Avodah Mailing List

Volume 11 : Number 023

Saturday, June 7 2003

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2003 09:38:55 +0300
From: Akiva Atwood <akiva@atwood.co.il>
RE: rasha ve ra lo

> To God, it's a zero sum game.

How do you figure it's a zero-sum game?

(I'm assuming you are using the phrase as defined in game theory. I'd
be interested in seeing your payoff table.)


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 15:30:07 GMT
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@post.tau.ac.il>
[Areivim] Re: rasha ve ra lo

Rabbi Schwab:
"Apparently they do not believe that each year on Rosh Hashanah, Hashem
decrees our earnings for the coming year (Beitzah 16a), and that He has
infinite means by which to ensure that we will earn whatever is meant
for us."

>To God, it's a zero sum game. What each one of us will get in our
>life times and when we will get it and how is indeed up to God.
>Never-the-less it is up to us to follow His dictates and suffer the
>consequences if we don't. Someone who steals a million dollars may
>indeed profit but he is liable for his methods in attaining it. Ifhe
>violated Halacha by stealing he will suffer the consequences of
>violating God's law. It was not his right to steal it. "Hashem
>decrees our earnings for the coming year (Beitzah 16a), and  He has
>infinite means by which to ensure that we will earn whatever is 
>meant for us." The Ganef could have used his "Gneiva" skills  or 
>other skills to make the same amount of money in a Halchicly 
>permissible way.

I agree that the thief will be punished in the next world. However,
R. Schwab indicates that once a person's income is decided on Rosh Hashana
he cannot increase it by theft. That is the part I find difficult to
believe. It implies that the Mafioso living high on the barrel had that
decreed for them each RH

 Prof. Eli Turkel,  turkel@post.tau.ac.il on 06/04/2003
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 10:21:31 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
(no subject)

A number of shuls have shiurim with extensive handouts of sources. I'd
be interested in hearing what's available and sharing any that any of
our avodah contributors present or think are of value.

I'd be happy to coordinate.

Kol Tuv
Joel Rich

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2003 10:22:41 -0400
From: Sholom Simon <sholom@aishdas.org>
1st aliyah, Naso

A friend of mine, to whom this is cc'd, is leining Naso next week.
He discovered that in the back of Tehillas HaShem (the Chabad siddur),
the first aliya ends three pesukim earlier than what appears in his
Tikkun, or in the Artscroll siddur.

Can anyone explain the differences? (I.e.: is this correct? If so, why?
What minhag is Chabad following? Does anyone else follow it?)



Go to top.

Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 11:26:51 -0400
From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>
Re: Shavuos a day early

It just so happens that I read this week a 60+ page article by RYGB's
uncle on this subject.

There are a number of issues. Putting aside the more complicated issue of
whether one's count can or should change if one crosses the international
date line, there is a separate issue of whether Yom Tov is tied to the
individual's count. The Lubavitcher Rebbe's chiddush is that it is.
Others, such as the Minchas Yitzchak (8:50), argue that Shavuos does
not depend on an individual's count but is determined on a communal basis.

RYGB's uncle argued vehemently on the Rebbe's behalf.

Gil Student

Go to top.

Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2003 20:50:28 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
al naharot bavel

Does anyone have a copy of the shla? In siman alef the magen avraham
quotes him as saying that you say al naharot during the week and shir
hamaalot on shabbat; the mishbah brura adds any time you don't say
tachanun . I'm just trying to determine what the correct quote was.

Joel RIch
PS Is achar cavanat halev in the shla or was this added by the m"a and
copied by the m"b

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2003 15:03:42 +0300
From: "Danny Schoemann" <dannyschoemann@hotmail.com>
Re: eggs - yom tov / special Yom Tov clothes

> 3. One should wear nicer clothing on yom tov than shabbat. Does anyone
> really have a special suit or even tie for yomtov and not shabbat?

In EY it's very common - a lot of Kollel guys wear their long
Rabbonishe-fracks only on Yom Tov and family simchas, but not on Shabbes.

- Danny

Don't forget ERUV TAVSHILIM!

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2003 15:12:29 +0300
From: "Danny Schoemann" <dannyschoemann@hotmail.com>
Brocha on Shabbos Tzitzis

I recall learning this in detail during halocho-seder in Kol Torah
(right after davening).

I had trouble with what seemed like a contradiciton in the MB, so I
went up to Rav Neuwirth (yes, the SSK author) who was on meishiv-duty
for this seder.

He knew about the difficulties, and his suggestion at the time was to
wear a different pair of tzitzis after the shower and make a brocho.

So I vaguely recall, but it's been 20 years and I don't have time to
chazer OC 7 - 10 right now. Also, since "we" don't usually make a brocho
on our 4-kanfos but rely on the brocho on Talis, I'm worried that the
above is not the entire story.

The point being: There is a problem (and a contradiction in the MB) -
and the solution as I recall it is to use a "workaround".

- Danny

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 19:55:59 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Absolute Good

On Tue, Jun 03, 2003 at 10:10:12AM +0200, Shoshana L. Boublil wrote:
: During a discussion the question of what is "absolute good" arose.
: Prof. Friedman [BIU] raised the point that Socrates defined the "absolute
: good" as "what the gods decree".

I'm not sure you got that right. Socrates' position involves the famous
(amongst philosophers) "Euthyphro's dilemma". What you give is one side of
the dilemma, not the maskanah.

If you hit the archive, you'll find 8 posts on this previous to this one.

Socrates presents Euthyph the following problem: Do the gods want an act
because it is pious, or is it a pious act because the gods want it?

The first option would mean that piety is more primary than G-d, defined
without Him and therefore He can choose to promote it or not.

The second would make piety an arbitrary whim of the deity, and therefore
not really of value. (Because if it's not arbitrary, how isn't is more
primary than G-d?)

: Can it be then that in actuality, "absolute good" is not an abstract
: "what Hashem decrees" but rather if we ACT and DO what we are supposed
: to do -- THEN in conjunction with what Hashem decrees, we have "absolute
: good".

I would say that the ultimate good be'olam hazeh is measured in terms
of opportunity. Olam hazeh is a prozdor, a means, not an end. A finished
world would not give us any opportunities, so it is not an ultimate good
for olam hazeh.

: This would also address the differences between the various explanations
: given for Bechira Chofshit vs. HaKol Ya'Du'a and the discussions on
: Mikriyut in our lives.

I'm missing the connection between free will to choose to creat
events and between believing in purpose in the events one encounters.


Micha Berger                 Today is the 48th day, which is
micha@aishdas.org            6 weeks and 6 days in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org       Yesod sheb'Malchus: What binds different
Fax: (413) 403-9905                 people together into one cohesive whole?

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 23:03 +0200
Re: eggs - yom tov

The Tzitz Eliezer XII 46 specifically prohibits donating blood Erev
Shavuot and Erev Hoshana Raba.


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 23:07:33 +0300 (IDT)
From: eli turkel <turkel@post.tau.ac.il>
suits on yomtov

Yes. For Yom Tov I reserve my wedding suit (I'm young enough that it
still fits, more or less) and a fancy suit my parents got me for my
sister's wedding. On Shabbos I wear the cheaper suits that I buy myself.

For my sons and son-in-laws who never wear suits that is difficult -)

chag sameach,

Eli Turkel

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 16:35:12 -0400
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
Shavuos and one's Personal Sefira Count

On Areivim, R'SBA wrote about someone who went to Australia today, by
crossing the Date Line in the "wrong" direction, and will be making
Kiddush on *Thursday* night. R' Gil Student explained: <<< This is
a Lubavitch thing. The Rebbe paskened that someone who crosses over
the international date line must continue counting his own sefirah and
observe Shavuos on his 50th day even if everyone else there observes
Shavuos on a different day. Other poskim disagree and say that you
observe Yom Tov like everyone else but Lubavitchers follow the Rebbe,
as would be expected. >>>

This raises an interesting point. I thought of the following question
many years ago, but never seriously, always considering it a "klutz
kasha". But the above gives me the ammunition to ask it in public:

If (A) the observance of Shavuos is *not* dependent on any particular
date on the calendar, but rather (B) it occurs on the 50th day of Sefiras
HaOmer, then (C) Shavuos' existence is no stronger than that of Sefiras

In other words, if Sefira is not d'Oraisa nowadays, then Shavuos isn't
d'Oraisa either.

Long ago, someone convinced me that the error in the above logic is that
Shavuos is *not* on the 50th day of Sefira, but is rather 50 days after
Pesach, and is therefore just as d'Oraisa as Pesach is. But it would seem
that according to Lubavitch my question is a good one. If that visitor to
Australia must observe Shavuos on Thursday night because that is *his*
50th day, then it would have no more tokef than his Sefirah itself.

(I have a funny feeling that someone is going to tell me that Lubavitch
holds that Sefiras HaOmer is indeed d'Oraisa even nowadays.)

Akiva Miller

PS: Had it not been Shabbos, with the above visitor put on tefillin on
the day when others are holding second day Yom Tov? And what of one who
crossed the Date Line in the other direction, so that when others are
making Kiddush, he is counting the 49th night? How would the LR hold

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 09:32:11 -0400
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
Shavuos and one's Personal Sefira Count

I made a typo in the original post on this topic. I used the word
"Thursday" twice, where I should have put "Wednesday". Sorry for the

Good Yom Tov to all
Akiva Miller

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 00:13:31 +0200
From: "Mishpachat Freedenberg" <free@actcom.co.il>
RE: rasha ve ra lo

>  I agree that the thief will be punished in the next world. 
>  However, R. Schwab indicates that once a person's income 
>  is decided on Rosh Hashana he cannot increase it by theft. 
>  That is the part I find difficult to believe. It implies 
>  that the Mafioso living high on the barrel had that 
>  decreed for them each RH

But since it is Hashem who creates each person with his own nature and it
is us that decides how that nature will play itself out, this seems very
logical. We learn that Hashem gives some people a nature for spilling
blood. Those people can become shochtim or mohelim or murderers -- it's
up to them. So why would it be surprising that a mafioso who is skilled
enough to make money dishonestly wouldn't also be wealthy if he used
his intelligence to make money legally?


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 16:41:27 -0700 (PDT)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
RE: rasha ve ra lo

--- Akiva Atwood <akiva@atwood.co.il> wrote:
>> To God, it's a zero sum game.

> How do you figure it's a zero-sum game?
> (I'm assuming you are using the phrase as defined in game theory. I'd
> be interested in seeing your payoff table.)

I don't know about game theroy. I was using the term loosely as used in
the vernacular.

In this context I only meant that, to God you get a certain amount of
money decreed every yearon RH. How you receive that money is the variable
whose components equal the "zero" sum. You may get some as a gift,
win some in a poker game, you may work for some, you may get some from
invetsments, or you may steal some. But the amount is the same and the
proportions of how much you get from various enterprises will vary. If
you get more from wrok, you may get less from investments. If you win
some in a lottery you will get less as a gift. If you steal all of it
then the other enterprises will get you nothing.

That is all I meant.


Go to top.

Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2003 22:02:16 +0000
From: "Yonatan Kaganoff" <kagi@hotmail.com>
tenth man/mechallel Shabbos

I believe that we pasken that if there is a single individual in front
of whom a Jew would not be mechalel Shabbos, then the Jew does not have
the status of a Mechalel Shabbos Be-pharhesyah. Cf. Tos. Erouvin 79a.

Chag Sameach,

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 19:02:25 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Empirical vs. Statistically credible data

There have been a number of issues we've discussed where "common practice"
or "common intent" have been an issue. In general it seems poskim need
to know this information to decide halacha. How is this information
currently deduced?

Why wouldn't halacha require statistically valid measures? Is it for the
same reason that perfectly square tfillin aren't required?

Joel Rich

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 06:59:52 -0500 (CDT)
From: sholom@aishdas.org

 From Aish.Com:
> "Baruch" is related to the word breicha, which means a spring of water,
> indicating the source of this moment's life experience. "Ata" means
> "You" -- a very personal, endearing appellation for the Infinite! So
> the brachot begin, in translation, "You are the source..."

 From another list I am on, in response:
> I'm dubious about this. It's nice as a midrash, but on its face, it
> seems very unlikely as an assertion of etymology. I have heard that
> the b-r-ch root for "baruch" and "bracha" _is_ etymologically related
> to "berech" meaning "knee," the theory perhaps being that a liturgical
> blessing is connected to bending the knee. However, I don't know whether
> etymological scholarship confirms this, and I have my doubts about it
> -- the term "bracha" in the Tanach seems to have a meaning closer to a
> conferral of a benefit than to acknowledging suzerainty.

> Does anyone know whether etymological scholarship supports a connection
> between any of these three meanings (blessing, pool, knee) of the
> "b-r-ch" root?


-- Sholom

Go to top.

Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 00:29:05 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: eggs - yom tov

In a message dated 6/2/2003 9:54:52 AM EST, turkel@post.tau.ac.il writes:
> 1. A sheet they distributed in the tel avib university shul says that
> one is not yotzeh eruv tavshilin with a peeled egg since it is a sakanah
> to eat such an egg.
> Since many people eat such eggs would that really prevent someone from
> being yotzeh

> 2. They also point out that blood letting is not to be done on eruv
> chag. Does anyone do blood letting nowadays? (except for some leeches).
> They further quote a revavot ephraim that hence one should not have a
> blood test which requires more than a little blood. Also suggests not
> to do a Cesarean section eruv yom tov. Doesn't sound too practical to
> me as one certainly shouldn't do it on yom tov and so it means waiting
> several days which would not be healthy

Enclosed is from the Sefer Shmiras haGuf viHanefesh, on the first issue with 
regard to a Mitzvah, on the 2nd issue the entire topic, please point your 
browser to: <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/faxes/shmirasHagufVehanefesh.pdf>.

Kol Tuv,
Yitzchok Zirkind

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 15:09:03 GMT
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
"Aseres" hadibros

R' Seth has for some time made the point that our ta'am ha'elyon divides
the aseres hadibros into 9 rather than 10. Look at the Rashi in Horiyos,
daf 8a on top of the left column, where it seems to imply that azoi darf
zein, i.e., that Anochi and Lo yihyeh are part of one dibur. Comments?


Go to top.

Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2003 17:52:43 +0000
From: simchag@att.net
Re: 'sod ha'ibbur' (was Re: Persian Era)

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
> It's pretty simple to take any molad and add multiples of 
> 29d 12h 44m 1ch'. Take any molad and you can create the
> rest.
> How is one more "sod ha'ibbur" than the other?
> That said, it's so simple, I don't see how it's a "sod" of any sort.
> Which is why I asked if the term "sod ha'ibbur" did not primarily include
> shanos me'ubaros, and the length of Cheshvan and Kislev.

Rambam Hilchas Kidush Hachoidesh 11:4 states that the calculations of
the molad and preparation of a calendar is not what is refered to as
"sod ha'ibbur", and, to quote lshoin kodshoi:

'ahfilu tinoikes shel beis rabon magiyun ahd soifoi bshloishe arbaoh

But rather the spehrical geometry, and astronomical calculations to
determin if it was possible for the 'eidim' to see the new crescent,
that is called 'sod ha'ibbur'.

'ayen shom' the first couple halochous in 11th perek..his definition of
"sod ha'ibbur"

Simcha G

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2003 15:07:11 -0400
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com

ET wrote:
> I once read somewhere that not only is eishet chayil an allegory for
> Israel but that it SHOULD be taken literally also and that it is said
> on friday night also for the wife and not just for shabbat. Does anyone
> have any sources for this?

It is found in both Midrash Rabba Chayei Sara and midrash mishlei on
the spot that Eishes Cahuil was said by Avrohom as his hesped on Sara.

M. Levin

Go to top.

Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2003 15:12:49 -0400
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com

>: It's only in chutz la'aretz that it's minhag avoseihem, not in
>: EY. (Chullin 13b).

> So the turn of phrase was questionably chosen. The point, that there is
> no yeitzer hara for AZ, has been true even in Israel ever since AKhG
> trapped it in a lead pot.

The Tosfos in Chullin makes this very same point.

M. Levin

Go to top.

Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2003 02:11:25 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
Eishes Chayil

From: <simchag@att.net>
> In the siddur Otzar Hatefilos the peirush Etz Yosef b'sheim the Gro
> writes: "..EC hi haTorah..."
> The Metzudos, Targum and Malbim all seem to learn pshat - kepshutoy -
> discussing the maalos of a good wife.
> Rashi also says so...However... at the end he states that that is a
> melizteh..and starts a new way of drush - writing it is a 'moshol al
> haTorah velomdeho..."

I have now checked my Artscroll Zemiros and their foreword to EC states
that the meforshim agree that it is allegorical -
either/or Shechinah/Shabbos/Torah/wisdom/neshomo..

So take your pick..


Go to top.


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

< Previous Next >