Avodah Mailing List

Volume 12 : Number 090

Tuesday, February 10 2004

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2004 10:00:45 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Re: S'char for a BT vs. FFB

On 8 Feb 2004 at 19:41, Kenneth G Miller wrote:
> My b'chor challenged all of the above. His point is that the BT has a
> clear understanding of right and wrong, and has deliberately chosen to
> keep the Torah. He has defeated his yetzer hara for these things. The
> FFB should therefore get more s'char than the BT, because the FFB has
> to keep fighting his yetzer hara.

It's much harder to fight a yetzer hara for something in which you 
have been nichshal in the past. Once you've tasted/felt something and 
know how good it feels, it's much harder to avoid tasting/feeling it 
again. I think that's why the Rambam says that perfect tshuva is 
being confronted by the exact same situation again and not sinning. 
You already know the result of the bad action and the hana'a you got 
from it. That makes resistance much harder. 

 -- Carl

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

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Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 03:54:26 EST
From: Phyllostac@aol.com
is tu biShevat the time to daven for a good esrog ?

This past Shabbos I went to visit some friends and davened with
them. After the davening, the Rav there said some words of Torah and
since Shabbos was tu biShevat he mentioned some things related to that
day, including that the 'Benei Yisoschor' (a famous Hassidic work) says
that on tu BiShevat a person should daven for a good esrog for Sukkos.

I had trouble understanding that (and have had for some time), because,
IIRC, the mishnah in maseches Rosh Hashonoh says that Atzeres (Shavuos)
is the Rosh Hashonoh (yom hadin) for peiros ho'ilan (fruit of trees)
(the mishnah there later mentions tu biShevat only re a discussion for
the cut-off line for such fruit leinyan maaser). So licheora, if there
is a time to daven for a good esrog (if such an idea is proper at all -
e.g., IIRC, the Rav said something like that the Ramba"m might not hold
of the idea), it should be on Shavuos - not tu biShevat (leaving aside
the question of if such a tefillah would be proper on Shabbos, on which
tu biShevat fell this year).

Any teirutzim re the above ?


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Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2004 10:08:05 -0500
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
S'char for a BT vs. FFB

> My b'chor challenged all of the above. His point is that the BT has a
> clear understanding of right and wrong, and has deliberately chosen to
> keep the Torah. He has defeated his yetzer hara for these things. The
> FFB should therefore get more s'char than the BT, because the FFB has
> to keep fighting his yetzer hara.

I don't think that this is reality although the is a nice story about
a BT who said that to some yeshiva Bokhurim in Yerushalaim. The fact
is that all of us are tested at all times and there is no such thing as
defeating the Yetser Hora. I share a nice story with all:

A Rebbi once said that when one stands in Tefilah one should feel like
see the Yetser standing in front of him with a sword in his hand, ready
to ake off his head. But, said one chosid, what should I do if I do not
feel that. The Rebbi answered: That's a sign that he already took off
your head.

M. Levin

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Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 15:00:24 -0500
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Re: Sefiros according to REED

[I actually edited rather than moderated this post. RJR's email was
heavy with acronyms even for this forum. The first sentence of the post,
which spells out the deleted acronyms, was ellided.

[He is discussing R MH Luzzato and R' EE Dessler, hereafter RMHL and
REED. I left the acronyms that describe shitos he defines.

[Just to have the acronyms all defined on top, "HD" is hamtakas
hadin. -mi]

Here are some acronyms: [...]
(W) for the weak doctrine of schar va'onesh: that the total of what
happens to a person over his lives and after/between/lives is what he
deserves, and
(S) for the strong doctrine of schar va'onesh: that each thing that
happens to a person is precisely what he deserves.

Also a caveat. I have at best a nodding aquaintance with the opinions
of RMHL&REED, and I hope some of the more knowledgeable people on
the list will correct me when I go wrong. My impression is that REED
invariably accepted RMHL's opinions.

IIUC most rishonim, including most rishonim who were mekubbalim,
accepted (W) but not (S), but RMHL&REED accepted (S). According to RMHL
the sefiros &cet. are primarily the means by which (S) is accomplished.
Now sefiros exist in the world, but they also exist in the human soul.
How are we to understand them there? What is the relationship of the
sefiros and the human soul?

RMB offers two possible solutions:

<<I noticed two different ways of relating the sefiros that are qochos
sheba'alom to the sefiros as descriptions of the self and of our own
middos (as in Tomer Devorah):

1- Flowing downward: We are made betzelem E-lokim. "E-lokim" is the sheim
that denotes "the Master of all the forces". Therefore that tzelem will
contain the sefiros.

2- Projecting upward: We are comprised of these 10 sephiros. Through
each of these "lenses" we see a different perception of Hashem's actions,
therefore we see those actions as being similarly divided.

REED seems to be saying the latter.>>

In response to my query he emphasised that these are mutually exclusive
<<They're different causal streams. Approach #1 is that THE sefiros are
logically prior to the sefiros qua middos within the person. Approach
#2 makes the middos logically prior.
But then I realized it wouldn't work. #1 also implies that THE sefiros
have real existance. #2 says they're perceptions, and exist only in the
eyes of their beholders.>>

I think that in the passages in which RMB understands REED to be
describing #2, really he is describing a procedure known in certain
circles as hamtakas hadinim (henceforth HD). Here's an example. According
to RMHL the reason God created the world was to offer the good of olam
haba to us. Human nature, however, much prefers earned rewards to
unearned rewards (as the sage said "mesuka shnas haoved"). As a result
God gave us lots of rules and regulations to follow so we could imagine
that we actually deserve our reward. So that really all the slings and
arrows of outrageous fortune are tools by which God means to benefit us.

This is the procedure known as HD - looking at a wider context to realize
that din is motivated by hesed. Especially according to RMHL&REED,
who believe (S) [acronyms getting you down? Think of it as a chance to
practice HD!] every bit of pain is a divine punishment, and is directly
caused by a form of din, but indirectly, in the greater scheme of things,
it is part of a plot motivated by hesed.

So that RMB is incorrect in saying that "#2 says they're perceptions".
Instead #2 says that ascription of a phenomenon to a particular sefira
depends on context, and one can change the ascription by widening the

Incidentally I wonder if Rabbi B, who is a staunch Desslerian, had this
in mind when he said that sefiros exist only conceptually. He may have
meant in the greater scheme of things, in which the whole purpose of
the world is to enable hesed, sefiros are no more than a tool to that end.

David Riceman

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Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 16:45:28 -0500 (EST)
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Halachos of the "Kosher Lamp"

I received an email from Rabbi Shmuel Veffer (CC-ed) asking if we would
help advertise his "KosherLamp" on AishDas's web site. While my first
inclination is to help another Jew's parnasah, I couldn't see opening
the floodgates to commercial links.

However, the KosherLamp see <http://www.kosherlamp.com/> poses some
interesting questions we might want to discuss here. (The fact that doing
so satisfies my instinctive reaction is merely a plus.) The basic notion
is that the shade and the lamp itself need to be lined up in order for
light to come out. Rotate it, and the windows don't line up -- no/little
light escapes. (But it is designed so that heat still does.)

RSV has haskamos attesting that the shade is a separate keli and therefore
not muqtza. And a pretty clear pesaq in Shemiras Shabbos keHilchasah
(13:41b) that this is true.

I don't understand why. The two are physically attached, chibram hayotzeir
mitechilah. For neir Shabbos they'd be one keli. No?


Micha Berger             You will never "find" time for anything.
micha@aishdas.org        If you want time, you must make it.
http://www.aishdas.org                     - Charles Buxton
Fax: (413) 403-9905

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Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2004 09:53:36 -0500
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
parshas hamon/red bendel

as for the red bendel see the tosefta in shabbos 7:1 who lists this
practice as darchei haemorei.

As I recall, there is a girsa there ein bo mishum darkei hoamori. I
think that it is brought by Birckei Yosef but can't check at this moment.

M. Levin

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Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2004 10:01:52 -0500
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com

Rabbi JR:
> In R' Schwab on Prayer(P358) he states "However, when Mashiach comes,the
> Shas and other printed sefarim will be relegated to museums, and the
> original-and ideal-system of learning TSBP will be reinstituted. For
> now, Torah learning from written sefarim is only a temporary measure,
> a marker, to stay the course, and keep us familiar with the Torah, until
> Bias Hamashiach, when the ideal way of learning be'al paeh, orally,
> will be reinstituted"

> Anyone know sources for this opinion? How does this comport with the Gm
> saying (San 99a) only difference will be lack of shibud malchiyot (does
> this mean we'll all be learning in Kollel all day and other nations will
> support us?) Why is it so clear that there will not be a time prior to
> mashiach that the eit laasot will disappear? Lishitato will the museum
> copies be sealed and the oral transmission start from there or will all
> written psakim be "ignored"? etc.

I think that the issue here is the role of Ruach Hakodesh in Torah study
and the relation of it to Nevuah. As the Netsiv explains at length in
the Intro to Sheiltos and many places in Chumash, there ahve always
been 2 ways of study, one based on Ruach Hakodesh and the other on
Pilpul. These are variously exemplified by Aharon/Moshe, Yosef/Yehuda,
Shaul/Dovid/Ertes Ysroel/Bavel, Geonim/Rishonim.

After the Moshiach comes and Ruach Hakodesh is re-established, surely
there will have to be a change in how we learn.

M. Levin

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Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2004 10:45:17 -0500
From: Mlevinmd@aol.com
Re: Midrash and Method

> In Avodah V12 #88 dated 2/6/04, From: Micha Berger
>> AishDas is proud to be hosting a new email list by Rav Meir Levin titled
>> "Midrash and Method". Here's an excerpt from the introduction (complete text
>> at :
>>     Our approach will be as follows. We will present the verse or passage
>>     along with its Midrashic comment....
>>    You can get a taste of the material by looking at this week's issue,
>>    below.

> You MUST read Simi Peters' book if you have not already done so.
> It's called *Learning to Read Midrash* and it is just brilliant.

> To see what it looks like and get an idea what it's about go to her
> publisher's website and have a look. It is NOT a collection of medrashim,
> but more like an instruction book for how to read a medrash.

ML comments:I wholeheartedly agree. I am now reading this book and have
gained a great deal from it. It is a real contribution and in addition
is lucidly arranged,reasoned and presented. It should be required reading
for those interested in Midrash.

My site, however, is differently focused. I independently developed
a somewhat different methodology and focus more on earlier and more
exegetical midrashim. I am somewhat more interested in relating midrash
to interpretation and in showing how they relate to omek hapshat; also,
I tend to see theological issues as more central. In other words, there
are issues that require interpretation; theology then often determines
what this interpretation will be. In this way we dip into the entire range
of hashkafa, philosophy and musar and relate it to the interpretative
problem. In addition, Ms. Peters masterfully expounds the midrash itself,
while I try to bring it in consonance with the bigger picture and the
entire range of Jewish knowledge. That is one reason why she uses mostly
Midrash Rabba while I tend to more basic Tannaitic midrashim.

An example in point is the interpretation of the story of Avrom destroying
the idols. Ms. Peters does a great job with interpreting this story. I
I taught it differently last week with a focus on the question of
why Avrom was elected.The underlying issue is whether election is is
based on being good and doing good or some kind of grace. There is no
description of what Avrom did to deserve being commanded, although there
are clues. The Midrash strongly favors the basic Jewish interpretations-
the former one. That is a gap in the chumash which this story fills. There
are two ways the story can be read. One as Avrom rebelling against
the social organization of his time, the tyranny of man over man as
represented by Nimrod in the story and enshrined in a pantheon of gods
who rule by might. Ms. Peters made this point in her book. However,
another way is to see Avrom as questioning the perception of hefkeirus
that this social organization defends against. The underlying question
then is the existence of the Supreme Ruler and who runs the world. In
fact, that is how the Rambam in 1st chapter of AZ appears to interpet
this story. Both are incipient in the midrah in the beginning of Lech
Lecha as two interpretations of the word dolekes (lit up or burning -
palace). Ms. Peters also points out these two interretations.

Again, I recommend Learning to Read Midrash as an excellent high quality
work that everyone should read.

M. Levin

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Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 16:19:52 -0600 (CST)
From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>
Re: kol isha al hayam?

I don't even understand the question. Where in the Torah does it say that
Miriam sang? See, particularly, Targum Onkelos on the passuk.

Gil Student

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Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 16:24:22 -0600 (CST)
From: "Gil Student" <gil@aishdas.org>
Re: some thoughts on Shiras HaYam

Steve Brizel wrote:
>1) Why were Klal Yisrael scared and frightened
>at the Yam Suf?

In Mesukim MiDevash on Beshalach (www.aishdas.org/mesukim), I suggested
that it was the gilu'iy shechinah at Yam Suf (you know, the whole
maidservant vs. Yechezkel comparison) elevated Bnei Yisrael to a high
level of Yiras HaRomimus.

Gil Student

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Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 00:29:18 +0200
From: D & E-H Bannett <dbnet@zahav.net.il>
Back to Yissakhar

Some time ago, I put aside what you had written in the Avodah list with 
plan to answer liksheyarchiv. As my unanswered mail is getting clogged 
up, I am sof-sof allowing myself a short comment.  

First, Yitzhaki is absolutely correct. There is absolutely no reliable 
source for Yisasekhar. IIRC, Sefer Hachilufim of Mishael ben Uziel 
gives ben Asher's reading as Yissakhar with the first "sin" having a 
dagesh and the second without vowel and therefore not pronounced. The 
dagesh that doubles the sin makes the reading yis-sa-khar.  Ben Naftali 
reads it the same but has sh'va nach in first sin and kamatz in the 
second. This is simply a different way of noting the doubling of the 
sin. A third version is that of Moshe Mocha who read yish-sakhar. This, 
of course, fits Leah's explanation of the name, there is a reward.

I believe, again IIRC, it was Hai Gaon who reversed the pronunciations 
of ben Naftali and Moshe Mocha and gives the shin to benNaftali and the 
sin to MosheM. There is no other pronunciation mentioned by the ba'alei 
mesorah and the later ones all accept ben Asher's nikkud as standard

All of the numerous chilufin listed in Sefer Hahilufin are on fine 
points such as shva na' or nach, mileil milra', meteg here or meteg 
there, or no meteg. There is no case of drastic change in pronunciation 
for the simple reason that our ancestors were very careful in reading 
the Torah and had strong traditions of correct pronunciation. It 
appears they were even more strict on pronunciation than on spelling.

Yisasekhar sounds so different from the correct reading that it just 
couldn't have been an alternative opinion. It seems to have come about 
in later lists of chilufin when somebody switched the nikkud under the 
two sins of ben Naftali. It is interesting that the first source I know 
of with that aberration is from the Karaim. This doesn't mean the 
Karaim were less careful in reading the Torah. Not having a TSBP, they 
had more time to spend on the Torah."Interesting" is all I said.

This untenable pronunciation has spread lately and davka in the 
misnaged yeshivish world. No edah except for some Ashkenazim have it. 
It started though in about 1700 as the result of a cute vort someone 
dreamed up.  Yissakhar's son, called Yov in Breishis  47, is called 
Yashuv in Bamidbar 26. Why? Well, when arriving in Egypt Yissakhar 
discovered that Yov was the name of an Egyptian god.  It didn't seem 
nice that a good Jewish boy's name should have such connotation. So 
Yissakhar changed his son's name to Yashuv. Oh, but how could he do 
that? Where did he get the shin to add to his son's name?  Simple, He 
took one of the two shins from his own name. And since then, according 
to people who ignore the dagesh or don't know what it is, or don't want 
to let such grammatical issues  influence them, the father's name was 

But when his mother named him, in Breishit, he still had both shins. As 
no chumash supplied a nikkud to justify two Yissakhar pronunciations 
and all the mesorot state that the pronunciation is the same in the 
entire Torah all that was necessary was a "talmid chokhom" to find the 
incorrect reversed nikkud for ben Naftali (or is it Moshe Mocha, as per 
Hai Gaon) and make it a new reading invention for Breishit or until we 
entered Mitzraim.

When this cute story began to make a change in the masoretic reading in 
certain circles, all ba'alei mesorah condemned it.  RVH points out the 
correct uniform pronunciation attested by all the ancients. R' Shlomo 
Dubna calls it a reading of the "hamonim" which is a polite way of 
saying ignoramuses.  R' Shlomo Netter in his mesorah  says "Yissakhar 
all over and here too. 

For two hundred years or so, owing to the beauty or cuteness of the 
story, the aberration hung around on the outskirts without spreading. 
But in the last generation, as the black hat, previously non-existent 
in the Litvishe yeshiva (see R' Seth's works), developed into Torah 
Missinai it was accompanied by the appearance of other non-masoretic 
doubled Torah readings from zeikher/zekher to Mochlas/Machlas, 
yohalom/yahalom etc. And, as mentioned before in the Mesorah list,the 
way it is going, it won't be long before we'll be reading each word of 
the sedra twice, or more, to cover the "sefeikot" and be "yotzei kol 

The number of words in the Chumash where the ancients had more than one 
opinion as to pronunciation is very small. Further the differences were 
very small. Yissakhar had three forms of writing and two of 
pronunciation. None of the three is Yisasekhar.  The only word I 
remember with four different pronunciations is "vayetei" in V'zot 
Hab'rakha. That is something I thought of writing about to the Mesorah 
list but didn't get around to. Maybe for next Simchat Torah.

And back to Yisskahar: How a cute "d'var Torah" could cause Jews to 
change a clearly attested correct reading of the Torah unchanged for at 
least two thousand years to a clearly incorrect one is beyond my 

And should you plan to lein this coming Shabbos, and with ta'am elyon 
as I do, I suggest you read first R' Mordekhai Breuer's reconstruction 
of the comedy of errors that mixed up and distorted the  two sets of 
t'amim while losing their purpose. Sorry, slight correction: The mix up 
applies also to those who read ta'am tachton - which I don't do.

Did I write, above,  "a short comment"?   Obviously, I was wrong.


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Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2004 17:43:31 -0500
From: Mendel Singer <mes12@po.cwru.edu>
Re: New teshuva against murex trunculus tekhelet

[R Elly Bachrach:]
>Mendel Singer wrote:
>> Rav Shlomo Miller, Shlit"a, of Toronto, recently wrote a teshuva
>> concerning murex tekhelet. His opinion is that murex trunculus could
>> not be the chilazon, and that people should *davka* not wear it.
>> <http://www.chilazon.com/Rav_Miller_letter_Acrobat_V4.pdf>

>If I am reading it correctly, there is an incorrect word in the 4th line
>of the paragraph beginning u'v'ikar svaras haGraCh... -- the word
>l'chumra should be l'kula.

You are correct. The typed copy I was given had at least 2 errors, one of 
no consequence and the other as you say. This was noticed on Sunday at 
which time I corrected the document (not easy since I had a scanned copy) 
and posted it. The current version is corrected.


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Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 15:02:45 -0800 (PST)
From: Warren Cinamon <wcinamon@yahoo.com>

The followoing appears in a footnote (which follows the statement
regarding parshas hamon) in the chavel edition of the rabbenu bachaii
(page 148 note 57): "batur orach chayim 1: vetov lomar parshas
hamon. upireish beprishah: beyerushalmi deberachos ita: kol haomer
parshas hamon bechol yom muvtach lo shelo yismaatu mezonosav. - vechipasti
hamaamar beyerushalmi sham Velo misativ."

the same "yerushalmi" is quoted by tashbetz katan #256 and in mishna
berura siman alef s"k 13 - please let me know if you find this yerushalmi
- i'd like to see the meforshim there warren

I tried searching the Bar Ilan cd-rom for that yerushalmi - no luck -
this out - maybe the mareh makom has been corrected/ changed - PLEASE
let me know.


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Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 20:18:16 -0500
From: "Russell Levy" <russlevy@rogers.com>
Re: Direction of Tefillah

>And my question was why does the gemara rely on calculation and relying
>on pi and the square-root of 2 altogether?...
>Given such a ruler, we can disringuish quite clearly between two of the
>shitos in Mes Succah with less ambiguity than the form actually used.
>...Again, why do algebra to figure out the length when you can
>construct it geometrically without needing to approximate the number of
>amos in the diameter or circumferance.

It's no question that using geometry instead of algebra you would attain
a more accurate result.

However, I just don't think the gemara is caring about accuracy here,
and in many calculations, the goal is not to get an accurate number, but
to get a number that is somewhat right. They have a proof from TaNaCH that
this is not a problem (Divrei Hayamim) to do, so in order to make things
easier for your average Jew, for whom it will be able to add a number
to itself twice (and for that they can even use objects just a someone
in gr. 1 would) than it would be to do geometrical constructions. Here
in Canada, you have to learn geometry and how to construct different
shapes. My siblings (since I am not close to being old enough to having
children that age) experienced much more difficulty in the geometry
units compared to the algebra units.

I would compare this to another set of halachot where there is an inherent
contradiction in the way we pasken.

I think this is somewhat analogous on the two solar calendars we use:
that of Rav Ada (365 days, 5:55:25), and that of Shmuel (365 days, 6
hours). Rav Ada's is closer to the current scientific estimation of 365
days, 5:48:46. We use Rav Ada, the more technical way, for you're the
calendar, and Shmuel for the halachot based on the solar year (Birkat
HaChamah, v'ten tal). Rav Ada, even though it's more accurate, it's a
lot harder to figure out exactly when the 28 year cycle repeats when you
have these stray minutes every year. However, it means that time we use
for the Birkat HaChamah or v'ten tal is not exactly when it should be,
according to the more accurate gemara math.

I postulate that the calendar is given over to Beit Din, which is assumed
to be able to do difficult calculations, while Birkat HaChamah and v'ten
tal are for the individual.

With v'ten tal, it seems, at least according to the Mishnah Brurah,
we start to say it only when the community says it, not based on any
calendrical event. It /happens/ that we start it 60 days after tkufat
shmuel, but that's because that's what the community does. Where do I
see this? The MB mentions what happens if on Friday night, Dec. 4, you
are in the middle of shmoneh esreh and you realize that you are davening
for chol on shabbos. Of course, you finish the brachah and go to the next
one. But what do you do when you are in the middle of "Barech"--do you say
v'ten brachah (like the day before), or do you switch over? He says not to
switch over, because that's not what the community is saying anymore. It's
a communal thing, whatever people are doing, you do. Not something to be
looked up in the back of the Tur, but set by the people around you. And I
would say that this is different from the Beit Din setting the calendar
(who chooses the minhagim for a shul, the rabbi or the congregants? And
who makes the city eruv, or the city techum?) And Birkat HaChamah is not
a public blessing, it's for every individual to make themselves. So in
these two cases, since it's not given over to the chachamim, we use the
less accurate measurement to make things easier for us. And I would say
it is the same for a sukkah. But techumin (as per rashi on Eruvin 58b
on the mishnah), only the experts are to do it, not just anyone.

So basically, sometimes it's ok to approximate (if it's for the general
public), other times we have to be accurate (when it's to be done by
those who know how to be accurate).

>It's only if the 4x4 shi'ur is taken to be an area that one can't rely on
>construction, and must rely on calculation and therefore on estimation.
>There is no way to "square the circle" as it's put.

It is clear from the gemara, that no matter what we would say that R'
Yochanan holds, that the explanations when dealing with PI are based
on perimeter.


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Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 23:03:41 -0500
From: "Ilana Sober" <sober@pathcom.com>
parshas hamon seguloh

<<<SBA: However there is a Chazal [IIRC] that one who says Parshas Hamon
daily is assured of he will not lack parnoso.>>>

Eizehu ashir - hasameach bechelko. Poverty is to some extent an objective
condition, and can threaten life and health. But it also has a subjective
component. There are families of b'nai Torah who live in cramped conditions
without luxuries, below the poverty line, but don't view themselves poor.

To the extent that poverty is subjective, perhaps focusing on parshas hamon,
and developing the midah of bitachon, can help us feel that our parnassah is
sufficient. Conversely, without this midah we may feel a lack of parnassah
even if we make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Possible reading of Tehillim 34:11, v'dorshei H' lo yachs'ru kol tov. The
key word is chaser - a sense of lack. In other words, the perception of a
discrepancy between what one ought to have and what one actually has. To the
extent that we can become dorshei H', aware that only HKBH provides our
parnassah (a revealed reality with the mon, a hidden reality now), we will
not perceive such a discrepancy and will not experience chisaron.

It goes without saying that the above applies from the perspective of the
one earning the parnassah, and not from the perspective of someone in a
position to give tzedakah.

 - Ilana

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Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 09:42:04 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>

On 9 Feb 2004 at 15:02, Warren Cinamon wrote:
> The followoing appears in a footnote (which follows the statement
> regarding parshas hamon) in the chavel edition of the rabbenu bachaii
> (page 148 note 57): "batur orach chayim 1: vetov lomar parshas hamon.
> upireish beprishah: beyerushalmi deberachos ita: kol haomer parshas
> hamon bechol yom muvtach lo shelo yismaatu mezonosav. - vechipasti
> hamaamar beyerushalmi sham Velo misativ."

> the same "yerushalmi" is quoted by tashbetz katan #256 and in mishna
> berura siman alef s"k 13 - please let me know if you find this
> yerushalmi - i'd like to see the meforshim there warren

I have the Machon Yerushalayim Tur.

The Prisha cites the Yerushalmi. The footnote to the Prisha says that
it's also brought by the Tashbetz and then adds "v'kasav sham b'hagahos
haRav Yerucham Perlowe she'ba'Yerushalmi she'li'foneinu lo nimtza."

Could it be that the only source is the Riminover and that only applies
to Tuesday of Parshas B'Shalach? Maybe that would explain the Gra not
including it in the siddur?

-- Carl

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

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Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 00:55:48 -0500
From: "Jonathan S. Ostroff" <jonathan@yorku.ca>
RE: New teshuva against murex trunculus tekhelet

Rabbi Yosef Gavriel  Bechhofer wrote:
> I fail to understand how the chemical similarity between techeles from
> murex trunculus and the kaleh ilan dye from plant sources makes m.
> trunculus = kaleh ilan. This is very sizable lomdishe leap that Rabbi
> Miller - great talmid chochom as he is, and he certainly does not need
> my haskomo (on the contrary, I have one on my eruvin book from him!) -
> is making, and I do not understand how it can be made unless one assumes
> that Chazal classified the dye of kaleh ilan on the basis of chemical
> analysis. There does not seem to be any basis for this assumption.

Assuming you are addressing the first point in the Teshuva, I don't quite
see your point. I provide below a bit of an over-simplified outline of
the issues at stake [I can qualify more carefully if future discussion
warrants it].

The Gemora states there is a bedika, i.e. (a) real-techeilis passes, and
(b) the fake techeilis kala-illan fails the test. This bedika is quoted
lehalacha in the poskim.

Ptil would like to use the bedika as proof that the murex is the chilazon.

Ptil argue that their murex passes the test [i.e. they have (a)]. This,
they argue, is proof that they have the right candidate. Unfortunately
for them, indigo [indentified as kala-ilan] also passes the test, as
they construe it. Thus they do *not* have (b).

A simple reading of the situation is that Ptil's bedika is not that of
the Gemora. This is not just an academic problem. A correct test should
cause kala-ilan [indigo?] to fail [(b)]. If we did not get the test right,
then we cannot claim that we have passed "the test".

Amazingly, Ptil argue the complete opposite. They argue that the murex
passes the test with flying colours, and their lack of (b) is an "academic
problem". Mendel Singer in the Journal of Contemporary Halacha shows,
in a discussion with Baruch Sterman, why the Ptil position is untenable
[articles available at www.chilazon.com].

Given that the murex does not satisfy the bedika [i.e. both (a) and
(b)], the Teshuva argues that the murex cannot (at least so far) claim
to satisfy this identifying requirement, and the attempted resolutions
are belo taam ve-reiach.

In addition, Ptil correctly state that the murex-techeilis is molecularly
equivalent to the fake techeilis (indigo). This makes it hard to
understand how any test could be devised to test the difference [never
mind the test of the Gemora]. For example, a chemical engineer here in
Toronto checked murex samples with a gas chromatograph equipped with
an ion mobility spectrometer (please don't ask me to explain :-). One
of the Ptil scientific consultants had suggested that the murex would
be distingushed from indigo (kala-ilan) by having traces of bromine,
which initially gives the murex dye a purple colour. This test and
others found no such traces -- murex-techeilis still equals indigo and
only indigo. Rabbi Miller's question is not a "lomdishe leap" nor does
he claim that Chazal used gas chromatograph tests. It's just a simple
question that at this time has no compelling answer -- how will the
murex ever get to pass any distinguishing test?

With kind regards ... Jonathan

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Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 16:46:02 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: New teshuva against murex trunculus tekhelet

On Sun, Feb 08, 2004 at 11:18:23AM -0500, Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer wrote:
: I fail to understand how the chemical similarity between techeles from
: murex trunculus and the kaleh ilan dye from plant sources makes m.
: trunculus = kaleh ilan. This is very sizable lomdishe leap that Rabbi
: Miller ...

Nor is it true chemically. Yes, the dye is the same. But the dye isn't
purified. The same dye made from a plant will contain a different set of
contaminants than when made from a snail. I therefore didn't understand
R' Miller's first major objection.

On Tue, Feb 10, 2004 at 12:55:48AM -0500, Jonathan S. Ostroff wrote:
: The Gemora states there is a bedika, i.e. (a) real-techeilis passes, and
: (b) the fake techeilis kala-illan fails the test. This bedika is quoted
: lehalacha in the poskim.

: Ptil would like to use the bedika as proof that the murex is the chilazon.

I agree that their bediqah simply can't be chazal's, as it is inconsistant
with (b). They're wrong on this one. But that's no proof that the
murex-based dye would not pass the the real test, whatever it is. This
proves they are overzealous, not wrong.

: Given that the murex does not satisfy the bedika [i.e. both (a) and
: (b)]...

This isn't true. We have never performed the bedikah, as we don't have
a test which fits the words and kaleh ilan fails. Presumably the real
test could hecks for snail impurities, or the total absense of indigo plant

I also didn't follow R' Miller's second objection. Totally lost. He points
out that murex dye requires hasaras arlah min hachai or netilas neshamah,
but the gemara says that de'Oraisa it could be done on Shabbos. Then
he brings the gemara's answer of why it's muar *despite* netilas
hashamah. IOW, a point of similarity in metzi'us, not a difference. Which
lead me to wonder why R' Miller assumed a different in din.

His 3rd objection involves the belief that murex dye can be extracted
even 2 hours after misah, wheares techeiles can only be extracted bishe'as
misah. IIRC, the amutah asserts that in fact the dye is /not/ usable
if extracted from a dead snail. (And the snail can't live through the

Back to RYGB:
: It is not clear to me why those who do not hold m. trunculus to be valid
: techeles simply say that there is no need for them to wear it - and, of
: course, they are right about that. Why not leave those who do wear it do
: so in peace? ...

This is a consequence of his identification of murex trunculus with
kaleh ilan. There IS a mesorah to bedavka not wear kaleh ilan.

Also, li nir'eh if one holds like the Rambam that the lavan strings must
be the color of the beged even bedi'eved, one could argue that safeiq
techeiles might be destroying the lavan. Lulei demitztafina hayisi omer
that the extra strings to round out the number 8 when techeiles isn't
worn don't have a din techeiles. Or, that as Ashkenazim, it's okay
to be meiqil like Tosafos. (But if one appeals to Tosafos = Ashkeaz,
one should wear 4 blue and 4 white.) Or maybe one should wear a beged
shekulo techeiles or at least that color, and avoid the machloqes.

And last, R' Miller is advising one not involve in the safeiq de'Oraisa
(because of the Grach) as it leads to safeiq bal tosif as well. This
bal tosif issue was also over my head:

1- We often have to choose between being meqayem the mitzvah according
to this rishon or that where following both is not a possibility. We
don't build all balcony doors so that they are patur mimezuzah (to use
RYGB's example in <http://www.aishdas.org/rygb/eilu.htm>).

2- Why would having two rather than 1 blue string necessarily be bal
tosif? Having more than minimum shi'ur isn't. This is a general question
-- which excesses are bal tosif, and which are okay?


Micha Berger             Until he extends the circle of his compassion
micha@aishdas.org        to all living things,
http://www.aishdas.org   man will not himself find peace.
Fax: (413) 403-9905                        - Albert Schweitzer

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