Avodah Mailing List

Volume 12 : Number 048

Sunday, November 23 2003

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2003 23:30:15 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Why Jewishness is determined by the mother

On Thu, Nov 20, 2003 at 03:02:40PM -0500, Micha Berger wrote:
: RYBS seems to say the lashon am/ummah applies only to us....

Err... Leshonos of am and ummah apply....


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Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2003 18:32:32 -0500
From: Yisrael Dubitsky <Yidubitsky@JTSA.EDU>
questions re laining

A few questions for ba`ale keri'ah and ba`ale halakhah, and anyone else
who'd care to offer suggestions. I've asked this of several different
ba`ale keri'ah and have yet to hear anything definitive:

1. How much latitude or leeway does a lainer have in how he reads the
te`amim, that is, the melody used? In other words, how much of a hiyuv
is it to read the te`amim in the exact chant of the kehillah from which
one comes? For example, may I as an Ashkenazi read a single aliyah of
the entire parshah in a Sephardic melody? What about a single pasuk? or
phrase? What if I, as a non-Yekke, wish to read shem H' at the end
of a pasuk/aliyah with the up-sound of the Yekkim -- may I? Does it
really require a "hatarat neder" just to read a single word differently
(especially in a kehillah where Yekkim and non-Yekkim daven together and
very often lain for each other) In a related vein, when, for example in
an Ashkenazi shul, a Sephardi is called up not just for an aliyah (when he
would say the berakhah in his nusah) but also to lain (torah or haftarah),
and would read it in a completely different manner than is usual in that
shul) -- is the shul to consistently avoid giving that person an aliyah???
(would *this* be an issue of kevod ha-tsibur vs. kevod ha-beriyot?)

Exactly how old is that mesorah to read the melody of Ashkenazim? (Yekkim?
Shirah? Yamim Noarim?) Sephardim? Yemenites? etc?? When, for example, did
the minhag to read the few pesukim of Esther in Eikhah trup originate?
or the pasuk beginning with Eikhah in Devarim? or the special trup for
the shirah? etc. Or the special trup of Yamim Noraim? Is one permitted
to -- and how likely will one be asked to repeat the reading if he went
ahead and did -- read a ta`am of a word/phrase/pasuk in the melody from
e.g. Rosh Hashanah on a regular Shabbat? For example, in last week's
laining, if one wanted to read the Va-H' pakad et Sarah or Akeidah in
the melody of RH -- may one? What about a pasuk *not* read on RH --
may one use the RH melody for a phrase like va-yizkor E' et Avraham? Is
this considered "breaking the mesorah"? Would the following explanation
suffice -- that one might want to have the kehillah recall the emotions
of RH or be ma`aleh lifne kise ha-kavod the thought/merit of Avraham,
especially when there are world events, even personal events, that the
lainer as the shaliah of the tsibur might want to pray for and have
Avraham's merit recalled (and his personal prayer is in the form of the
*shirah* of keri'at ha-torah)? Also, for example, when reading about the
yavam in Ki Tetse "kakhah ye`aseh la-ish" may one, for whatever logic is
behind such a dramatic flourish, read that phrase in the melody of Esther,
where the phrase also occurs? Etc Etc To what extent may the reading of
the Torah be considered an opportunity for supplication.... or drama?

I recall reading that RYBS once said that a large percentage of "giving
over" Torah involves drama. Hence, all the sound and visual effects at
Har Sinai etc. Is not laining the modern version of kabalat hatorah
par excellence [on the part of the kehillah] and therefore drama, in
the sense of laining emphatically and melodically, is to be utilized
to the lainer's discretion? To read a story without any inflection or
emphasis makes listening to it very difficult...and monotonous. I am
truly surprised when I hear lainers -- even good ones -- who dont change
emphasis of voice when reading; do they not understand or wish others
to understand what they read? True, the te`amim themselves may convey
the drama of the "scene," but very few lainers that I've heard read
them in anything but a monotone. Hazzanim -- not simply baale tefilah --
understand this and generally utilize dramatic interpretation quite well;
I wonder why ba`ale keri'ah haven't caught on?

Will one be asked to reread the pasuk/im/aliyah? Will one (simply?) be
looked at strangely for having done so? Or perhaps never asked to lain
there again? :)

This is all related, I think, to my next question:
2. To what extent am I as lainer expected to *have in mind* the derushim
of Hazal when I lain? May I lain, and emphasize in my reading as a result,
based on a simple peshat level? For example, reading the simple peshat
of Toldot one comes away with a very sympathetic view of Eisav and his
cry: he was cheated out of a berakhah! May I read those pesukim -- or
at least "va-yits`ak tse`akah gedolah u-marah `ad me'od" in a sort of
crying voice (I do not mean in a minor mode like Eikhah or such)? This
of course makes one think of Eisav in another way than is generally done;
is this wrong? On the other hand, may I read a phrase or pasuk based on a
derush Hazal, even if it goes against the peshat? For example, the famous
derush that when Paro said "H' ha-tsadik va-ani ve-ami ha-resha`im"
that really Paro was saying H' and I are tsadikim, are right; it's
only my nation that is evil etc -- may I read that phrase with an added
pause after the ve-ani to indicate the breakup of the thought that way,
the trup and grammar notes to the contrary notwithstanding? or is that
considered against mesorah and wrong (enough to require rereading)? Why,
then, do people pause after ve-nakeh in fast day lainings, despite the
teamim etc to the contrary? In general, *ideally* (bec I know it will not
happen 100% of the time with most ppl) must I, may I, have in mind what
the targum/hazal or rashi said re the meaning of this or that phrase
as I lain it? May I "add" a pause or read in another melody a phrase
that I wish to interpret (in the "theater" sense, either based on my
own peshat or on Hazal's) in a certain way? To what extent is laining
an opportunity for homiletics or parshanut?

I very often get the feeling that lainers (let alone the public)
have no idea what they're reading, the words themselves, let alone the
interpretation (and I'm not even talking about proper pronunciation). What
is expected of a lainer? To what extent (i.e., exactly how) am I expected
to be motsi the kehillah that is (hopefully) listening? [How does torah
reading differ in this respect from haftarah, given the fact that in
many shteibleich everyone reads the haftarah together, rather than
allowing the Maftir to read aloud alone? and in most (non-shteibel)
shuls the maftir is rarely if ever corrected re. a mis-read word, mah
she-ein ken le-gabei torah reading.]

Finally, are these questions of the type I need to ask a "trusted posek"?
(is this a matter of halakhah and mesorah or just opinion) or does
gathering a survey of opinions -- sagacious ones, to be sure -- from
which I choose, suffice? (or is this the MO/RW dividing line? :))

Yisrael Dubitsky

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Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 00:24:10 +0000
From: simchag@att.net
working and oisek btorah

From: "Danny Schoemann" <dannyschoemann@hotmail.com>
> <snip> 
> - - Danny. (Not a Poseik, not a Rabbi and not even a Kollel-man.)

that comment next to your signature is something to be proud of..

there is a 3 volume sefer al hatorah named Pardas Yosef by Reb Yosef
He only managed to publish on Breishis, Shmois, and Vyikroh, when WWII
broke out and Polish jewry just fell apart.

The mechaber was a businessman, and he wrote his sefer at night.
The Gerer Rebbeh, the Imrei Emes, Reb Avrohom Mordche Z"L writes in his
haskamah that he has great satisfaction to see the mechaber involved in
business AND also 'oisek btorah'.

The Gerer Rebbeh's brother, Reb Menachem Mendel, who was rav in the city
of the mechaber writes in his haskamah as follows.

'hanimtzoh kzeh ish asher hinohu tohrud al hamichyo val hkalkolo,
vnimneh(is counted) bein soichrei h'aretz, al kol zhe yoisef hu hashalit
bruchoi pi shnayim likvoiah itim ltorah ulchadeish chidushim....etc..

nothing to be ashamed of to be in such company.

Simcha G

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Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 15:05:27 +1100
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
re: Bathroom reading

From: "Avi Burstein" <betera@012.net.il>
>> An interesting point: We are allowed to wear a beged with tzitzit into
>> the bathroom. The stated purpose of tzitzit is "u'rietem o'to
>> u'zchartem et kol mitzvot..." - isn't that (u'zchartem et kol mitzvot)
>> assur in the given situation?

> You're making it sound like just seeing tzitzit automatically makes
> someone think about the mitzvot. Halevai! 

I know a Chassidish rav - who removes his TK before entering the bathroom.


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Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 15:17:04 +1100
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
Anim Zemiros at a Bris

From: "Joshua Kay" <jkay@rk.com.au>
<<BTW do other kehilos do as we do - and in the minyan of the Mohel say
'Anim Zemiros'?>>

In the Adass Yisroel shul in Melbourne, Australia, anim zemiros is recited
on the day of a bris in the "official" shacharis minyan, even if the
baalei simcha are not present. This shul officially follows Oberlander
minhagim, although it has become more chassidish in recent years.

That's what I was referring to, when I said:
"..do other kehilos do as WE do ..."

Nice to see another Ozzie here...

BTW, the Likutei Maharich brings this minhag, and I understand that in
Belz it is also done.


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Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 08:31:45 +0200
From: S Goldstein <goldstin@netvision.net.il>

>there is an interesting Ritva in Yoma (39) who says that even if
>the only usage of a kli isn't considered an avodah, since it is the only
>way to use that item then that usage makes the kli into a kli shareis.

dibbur hamaschil please

Shlomo Goldstein

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Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 09:22:19 +0200
From: S Goldstein <goldstin@netvision.net.il>

>        The glib answer is sh'chitah lav avodah hi.  The real answer is
>that only an avodah which requires a kli shares is m'chanech the kli
>which is used for it. Since sh'chitah does not need a kli shares, it is
>not m'kadesh the kli chol that was used.>

Does the "real" answer hold that shechita IS avoda?  If so, this is against
the Radbaz there.

>Both these teirutzim don't work. First of all, the Rambam holds that
>l'chatchilah the sakin should be a kli shareis. Clearly it became a kli
>shareis despite the fact that shechita lav avodah.

The Mikdash Dovid says that kedushas kli shares comes from an announcement
or from using shemen hamishcha.

Shlomo Goldstein

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Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 09:55:57 -0500
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
Golden Rule

When Micha Berger writes:
"Perhaps this is why Hillel formulated his rule (Mah desani lakh...) in
the negative, making his morality about the avoidance of suffering. As
opposed to the Notzri Golden Rule."

I think that Targum Yonasan also does translate it in the negative terms.

M. Levin

["It" = "ve'ahavta lerei'akha komokha" -mi]

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Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 10:06:59 -0500
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
Why is Jewishness determined by the mother

> But aside from the language problem is the conceptual one. There are
> 70 parim of mussaf for Sukkos which are keneged the 70 amim (aside:
> note chazal's lashon!) and one on Shemini Atzeres keneged us. However,
> if the 70 nations are parallel to the shevatim in the hierarchy of
> societal organization, why aren't there 12 parim on SA?

See the Rashabam in Haazinu on "yatsav gevulos amim l'mispar bne yisrael"
that the 12 shvatim correspond to the 12 nations that surrender E'Y.

M. Levin

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Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 11:19:13 -0500 (EST)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Difference Between Seichel and Da'as

Ari B Berdy wrote:
> Does anyone know what the difference between seichel and da'as is
> (if there is one)? And how does binah fit in?

There are two sequences used in birchas da'as:

Dei'ah binah vehaskeil
Khochmah binah vada'as

About the diqduq differences.

Presumably seichel, which is used for the "organ" and not a kind of
thought, is simply the means for haskalah.

The Gra on Mishlei defines tevunah as that which is learned by
instruction. Being given someone else's binah.

According to the Tanya:
khochmah - initial insight
binah - developing that initial nequdah through reason
da'as - the results of khochmah and binah

RSRH has a similar approach to binah. He links it to defining categories,
as per the word "bein" and building from those categories, as per
"banah". Inductive and deductive reasoning.

The question would therefore be the difference between da'as and
zikaron. The sefirah of da'as only exists in systems that lack one
of keser. IOW, the Eitz Chayim either has khochmah and binah coming
directly from a single source, or has them synthesizing into a single
conclusion. This would seem to mean that da'as isn't simply knowledge,
but knowledge of how to think. It therefore informs khochmah and binah.

Da'as's role in binah is pretty straightforward. They even teach courses
in deductive and inductive reasoning; there are lists on line of common
fallacies of reasoning (proof by authority, post hoc ergo propter hoc,
etc...) Proper reasoning is a skill to be learned. The connection
to khochmah is less obvious. There is a famous picture by WE Hill
"My Wife and My Mother-in-Law" (published 1915) that might help. See
<http://tinyurl.com/vzll>. Who one sees in the picture is decided
preconsciously by what one brings to the experience.

Devash refers to dei'ah, which is the product of da'as, binah, and
haskeil, the product of the seichel. Binah is the same in both triads.
Being a process, the line between ko'ach and result isn't meaningful.
But otherwise, Chabad is a sequence of kochos, Devash a sequence of the
produce of those kochos. Which is why the Gra takes Mishlei's warning
"Have you found honey? Eat only your limit of it lest you fill
yourself and vomit it."
to be:
"The issue: do not get overly clever and do not pursue things that
are great or more wondrous than you, lest you sin and vomit up all you
studied and learned."
Mishlei is speaking of trying to aquire the results without the
skills. Dei'ah without da'as. Hashkeil without seichel.

But notice that I did not define seichel. I can't. Is it related to
binah, that the chain of devash is in the opposite direction to chabad,
or is it legamrei a different thing.

RSRH's ta'am behind the menorah has da'as, eitzah and khochmah branching
to the right, yir'at Hashem, gevurah and binah to the left. With ru'ach H'
as the middle. This introduces eitzah, which we haven't touched yet.

Eitzah is usually used for practical knowledge, no?

Last that I can think of is higayon. In Collected Writings, RSRH speaks of
the family of shorashim: /hvh/ - to exist, /chvh/ - to exist with purpose
(to live), /hnh/ the place where something can exist or not, and /hgh/
to imagine. Lateral thought, as opposed to the formal linear reasoning
of binah.


Micha Berger             A cheerful disposition is an inestimable
micha@aishdas.org        It preserves health, promotes convalescence,
http://www.aishdas.org   and helps us cope with adversity.
Fax: (413) 403-9905         - R' SR Hirsch, "From the Wisdom of Mishlei"

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Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 11:22:51 -0500 (EST)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Where there's a Halachic will... (was: Re: Kullos & Chumros)

R Elazar M Teitz wrote:
> R. Aharon conceded the point and withdrew his proposal. IOW, he did
> not "overlook the Halachic objections," but agreed that the
> objection was not halachic, and hence could bow to the eis la'asos.

I've raised the following point before, but don't recall an answer.

Do we have any record of an "eis la'asos Lashem" that wasn't the hora'as
sha'ah of a navi and yet defies actual halakhah.

The most famous potential example is that of Rebbe writing the mishnah
(or whomever first put Rebbe's composition into writing). However,
is there a real issur? If "i ata resha'i" meant that writing down TSBP
were assur, than the mishnah would also be saying that saying qeri'as
Shema be'al peh is also assur!

I'm not sure eis la'asos alone has authority over real din.


Micha Berger             A cheerful disposition is an inestimable treasure.
micha@aishdas.org        It preserves health, promotes convalescence,
http://www.aishdas.org   and helps us cope with adversity.
Fax: (413) 403-9905         - R' SR Hirsch, "From the Wisdom of Mishlei"

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Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 11:37:40 -0500 (EST)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Winding tzitzis

RGS brought the following Maharshah to my attention (Shut #6). The
Mararshah paskens that one can not change the number of windings on
one's tzitzis, even though it's "only" minhag. No one has greater
authority than the minhag Yisrael. The Shach (YD 214:4) holds the

A couple of questions:

1- The impact on those who feel that they're wearing something that is
techeiles (or likely enough to be it) that the din of chulios applies
and one must do something divisible by threes. Is this an argument for
the Radziner's pesaq of tying like the ba'al haTanyah? (Which has a
chain down the side dividing into threes, and yet still has the
standard 7,8,11 and 13 separated by double knots.)

Would totalling the same 39, but doing so in 13 chulios, which is what
RHSchachter does, be sufficient?

How certain does one have to be of the possibility of being yotzei
techeiles before the dinim of techeiles overrule minhag?

2- Can something be a minhag Yisrael even though Sepharadim hold
differently? They use different numbers of windings, keneged sheim


Micha Berger             A cheerful disposition is an inestimable
micha@aishdas.org        It preserves health, promotes convalescence,
http://www.aishdas.org   and helps us cope with adversity.
Fax: (413) 403-9905         - R' SR Hirsch, "From the Wisdom of Mishlei"

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Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 12:39:49 EST
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: Nusach Ari

In a message dated 10/25/2003 7:16:08 PM EST, rdavidovich@cox.net writes:
> The way I heard it explained, the Baal Tanya's (or Chabad's) description
> for his siddur is that it is "Al Pi Nusach HaArizal"... The English
> Translators of the Tehillat Hashem Siddur erred ... I presume this is
> because it was colloquially known as Nusach Ari already by the masses.

> Rather, what the Chabad siddur does is apply the Arizal's kabalistic
> emendations to Nusach Ashkenaz. Those aspects of the Ari's siddur
> that were based on sefardic custom were not incorporated into the Baal
> Hatanya's siddur.

This makes senses so far as it goes.

The problem EVEN THERE is that Nusach Ashekneaz is based upon traditions
and corrections by Maharil, R. Yehudah Hachasid etc. and it is really
tough to emend it based upon an entirely different hashkafah and
methodology - EG Zohar and/or Arizal.

EG Nusach Chabad omits many of Kallir's piyyutim yet the Pischei Tshuvah
quotes the Arizal as praising Kallir's piyyutim in contradisinction to
"later" piyyutim.

Lmashal Imagine emending the Piskei Harosh based upon the text of
the Rambam.

You logically could emend the Ramban based upon the Rashba because the
Rashba was his Talmud and it is likely you can make "backward inferences".
But to mix and match schools is tricky at best and mis-leading at worst.

Bottom line, the Nusach of the Ba'al Hatanya is the nusach of the Ba'al
Hatanya and it is hard to see it otherwise. IOW I think thee if the
Arizal himself would have been quite surprised to nee what is passed of
as Nusach Ari. Thius reminds me of Moshe Rabbeinu's surprise in Rabbi
Akiva's shiur- until he heard it was all said as Halachah lemoshe miSinai.

Kol Tuv - Best Regards
Richard Wolpoe <RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com>
The above post is dedicate to the Memory of My Mom 
Gertrude Wolpoe OBM, Gittel Bas Nachum Mendel Halevi A"H

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Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 12:58:14 EST
From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
Re: VeCharot Imo - Printer's error

In a message dated 11/6/2003 6:51:34 PM EST, dovb@netvision.net.il writes:
> The Ashkenaz minhag was to say on the Shacharit of a Brit, out loud and
> responsively (chazzan and Kahal) parts of psukim starting from "VeCharot
> imo HaBrit" because of its connection to the Brit. The printers therefore
> broke up the pasuk and inserted something like "on the day of a brit
> the chazzzan begins...". Once the pasuk was broken up for the printers
> note, it is easy to understand the the next printer put the note on
> a new line....

> The non-yekkes lost or never had the minhag of responsive reading here
> on a brit-day. So - that is the non Yekke-Easternn European Nusach , but
> without the whole raison d'etre for the "error" of breaking up a pasuk.

That is why critical editions of the Siddur - such as Baer's Avodas
Yisroel - are so "critical" to our understanding of what is really
going on!

Ya'avetz and Heidnheim both realized the problems during the same
generation - circa 1780.

Now we have access to MORE kisvei yad- such as gniza gragments - then
they did

Kol Tuv - Best Regards
Richard Wolpoe <RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com>
The above post is dedicate to the Memory of My Mom 
Gertrude Wolpoe OBM, Gittel Bas Nachum Mendel Halevi A"H

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Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2003 00:00:22 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: Where there's a Halachic will... ais la'asos

R' Teitz wrote:
<<When Rav Aaron Kotler saw that Torah might not succeed in the
hinterlands, he was maskim to having mixed classes in Day Schools in
order to promote Torah in locales that otherwise might not have been able
to feasibly run a day school {how's that for a long run-on sentence?!}
IOW, he overlooked the Halachic objections because of eis la'asos.>>

>However, he said, he wanted to know R. Aharon's basis for the issur. The
>only one he could see was a geder of tznius. There is, though, a stam
>mishna in Kiddushin, paskened by the Rambam and the Shulchan Aruch
>lahalachah, that an unmarried man may not teach, nor may a woman,
>married or not. He therefore asked why we don't require that schools
>discharge all their female teachers. The obvious answer was that it
>represented an instance of "eis la'asos." If, then, eis la'asos could
>overcome an explicit halachah in the Mishna, Rambam and Shulchan Aruch,
>it certainly should be a reason to override a tznius matter not even
>mentioned in halacha.

>R. Aharon conceded the point and withdrew his proposal. IOW, he did not
>"overlook the Halachic objections," but agreed that the objection was
>not halachic, and hence could bow to the eis la'asos.

Rav Moshe apparently has a different understanding of the issues of
mixed classes, female teachers and the concept of ais la'asos.

Igros Moshe YD IV #28.1 page 214-215."Concerning Scranton where the
yeshiva ketana has experience a significant reduction in the number of
student because families have moved out to the suburbs or for other
reasons and this year there are 81 students including both boys and
girls and thus each class will have a very small number of students. From
5th grade and up there will only be 7 or 8 students and if the boys are
separate from the girls there could be as few as 3 students per class and
the teaching will obviously not work out. In addition the expenses will
double and be impossible....Therefore even though that everyone knows my
views **according to din *** that it is necessary to separate boys and
girls even at very young ages when possible as is done in New York. And
even in other cities where it is is difficult I have not permitted it
(Igros Moshe YD I #137...) except till the age of 10. However in Scranton
where the number of students is very small and it will be basically
impossible to learn with this small number. It is obviously not good
combine the students for classes 5-8 and the majority and perhaps all the
parents will not accept it. Therefore in this situation it is impossible
to separate them in any manner. On the other hand to cancel the classes
for the girls and send them to public school with teenagers and also
non Jews they will Chas V'Shalom assimilate with goyim. Therefore in
Scanton which is unique in the impossiblity of separation - it is ais
la'asos so the Torah is nullified."

Concerning the issue of female teachers Reb Moshe doesn't describe
it as ais la'asos but rather a legitimate halachic position for the
American schools.

Igros Moshe YD III #73 page 322-323 "According to the Taz and Beis
Shmuel...it is permitted to teach children when there is no issur of
yichud. There is no issue of yichud in the setup of schools in this
country.... There is also a basis to permit women teaching older children
in case of great need only and there is no difference between young and
old teachers"

In sum: Rav Moshe uses the term ais la'asos to indicate the deliberate
violation of halacha in order to achieve a necessary goal not just the
violation of a "matter of tznius". He clearly does not view the use of
female teachers as a violation of halacha while he poskens that mixed
classes are against the halacha. This understanding of ais la'asos as
uprooting a mitzva or prohibition is discussed in detail by the Maharetz
Chajes vol I page 24-28

			Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2003 22:26:53 EST
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Re: Where there's a Halachic will... (was: Re: Kullos & Chumros)

In a message dated 11/21/2003 2:01:34 PM EST, micha@aishdas.org writes:
> Do we have any record of an "eis la'asos Lashem" that wasn't the hora'as
> sha'ah of a navi and yet defies actual halakhah.

See Sanhedrin 5a where Shimon Ben Shetach hung 80 women on one day. even
though halacha would not allow judging 2 for different deaths. Also yoma
69a by cohain wearing bigdei khuna lehanot, one of the answers given is
eit Laasot (answers courtesy of Maharatz chiyut 5th chapter Torat Neviim)

Shavua Tov,
Joel RIch

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Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2003 10:01:25 +0100
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Re: Sakkin M'din Kli Shareis

Reb "Markowitz, Chaim" <cmarkowitz@scor.com> asked
> The Rambam paskens that l'chatchilah the sakkin used for shechitas
> korbonos should be a kli shareis but b'dieved if one doesn't use a kli
> shareis it is okay.

> Elsewhere the Rambam paskens that by keilim we say "avadosan m'chanchasan".
> If this is true, how do you ever have a case of b'dieved not haveing
> a kli shareis. Once I do the avodah with the knife it automatically
> becomes a kli shareis.

See Tos. 'Hullin 3a Kegon. Two possibilities: either we hold like those
who say that wooden objects do not become klei sharet (already pointed
out by REMT) or perhaps the slaughterer used a reed, which is definitely
not a kli.

Arie Folger

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Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2003 18:48:24 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
tzitzis in bathroom

>> An interesting point: We are allowed to wear a beged with tzitzit into
>> the bathroom. The stated purpose of tzitzit is "u'rietem o'to
>> u'zchartem et kol mitzvot..." - isn't that (u'zchartem et kol mitzvot)
>> assur in the given situation?

> You're making it sound like just seeing tzitzit automatically makes
> someone think about the mitzvot. Halevai! I suppose if someone was on
> such a madreiga that seeing tzitzit immediately reminded them of mitzvot
> then he probably should refrain from looking at them in the bathroom. But
> for most people that I know, who see tzitzit all the time, and it doesn't
> naturally cause them to focus on mitzvot, I don't see why wearing tzitzit
> in the bathroom would at all be problematic.

Shulchan Aruch O.H. 21:3 "It is permitted to go into a bathroom with

Mishna Berura 23:14 "This is only for the tzitzis of the talis koton
which is worn all day. However the talis for mitzva which is set aside
only for prayer - it is not proper to take it into a bathroom. However it
is permitted to urinate in the Talis. Those wear a kittel on Yom Kippur
should remove it before entering a bathroom since it is a garment set
aside only for prayer.

Baer Haitev 80:2 Dealing with a person with a problem of being clean.
The Shulchan Aruch says he should put his tefilin on at the last moment
to say Shema. In contrast a Talis can be put on from the beginning since
it is permitted to wear a Talis in the bathroom according to the Taz -
as opposed to the Bach.

Taz 23:3 states that it is prohibited to wear a regular Talis but not a
talis koton in the bathroom...."nevertheless the talis koton which is
worn under the garments is definitely permitted in the bathroom since
it is covered up.

It would seem that from the Taz that the tzitzis of a talis koton were
typically worn tucked into the pants and that it why it was permitted.
It would follow that those who wear them out would not have a hetair
according to the Taz. Since the Mishna Berura [who wore his tzitzis
tucked in] is basing himself on the Taz it would seem today his hetair
wouldn't apply to those who wear their tzitzis out and they would have
a problem of wearing a talis koton in the bathroom.

Rav Sternbuch vol 2 #7 "It is possible to say that the reason that many
gedolei of the sefardim do not wear their tzitzis out is the problem
of going into a bathroom or bathhouse or other dirty place and to wear
tzitzis out is degrading for them....since it is a problem to keep
taking them out and putting them in they simply leave them tucked in...
In contrast our minhag is to wear the tzitzis out even in the bathroom
even though it is a mitzva object and there is the problem of degrading
the mitzva and also there is no relevance of remembering the mitzva
in the bathroom... since it is not a place to think about the mitzva
there...nevertheless since the talis koton is primarily to wear it
all day even when involved in degrading activity therefore there is no
degradation if it is not covered when entering the bathroom...since it's
mitzva encompasses degrading situations....Therefore we don't distinguish
one degrading situation from another and it is permitted to wear the
tzitzis out especially since the tzitzis will become uncovered in the
bathroom anyway. Therefore in my humble opinion one should not deviate
from out current practice that tzitzis are specifically worn out...Those
who are machmir not to wear uncovered tzitzis in the bathroom start out
with being machmir but end up being maikel since they nullify the mitzva
of seeing the tzitzis for the whole day...Therefore one who wants to
be machmir should only cover them when entering a dirty place in order
to show the importance of the mitzva. However according to the din of
a talis koton it is not necessary at all."

Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2003 13:01:40 EST
From: T613K@aol.com
For those who want children

Some time ago R. Jon Baker sent in a posting asking how to understand a
harsh statement about people who are childless--what the statement was,
and where it was from, I no longer remember. It may have been something
like Chazal saying that a person with no children is like a dead person.
Anyway, I thought of it today during Rabbi Bensinger's Sunday morning
shiur. We are now studying Tana Devei Eliyahu, and this morning we
learned something in Perek 13 that was relevant to that old question.

I am not going to quote the exact text and commentary, but will get to
the bottom line: when a person performs a good deed, he creates thereby
a malach who acts as a defender for him Upstairs. Those malachim have
the status of his children. If he does a mitzva when young and then does
the same mitzva again when old, he has created malachim who are brothers
to each other. The pasuk, "Hineh ma tov umah na'im sheves achim gam
yachad" applies to the malachim created by the mitzvos done when young
and when old.

The exact same thing is true of divrei Torah studied when young and
when old.

The Torah you learn creates malachim who have the status of your children.
Again, the "Hinei mah tov..." pasuk applies to them.

Finally, the same thing applies to talmidim to whom you have taught
Torah--they have the status of your children. And "Hineh mah tov umah
na'im..." applies to people who learn Torah together.

R' Bensinger added something remarkable: the Zohar goes so far as to say
that the wife of a talmid chacham who died childless does not require
yibum or chalitza!

[In response to my question, R' Bensinger conceded that we don't pasken
that way lehalacha--but it is still a remarkable statement.]

So bottom line, a person who learns Torah and performs mitzvos and acts
of chessed is never childless. May we all have many such children, and may
all tefillos be answered for more Jewish children here on earth, as well.

 -Toby Katz

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