - ?"? ?????) R.
Yosef Hayim writes:
"It is well known that there are a great many authorities who hold that we
have actual public domains today. I also wrote elsewhere that there are
many who hold that this is the opinion of Maran, and we have accepted
the rulings of Maran. And although there are those that understand
Maran as being of the opinion that we don't have public domains today,
this is not the main approach, and the people of Bombay should follow
our decision in this matter."

(Compare Rav Pe'alim IV (Orah Hayim, 16). See also Sho'el Venish'al V
(Orah Hayim, 52) who also agreed to the opinion of HYDA brought above --
that Maran's opinion is that we do have public domains today. Compare
Tevu'ot Shemesh I (65, pg. 161); Emek Yehoshua VI (20); Mikveh Hamayim
(3); Shoshanim LeDavid Sabah (Orah Hayim, 61). In the end, we still have
not alleviated doubt for there are opinions that go both ways.

Nevertheless, the majority is lenient...

E) Maran ruled in Shulhan Aruch (364:2):

"A public domain (by Torah standards) can't be made permissible by an
eruv. Instead, it requires doors that are locked at night. Some say
that even if they aren't actually locked but capable of being locked it
is permitted."

The Mishnah Berurah (ibid:8) commented on this saying:

"It seems that Maran the Mehaber holds like the first opinion, because
he wrote it plainly. It is thus clear from the Shulhan Aruch that the
only way to establish an eruv in a real public domain is with actual
doors. Thus, we are forced to say, that the custom in our cities to
establish an eruv using only door frames (even though the streets are
quite wide and it renders them actual public domains by Torah standards)
is based on the lenient opinion which requires 600,000 people passing
through [to render it a public domain] which is not the case...however,
above in chapter 345 in Bi'ur Halacha I cited many Rishonim that argue on
the law [brought by Maran as] 'some say'. Therefore, all those of spirit
should be stringent on themselves and refrain from carrying in an eruv
that was established with door frames alone. Nevertheless, those that
are lenient shouldn't be reprimanded for that is what was always done."

Still, according to what I wrote above, that most of the authorities are,
in fact, of the lenient opinion and hold if there are not 600,000 people
passing through it every day it is NOT a public domain. Therefore,
people certainly have what to rely on in order to be lenient with an
eruv made with door frames.

...and there are other criteria that need to be met to establish a
public domain

However, the Mishna Berurah wrote in the Bi'ur Halacha (364:2, s.v.
Ve'ahar - ?"? ????) that the reason we rely on an eruv of door frames is
based on Rambam who ruled according to R. Elazar in the Talmud (Eruvin,
20a) that a multitude of people do not nullify [the presence of ] walls
(that render a domain private). [R. Zalman also ruled this way in his
Shulhan Aruch (ibid:4) saying that by Torah standards door frames are
considered absolute walls, and it is only by rabbinic standards that
actual doors are required]. The Hazon Ish (107:4) agreed as well that
we follow R. Elazar and not R. Yohanan, being that the baraita there is
according to R. Elazar and it is brought there as law. Rambam ruled this
way in Hilchot Shabbat (7:37). This is also the opinion of the Hagahot
Maimoniyot there. Thus, according to Rambam's opinion, it is certain that
door frames are sufficient walls by Torah standards and there is only a
rabbinic prohibition remaining. In fact, it introduces a double doubt11:
a) perhaps the only true public domain by Torah standards is when 600,000
people pass through it daily. And even if we find that to be false, b)
perhaps door frames are sufficient by Torah standards to render the domain
private. The Mishnah Berurah still ended by saying that it is difficult
to be lenient here since the majority of authorities [including] Rif,
Rosh, and Samag copied the opinion of R. Yohanan (who says if actual
doors are not in place and locked [one who carries] would need to bring
a sin offering) as law. Yet, if this is the reasoning of the Mishnah
Berurah, it is not definitive, for the Zivhei Sedek (101:158) wrote
that a double doubt can be established even by using a minority opinion
against the majority even when the majority opinion has already been
set as law. Rather, it must be that the Mishnah Berurah refused to use
a double doubt because he felt that both sides of the doubt (a&b above)
were minority opinions, and that even those who hold that 600,000 is
necessary are against a majority who hold it is not necessary and a public
domain can be established without that. But according to what I explained
earlier, that is not the case! For in truth the majority is in fact
those who hold 600,000 are necessary. And that being the case, a double
doubt can surely be implemented. See also Simha Le'Ish (Orah Hayim, 3)
concerning an event that occurred in the year 5641, when R. Akivah Yosef
Shulzinger (author of Lev Ha'Ivri) wanted to make an eruv in Jerusalem to
enable moving things from public to private domains and vice versa. He did
it by erecting door frames. R. Yishak of Prague opposed it based on the
fact that the Sepharadim who accepted the rulings of Maran were forbidden
to carry just as before. This was because the conclusion of the Talmud
(Eruvin, 6a) was that public domains could only be permitted by actual
doors, and that is just how Maran ruled. He also ruled plainly that we
have public domains these days, as HYDA explained. Thus, who would be so
bold and carry against the ruling of Maran under a Torah prohibition? The
brilliant Rishon Lesiyon Yisa Beracha responded to this opposition saying:

"Although it is true that we have accepted Maran's rulings, in this case
we have found his opinion to be under dispute. Therefore, he who
condemns those that are lenient must be great, for many Aharonim (among
them Erech Hashulhan) hold that Maran's opinion is actually to be
lenient. So, leave Yisrael - it is better for them to do it
unintentionally and unaware than intentionally for the eruv was already
made and it is considered done."

The Rishon Lesiyon again wrote in his book Simha Le'Ish (end of ch. 6)

"Nowadays, the permit to make an eruv of door frames is everywhere. For
it is commonly said that 'we have no public domains today' and if we
tell them it is prohibited to carry they won't listen to us, and it is
a misvah not to say what will not be listened to. I furthermore, will
not keep from saying that it is by this leniency that I openly carry
things out of the walls of the old city."

It is also difficult that R. Ovadia Hadaya wrote in his book Yaskil Avdi
VIII (Orah Hayim, 17:17) that "I do not know where Maran said our eruv
does not work. Go see what the nation does! Everyone in Eres Yisrael
makes eruv and we have never heard a protesting voice." For how is it
that he did not know Maran plainly wrote that 600,000 is not necessary to
establish a public domain, and that the only way to allow carrying in a
public domain is with actual doors. It is only our custom to rely on door
frames. Nevertheless, the custom of the entire world is to be lenient
with an eruv of door frames based on the "some say" opinion brought in
Shulhan Aruch that states that 600,000 people are necessary to establish a
public domain. In which case a door frame eruv is permitted as explained
by the Mishnah Berurah above. See also Yaskil Avdi I (Orah Hayim, 11)
that expounds greatly on the issue of public domain these days, as well
as Yaskil Avdi V (Yoreh De'ah 27:4 end of pg. 104).

Intersections render cities to be non-public domains
 (leniency of Hazon Ish)

F) However, the brilliant giant of the generation, Hazon Ish12 (107:5
and on) cited the [stringent] words of the Mishna Berurah's Bi'ur Halacha
mentioned above and commented on it saying:

"These days, all the streets and marketplaces in the larger cities are
considered private domains, for they are all surrounded with three walls
rendering them so. Therefore, the permit to make an eruv by door frames
for our cities is extensive and clear."

This is also explained in the responsa of the brilliant R' A.Z.
Margaliyot in Mishkenot Yaakov MiKerlin (119):

"Being that our streets are perpendicular to one another even though one
may extend from one end of the city to the next, since they intersect
and form grids, they are considered private domains by Torah standards."

This is based on the opinion of the Ritba brought in his hidushim
(Shabbat, 6a) in the name of Rashi (Eruvin, 6a, s.v. Reshut Harabim -
?"? ???? ?????) that a public domain is only when the streets are straight
from one end of the city to the other, for that is similar to Yisrael's
travels under their flags in the desert. Ritba commented on this saying
that: "This is also how it is defined in the Talmud Yerushalmi only that
not all the commentators agreed with it." This is also brought in the
Ritba's hidushim on Eruvin, 6a (pg. 48) in the name of Rashi. See also
the printer's footnote ibid. Compare the Ra'abya (391, pg. 447) who wrote:

"We hold like the commentary of Rashi who said that public domains
can only be with streets that are wider than 16 amot and stretch in a
straight line from one end of the city to the other - this is not found
in the entire kingdom. Also, there can be no hills or valleys. This was
also the opinion of my father and teacher Rabbi Yoel."

(Also see ibid, pg. 443). R' Menashe Klein ????"?13 also brought the
words of the Hazon Ish mentioned above in his book Mishneh Halachot VIII
(61) that these days we don't have streets that stretch straight from
one end to the other, for they are intersected with other streets that
go opposite directions and this renders them as if enclosed by walls.
They therefore are NOT considered public domains. He continued to write
that the words of the Hazon Ish are like medicine to the eyes, and it
is wonderful he wrote this for based on the words of the Hazon Ish our
permit to make an eruv is clear and extensive in its application to our
cities. Also, R' Y. Shteif (68) wrote:

"I have found that the Or Zarua wrote in hilchot Eruvin (129) that
door frames work even to enclose a public domain of Torah standards,
providing that there are rows of houses (or the like) on two sides. If
that is so, than it is certainly permitted in our cities for our
streets are surrounded by houses on all sides. The Rashba also wrote
that according to Rambam door frames work for public domains of Torah
standards in this manner. So wrote R' Zalman in his Shulhan Aruch (364:4)
that door frames work to enclose public domains by Torah standards, and
it is only a stringency of the rabbis to prohibit it. It thus seems that
this is what is relied upon everywhere there is an eruv erected using door
frames. For we hold that there is no real public domain by Torah standards
today, and although the Mishnah Berurah in Bi'ur Halcha wrote that those
who rely on the authorities that say there is no public domain today is
not sturdy because they are the minority, still, according to what I've
written there is a huge basis to erect an eruv made of door frames."

This is certainly so according to the fact that the majority opinion is
held by those who are lenient. And with the allowance to use houses as
walls on two sides there is definitely a major basis to make an eruv of
door frames. My good friend the brilliant R' Yisrael Yaakov Fisher also
wrote this in Even Yisrael VIII (36) that according to the Hazon Ish we
have an extensive permit to establish an eruv with door frames WITHOUT
ANY CONCERN. This was also written in Or Lesiyon I (Orah Hayim, 30)
based on the Hazon Ish mentioned above. R' Michel Epstein also wrote
something similar in Aruch Hashulhan (345: 20). Cf. Divrei Malchiel
IV (end of ch. 3); Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata (17, footnote 21).
One who sees clearly [will note] the responsa of the Rosh (Principle
68) who wrote to a scholar named R' Yaakov son of Moshe DeValencia who
prohibited carrying in an eruv made by door frames after all of Yisrael
have already been accustomed to allow carrying by erecting door frames.
The Rosh wrote to him as follows:

"I have already informed you that none of your proofs contain criteria
for any substantial prohibitions. I have also warned you to retract your
prohibition! But I have been told that you still stand in your rebellion
causing multitudes of people to violate the prohibition of carrying on
Shabbat. Therefore I command you to establish an eruv within two weeks
for if you refrain from doing so as I have ruled, I will excommunicate
you because you are disputing [the ruling of] all the giants of Yisrael
that lived until today."14

You can clearly see how much trouble that great sadik went through to
establish eruv so that the people wouldn't come to sin. Uchdavar ish
haElokim retet. When I visited America I saw to my distress women coming
in multitudes to the Synagogue with pocketbooks on their shoulders as
if the prohibition of carrying on Shabbat didn't even exist. Therefore,
I instructed the rabbis who heed my rulings to make an eruv in New
Jersey and not follow the opinion of those who want to be stringent on
this issue. The reasoning of the stringent opinion was that the cars in
the street numbered more than 600,000 every day, and according to all
opinions that renders a domain public. I told him that in my opinion
the 600,000 had to be on foot and not in cars. For cars are a private
domain in and of themselves - we certainly didn't have anything like
them while traveling through the desert! Therefore, they do not count as
part of the 600,000. Yeshuot Malko (27) wrote similarly with regards to
trains saying that even though they carry many people they do not render
a domain public because the cars are totally enclosed making them private
domains themselves. This is precisely the case with cars. Maharsham also
wrote in the name of Bet Ephraim that the 600,000 need to be on foot
similar to the travels of Yisrael through the desert. I also have seen R'
Menashe Klein's book Mishneh Halcahot VII (60, pg. 47d, s.v. Vehineh -
?"? ????) who wrote:

"Even though R' Moshe Feinstein15 wrote in Igrot Moshe that it didn't
make sense to be lenient due to the fact that a car is a private domain
- his reasoning is not definitive, and for us it does make sense. For
we require a public domain that people can walk through, and no one can
walk in these streets because they are designated for cars. Therefore,
there is no public domain here at all."

That is what I see as true. That is also why I instructed an eruv to
be built using door frames to save those that blatantly transgress the
prohibition of carrying on Shabbat. And as an extra -- but not legally
necessary - measure, I instructed them to announce that all the people
who are benei Torah and didn't normally carry before should continue
their custom of not carrying, and that the eruv was only made for those
who were transgressing the prohibition. What's more is that those who
are stringent not to make an eruv are actually being exceedingly lenient,
for they allow the desecration of Shabbat to continue by people carrying
in a public domain. The [sages] have already said in Besa (16b) about a
rabbi who prohibited the making of an eruv haserot on yom tov that falls
on Friday, that his ruling began badly, for the damaging of many people
is surely considered bad. This must also be the reasoning of the Rosh for
writing so harshly against the stringent one. See also Hatam Sofer (99). I
also ruled to make an eruv in the city of Los Angeles. By my advice
they brought in an important rabbi who was a member of the religious
council in Jerusalem to make the eruv according to law. I have recently
seen that my dear friend R' Shalom Mashash (Z"L) in Shemesh Umagen III
(Orah Hayim, 84) agreed with me in law and practice on this issue saying
that my words were clear and proper and needed no strengthening at all.

IN CONCLUSION, those that carry on Shabbat in a public domain by an
eruv made with door frames, have basis to do so, and according to
many authorities it is allowed even according to Maran. The sages
of Jerusalem also wrote that we have no true public domain today and
an eruv of doorways therefore is sufficient to carry in these days.
Nevertheless he who trembles at the word of G-d and completely refrains
from carrying will be blessed. Such a person may still, however, give
keys or a siddur and the like to someone who does carry to carry it for
him, even if the person that carries is over the age of misvot (bar or
bat misvah). Vehanah lahem leYisrael, im enam nevi'im benei nevi'im hem.


Go to top.

Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 08:26:38 GMT
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@post.tau.ac.il>
Re: Emuna/Bitachon - serenity or dialectic tension?

R Aharon Lichtenstein in his new book of old speeches has an extended
chapter on bitachon. He discusses two types of bitachon. One where one
believes that everything will turn out okay and a second (championed by
CI) that bitachon simply means emunah that everything is from hashem and
nothing more than that (note he does not bring anything from RYBS). Chazon
Ish dismisses the first alternative but RAL shows that in fact several
rishonim do express such an opinion. In his extended essay RAL discusses
the relation of the two approaches and situations in which each is valid.

 Prof. Eli Turkel,  turkel@post.tau.ac.il on 05/12/2003
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University

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Date: Sun, 11 May 2003 19:27:36 GMT
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@post.tau.ac.il>
Bar Ilan Torah U mada lectures

summary of some of the talks based on my sketchy notes. Apologies for
any mistakes on my part

1. Rabbi Rappaport - microscopic information doesn't apply to mitzvot
since we assume that chazal didn't sin even be-ones. So whatever is new
is not included in mitzvot and issurim. Chatam Sofer claims that "pokdim
al kaveraim" is only a far-fetched safek. Since, today we can verify
the time of death there is no need to wait 3 days to see if the body is
really dead. The question is why is this different than laws of shekazim
where we rely on chazal even when it differes with modern day science?

Griz says that today one should make his tefillin as square as
possible. RMF disagrees and says the gemara gives the square root of 2
as 1.4 in order to tell us that this is halachically true, i.e. any error
within 1/140 i.e. about 1% is good enough even lechatchila. Similarly the
mizbeach was not exactly square but only within their capabilities.

Some people say that bllod samples, DNA etc. are irrelevant for determing
fatherhood since they did not exist in the days of chazal

For veset of a woman based on the lunar calendar there is a machloket of
(Yad) Rama and Rashba. The gemara indicates that a woman can establish
a veset on the 5th of each month. Ramah asks that each of our lunar
months is not exact because it is based on averages, on the situation
in EY etc. How does the body know of these averages? Yerushalmi brings
that a young girl can't lose her virginity up to 3 years old and that is
determined by the date proclaimed by the bet din. Applies to humans and
no animals. So Rama claims that we rely on an average month for veset
and not on any exact calculations.

Avnei Miluim disagrees and says the laws of veset are not based on a vadai

Safek - 1 - even in theory pi or squareroot(2) are not exact in an 
algebraic system 
      - 2 - life and death  in theory the person is either alive or 
dead no  in between states are allowed  (I have heard that some 
poskim claim it is a process and not yes/no)
            Fatherhood is a yes/no question
     Dateline in Halacha according to Chazon Ish depends on people, 
ie it doesn't end 90 degrees from Jerusalem but rather at the end of 
Asia so that a person's house is not split in two. Hence, if certain 
areas are not inhabited it might change the halacha

Bodenheimer - 
According to Aristotle thought experiments determine nature. So the 
ancient Greek way of thinking about nature is fundamentally different 
than an experimental science.

examples: Techelet today, the time of death, the defintion of tad soledet,
kebolo kach polto, paternity

the concept of temperature is only 400 years old. It is not possible that
chazal defined yad soledet in terms of a specific temperature. That is
a modern invention. Different materials become red hot at different
temperatures. Similarly 3 stars for nightfall is not a certain number
of minutes.

Avodah Zarah 33b - they did experiments to see if some dishes 
absorbed Nidah 49a -  kones mashkeh determined by experiment
Avodah Zarah 35b  - only Tahor Milk coagulates

Chametz be-mashehu does not mean that literally since everything in the
world has molecules of chametz in it - see Aruch haShulchan YD 84-36

min bemino bemashu is a printing error macroscopic not microscopic


Archaelogy Israel timeline in standard history sources is based on
Eygptian history and so if we have mistakes in Eygptian history it
affects everything. This is ignored in archaeological circles

Dr Zeev Lev   - Making of a Gadol

came out VERY strongly against those condemning the book one cannot
educate based on lies. Some people are trying to make a society based on a
situation that never existed in real life. He claimed that in Lithuania
the rabbi was king not the RY. He felt that some people in Lakewood
were the main formentors against the book. He strongly suggested that
the author was never given a chance to defend himself. When R. Elyashiv
wanted to delay the ban it was published anyway. R. Simcha Zissel set up
a high school in Kelm with 3 hours a day of secular studies. R. Isser
Zalman went every succot to visit R. Herzog. R. A. Kotler had a sister
who was a professor of math and a communist and tried hard to talk him
out of religion. Nevertheless R. Kotler visited her every week to the
end of her days in America. R. Dessler knew Freud by heart, R. Abramsky
also knew Russian literature.

(BTW RAL mentions that R. Kotler's and R. Hutner's daughters got PhDS
and RMF's daughter went to college)

A questioneer challened Dr. Lev that even truth can be LH. However,
Dr. Lev dismissed any LH in this case

eggs and olives

There were 2 talks on this issue which I brought elsewhere. The conclusion
of all the speakers on the issue including a charedi speaker is that
there is no historical indication that the size of eggs or olives have
changed drastically over the ages except for very recent history where
the size of eggs have grown. Generally there is less variation in the
size of eggs compared with olives.

Tolaat Shani - is really orange and not red (the red Heifer is really
brown and not red), the evidence for tolaat shani is much stronger than
for techelet


Symposium on archaelogy and Torah

1. simple answers to hard questions are usually wrong
2. The book of Shmuel addresses the fall of Shaul and his replacement by
David the central stories are the crowning of Shaul, replacement bt David
and the subsequent sins of David. Arc haeology doesn't address these
issues. Comparison of Ashur to Jerusalem stresses one wife, one set of
kings Bavel is similar to the kingdom of Israel with a continuous change
of kings. One can't understand Melachim without knowing world history
of the time. It is clear (though Finkelstein makes a big deal of it)
that Israel was usually the physically strong kingdom while Judah was
the physically weak kingdom. So Judah was constantly looking for allies.

As an example Tanach claims that Yehu killed 2 kings in Israel and
Judah. However in a letter of Bedan the king of Aram he writes that he
killed them. Some use this as a proof that Tanach is wrong. However,
we have proof from other cases that the kings exaggerated what they
did. Most probablt scenario is that Yehu killed both of them but at the
instigation of Badan. So both accounts are true.

The borders of Israel are mentioned in great detail because these facts
were very important. Hence where Har Eval, acharei bah hashemesh is
important. Targum Yonatan discusses this in more detail.

Both speakers stressed that the minimalists or anti-bible archaeologists
frequently exaggerate the facts. Thus for example it is presently
held that in the days of Joshua that Jericho existed but was a smaller
unwalled city. If one reads Finkelstein he inplies that Jericho probably
did not exist which is not true. However, the problem with the walls
exists. Similarly, there is evidence for camels very early in history.
Nevertheless some people still use the absence of camels as an attack
against the historical Avot. Some claim that Chevron and Beer Sheva
did not exist in the days of the Avot but there is strong evidence that
they did indeed exist. So many of the arguments of the archaeologists
are more anti-bible than really scientific. Sometimes it is a matter of
the viewpoint. How does one distinguish between Jews taking over Israel
by conquest from taking it over from the inside by buying land.

One has to realize that Tanach has its levels and read between the
lines. It is impossible that the Tanach was written in Persian days as
some historians claim. There is just to much information in Tanach that
they would not have known.

One question was about the length of the Persian era where Chazal (54
years) differ considerably from secular history. The answer was that he
has enough troubles defending the authenticity of Tanach. In this case
it is absolutely clear that Chazal erred. There can be debates about
details and years but there is no way that the Persian kingdom lasted
only 54 years

Eli Turkel,  turkel@post.tau.ac.il on 05/11/2003
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University

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