Avodah Mailing List

Volume 17 : Number 033

Monday, May 8 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sun, 07 May 2006 03:10:15 -0400
From: Jacob Farkas <jfarkas@compufar.com>
Re: Married with AIDS

>  Jacob Farkas wrote:
>> R' Shmuel Tuvia Stern ZT"L, in his Shu"t HaShavit [volume 8, EH 13] is
>> of the opinion that a female condom could be permitted in a case where
>> AIDS may be an issue. He discusses the possibility of abstinence as well.

> I would think this is a textbook halakhah ve'ein morin kein. Since if
> anyone at all thought we were opening this question in general, one
> runs the risk of popularizing shichvas zera levatalah where no such
> heter exists.

OTOH, there is a possibility that b'maqom saqanah, one may otherwise
conclude that there is no Heter. The ramifications can be disastrous.

Jacob Farkas

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Date: Sun, 7 May 2006 10:56:59 +0200
From: "Shalom Berger" <lookjed@mail.biu.ac.il>
The order of teh Shulchan Aruch

My sister asked me this question, and I thought that someone on the list
could help out.
> We wanted to look at laws of Tzedakah in the shulkhan aruch on shabbat,
> and after some searching found it between talmud torah and milah.

What determines the order of the topics?

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: Sun, 7 May 2006 15:06:14 +0200
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
candle lighting on shavuot

I saw an opinion that just like we have a minhag not to start Maariv on
shevuot night until after Tzeit (like the Taz) so also women should
not light yom tov candles until then.
I have never seen this in practice.
Do others have this minhag?

Eli Turkel

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Date: Sun, 7 May 2006 08:22:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: velvel gurkow <velvelg@yahoo.com>
Re: ethics question (commerce)

> ...Strict letter of the law... you are not obligated to recompense
> an Akum if it is his error and he does not realize he made one. But it
> would be a big Kiddush HaShem if the customer went back and straightened
> it out...

Isn't there a Baer hetev somewhere which mentions that money made by
taking advantage of an Akum, (while Halachicly allowed) will never see
Siman Brachah? Does anyone know of something like that?


"the soil is rich here but given wholly to ashes... there was hardly
a tree or shrub anywhere... even the olives and the cactus, had almost
deserted the country... Jerusalem is mournful and dreary and lifeless"
Mark Twain. 1860

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Date: Sun, 07 May 2006 11:36:46 -0400
From: Jacob Farkas <jfarkas@compufar.com>
Pruzbul (was Re: population of Israel)

> Rn Lisa Liel wrote:
>> So... should we make a list of dinim that are different because of it?
>> We could probably start with prosbul going away, no?

R' Micha Berger wrote:
> Well, shemitah deOraisa depends on yoveil deOraisa. Especially if we
> hold that the year of Yoveil is not part of any cycle...
> It would not only kill pruzbul, but also heter mechirah (qarqa, not the
> alternative to ribis).

The Gemara is Gitin 36a asks how Hillel was able to establish Pruzbul
which in essence nullifies Shmitas K'safim, and the Gemara answers that
Hillel was able to establish Pruzbul because Sh'vi'is Bizman Hazeh
is not a deOraisa, and Rabbee is of the opinion that Shmitas Kesafim
follows shmitas qarqa, and if shmitas qarqa is not in effect, neither
is the shmitas k'safim. (And as Shmitas qarqa deOraisa is contingent on
Yoveil, and Yoveil was not in effect --rashi), Shmitas Kesafim is only
a d'rabanan and so Hillel had the authority to establish Pruzbul.

Rava says (Gitin 32b) that Hefqer BD Hefqer is enough to grant
authority. Rashi and [one opinion in] Tosfos dispute whether Rava's
answer was for a secondary question that the Gemara had about Pruzbul,
or whether it was for the original question of how could Hillel uproot
Shmitas Kesafim with a Taqanah. Rashi is of the opinion that according
to Rava, Hillel would be able to establish Pruzbul, even when Shmitah
is deOraisa.

The Rambam (Shmitah V'yovel 9:15) states that Pruzbul would not be
effective when Shmitah is deOraisa, so he either follows Abbaye, or he
learns like [one of the ba'alei] Tosfos, that Rava is not suggesting
hefqer BD hefqer when shmitah is deOraisa.

There is a makhloqes whether Yoveil was in effect at the time of Hillel's
taqanah, see Tosfos Gitin 36a (sv. Bizman She'atah M'shamet). Rabeinu Tam
is of the opinion that Yoveil DeOraisa was in effect during Bayis Sheini.

The Gemara in Arakhin 32b learns from the Pasuq, Uqrasem Dror l'khol
yo'shveha, that Yoveil requires Kol Yo'shveha aleha. Therefore, when
Shevet Reuven, Gad and half of Shevet Menasheh were exiled [by Sanherev -
Rashi] Yoveil was no longer in practice. It is worthy to note that those 2
and a half tribes were most likely fewer than 50% of the entire population
and nevertheless Yoveil was Batel. The aforementioned Tosfos quoting
Rabbeinu Tam that Yoveil was in effect during Bayis Sheini, considers
the possibility that it is only necessary to have representatives of
all 12 shevatim living in EY for the prerequisite of Kol Yo'shveha aleha.

IOW, the prerequisite of Kol Yo'shveha aleha has nothing to do with
majority, so the assumption that when Yishuv EY exceeds 50% [because of
Rubo K'Kulo] of the entire extant Jewish population, Yoveil becomes in
effect is incorrect. If that were true, then why did Yoveil cease after
the 2 and a half tribes were exiled? Surely more than 50% remained? If
we consider Tosfos' prerequisite of Kol Yo'shveha aleha that we need
inhabitants of all tribes, then why do we assume that Yoveil is no longer
in effect Bizman Hazeh, perhaps we still have from all 12 tribes , in
their appropriate locations, currently living in EY? As we do not know who
is from what tribe, we cannot make that assumption, and no matter what
percentage of jews living in EY, we may not reach Kol Yo'shveha aleha
until we can establish that all 12 tribes are there, in their locations.

This din in Yoveil, that it needs Kol Yo'shveha aleha is not similar to
a din in Hallah that requires that the majority of jews be oleh to EY.
See Gemara in Kesubos 25a where the Gemara learns from the Pasuq of
B'voakhem el Ha'aretz, B'vias Kulkhem amarti, v'lo b'vias miktzaskhem.
Hallah does need B'vias Kulkhem, and as rashi explains, when Ezra returned
to EY, the majority stayed in Bavel, and therefore B'vias Kulkhem was
not satisfied.

B'vias Kulkhem is not similar to Kol Yo'shveha aleha. They are independent
of each other. Some say that B'vias Kulkhem would actually only be
valid if Beis Din sanctifies it [Hiddushei R' Hayyim Haleivi - Shmitah
V'yovel 12:16], as the din of B'vias Kulkhem is one that happens when
there is an actual mass Aliyah, similar to Ezra and Yehoshua, not like
Kol Yo'shveha aleha which can (or did?) happen without any BD, as it is
a fact, there either is Kol Yo'shveha aleha or there isn't.

So, as far as Pruzbul is concerned, Yoveil is not in effect today,
so Pruzbul still stands. Yoveil will not become in effect when 51% of
jews live in EY, as that is not a prerequisite of Kol Yo'shveha aleha.
Rabbeinu Tam held that Kol Yo'shveha aleha and Yoveil existed even during
Bayis Sheini when majority lived in Bavel.

Should Sanhedrin be formed, and sanctify B'vias Kulkhem when majority of
jews live in EY, and should they at any possible point determine that
Kol Yo'shveha aleha is also in effect and restore Yoveil, consider the
following possibility:

Hillel established the Taqanah of Pruzbul in recognition of the facts on
the ground, jews were reluctant to lend money to other jews because of
Shmitas K'safim. This would be even more problematic in modern times,
considering how current economies operate. Sanhedrin could then take a
cue from Hillel and re-establish Pruzbul on their own accord, considering
that there already is precedent to such a position (or even if ignoring
precedent altogether?, this being the Sanhedrin!), as Rava [according
to Rashi, and possibly rabbeinu Tam] considered Hefqer BD hefqer to be
strong enough to override Shmitas K'safim deOraisa. A current Sanhedrin
could apply Rava's position in light of a current economy, even if the
Rambam did not.

Jacob Farkas

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Date: Sun, 7 May 2006 18:31:03 +0200
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
anshei knesset hagedolah

> It will be interesting to see what replies you get -- and I really hope
> the knowledgeable historians on list weigh in -- but AFAIK the answer
> to your questions is -- no one knows for sure. At the beginning of the
> Bayis Sheni period there seems to be a 120-member body called the Anshei
> Knesses Hagedolah, at the end of that period there is a 70-member body
> called the Sanhedrin, and what happened in between -- a mystery.

Actually it is unlikely that all 120 were akive at the same time. Ezra
and Shimon HaZaddik did not overlap.

A completely separate mystery is what is the Sanhedrin Hagadol. For
example during most of the Maccabbee rule the koen hagadol was a Sadducee
and it is highly unlikely that they would allow a powerful institution
like the main court to be ruled by the Pharisees.

Eli Turkel

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Date: Sun, 7 May 2006 16:35:38 GMT
From: "Elazar M. Teitz" <remt@juno.com>
Re: Akdamus, Yetziv Pisgam, and the 4 Questions

RRW writes: 
> Given both Akdamus and Yetziv Pisgam are in Aramaic AND The Roedlehim
> mahczor has Akdamus AFTER the first passuk is lained on Shavuos The Taz -
> and others -rasie strong objections...

> Yetziv Pisgam - which FWIW is NOT in most German Machazomim - also is
> recited after the first {or 2nd} passuk of the hatora of the 2nd day. Why?
> Answer: {Artscroll kind of gets this right in some of their book}
> is that they are NOT introductions ot the reading but to the TARGUM!

> And as part of the Targum they are NOT a hefseik at all,any more than
> the Targum itself is a hefseik to the kr'ia!
> Now look back at the criticisim by the Taz et. al. they are reading the
> machazor AS IS without regard to its history!

It takes "breite pleitzes" to accuse the Taz et al. of basing an opinion
on a misunderstanding of the history of the machzor.

Two questions: (1) What is the basis for the assumption that the Taz was
unaware that Akdamus and Y'tziv pisgam relate to the targum and not to
the k'rias haTorah?

More important, (2) Why is the Taz's questioning of the minhag any less
valid if it refers to the targum? Because the targum itself is no
hefseik, does that then permit anything in Aramaic to be said during
k'rias haTorah, though it has no connection? (And it is the lack of
connection -- eino mei'inyan hak'riah -- which is the basis for the
Taz's objection.)

There is no indication whatever that the Taz had less awareness than
RRW about the original role of Akdamus. Whether he did or not, not one
word would have to be changed in his comment. What was the need for
the gratuitous impugning of the Taz's understanding?


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Date: Sun, 7 May 2006 13:44:38 -0400
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com>

I'm doing my tikkkun leil shavuot on this topic. I was thinking of where
there would be nafka minas as to whether adoption is "keilu ylado"

Some examples would be :
    Talmud torah
    Ben sorer
    Ba bamachteret
    Pru urvu
    Names (e.g. in shtar)

Any other obvious ones?
Joel Rich

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Date: Sun, 7 May 2006 21:15:53 +0200
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
lifnei iver

In a shiur our rabbi had a question which he could not answer. The gemara
says that if one lends money without any witnesses or evidence he violates
"line iver" because maybe the borrower would deny the loan.

Why should we suspect the borrower of doing such a thing? On the contrary
the lender is doing a mitzvah. In many modern teshuvot poskim find heterim
for problems because maybe the person in question won't do the aveirah.
Here on the contrary 99% are honest and this person violates lifne iver
because of the 1% that will cheat.

Similarly the SA paskens that one can give food only to someone who we
are sure will make a bracha. The implication is that if there a safek
then one can not feed him. Why not? why assume if nothing is none that
he wont make a bracha (RSZA paskens that today this is not relevant if
the chiloni will hate the religious since we just exchange one sin he
would do for another)

kol tuv
Eli Turkel

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Date: Sun, 7 May 2006 22:55:00 +0300
From: "Moshe Feldman" <moshe.feldman@gmail.com>
RSZA and kashrut

On 5/7/06, Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com> wrote on Areivim:
> In line with pther stories our rabbi told us a story about RSZA from
> someone who was there. A Chiloni brought RSZA some shalach manot.
> A few minutes later the head of the Eidah haCharedit came by and RSZA
> gave him the shalch manot he got from the chiloni. Later someone asked
> RSZA how he could do that. His answer was that on Purim shalach Manot is
> to unite the Jewish people that should not be separate peoples. So
> everyone can rely on the same hasgachot and not insist on chumrot.

Another proof that the psak of RSZA --stating that me'ikar hadin, all
major rabbanut kashruyot are reliable--is accurately quoted in
V'aleiyu lo yibol.

Kol tuv,

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Date: Sun, 7 May 2006 20:15:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tamar Weissman <tamarweissman@yahoo.com>
Challah on the table during kiddush

I just finished learning Pesachim 100B. It seems according to the
gemara that l'chatchila we should just bring the chalot out to the
table after Kiddush is finished. The whole idea of covering them seems
to be a b'diavad reaction to chalot laden tables mistakenly being out
during Kiddush. I know Tosafot says that since b'zman hazeh we all eat
at one big table we don't have to bring the table out after Kiddush.
But shouldn't we at least wait until after Kiddush to bring the chalot
out? And what's the source for people being so careful to make sure
that the chalot are ON the table during Kiddush? That seems to run
counter to the Gemara.

I know the sources for the more "midrashic" reasons for why we cover the
challah (bushat hachallah and the kufsat tal of the mon). These seem to
be , though, "deeper" explanations for a custom that's clearly b'diavad
in nature. From a simple reading of the gemara, it just seems to me that
the best thing to do would be to just leave the chalot in the kitchen
until after kiddush.

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Date: Sun, 07 May 2006 21:03:08 -0500
From: Lisa Liel <lisa@starways.net>
Re: Anshei Kneses Hagedola

On Thu, 4 May 2006 13:02:24 GMT, "Gershon Dubin" 
<gershon.dubin@juno.com> wrote:
>How long did this institution last? Were its members replaced when 
>they died? How did it end-bang or whimper?

I've seen views that say there were a total of 120 members over the
course of its existence. But as ReTK wrote, we don't really know.

Shimon HaTzaddik is referred to as having been one of the Shayarei Anshei
Knesset HaGedolah. One of the "remnants". "Survivors". It's hard to
know exactly what that meant. But there are a lot of things we don't
know about that period. One moment, Zerubavel was all but king, and
the next, there's not a whisper. What happened to Ezra and Nehemiah?
It's all a big blank.

The only thing that occurs to me is something I learned from R' Mendel
Blachman in Jerusalem. He was talking about the people in Tanach.
The Avot, the Imahot, etc. He pointed out that we know very little about
any of them, as people. We don't know if one of them had freckles,
or was allergic to milk. We don't know if Yitzchak Avinu had a sense
of humor (though you might think so, given his name). All the things
that make them people and flesh them out... none of it is there.
And there's a reason for that.

We don't *care* what kind of a person Yaakov Avinu was. People are
complex and multifaceted, and the Torah chose certain facets to preserve.
In modern thinking, if the whole person was not identical to this, that's
misrepresentation. Half truths. But that's a modern fallacy, really.
The Torah, while never fudging on the truth, only tells things that
will further its goal. And the same is true for the rest of Tanach.
Suppose we were to find out through historical research that Darius
the Persian ordered Zerubavel, Ezra and Nehemiah killed. Well, maybe
including that in Tanach would have given an impression that isn't true.
Look at the way in which modern historians have converted Columbus from an
intrepid explorer to an evil invader. Look at how the butcher Richard the
Lionhearted is seen as a hero in the Robin Hood stories. When there's
a lot of information, people with agendas can spin that information.
When there's only the information that matters, it's different.

Maybe there was internal fighting in the Jewish community itself which led
to the deaths of these men. Maybe there was a bad outbreak of the flu.
Anything of that sort would have been seen as something included in
Tanach for a reason. But maybe it just happened. Things do happen.

So the same basic idea applies to the Anshei Knesset HaGedolah. We know
some of the things that they did. We know an extremely sketchy bit about
them, including some of the men who were members. We know that from
the time of Ezra to the time of Shimon HaTzaddik, everything changed,
externally. I kind of doubt we'll ever have the details.


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Date: Sun, 7 May 2006 21:32:28 -0500
From: "CBK" <fallingstar613@hotmail.com>

> as Qitniyos is a Gezeirah D'rabbanan and not merely a Minhag. 

Where is this issur mentioned in Chazal? A gezeirah of Rishonim
(medieval) is not a gezeirah d'rabbanan that would make it a "din
d'rabbanon". Many Rishonim and Achronim didn't even accept the
gezeirah. Such as the Chacham Tzvi, who logically says that it is an
added tircha and makes it more difficult to have simchas yomtov.


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Date: Sun, 7 May 2006 21:45:43 -0500
From: "CBK" <fallingstar613@hotmail.com>
Aruch Hashulchan vs. Mishna Berura

I read an essay by R. Chaim Soloveitchik (from YU) which discusses the
difference between the two (MB and AhS). He says that the MB was written
by the CC who was a leader of the yeshiva world and therefore the MB
tendency to be machmir in his derech of "being yotzei kol hadeyos". This
was not the case with the author of the AhS who was a rav and leader
of communities in which a rav poskened according to the minhagim of
the city or according to his own understanding. Thus the AhS comes to
a conclusion and poskens accordingly and is not out to be "yotzei kol
hadeyos" - just to be safe.

Yes, everyone can point to leniencies in the MB and chumros from the AhS.
Nonetheless, I think the point is valid.

It just seems to me that the idea of being "yotzei kol hadeyos", to be
safe, is a contradiction to the of "Elu vElu divrei Elokim chaim". The
"Elu" side seems to believe that whatever the psak, it is valid when it is
concluded through the proper system of Torah learning and analysis. The
"yotzei kol..." side seems to say that if one just goes according to the
single psak of a poseik, it may very well be wrong and voilate halacha,
otherwise why should anyone care to be yotzei all opinions? thoughts?


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Date: Mon, 08 May 2006 11:07:01 -0400
From: Jacob Farkas <jfarkas@compufar.com>
Re: lifnei iver

R' Eli Turkel wrote:
> In a shiur our rabbi had a question which he could not answer. The gemara
> says that if one lends money without any witnesses or evidence he violates
> "lifne iver" because maybe the borrower would deny the loan.

> Why should we suspect the borrower of doing such a thing? On the contrary
> the lender is doing a mitzvah. In many modern teshuvot poskim find heterim
> for problems because maybe the person in question won't do the aveirah.
> Here on the contrary 99% are honest and this person violates lifne iver
> because of the 1% that will cheat.

See this website [ http://tinyurl.com/pehmc ] containing a shiur on this
subject with many good sources. Of particular interest is in footnote 1:

"The Tumim (Siman 70) and the Lechem Mishna (Hilchos Halva'ah Ch. 2)
prove that the reason for this Takkana was because our Chaza"l were
concerned that the borrower might forget about the loan, not that he
would intentionally lie and deny owing the money. Their proof is from
the fact that the Gemara says that witnesses to the loan are sufficient.
If the borrower wishes to lie, he can admit that the money was borrowed,
but claim that it was repaid, since the Halacha is (Choshen Mishpat 70:1)
that even if a loan was made in the presence of witnesses, it need not be
paid back in their presence! Therefore, it is clear that they did not make
this Takannah to prevent lying, but rather to prevent forgetfulness. "

Jacob Farkas

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Date: Mon, 8 May 2006 19:35:00 +0200
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
lifnei iver

On 5/8/06, Jacob Farkas <jfarkas@compufar.com> wrote:
> See this website [ http://tinyurl.com/pehmc ] containing a shiur on this
> subject with many good sources. Of particular interest is in footnote 1:
... [See previous post -mi]

Translated what you wrote to my rabbi and he wasn't too satisfied.
First Rashi says that he might deny the loan. Second even if the problem
is forgetfulness why does that imply lifnei iver. Because someone else
might forget a loan I violate an issur? When someone hits an elder (?)
son one creates an atmosphere where it is likely that the son will react.
BTW he quoted R. Wolbe that today that applies to any kid over the age
of 3! Our rabbi thought that might be a little too much but it any case
it gets earlier with the progression of our modernity.

Again poskim allow all sorts of heterim because it is not clear that an
averah will be be done. Here because someone might forget a loan and
so not repay it it becomes prohibited to lend without documentation.
Note this does not apply to small loans. No one writes down when he
lends a pen to someone else. OTOH I have lost books that I lent out
because I am not careful to always keep records.

kol tuv,
Eli Turkel

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