Avodah Mailing List

Volume 14 : Number 112

Friday, April 8 2005

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 14:59:00 GMT
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@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.

Anyone who wants to find more examples of this can do so very easily
with any ArtScroll siddur. Footnotes on each page give the source
for the pesukim which appear there. In an English ArtScroll siddur,
look for notes which begin with the abbreviation "Cf."; in those cases,
the tefila is based on the pasuk, but is not a perfect quote of it. In
an ArtScroll Hebrew siddur, you'll see the abbreviation "ayin peh"
("al pi") doing the same thing.

Akiva Miller

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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 10:08:00 -0400
From: "" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
Chatimas HaShas and Saboraim, etc.

To clarify the nature of the additions to Rav Ashi and Ravina’s text of
the Talmud, allow me to refer to my favorite book, Dynamics of Dispute,
pp. 253-254:

The Doros Harishonim (see also Exalted People by Rabbi Avigdor Miller,
pp. 301-302 and History of the Jewish People from Yavneh to Pumbedisa,
Mesorah/Hillel, pp. 207-215) explains as follows:

The generation of Sages who took part in Rav Ashi's assemblage but lived
on after him (such as Ravina II, who out-lived Rav Ashi by 48 years) were
the last of those providing hora'a, decision-making. They continued to
add to the Talmud's text a small number of rulings that had not yet been
recorded and closed the Talmud in the year of Ravina II's death (500 CE).

The following assembly, too, the first generation of Saborai (elucidators)
 -- there were a total of four -- added unreported opinions of Rav Ashi's
assemblage and inserted some explanations of the text.

The next three generations of Saborai (514-589 CE) added to the text
only some literary improvements: brief words of clarification and the
short quotations from the mishna to show what part of it the Gemora
is analyzing. Although these insertions added no new halachic material,
they formed a significant contribution. The latter device alone makes the
Babylonian Talmud much easier than the Talmud Yerushalmi for commentators
to understand.

All the additions to Rav Ashi's Talmudic text are, however, quite few,
equivalent in quantity to less than one third of a single mesechta of
the Talmud.

The Rishonim devoted themselves to correcting any deviancies from the
original text that crept in, basing themselves on reliable manuscripts
or evidence from the Talmudic text itself.

The principle that the Gemora's conclusions were final and that the
Talmud, no less than the Mishna, was recognized as being completed by a
specific time is made clear in our classical sources, of which we shall
quote the following:

"Shmuel Yarchinai... said... the Book of Adam (see Maharal MiPrague) was
shown to me, and in it was written: 'Rebbi and Rebbi Nosson -- the end
of Mishna; Rav Ashi and Ravina -- the end of hora'a (decision-making)'"
(Bava Metsia 85b-86a).

"The last ones to collate the Talmud were Rav Ashi and Ravina and their
assemblage, in whose days the Talmud was sealed." (M'vo HaTalmud by
Rabbeynu Shmuel HaNaggid).

"When all the Sages passed away", peace be upon them, the last of whom
were Ravina and Rav Ashi, and the Talmud had already been completed, the
aim of everyone who arose after it, to which he devoted his full strength,
was solely to understand their words. Upon it there is nothing to add
and from it there is nothing to subtract." (Maimonides' Introduction
to the Talmud, (Hakdama L'payrush HaMishna) Heb. p. 29, Eng. p. 177).

"Ravina and Rav Ashi and their colleagues constituted the consummation of
the great Sages of Israel who transcribed the Oral Law.... And after the
Bes Din of Rav Ashi, which collated the Talmud and completed it in the
days of his son, Israel was dispersed throughout all the lands.... All
the words in the Babylonian Talmud, all Jewry is obligated to follow, and
we compel every city and country to conduct itself in all the practices
which the Sages of the Talmud established and to obey their gezayros
and follow their takkonnos, because all the words of the Talmud were
consented upon by all Israel... and those Sages... were the entirety
of the Sages of Israel or the majority of them, and they are the ones
who heard the kabballa about the basics of the entire Torah, generation
after generation, [going back] until Moses our teacher, may he rest in
peace. "(Introduction to Mishneh Torah).

"Hora'a [the promulgation of law for the Jewish nation] continued
generation after generation until Ravina. After Ravina, hora'a ceased,
as had been foretold in the passage, from the Book of Adam seen by Shmuel
Yarchinai, which stated: "[Rav] Ashi and [R]avina: End of Hora'a"... After
this, even though there was no longer any hora'a, there were the Saboraim
who were explainers, closely similar to [excercising] hora'a" (Iggeress
Rav Sherira Gaon).
Our of my gaavah, I was anticipating someone else referring to my sefer;
but out of my anivas, I see I have to blow my own horn. May I also refer
to the same work for a synopsis of classical rishonim and acharonim on
the subject of Eilu V'eilu.

Zvi Lampel

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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 14:32:50 -0400
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
Re: Relationship of Science to Torah

From: T613K@aol.com
> In  Avodah V14 #93 dated 3/13/2005  R' Simcha Coffer  writes:
>> My friend, you are seriously misinformed. I have had contact with the
>> widest range of Judaism possible. First of all, almost all Chasidim
>> (I am not even aware of any exceptions) believe in a literal 6 day
>> creation. This already makes us a rov, and you a miyut. In addition,
>> every mainstream Orthodox Jew that I have come in contact with believes
>> the same.

> If so, your range of acquaintances is narrow  indeed.

Normally I wouldn't respond to a comment like this however, I would like
to set the record straight regarding the implications of my above quote.

On Monday February 28, 2005 RMB wrote "And, as already summed up by RYGB,
it's the literallists who have a mi'ut al mi lismoch."

I responded as follows:
"I am flabbergasted. Are you saying that all through the generations
a billion year universe was the standard way of viewing berias haolam
by our nation? Do you mean to tell me that if we asked Yeshaya hanavi,
or Ezra Hasofer, or Rebbi Akiva, or Rava and Abaye, or Rav Saadya Gaon,
or Rav Yehuda Halevi or the Gra how old the world was, they would have
answered in the billions of years!? ... To say that the 'literalists"
are a miyut is a patently false statement! Even today, after the Tiferes
Yisroel, I am sure that most FFB (as opposed to those who were mikurav
by Aish that, I understand, promotes Gerald Schroeder's approach) shlomey
emunei yisroel believe in a young world. We are definitely not a miyut."

To which RMB responded:
"I'm glad you're so sure. Are you sure you don't simply have contact
with a preskewed population? (Or are you cyclically defining "shelomei

It was this response that I was addressing. I am not trying to demonstrate
that one would be bound to a young earth shita because we are a rov;
I am simply attempting to illustrate that RMB's original assertion that
literalists have a miyut al mi lismoch is not correct. I still believe
this to be true. (I would also like to take this opportunity to mention
that I am not chs'v defining shelomei emunai "cyclically". In that post,
I may have been unnecessarily harsh with RMB and I have already apologized
to him for that. However, I certainly did not mean to exclude billion
year believers from the pale of Yiddishkeit.)

As far as the above comment "your range of acquaintances is narrow", I
think my original quote illustrates otherwise. BTY, please note that in
my original quote I mentioned "mainstream orthodox" (as opposed to modern
orthodox). If you take the modern orthodox crowd into consideration,
my ratio of billion year to young universe believers would obviously
be significantly impacted. I do not take the modern-orthodox hashkafah
into consideration and thus I am only contending with a hashkafa that I
consider uncompromisingly loyal to the hashkafas haTorah. Personally,
I believe that in some areas, modern-orthodox hashkafa is severely
influenced by ideologies of western culture and thus does not warrant
treatment on a site that is dedicated to maintaining a High Level Torah

Simcha Coffer  

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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 15:55:57 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Relationship of Science to Torah

On Thu, Apr 07, 2005 at 02:32:50PM -0400, S & R Coffer quoted me and wrote:
: "I'm glad you're so sure. Are you sure you don't simply have contact
: with a preskewed population? (Or are you cyclically defining "shelomei
: emuneah?)"

: It was this response that I was addressing. I am not trying to demonstrate
: that one would be bound to a young earth shita because we are a rov;
: I am simply attempting to illustrate that RMB's original assertion that
: literalists have a miyut al mi lismoch is not correct. I still believe
: this to be true....

And my point was that those who signed a ban claiming that the belief
is now kefirah (a position which at the time I mistakenly thought you
adhered to) will have a hard time sing the idea is not only within
mesorah, but IMHO (and RYGB's) that of rov rishonim and acharonim who
have written on the matter.

But even if not rov, it's by no way parallel to a statement by a yachid
like Hillel's about mashiach. Rather, belief in an old universe runs
from the Zohar (at the latest) to R' Hutner, R' Aryeh Carmell and R'
Aryeh Kaplan. It should at the very least be treated bederekh kavod,
even by those who disagree.


Micha Berger             "'When Adar enters, we increase our joy'
micha@aishdas.org         'Joy is nothing but Torah.'
http://www.aishdas.org    'And whoever does more, he is praiseworthy.'"
Fax: (270) 514-1507                     - Rav Dovid Lifshitz zt"l

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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 12:37:14 EDT
From: T613K@aol.com
Re: Erev Pesach on Shabbat (5765): A Short Guide

In Avodah V14 #111 dated 4/7/2005  RAM writes:
>> If bread is used: Make ha-Motzi over two hametz  challot AWAY from the 
>> table.

>...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.

> ....What connection is there,
> by which we can say that the  other food is tafel to the bread?

The same as any other meal--not Erev Pesach--when you do not eat bread
with your meal, for whatever reason. Say the bread is all gone by the
time the chicken arrives. Nevertheless, fish, soup and chicken are all
TYPES of food commonly eaten with bread. Therefore, whether you personally
are actually eating the food with bread at this moment is irrelevant.

 -Toby  Katz

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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 15:41:37 EDT
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Re: Eruvin

[Shortened from a URL from "Kehillah.com - Your Online Jewish Community" -mi]
Note the enclosed KGH eruv map-crossovers only to Hillcrest and NY
Hospital of Queens-not over the Grand Central or the Van Wyck.

[Email #2. -mi]

R S Portman wrote in part:
> 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

I know the map that you are refering to and I have posted it for this
list's edification . Those highways are the borders of the eruv. None
of those highways run thru the neighborhood. The only roads that run
thru the neighborhood are Jewel Avenue and Main Street. Neither is
a mavui mfulash mshaar lshaar in the same sense as a limited access
expressway or parkway or accomodate anywhere near as much as traffic.
There are connections between the eruvim of KGH and Hillcrest and
KGH and NY Hospital for Queens only. The KGH eruv does not permit you
to carry over the Grand Central Parkway or the Van Wyck to allow for
carrying on Jewel Avenue to Forest Hills.

Steve Brizel

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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 16:42:11 -0400 (EDT)
From: Harry Weiss <hjweiss@panix.com>
Re: Mentioning Chametz on Pesach

From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <ygb@aishdas.org>
> 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....
> (Heichal Berachah (Kumarana), Parashas Re'eh on the pasuk: "Ki yirchak
> mimcha hamakom," cited in Minhag Yisrael Torah, Orach Chaim 469:2)

I could see a prohibition on thinking of Chametz one would want, or the
Chametz they burnt or sold, but I have a problem about mentioning or
thinking about Chametz.

Any discussion of Pesach, including the Torah read refers to getting
rid of Chametz. there is a minhag to study the mishnayot of Messechet
Pesachim which also deals in describing Chametz. Even in the Haggadah
itself, chametz is referred to.

I think it may be more like Arayas where hirhurim may be assur, but one
may learn the halachos regarding harchakos.

Harry J. Weiss

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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 21:56:45 +0100
From: Chana Luntz <chana@KolSassoon.org.uk>
Re: Tevila bizmanah

In message <20050406.235248.176.0.gershon.dubin@juno.com>, Gershon Dubin 
<gershon.dubin@juno.com> writes
>From: Chana Luntz <Heather_Luntz@onetel.com>
><<There is a whole discussion in the rishonim on this point>>

>Mar'eh mekomos, please.

Tur Yoreh Deah, siman 197:
Ain haisha olah mtumata ud shetovel k'rui b'makom harui v'acher yamei
siperata, v' Rabbi Chananel pasak tevila b'zmana mitzvah hilkach mitzvah
shetoyvel miyad acher sh'yachilu yamai siperata, v'Rabanu Tam pasak
dtevila b'zmana lav mitzvah, u'beyerushalmi ita k'divrei Rabbi Chananel

And the Bach there:
"u'Rabba Chananel pasak tevila b'zmana mitzvah, ken katuv tosphos b'shemo
perek hamapolet, v'hikshu aluv m'masim b'kol yom she ain la isha tovelet
b'zmana ayin sham, ul'fi dati d'ain zu kushya l'fi rabbi Chananel kivan
d'idna l'vater chumra d'rabbi Zera zehu zmana l'acher she rayta tipa dam
k'chardel v'tifsuk k'nihug hamakom v'tispor zayin nakiim im ken hashta
hu d'ramai aleha shetoyvel miyad v'im ana tovelet miyad lacher siperta
overet hi al hamitzva.

> Pashtus in the discussions of pischei
>nida is that if a tevila is "due" it should be done even if it

Yes that was the point I was making, but it is clearly not how we posken,
as we don't require single women, for example, to go to the mikvah -
and we don't even require married women whose husbands are not in town to
go to mikvah once they finish counting - which would be the consequence,
as the Bach goes on to say there, of the position of Rabbi Chananel and
the Tur.

><<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
>tevila is not bizmanah.

See above.

Chana Luntz

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Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2005 16:29:02 -0400
From: Shaya Potter <spotter@yucs.org>
Re: Relationship of Science to Torah

On Thu, 2005-04-07 at 14:32 -0400, S & R Coffer wrote:
> I responded as follows:
> "I am flabbergasted. Are you saying that all through the generations
> a billion year universe was the standard way of viewing berias haolam
> by our nation? Do you mean to tell me that if we asked Yeshaya hanavi,
> or Ezra Hasofer, or Rebbi Akiva, or Rava and Abaye, or Rav Saadya Gaon,
> or Rav Yehuda Halevi or the Gra how old the world was, they would have
> answered in the billions of years!? ... To say that the 'literalists"
> are a miyut is a patently false statement! Even today, after the Tiferes
> Yisroel, I am sure that most FFB (as opposed to those who were mikurav
> by Aish that, I understand, promotes Gerald Schroeder's approach) shlomey
> emunei yisroel believe in a young world. We are definitely not a miyut."

Do you have any evidence that Ezra, Rabbi Akiva or anyone else thought
it was an ikarei emuna to believe in a young universe, or just that they
believed in a young universe because they had no evidence to the contrary?
Is it possible that those who believe that this is an ikar are the miyut?

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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 17:16:26 -0400
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Relationship of Science to Torah

On Thu, Apr 07, 2005 at 04:29:02PM -0400, Shaya Potter wrote:
: Do you have any evidence that Ezra, Rabbi Akiva or anyone else thought
: it was an ikarei emuna to believe in a young universe, or just that they
: believed in a young universe because they had no evidence to the contrary?

Do you have any evidence that Ezra haSofeir or Rabbi Aqiva believed in
a young universe altogether?

: Is it possible that those who believe that this is an ikar are the miyut?

Or even a new invention. Recall that RSC does not believe this is an
ikkar, and even R' Elyashiv (according to some versions) said it only
became an ikkar by contemporary pesaq.


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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 22:38:28 +0100
From: Chana Luntz <chana@KolSassoon.org.uk>
Re: Bracha for t'vila

In message , a. adereth <adereth2003@yahoo.com> writes
>It would follow from the analysis, below, that a postmenopausal woman
>not make a brocha on t'vila,

When do you anticipate that a post menopausal woman would do tevila? The
only case I can think of is the one brought by RTK ie if she chooses to
go erev yom kippur, and I don't believe she makes a brocha in that case.

>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 that when the Shulchan Aruch uses the term priya v'rivya in this
context, it is used as a short hand to refer to all mitzvos involved in
marital relations, such as onah etc.

The source for the Shulchan Aruch's statement that if her husband is in
the city, it is a mitzvah to do tevila b'zmanah so that they should not
be mevatel the mitzvah of pru u'rvu for even one night". (SA Yoreh Deah
siman 197 si'if 2) as brought in the Beis Yosef as being due to the fact
that Yehoshua was punished because he prevented Yisroel from performing
the mitzvah of pru u'rvu for a single night. The source for this is
Eruvin 63b in which R' Abba bar Papa explains that Yehoshua ben Nun was
punished (by having no sons) because he prevented Yisroel from engaging
pru u'rvu. This was because there was a special once off halacha at that
time that it was forbidden to have marital relations when the Aron and
the Shechinah were not in their place, and since he did not return them
to their place on a certain night when he could have done, all of Yisroel
were prevented from the mitzvah. (The idea being that the punishment
was a form of midah k'neged midah - because he prevented Yisroel from
having children that night, he was not permitted a surviving son).

Thus the Shulchan Aruch is quoting the gemora which for mida kneged
mida reasons clearly needed to use the language of pru u'rvu. But the
reference to pru u'rvu raises some obvious questions including the one
you gave above, but others as well. After all, the mitzvah of pru u'rvu
is fundamentally the mitzvah to have a certain number of children. Now a)
one cannot guarantee that one will conceive children on any given night
(even if, statistically it can be shown that more women are more likely
to conceive on the date of completion of her count than any other it is
still fundamentally a matter for HKBH); and b) it would seem to suggest
that once one had fulfilled the mitzvah (eg by having the requisite
number of children) then the rule regarding going to the mikvah on
time should no longer apply. In addition, even in pure halachic terms,
it is not at all clear that the act of marital relations is in fact a
mitzvah in and of itself vis a vis pru ur'vu. The Minchas Chinuch has a
discussion (mitzvah 1, oit 14) on the nature of the mitzvah of pru u'rvu,
which concludes that the act of relations is merely a heksher mitzvah,
with the actual fulfilment of the mitzvah of pru u'rvu being at the
birth and during the lifetime of the children.

And subsequent poskim make it clear that what is also (perhaps even
in some ways fundamentally) being referred to here are other mitzvos
including the mitzvah of onah . Thus for example it is made clear in
the poskim that it is still a mitzvah to go to mikvah on time when the
husband is in the city even if, say, the woman is already pregnant (and
so clearly the mitzvah of pru u'rvu is not applicable). (see Taharat
Habayit siman 14 oit 2 on page 448) where he brings a number of sources
quoting the zohar and the Ari as stating this).

>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.

Agreed. My point was not on the specifics of pirya v'rivya, but on
the act that the going to the mikvah "enabled" a mitzva that was not
previously enabled (and similarly going to the mikvah enables a ger to
perform mitvos he/she was not previously able to perform, and going to
the mikvah in the times of the beis hamikdash enabled things to be done
that could not be done without going to the mikvah.

>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.

Now this is the crux of the matter. Is it a mitzvah to go to mikvah
even if it does not actually enable something. With the consequence,
it would seem to me, that even if no enabling was occurring, you would
make a brocha on the fact that the person was metaher themselves. Which,
it would seem to me, should mean as a consequence, that men when they
went to mikvah after they had been a baal keri ought to say a brocha
(which I believe they don't), and, in the case we are discussing, single
women who went to mikvah should make a brocha even though they had no
baal, and had no intention of having relations with anybody.

Now the Rambam describes the mitzvah this way in Sefer Hamitzvos, mitzva
aseh 109 "... and it is not the intention in saying that tevila is a
positive mitzvah that a tameh person is chayav to become tahor in all
cases like it is mechuyav on one who dresses in clothes that he put on
tzitzit [interesting example, since he doesn't mention clothes with four
corners] or one who has a house has to put up a maka, ... because the
din itself is the mitzvah .. and one who wants to remain in his tumah
and not enter for a long time into the machane shechina rishut b'yado."

And the Sefer HaChinuch concludes his discussion on tevila (in mitzvah
175). "This mitzvah of tevila applies in all places and all times,
by men and women, that there is a mitzvah upon them if the want to be
m'taher from their tumah that they toyvel in water ... aval mikol makom,
ain hamitzvah shyitaheru etzman al kol panim im ratzu l'hishaer btumatan,
ele im ken ba lihikanes l'mikdash or l'ochel kodesh, v'tezhu zman habayit,
ki az b'zman hahu im aseh ken bitel aseh teh, milvad hachiyuv shalav
bachilu kodesh b'tumah, v'nichnasu l'mikdash kamo shekatuv l'mala.

So clearly according to these Rishonim, one has to want to be m'taher at
the very least, and, at least by implication, that wanting would seem to
be linked to being able to do a mitzvah action subsequent to the tevila.

On the other hand, as I pointed out in my post, and can be seen very
clearly from the Bach when discussing those who hold that tevila b'zmana
mitzva, there is an understanding that on completing the count (or
whatever it is that triggers the time to come) the mitzvah is "chal"
upon the person, independent of whether in fact she can be with her
husband or not. This suggests to me that these rishonim have a different
understanding of the mitzvah, one that is probably in dispute with the
Rambam and Sefer Hachinuch quoted above.

And I was postulating [and this is where it is me, rather than a pure
quote of sources] that according to those second rishonim, a brocha
on tevila of a single girl/baal keri (subsequent to the nulification
of takanat Ezra) would seem to be necessary, while perhaps the reason
one might hold that a brocha is not necessary in the case of a single
girl/baal keri (as we seem to hold today) is because we hold like the
other rishonim that tevila bizmana lav mitzvah hu with the mitzvah rather
being linked to the desire to enable the mitzvah that the tevila now
enables one to do, rather than to the time elapse causing the mitzvah
to be chal.

Chana Luntz

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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 22:34:18 GMT
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
RE: Bracha for t'vila (was:Re: Orthodox tackle premarital sex dilemma)

R' Moshe Y. Gluck wrote <<< 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"." Thus, any biah k'darka is not a problem of
l'vatala. >>>

Then why did chazal choose to describe this problem as "levatala"? If
the problem is the unnaturalness of such acts, then they can describe
it as such. But by referring to it as purposeless, wasteful, for naught,
the implication is that this problem is avoided if some positive result
comes of it.

Akiva Miller

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Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2005 00:15:08 -0400
From: "Avigdor Feldstein" <myb@ksimail.com>
Re: Bracha for t'vila

In Avodah V14 #111 R' Micha Berger writes:
>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.

AFAIK the chiyuv onah we learn from the posuk she'ero ksiso ve'onasa lo
yigra, or from the posuk vesemach es ishto (not the same chiyuv as in
shana rishona but something like an asmachta. See Nishmas Odom klal

> 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.

Sorry, it's Kesubos 39a. There is also a discussion in Yevamos about
shalosh noshim meshamshos be'moch, hence my mistake.

The Ritva there in Kesubos on the aforementioned discussion, explains
the reason (according to Rashi) why there is no issur of zera levatala
by a meshamesh bemoch, first he writes because of the mitzvah of onah,
then he adds, ve'od de'hava derech tashmish. He puts the justification
of derech tashmish secondary to the justification of onah. Appears that
derech tashmish by itself wouldn't suffice to save from zera levatala.
See further.

>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.

Looks like it was bashert that I should make this mistake. As I looked
up the correct mareh mokom, I found some corroboration for your sevara
that there has to be one of the two chiyuvim involved in order that the
issur of zera levatala shouldn't apply. The Klausenburger Rav in Divrei
Yatziv 5 EH 31 os yud aleph concludes that precisely .

In a discussion about birth control and hashchasas zera, he is mevarer
that in an instance where p"v is not pertinent, we need the mitzvah of
onah to let us know that there is no issur of zera levatolo.

Boruch Shekevanta.

Interesting to note, the Otzar Haposkim in EH 23 quotes the Beis Shmuel
in mahdura kama, that one who is bo'eil a nida r"l, apart from the issur
nidda, the issur of zera levatala also applies.

 - Avigdor Feldstein

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Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2005 14:27:46 +0200
From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com>
kashrut on pesach

We has a shiur today from one of the rabbis of the rabbanut of Israel
concerning Pesach. He made a few interesting points most relevant even
outside of Israel

1. For hotels there is a major problem with room service. Once the
dishes and silverware are outside the kichen there is no control. This
is a problem all year round but especially on Pesach. This year for
the first time the rabbanut after much debate ordered that all room
service on Pesach be served on paper/plastic dishes (5 star hotels were
not thrilled).

Also hotels have a major problem preparaing for the seder as it takes
a long time to set up. The rabbanut allowed setting up on shabbat using
a goy but only the dishes/silverware and not the portions for the seder
e.g maror & charoset.

2. Dirt left in garbage pails in apartment buildings are assumed to
contain chametz that an animal can eat. Best solution is to pur some
inedible liquid on them

3. the inside of a faucet in the kitchen sink is considered chametz
because there is a continuous stream of water bewteen the faucet and
chametz food during the year. Therefore when kashering the sink one
should run the hot water at its fullest through the faucet to kasher it.

4. rings on fingers need to be cleaned because they contact chametz. When
feasible ha-agalahh should be used.

5.! He claimed that all paper filters for coffee have chametz on them
and they are chametz gamur. He was not aware of any coffee filters with
a hechsher for Pesach

6. The edah hacharedit paskens that if one gets a new table covering on
Pesach for a gift it should be washed in hot water before being used.

7. On Pesach buying milk and drinking water from the kinneret have the
same problem of relying on filters (in Israel cows are not fed chametz
2 weeks before Pesach). Hence, whoever is machmir on one should also be
machmir on the other and same for kulah.

8. After Pesach one has to be especially careful of buying chametz
articles from small stores, eg pharmacies that sell health foods but
dont sell their chametz

Also bigger stores that sell their chametz but have them on the shelves
and people take the chametz from behind the covers.

9. mentioned the problem of owning shares in companies that benefit
from chametz

chag kasher vesameach

Eli Turkel

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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 19:04:07 -0700 (PDT)
From: shmuel pultman <spultman@yahoo.com>
Re: Zohar

On Wed, 6 Apr 2005 14:06:05 R' Micha Berger wrote:
> I really find it hard to believe that Rav Saadia Gaon knew of
> the beginning 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).

This is exactly the point that the Zohar Chai is making. Those Geonim
and Reshonim who contradict a stance taken by the Zohar would not have
done so it if they had seen the Zohar. Your comment is possibly why the
Kamarna Rebbe doesn't mention Rav Saadia Gaon as one of those Gaonim
that he can prove had access to the Zohar. On the other hand he does
mention Rav Hai Gaon.

Talking of gilgulim, it's known in certain Chasideshe circles (Belz and
Skver) that they don't make use of the Rashash because of a Gemara in Bava
Metziah (107a) where the Rashash asserts there is somewhat of a proof
against those who believe in gilgulim (see Divrei Yoel 9:176). There
is a fascinating passage in Divrei Torah (8:75) from the Munkacher Rav
where he wonders how the Tzlach in Brachos (58b) can mention gilgulim
and not point out the Zohar on VaYechi and Mishpatim. He adds that maybe
the Noda B'Yehudah did not want to reveal his knowledge of nistar.

Shmuel Pultman

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