Avodah Mailing List

Volume 16 : Number 122

Tuesday, February 7 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 06 Feb 2006 18:42:24 -0500
From: Avodah - High Level Torah Discussion Group <avodah@aishdas.org>
Re: chaver

Eli Turkel wrote:
> It does not seem to be a general problem of neemanut in the entire torah

Not quite.

See the Encyclopedia Talmudit on Chaver fn. 70a and on Chashud fn. 585.


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Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2006 20:16:39 -0500
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Re: Ikkar Ha Din an Chezkas Kashrus

From: "Moshe Feldman" <moshe.feldman@gmail.com>
> Until now, we
> have been discussing whether a kashrus agency headed by a talmid chacham
> yirei shamayim has a chezkas kashrus.
> <snip>
> Now, you ask whether a store owner has a chezkas kashrus, given the
> fact that he is frum. That is a different issue, given the fact that
> the store owner may have a pecuniary interest in cutting corners.

I am blissfully ignorant of the economics of supervising kashrus.  Are you 
implying that kashrus agencies don't have a pecuniary interest in keeping 
the businesses they supervise happy? How are they funded?

David Riceman 

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Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 00:18:50 -0500
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mslatfatf@access4less.net>

R' Eli Turkel:
> Is there any gemara that an am haaretz is not trusted on kashrut or
> shabbat or other halachot?

Gittin 27b, Tosfos V'davka tzurvah m'd'rabanan. Other Rishonim
argue. IIRC, the Rashba in Teshuvos (Chelek 2, Siman 319?) says that
an am ha'aretz is not trusted with t'vius ayin - not because he isn't
believed - but because he's unobservant.

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Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 00:30:02 -0500
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mslatfatf@access4less.net>

What with all this discussion of late about hashgachos, I'd like to
ask the following: On our local radio station, there is a shiur from (I
think) R' Nissen Kaplan (who I believe is a maggid shiur in the Mir). They
recently played a shiur in which he discussed kashrus, and he said a few
times that there was a takkanah from the Va'ad Arba A'ratzos that any
food establishment needs a hashgacha, even if one was comfortable eating
in the proprietor's house. Does anyone know the source for this takkanah?



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Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 08:44:54 +0100
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Re: Avodah V16 #119

On Monday, 6. February 2006 22:04, Avodah wrote:
> Do we follow the NODA B'YEHUDA (Yoreh Deah Siman 26) who reads the
> Rambam (Maachalot Assurot 14:10) as following Rabbi Meir in the gemara
> in Avoda Zara 67b [re: the stomach lining of a nevela] and thus, only
> the rennet derived from a kosher animal is permitted for making gelatin]

Rennet is not used to make gelatin, you prabably mean cheese.

> ? Or do we follow the Rema YD 87:10; Pri Chadash 103:2; Pitchei Tshuva
> 87:21 who follows the Shach YD 114:21 and the ROSH on Avoda Zara 2:34,
> who say that even from a nevela [a kosher animal that was not slaughtered,
> or a nonkosher animal] there is no Toraitic prohibition if the stomach
> lining was completely dried out like dust ? Since the Mechaber follows
> the Ri MiGash that davar ha'maamid is mi'derabban, we can be lenient.

While I cannot answer your question directly (I don' supervise cheese
productions), I am being told that for most cheeses, 'or haqevah is used,
which, according to all, needs to come from a kosher animal.

Arie Folger

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Date: Tue, 07 Feb 2006 08:53:09 +0200
From: "Ari Z. Zivotofsky" <zivotoa@mail.biu.ac.il>
Re: Enzymes in Honey & Cheese

Micha Berger wrote:
>On Mon, Feb 06, 2006 at 05:40:44PM -0500, Shaya Potter wrote:
>:> I'm not sure milk is further from grass than honey is from nectar. For
>:> example, you could taste the difference in the milk if the cow ate only
>:> grass, only hay, or only corn.

>: and one can taste what type of flowers were used to make the honey.

>I was assuming that people who saw bottles of clover honey vs those of
>orange blossom honey (vs kinds less common in these parts) knew that. I
>therefore was pointing out that the same could be done with milk.

I do not understand the relevance.
Of course it is further removed.
grass (and other cow food) is broken down into its constituent 
cowponents and the milk is then produced by cow glands from raw 
ingredients. honey is never broken down and honey is not produced by bee 
glands (unlike royal jelly). the nectar's long sugar molecule is merely 
split into the shorter chains of honey by bee produced enzymes.

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Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2006 22:57:57 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Killing kinim on shabbat

On Frebruary 5, 2006, T613K@aol.com wrote:
>                  Doesn't the Gemara mention "beitzei kinim" (I forget in
> what context)? Didn't they know that lice hatch from nits?

Nits are eggs; larva of lice.

> What is the
> meaning then of "they do not procreate through pirya vrivya"? Does it
> mean that they reproduce asexually, laying eggs that do not need to be
> fertilized in order to produce young?

No. And this is a famous sha'ala. Some take the approach that there were
types of lice in the time of Chazal that reproduced asexually. Others say
"nishtanu hativi'im", which is not necessarily the same as the previous
answer (in the sense that today's lice are the same as Chazal's lice but
their reproductive behaviour was altered). RJO has informed me that,
based on his investigation, there is a perfect reconciliation for this
gemara but thus far he has not had the time to take me through his
mehalech and therefore I wish to propose the following (based on R'
Aryeh Carmel's communication with Rav Dessler).

Anytime Chazal propose something in science, if they base a halacha on
their scientific conclusion, the halacha cannot be discarded despite
the fact that the science turns out to be faulty. We must now search
for current scientific explanations which support their halachic
conclusions. The idea behind this is that Chazal did not always mean
to condone the scientific principles which they forwarded. Rather,
they advanced explanations for the halachah which seemed to fit the
paradigms of their day. However, the halacha itself was a kabala and
thus can never be discarded.

A parallel to this can be found in the Ramchal on the Maamar haHaggados
who states that spiritual type haggados were often times represented by
Chazal in allegorical form using scientific knowledge of the day although
Chazal did not necessarily condone the conclusions reached by scientists.

As far as the refuos of Chazal, some say "nishtanu hativi'im" and
the refuous actually worked in the times of Chazal. However, others
claim that, in some cases, either a) Chazal were informing us that some
superstitious type refuos did not fall under the category of drakey emori
or b) they worked because people believed in them i.e. psychosomatic. (see
Meiri on Shabbos 67 amar Abaye, amra li eim)

The upshot is that Chazal's infallibility in Torah, to which I personally
subscribe, is not compromised from ostensibly faulty scientific

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 10:07:59 +0200
From: "Shalom Berger" <shalom@lookstein.org>
Wife's kavod for husband

In translating the passages quoted in this discussion, both Mark Dratch
and Toby Katz translate the word "Morah" as "fear." I find that to be
a common - and disturbing - error in understanding the miztvah of Morah
Av va'Em. A more accurate translation would be "awe."

The best proof of this is the source brought by Toby in the name of
Rashi, "that children usually honor their mother more but fear their
father more." I have heard many people quote this idea, explaining that
it is because the father disciplines his son (while mothers are wont
to say "Just you wait until your father gets home!") In fact, this idea
appears in Kiddushin 30b-31a, with a very different explanation of the
phenomenon. Rebbi teaches that a son naturally honors (mechabed) his
mother because she speaks to him gently (mishdalto bidevarim) while he
naturally is in awe (mityare) of his father, who teaches him Torah. It
is difficult for me to imagine that a child would *fear* his father for
teaching him Torah - or, for that matter, that the Torah would see a
fear relationship as being an ideal one.

With regard to Joel Rich's original question, is is important to see the
Pischei Teshuva in Yoreh De'ah 240, nos. 9 and 12 where the suggestion
is raised that a child need not always prioritize his father's kavod
before his mother's, as regarding certain things - specifically things
that a husband is obligated to do for his wife - the mother's kavod
will take precedence. (and no, I do not think that the Rambam who
discusses mutual respect, love and devotion between spouses is taught
in Chassan-Kallah classes - but it should be.)

Rabbi Shalom Z. Berger, Ed.D.
The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora
School of Education
Bar-Ilan University

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Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2006 18:26:12 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: the Mabul

On February 5, 2006, Chana Luntz wrote:
> Take Great Britain for example. I believe pretty much everybody (ie
> including secular scientists) agree that Great Britain was not settled by
> human beings until relatively late.... So it seems to me you pretty much
have to assume an further
> neis, some time after the animals all disembarked, and after they had
> had time to propagate, whereby they were all airlifted into England.
> Similarly for other isolated land masses, like Australia and all its
> exotica Similarly of course for various other
> isolated land masses like Madegascar, and somewhat similarly for the
> Americas - because while there is arguably a bridge to the Americas, it is
> pretty close to the pole, and bederech hateva most of the animals in the
> Americas could not make it across those kind of distances in that kind of
> cold. So we need some sort of follow on miracle to sort these animals out.

And then the Rebbetzin continues with a highly compelling and scholarly
post. Ironically, it began with my suggestion that perhaps the mabul only
afflicted geographical areas which were populated by animal life whereas
now RZL has cited some pesukim (and massoretic type reasoning) which are
swaying me to believe that the mabul was indeed global. In view of RCL's
arguments, it would seem that Hashem did indeed create animal life on a
global level. Miraculously airlifting them to their indigenous localities
sometime after they propagated off the teiva just doesn't sound right.

Simcha Coffer  

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Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2006 21:38:06 -0500
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
Re The Mabul

> and the natural flow 
> of the floodwaters from the rest of the world into Eretz 
> Yisroel. 

I wrote:
> Regarding the Mabul, ...their
> reconciliations include saying that ... although EY was not rained upon,
> it was nevertheless flooded by the waters coming from the rest of the
> world. (Ramban on 6:11-- ""But the waters spread out throughout the world
> [""b'chol ha'olom""] and covered all the high mountains that were under all
> the heavens, as is written explicitly [k'mo sheh-kasuv mefurash (7:19)],
> and there was no barrier surrounding EY to prevent the waters from
> entering."" (This addresses RCL's last observation in her post regarding
> the liklihood of EY being flooded ""in a truly global flood."" I.e.,
> according to the Ramban, it was.)

Sun, 5 Feb 2006 R' Chana Luntz chana@kolsassoon.org.uk asked:
> Can you be more explicit where this is in the Ramban? My version of
> the Ramban does not appear to have him commenting on 6:11...

Sorry, not 6:11 but 8:11. Interestingly, since writing the above
and consulting the sources RCL directed us to, I've found that the
explanations about toxic air, and water flowing into EY from the rest of
the world, are shittos in the Gemora, not just speculation by rishonim
(although I wouldn't know it from the Ramban's words -- which may may that
we're coming onto something regarding places like here and regarding the
depth of the ark in the waters, where Ramban, as R' Chavel points out,
does actually have a Talmudic mekor for what he seems to be saying on his
own accord. This touches upon a previous discussion on Avodah concerning
Ramban's apparent willingness to contradict Chazal. Now, if only we can
find a Chazal to back up his opinon about the rainbow.... )

Zvi Lampel

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Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 08:37:38 +0100
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Re: Emunah, Perakim and the Mabul

RMB wrote:
> Also, it says "haqeshes", a particular rainbow, not rainbows in
> general. (Like "pi habe'eir, pi ha'ason".) So even if the list did
> mean only miraculous things, "the rainbow" is a particular rainbow,
> presumably Noach's not a statement about all rainbows.

Noa'h's rainbow must have appeared more than once, for so the words "9:16
And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may
remember the everlasting covenant between G"d and every living creature
of all flesh that is upon the earth." The rainbow of Noa'h is to be a
recurrent sign. However, since the sign is one between HQBH and mankind,
I fail to understand your implicit suggestion of two kinds of rainbows,
those of Noa'h and the "natural" ones. After all, with two identical
kinds of rainbows (are they identical?), mankind can no longer perceive
the sign of the covenant.

Arie Folger

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Date: Tue, 07 Feb 2006 02:35:08 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Re: Creation & allegory

Lisa Liel wrote:
> The Rambam "seems to assert" in the Moreh that there won't be korbanot
> l'atid la-vo. That's a direct contradiction to the laws of korbanot
> in the Yad. It's not a contradiction. The Moreh contains apologetics.
> You have to consider the intended audience.

I am disturbed by your confident dismissal of an apparent contradiction
in the Rambam by simply asserting that the Moreh Nevuchim contains kiruv
Torah or apologetics. That is not the way we were taught to approach the
Rambam in yeshiva. Are you claiming that the Rambam wrote explanations
he knew to be false in order to remove doubts of confused people?

The Meshech Chochma (Vayikra 1:2) suggest a resolution to the problem
by noting that the Rambam asserts that the korbonos offered on bamos
were to take people away from Avoda Zarah. In contrast in the Mishna
Torah he is describing korbonos in the Beis HaMikdash which served a
more elevated function.

Regarding the question of the Rambam's source there is a medrash (Vayikra
Rabbah 22) that is cited by the Abarbanel and others.

    7.... R. Ishmael learned: Owing to the fact that in the wilderness
    Israel were forbidden to eat flesh of desire, Scripture exhorts them
    that they should bring their sacrifices to the priest, and the priest
    would slaughter them and receive the blood....

    8. R. Phinehas in the name of R. Levi said: The matter may be compared
    to the case of a king's son who thought he could do what he liked and
    habitually ate the flesh of nebeloth and.terefoth.5 Said the king:
    ' I will have him always at my own table and he will automatically be
    hedged round.'6 Similarly, because Israel were passionate followers
    after idolatry in Egypt and used to bring their sacrifices to the
    satyrs, as it is written, And they shall no more sacrifice their
    sacrifices unto the satyrs (Lev. XVII, 7) -- and these satyrs are
    nought but demons, as is borne out by the text which says, They
    sacrificed unto demons, no-gods (Deut. XXXII, 17), these demons
    being nought but satyrs, as it says, And satyrs shall dance there
    (Isa. XIII, 21)1--and they used to offer their sacrifices in the
    forbidden high places, on account of which punishments used to come
    upon them, the Holy One, blessed be He, said: ג€˜Let them offer their
    sacrifices to Me at all times in the Tent of Meeting, and thus they
    will be separated from idolatry and be saved from punishment.' Hence
    OF MEETING, etc.

Daniel Eidensohn

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Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 01:06:00 GMT
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Re: Pascal's Wager

R' Micha Berger wrote:
> Acting like one believes due to a Pascal's Wager argument
> will not lead to relying on the ikkarim as fact. It would
> at most argue for orthopraxy, following halakhah without
> emunah. (Although emunah itself is a chiyuv.)

I'd modify that a bit. Pascal's Wager won't *directly* lead to emunah. But
it certainly can lead to emunah *indirectly*. Mitoch shelo lishma,
ba lishma.

Akiva Miller
who started taking Torah seriously during high school, long before I
ever heard of Pascal, because, as I phrased it at the time, "the odds
are very low, but the stakes are way too high."

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Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 06:30:46 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Enzymes in Honey & Cheese

On Tue, Feb 07, 2006 at 08:53:09AM +0200, Ari Z. Zivotofsky wrote:
:             honey is never broken down and honey is not produced by bee 
: glands (unlike royal jelly). the nectar's long sugar molecule is merely 
: split into the shorter chains of honey by bee produced enzymes.

Doesn't your reisha "is never broken down" different than the seifa
"long sugar molecule is split into the shorter chains of honey"...?

Are you asserting a shiur to how chemically pronouned the change must be?

Usually those that assert the "isn't really made by the bee" sevara
for the kashrus of honey write as though they think the bee is only
dehydrating the nectar.

Second, I do not understand the chemistry you're describing. A sugar
is a ring of carbons, not a chain of variable length. A multiplicity of
rings in one molecule would be a starch, and wouldn't be sweet. No?


Micha Berger             A sick person never rejects a healing procedure
micha@aishdas.org        as "unbefitting." Why, then, do we care what
http://www.aishdas.org   other people think when dealing with spiritual
Fax: (270) 514-1507      matters?              - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Date: Tue, 07 Feb 2006 08:16:34 -0500
From: "L. E. Levine" <llevine@stevens.edu>
Kashrus Reliable Enough

[An OLD, but pre-commercial version of Vestos is available at
<http://www.aishdas.org/vestos.exe>. It was written for Win95, so I do
not know how it would fare on a newer compuer. -mi]

At 06:24 AM 02/07/2006, you wrote:
>Now it may come as a shock to some of you who only inhabit the rarified
>atmosphere of Avodah, but your average woman is not and has never been,
>throughout history, exactly baki b'shas poskim. And the laws of niddah
>and counting and mikvah are extremely complicated (in fact on this
>list we have recently had a discussion about veset kavuah, where there
>has been some level of confusion about what is or isn't a vest kavuah,
>remembering that if one thinks one has a vest kavuah and one does not,
>there is at least likely to be a violation of at least a d'rabbanan).
>And yet the halacha of eid echad b'issurin is learnt out from what is and
>has been, historically, the most ignorant group within klal yisroel, and
>it is learnt out in relation to a matter that if messed up is potentially
>an issur kares. Not to impune the yiras shamayim of bnos yisroel over
>the years. But it is of course eminently possible that somebody may
>have the highest level of yiras shamayim, and yet not be able to deal
>with complex halachas such as counting and mikvah. And yet the risks in
>relation to hilchos nida, compared to the risks of kashrus, even in this
>day and age of increased kashrus complexity, are extremely serious.

How does software designed to assist a woman with her counting fit into
this discussion, if at all? From http://www.yoatzot.org/question/1442.

"February 23, 2004

Do you have (or know someone who does) a computer program that calculates
Halachic times for a Niddah?


Dear questioner,

Thank you for your question.

"Tahara," for the palm pilot, can be downloaded
from <http://www.pilotyid.com/>pilot yid. There is a
freeware niddah calculator for the computer available at
<http://www.hebrewsoft.com/freeware/jewish/vest.html>, and a program
called "Vestos" available from <http://www.torahsoftware.org/> Torah

Does the existence of such programs imply that "things have changed?"
Are they an "insult" to today's women, given that for generations
women were able to make these calculations without these aids?
On http://www.torahsoftware.org/ it says Torah Software Inc.


A Rabbinically approved computer program
for your personal
Taharas Hamishpachah calculations

What does rabbinical approval of this program imply? Just that it is
reliable or that a women should be using it?

Yitzchok Levine 

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Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 06:38:56 EST
From: MSDratch@aol.com
Re: Rape- Sources?

<mslatfatf@access4less.net> writes:

> It would certainly fall under Lo Tonu, V'ahavta l'reiacha, kedoshim
> tih'yu, v'halachta b'drachav, Yichud, etc.

Actually, just came across an article in Tehumin, vol. 24., R. Yigal
Tzifirah quotes the Divrei Yetziv (Even ha-Ezer 77), R. Yekutiel Yehudah
Halberstam, the late Sanz-Kausenberg Rebbe, who categorizes (marital)
rape as chabalah, assault. He himself suggests lo tonu.

> I don't believe it says anywhere in Shulchan Aruch that murder is
> forbidden. Some things don't need to be said.

Your point compounds my problem, but at least, see... Yoreh De'ah 157,
(murder is a yehareg v'al ya'avor)

Hoshen Mishpat 280:3 (discussing rodef to murder or to rape one of the
arayot -- and Shakh points out that it is a woman that is otherwise
assur because of incest or a man and therefore a homosexual act)

> Well, the guy is killed.

not if she's a single woman!


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