Avodah Mailing List

Volume 14 : Number 111

Thursday, April 7 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2005 22:03:02 -0700 (PDT)
From: "a. adereth" <adereth2003@yahoo.com>
RE: Bracha for t'vila

It would follow from the analysis, below, that a postmenopausal woman
not make a brocha on t'vila, and that if a couple is for any reason using
a reliable method of birth control, the woman would not say a brocha.

I think the brocha is on the t'vila itself, not on "enabling" pirya
v'rivya. Mitzvas onah is on the man too, and a woman could as easily
make the bracha on enabling onah even without pirya v'rivya.

From: Chana Luntz <chana@KolSassoon.org.uk>:
> Now extrapolating from this to your question - it would seem to me that
> if you hold tevila b'zmana mitzvah with the consequence as discussed
> by the various commentaries on opening the mikvah on Tisha B'Av etc,
> then you would also require a brocha for a single woman, and presumably
> for a man who went at the time required, but if you hold that tevila
> b'zmana in general is not a mitvah, then it alters its nature to only
> become a mitzvah if it then enables something - presumably in the times
> of gemora, being osek b'taharos, or korbanos etc, and today, being osek
> in priya v'rivya.

I think your formulation here is incorrect : "then it alters its nature
to only become a mitzvah if it then enables something." I don't think
the SA is implying that t'vila b'zmana per se becomes a mitzva if it
enables pirya v'rivya. The implication is that t'vila is a mitzva, and
separately, given that pirya v'rivya is a mitzva, there is bitul mitzva
involved in any delay. So there's no implication that the t'vila is only
a mitzva requiring a bracha if it enables something; the only implication
is that potential delay may be more acceptable if it doesn't involve a
bitul mitzva asey.


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Date: Wed, 06 Apr 2005 00:47:23 -0400
From: Noah Witty <nwitty@optonline.net>

I write to correct my own statement and to apologize to RS PUltman for
alleging misattribution:

I wrote--incorrectly:
"Finally, I have also heard it said that Rav Aharon Kotler zt"l told
RMF never to permit an eiruv in Manhattan or Queens.."

In the above statement, "Queens" should be "Brooklyn."

Yiyashar kochakhem to RSPultman and RMBerger for major 'iyun in the
sugya and in RMF's yeshuvos and for what looks like a fine start for
being matir eiruvin in both Brooklyn and Queens--even according to RMF!
Perhaps let's (meaning you guys) could put this in loshon kodesh and
drop it over the Jewish population centers.

Noach Witty

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Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 10:49:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: shmuel pultman <spultman@yahoo.com>
RE: Zohar

On Mon, 04 Apr 2005 09:26:47 Joel Rich wrote:
> IIRC we've discussed the halachik theory that a rishon whose sefer
> disappeared and later rediscovered had been left out of the flow
> of halacha and could not be relied upon to change the halacha/mihag
> kavua even though had he been in the flow, later authorities might
> well have followed him. According to thus approach, Why didn't later
> poskim/minhagists ignore the Zohar (which IIUC is tyhe work of a single
> tanna which was "lost" for centuries from the halachik process)?

The Kamarna Rebbe in Zohar Chai p. 40 writes that the Zohar was
transmitted through the Geonim and Reshonim and that even Rambam and
Rashi had access to it. In which case, according to him, the Zohar was
included in the flow of halacha. There is an interesting passage in the
Shulchan Aruch HaRav, vol. 1 p. 368 concerning how to pasken when there
is a machlokas between nigleh and nistar. See also Tur Brekes, siman 493.

Shmuel Pultman

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Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 14:06:05 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: zohar

On Mon, Apr 04, 2005 at 03:30:47PM -0400, Rich, Joel wrote:
: I don't know of any off hand-I remember being told that the GRA said
: that all but X (4?) seeming contradictions between the zohar and nigleh
: could be resolved. I'm sure someone must have studied this issue

I heard that X=1, but in any case...

Not every contradiction is one in halakhah, and not every contradiction
is one in masqanah. If a tanna is quoted in contradictory positions
between a beraisa, tosefta, mishnah or medrash halakhah and the Zohar,
wouldn't that too be an unrevolved contradiction? And yet, no nafqa mina
unless we hold like that tanna.

And, no assignment of more-than-rishonic authority to the Zohar unless
in that X case(s) we do hold like the Zohar over the nigleh source.

: There are a number of minhagim that are ascribed to it-one we discussed
: was the use of a ring for a wedding. Since this was a nonJewish custom,
: we seem to be relying on the Zohar to keep it from being chukat haakum.

In order not to be chuqat haaku"m, one needs to show that the minhag is
really ours. That's not quoting the Zohar as a halachic source as much
as using it to demonstrate (as evidence) that there is a Jewish source.

Lehavdil, if you could quote Josephus to prove that some practice has
Jewish roots, it wouldn't be chuqas haaku"m either.

: Didn't you mention tfillin on chol hamoed as an example where many were
: machria based on the zohar?

I can't answer. My ancestors chose to hold like the gemara, perhaps for
this very reason! I would suggest looking at RSP's list of meqoros for
how chassidim deal with the issue. (And then report back to those of
us who are too lazy to look ourselves.

Speaking of R' Shmuel Pultman, he wrote:
> The Kamarna Rebbe in Zohar Chai p. 40 writes that the Zohar was
> transmitted through the Geonim and Reshonim and that even Rambam and
> Rashi had access to it...

I really find it hard to believe that Rav Saadia Gaon knew of the begining
of the Zohar on Mishpatim, the keta on gilgulim. His condemnation of
what ibn Tibon translates to "haatakah" centers on it not having any
hint of a mesorah and coming from AZ (EvD 6:2).

(Long timers might remember my theological experiment on eilu va'eilu. My
copies of Seifer haGilgulim and Emunos veDei'os are still side by side,
and of the time of this writing, it didn't cause the universe to implode
or anything. 7 or 8 years and counting.

(Joys of being moderator. This post and RSP's are in queue. I'm editing
this one to reply to a post I didn't send though to the list yet. A perk
of the job.)


Micha Berger             A pious Jew is not one who worries about his fellow
micha@aishdas.org        man's soul and his own stomach; a pious Jew worries
http://www.aishdas.org   about his own soul and his fellow man's stomach.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                       - Rabbi Israel Salanter

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Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 14:19:42 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Grammar in Quotes and in Tephillah

On Tue, Apr 05, 2005 at 02:48:14PM -0400, David Roth wrote:
: What is your source that the GRA said Nachri/Nachria? I know that the
: Rav said Nachri, but this is not what is in Siddur Ezor Eliyahu, which
: is generally considered the most reliable Siddur ha'GRA.

I had an almuna of Machon Gold ask R' Shlomo Tal why this nusach was
used in his Rinat Yisrael siddur. That was the answer.

The comments in Ashirah Lashem about the difference in text in
Yedid Nefesh are also from RST. The version found in earliest
manuscripts is that used in RY and AL. Aside from avoiding
theologically questionable gramnmatical errors.


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Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 14:45:51 -0400
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com>
RE: zohar

From: Micha Berger [mailto:micha@aishdas.org] 
>: There are a number of minhagim that are ascribed to it-one we discussed
>: was the use of a ring for a wedding. Since this was a nonJewish custom,
>: we seem to be relying on the Zohar to keep it from being chukat haakum.

> In order not to be chuqat haaku"m, one needs to show that the minhag is
> really ours. That's not quoting the Zohar as a halachic source as much as
> using it to demonstrate (as evidence) that there is a Jewish source.

Interesting chiluk - along the lines of what eliyahu will be able to
be metaretz when he returns(according to some understandings)- IIUC you
might not accept the zohar wrt determining " a halacha" but could accept
it to determine "a halachik result"

Joel Rich

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Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 14:46:22 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Rabbinic eras

From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
> R Jonathan Baker wrote:
>> Even the Aruch HaShulchan, which looks sorta like a code,
>> is more of a series of essays on the development of halacha and its
>> implementation, not an actual code.

> In any case, the same generation produced the MB, which mitigates your
> ability to use the AhS as proof of a reluctance to have codes.

Is the MB a code? I thought it was a commentary, like the Shach or
Taz, but summarizing more discussion. The KSA certainly is, but within
the 130 years or so since it was written, it hasn't been accepted as a
universal code.

   - jon baker    jjbaker@panix.com     <http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker> -

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Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 15:11:33 -0400
From: "Glasner, David" <DGLASNER@ftc.gov>
RE: fallibility of Chazal

Simon Montague wrote:
> On Apr 4, 2005 7:33 PM, Glasner, David <DGLASNER@ftc.gov> wrote:
>> ... aside from the obvious (to me at any rate) fact 
>> that the Rambam explicitly rejects that idea in his psak in Mamrim 2:1,
>> the idea was even more emphatically rejected by the beit din of R.
>> Yehoshua, R. Gamliel and R. Akiva, who rejected a bat kol (a bat kot!)
>> that confirmed that the yeshiva shel ma'alah paskeend in accord with
>> R. Eliezer against their own position. Can you possibly believe that the
>> yerida between the yeshivah shel ma'alah and the beit of R. Yehoshua et
>> al. was a lesser yerida than that between the Tanaim and the Amoraim?

> This seems to me a non sequitur. As I understand the sugya, all the proofs
> brought by R. Eliezer, up to and including the bat kol, are rejected
> as not being part of the halachic process (ein meviin raya min heharuv,
> ein meviin raya me'amat hamayim, etc.), which is an orthogonal issue to
> the relative authority of batei din of different periods. If R. Eliezer
> had said "Shama'ti mipi R. Yohanan Ben Zakkai rabi sheshama mirabo...",
> it would have been a different ball game.

I believe that if you go back and reread the discussion you will
see that my comment was not a non-sequitur. Simcha Coffer is arguing,
based on the position of the Chazon Ish, that the Amoraim accepted upon
themselves not to argue against a contrary Tanaitic opinion, because
the Amoraim recognized how much greater the Tanaim were than they.
The problem is that the Rambam paskens (Mamrim 2:1) that when it comes
to deciding what the halakhah is mei-ikar ha-din d'oraita a later beit
din ha-gadol of inferior stature to its predecessor may nevertheless
uproot the psak of its predecessor. So, as the Kesef Mishna asks, how
is it that an Amora can't argue with a tanna. It can't be because of
inferiority because the Rambam has just told us that, when it comes to
paskening mei-ikar ha-din, intergenerational inferiority is irrelevant.
To use your phrase, an assessment of intergenerational relative stature
is not part of the halakhic process, because halakhically Yiftah b'doro
k'Shmuel b'doro. Therefore, the Amoraim had the same right to disregard
the greater stature of the Tannaim that the beit din of R. Yehoshua et
al. had to disregard the bat kol. My question therefore still stands if
it was a matter of relative stature, then surely it was the beit din of
R. Yehoshua that should have backed down in the face of the relatively
greater stature of the yeshiva shel ma'alah rather than the Amoraim
backing down in the face of the Tannaim.

Nor is your point about what R. Eliezer might have said to cause
R. Yehoshua et al. to accept his position relevant to our discussion
because the Tanaim trump Amoraim not because they have an unbroken mesorah
to Sinai. Rather the position of a Tanna trumps that of an Amora even
in cases in which the dispute relates to s'vara. The question remains:
why did the Amoraim defer to the Tannaim when halakhically (according to
Mamrim 2:1) they had as much right to disregard the intergenerational
superiority of the Tannaim as the beit din of R. Yehoshua et al. had
to disregard the proofs brought by R. Eliezer up to and including the
bat kol?

David Glasner

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Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 21:57:19 +0200
From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com>
mechaber vs ramah

In a shiur I go to of R. Zilberstein of BB I asked a question about some
monteary payments a doctor might have to make and since it depended on
a machloket mechaber and Ramah whether it would affect ashkenazi and
sefardi doctors differently.

He answered that the difference between ashkenazi/sefardi and SA/Ramah
applies only to Orach Chaim and YD and not to CM and Even Haezer.

Does everyone agree to that distinction?

Eli Turkel

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Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 22:01:51 +0200
From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com>

> Given that it's possible that in Alexandria there was only one flag,
> r a chain of fewer flags that didn't take tokh kedei dibur to relay,
> ow can this be used as a raayah? The gemara Sukkah 51b speaks only of
> he chazan having a sudar at the bimah, not a relay system.

Again, R. Avraham Yosef assume that even if the shul was a kilometer
long and it took a series of flags that was more than 3-4 seconds delay
it would not change the halacha.

Eli Turkel

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Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 16:10:34 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: alexandria

On Wed, Apr 06, 2005 at 10:01:51PM +0200, Eli Turkel wrote:
: Again, R. Avraham Yosef assume that even if the shul was a kilometer
: long and it took a series of flags that was more than 3-4 seconds delay
: it would not change the halacha.

My point was that it's just that: an assumption, not a raayah.

I therefore don't understand why RAY would bring up the case of Alexandria
altogether. And I'm left wondering what his raayos are.


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Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 18:51:44 +0200
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net>
Cherem, Din Torah, Innocense and Guilt

Recently, I was reading a book on the Litvische Yeshivot - Vollozhin,
Telshe etc. One of the stories that bothered me was about a young man
(teenager) who was called into the Rabbi's office and told that b/c it
was reported that he did XXX -- he was being expelled. Only after this was
the young man asked to defend himself, and even when he did so, the Rabbi
didn't change the verdict until the young man was nearly out the door,
only then did the Rabbi call him and tell him that he recognizes that
he is innocent of what he was accused of and can remain in the Yeshiva.

The impression I'm getting from the history of the current book ban,
others and the above story is that it's almost Lashon Ha'Ra to suppose
that the person bringing forth the damaging evidence could be lying,
or even misinformed. Therefore, as he is telling the truth, (the whole
truth!!!!) the person accused is guilty, even if he is never asked -
and can be punished without further action.

I always thought that this was contra Torah. The talmud praises those who
question the witnesses exhaustively, you need at least 3 to adjucate the
case, and you need experts and a full court case for a Dinei Nefashot case
(like the ban).

In the cases we've been discussing over the past 5 years (various bans)
time and again new evidence appears after the fact; In fact the major
complaint is that the research preceding the judgement (and a ban on books
and calling a Rabbi an Apikorus is no less than a judgement) is lacking in
the extreme, and it was all done without the accused even being present!!!

This is related to court cases of which I've heard from various sources,
where one Dayan in a Herkev (of 3) will approach an ex-parte rabbi,
present the case (obviously from his point of view) and ask for a Psak on
how he should rule as a Dayan. Isn't this also against Halacha where the
Dayanim themselves are supposed to pasken based on what they have before
them, and not according to what ex-parte partially-informed rabbis may
suppose to be the truth? [I'm sure you all know the sources, so I don't
have to repeat them- SLB].

When did "Da'at Torah" replace the halachic rules of Din and Dayanim?
Shouldn't this issue be addressed before further harm is caused?

Shoshana L. Boublil

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Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 22:00:16 GMT
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: Erev Pesach on Shabbat (5765): A Short Guide

In his "What to Do when Erev Pesach Falls on Shabbat (5765): A Short
Guide", which R' Aryeh Frimer posted in Avodah 14:110, we find:

> If bread is used: Make ha-Motzi over two hametz challot AWAY from
> the table. Eat the Challot over a paper towel or hametz plate, collect
> all crumbs and dispose of them by flushing them down the toilet. Wash
> plate in bathroom sink and put it with the hametz dishes. Wash out your
> mouth and hands and continue with your Kasher le-Pesach meal.

This procedure is the same as can be found in just about any of
these Guides, so I hope no one will think that I'm picking on RAF
specifically. Rather, I'm raising a question about this widely-accepted
procedure in general.

It seems to me that every single step in this procedure is overtly
designed to maximize the distinction and separation between the bread
and the rest of the meal.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. But given those
ground rules, I can't help but wonder: Is the other food tafel to the
bread, or maybe it isn't?

Theres a classic case in the beginning of Orach Chaim 177 (for example,
Aruch Hashulchan 177:2) where a person is not really interested in eating
the bread, but does so in order to avoid making brachos on the rest of
the food. Nidon didan goes FAR beyond that, it seems to me, because all
his actions are designed to make sure that the bread and food don't mix.

It is more comparable to dessert, which is not really part of the meal. I
know there are various views about making a bracha on dessert, but in
that case, at least the dessert is eaten at the table. In our case,
the bread isn't even eaten at the table! What connection is there,
by which we can say that the other food is tafel to the bread?

Akiva Miller

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Date: Wed, 06 Apr 2005 22:34:37 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <ygb@aishdas.org>
Mentioning Chametz on Pesach

Although normally one best fulfills a negative commandments by saying:
"It is certainly tempting to do [or enjoy] this bad thing, but what can I
do, Hashem forbade me to do [or enjoy] it" [see Rambam, Shemoneh Perakim],
this is not the case in regard to chametz on Pesach. Thus, during Pesach a
person should not say: "I am certainly tempted to eat and drink chametz,
but cannot do so because of Hashem's command." This is because chametz
on Pesach is akin to avodah zarah [Zohar 2:182a; see also Pesachim 28a
and Shelah, Pesachim, Perek Torah Ohr #13], and concerning avodah zarah
the Torah states: V'lo yishama al picha - "It [the name of an idolatry]
should not be heard upon your lips." Hence just as it is forbidden to
mention, and even think of, an idolatry, so too on Pesach one should
avoid mentioning, and even thinking about chametz. Rather, before Pesacha
person should say: "How much would I like to eat chametz on Pesach,
for it is good and tasty, but what can I do, Hashem forbade me etc."

(Heichal Berachah (Kumarana), Parashas Re'eh on the pasuk: "Ki yirchak
mimcha hamakom," cited in Minhag Yisrael Torah, Orach Chaim 469:2)

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Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 23:48:27 -0400
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Tevila bizmanah

From: Chana Luntz <Heather_Luntz@onetel.com>
> There is a whole discussion in the rishonim on this point

Mar'eh mekomos, please. Pashtus in the discussions of pischei nida
is that if a tevila is "due" it should be done even if it accomplishes

> After all, those who hold tevila bizmana in the gemora require tevilos
> each time even when it is a tevila m'safek (see for example the number
> of tevilos required by the woman who comes and says "I don't know what I
> saw and I don't know whether I saw in the yammai ziva or the yammai nida"
> ie Nida 69a et sec). So, if we say that all women today are safek zivos,
> and you need shiva nekiim, then tevila bizmana is the night following
> the shiva nekiim.

Doesn't follow. The reason for all the tvilos is not that a safek tevila
must be done bizmanah, but that because it's a safek, do the tevila in
case it is bizmanah. Nafka minah our case; there's no tzad safek that
when the woman goes to mikva after 7 neki'im it's when she should be
going, so that tevila is not bizmanah.


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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 01:57:19 -0400
From: "Avigdor Feldstein" <myb@ksimail.com>
RE: Bracha for t'vila

In Avodah V14 # 109 R' Micha Berger Writes:
>It started with: What if piryah verivyah is not a possibility for this
>couple, due to age or other peroblem?

The same inquiry applies to a me'uberes and meinekes as well, and I
don't recall that a pregnant or nursing woman wouldn't be allowed to go
to the mikveh on Friday nights, which is a direct implication of tevila
bizmano mitzva.

As of which mitzve there is in an instance where there is no pru urvu
or sheves, it's most probably the mitzveh of onah, or could be due to
the woman being meshubed to her husband l'tashmish.

>Which then lead me to: How valid is it to argue that a man in such a
>relationship is oveir shivas zera levatala? Here's my sevara: In order for
>it not to be levatala, one needs to be fulfilling either piryah verivyah
>or "vedavaq be'ishto". In nidon didan, the couple are presumably avoiding
>pregnancy, and she is not "ishto".

According to the Tosfos in Yevamos 39a d"h shalosh, as long as it's
derech tashmish, there is no problem of zera levatolo, even an instance
where there is no probability of conception.

 - Avigdor Feldstein

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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 09:48:40 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Bracha for t'vila

On Thu, Apr 07, 2005 at 01:57:19AM -0400, Avigdor Feldstein wrote:
:>It started with: What if piryah verivyah is not a possibility for this
:>couple, due to age or other peroblem?

: As of which mitzve there is in an instance where there is no pru urvu
: or sheves, it's most probably the mitzveh of onah, or could be due to
: the woman being meshubed to her husband l'tashmish.

I also mentioned onah, or at least the pasuq for it. Which is why I don't
understand your next comment:
: According to the Tosfos in Yevamos 39a d"h shalosh, as long as it's
: derech tashmish, there is no problem of zera levatolo, even an instance
: where there is no probability of conception.

I don't know which Tosafos you're talking about, because there is no
d"h shalosh on that daf. However, unless he's talking about a penuyah
or aramis, wouldn't onah justify? I'm asking bedavka by a pilegesh or
penuyah who can't become pregnant, and therefore neither non-batalah use
for zera is involved.

When RMYG writes in v14n110:
> It seems to me that the geder for levatala is if it isn't derech biah -
> not "not fulfilling either piryah verivyah or "vedavaq be'ishto"."

It seemed that way to me too, and then I started wondering if it's

He seems to work with the assumption that derekh bi'ah is sufficient
justification. I'm noticing that we find it's only a necessary component
of the justification. I'm still looking for a discussion that doesn't
revolve around a case where at least one of these two chiyuvim are


Micha Berger             Like a bird, man can reach undreamed-of
micha@aishdas.org        heights as long as he works his wings.
http://www.aishdas.org   But if he relaxes them for but one minute,
Fax: (270) 514-1507      he plummets downward.   - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 15:17:01 +0300
From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com>
cohanim in and out of BG

Rivka writes [on Areivim -mi]
> However, I have called him (R. Morgenstern) for the inside scoop
> about Cohanim flying in and out of Ben Gurion.

and ?
Eli Turkel

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Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 22:32:03 GMT
From: "Elazar M. Teitz" <remt@juno.com>
Re: Grammar in Quotes and in T'filla

>> As for quotes, we reconjugate pesuqim from Tehillim written in
>> the singular to the plural quite often. "Amareinu ha'azinah H..."
>> "Yihyu leratzon imrei fi..." is the quote as used after Shemonah Esrei,
>> however, it becomes "finu" in Selichos.

> Another example among many, and one encountered more often by Ashknazim:
> in the Mon/Thu tachanun, the second sentence (based on T'hilim 40:12)
> is conjugated "...mimmennu...yitz'runu"; it's quoted as written in
> Psuqai dZimra.

Changing a pasuk from singular to plural for use in t'filla was even
done by the Anshe K'nesses Hag'dolah. See Yirmiyahu 17:14, "R'faeini
Hashem v'eirafe, hoshieini v'ivasheia, ki s'hilasi ata."


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Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 18:05:08 -0700 (PDT)
From: shmuel pultman <spultman@yahoo.com>
Re: Eruvin

On Tue, 5 Apr 2005 14:32:27 Steve Brizel wrote:
> WADR, KGH is one of many small mixed residential and storefront
> neighborhoods in Queens. It has nowhere near the population density of
> either BP or Flatbush, Neither Jewel Avenue nor Main Street, on their
> busiest days, have anywhere the pedestrian or auto traffic of Queens
> Boulevard, Northern Boulevard or Ocean Parkway or any of the busy streets
> in BP. No main highway such as the Van Wyck, LIE or Grand Central go
> thru the neighborhood. You have to exit these highways and proceed for a
> distance before you even get to KGH. In addition, the shealah re the eruv
> was posed by R P Steinberg, a long time talmid of RMF. These facts are
> all assumed by RMF in his discussion which approved of an eruv in KGH.

As stated in Igros Moshe, there are two qualifiers concerning the
population density of cities. Either the city in question is a reshus
harabbim because over its twelve mil by twelve mil area there are more
than 3,000,000 people, or the city is so large that one may think that it
contains shishim ribuy and therefore an eruv should not be erected. Both
Brooklyn and Queens do not contain 3,000,000 people, and so according to
Rav Moshe, they are not a reshus harabbim. Rav Moshe utilized the second
condition (that one may think that the city contains shishim ribuy),
in Detriot proper which has a population that is much smaller than
Queens (Igros Moshe, O.C. 5:29). My point is that Queens’s population
is definitely large enough that one may think that the twelve mil by
twelve mil area (which includes KGH) contains shishim ribuy.

Additionally, I think you should take a look at KGH's eruv map at
http://www.kehillah.com to see the borders of the eruv. The eruv borders
the Van Wyck Expy, Long Island Expy, and the Grand Central Parkway and
they had to construct tzuras hapesachim over the ramps leading to these
highways. There is no question that these highways are included in the
twelve mil by twelve mil area that incorporates KGH. The fact is that Rav
Moshe spelled out in a teshuva (Igros Moshe, O.C. 4:86) why he allowed
an eruv to be erected in KGH and there is no mention of your chiddush
concerning population densities. Rav Moshe's shitos in shishim ribuy are
major chidushim and for you to add additional criteria makes no sense
at all. Nowhere, do we see Rav Moshe's shitos has anything to do with
this purported difference in population densities between Brooklyn and
Queens. If an eruv is allowed in KGH, there is no reason to object to
an eruv in Boro Park or Flatbush as well.

[Email #2 -mi]

On Wed, 6 Apr 2005 01:54:42 Akiva Miller wrote:
> I've heard several people make this comment recently. Can someone
> tell me where these mechitzos are located? Were they built recently,
> or have they been around for a long time, and it is only recently that
> people realized that we can use them for this purpose?

> When I first heard about these mechitzos, I thought that perhaps
> Brooklyn has no shore, and that the entire coastline consists of vertical
> cliffs of at least 10 tefachim. But that can't be right; the Coney Island
> beach alone would be more than enough to passul it, and there are plenty
> of other shores as well. Could we be talking about concrete road barriers
> on the sides of the Belt Parkway and BQE? ...

These mechitzos have been around for some time and Rav Menashe Klein
shlita declared in 1981 that Brooklyn is encompassed by mechitzos. That
was what Rav Moshe zt"l was referring to when he stated that regarding
Brooklyn's mechitzos "Until now they did not exist but that one can
investigate." (Igros Moshe, O.C. 5:28:5). They consist of gates that
enclose most of the public and private property bordering the waterfront,
some road barriers on the sides of the Belt Parkway and BQE, and some
sea walls. While there may be some pirtzos in the mechitzos, once the
walls are omed merubeh al haparutz on three sides practically all poskim
maintain lo asu rabbim u'mevatlei mechitzta. The mechitzos surrounding
Brooklyn today are more than 95 percent omed. The Coney Island beach is
enclosed as well with it's own mechitzos e.g. the Boardwalk. Additionally,
the Boro Park eruv would not even need to utilize that whole south side
of Brooklyn which include all the beaches of Brooklyn for it's! mechitzos.

Shmuel Pultman

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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 01:02:17 -0400
From: "Avigdor Feldstein" <myb@ksimail.com>
Re: Races of Mankind

In Avodah V14 #105 Dated 3/30/2005 "T613K@aol.com" writes:
>No, I have to admit that I have no sources. I was only speculating when I
>said that MAYBE many people were created after Adam Harishon, even though
>they are not mentioned explicitly. It is true that Rashi says that Adam
>and Chava had [unmentioned] daughters, and that brothers married sisters
>in the beginning ("Olam chessed yibaneh.") However, the world seems to
>have become thickly populated very rapidly.

Don't forget that after every generation, the Torah says "vayoled banim
uvanos". That means, that apart from those who are explicitly mentioned
by name in Parshas Bereishes, Adam Horishon had multitudes of sons and
daughters, and so did Kayin and Sheis, and so did each and every one of
those "bonim ubanos", so go figure how many people where around by the
time of the mabul.

>Kayin has to wander lest
>he be killed--at a time when there seem to be only half a dozen people
>in the world, all close relatives?!

Kayin had to wander - not lest he be killed by one of mankind, but rather
due to the gezeiro of "na inad tiye ba'aretz", as Rashi explains, ein
lecha reshus -- you have no permission to live in one place.

>Chanoch builds cities--populated
>by less than a hundred people?!

Chanoch built cities? See Rashi 4:17. The reason Kayin built the city,
see Ramban.

> even intermarriage between different races of men.

That was well into the second millennium, after over a thousand years of
generations multiplying. It was then when "Vayhee ki heichal ha'adam
lorov" - when mankind became numerous (6:1).

>There are many hints in
>the early perakim of Bereishis that there are a whole lot of people there,
>and where did they all come from? Again, I am only speculating.

Many hints? Where did they come from? Clear psukim! After every generation
mentioned - vayoled banim ubanos.

In Avodah V14 #108 Dated 4/01/2005 "T613K@aol.com" Writes:
>I never heard the "explanation" that Hashem turned some humans into
>apes or ape-like creatures at the time of the Dor Haflagah,

 See Sanhedrin 109a.

>but it wouldn't
>explain fossils that are millions of years old, anyway.

Millions of years old? I think we'd rather not get into this discussion,
particularly the validity/accuracy of the dating methods used.

 - Avigdor Feldstein

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