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Volume 20: Number 12

Sun, 15 Oct 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 12:13:56 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Chazarta Hashas.

Regarding learning during chazaras hashatz, R' Joel Rich wrote:
> A follow on question - it seems (correct me if I'm wrong)
> that the universal minhag is that people (including rabbanim)
> who wear tfillin on chol hamoed take them off during chazarat
> hashatz and also prepare their 4 minim (even leaving the room
> to get them) during the same time period. I wonder why there
> is not a similar concern as above?

My first reaction was to agree, "Well, sure, of course there should 
be a similar concern. Perhaps it is indeed wrong to do these things 
during chazaras hashatz."

But we can cite something which is entrenched even more deeply than 
tefillin and lulav: Duchening. And on two distinct levels.

First, it is firmly established that they wash their hands and loosen 
their shoelaces during chazaras hashatz, even though I see no reason 
they can't be done earlier. Even if one would point out that it is 
too long a time from Psukei Dzimra to duchening for those who duchen 
in Shacharis, one could still ask for those who duchen only in Musaf: 
Would it have been so terrible for the kohanim to wash and unlace 
while (or after) the Sefer Torah is being put away, prior to the 
silent Shmoneh Esray? Wouldn't that have been preferable to doing it 
during Chazaras Hashatz?

One might answer that in terms of how distracting things are -- and 
surely that is the prime concern here where we want people to pay 
attention to the shatz -- only learning (and talking!) is 
problematic. Washing hands, removing tefillin, unlacing shoes, 
assembling the lulav, they're all comparatively undemanding of one's 
attention, and not problematic during Chazaras Hashatz.

But a second, and stronger, point can be raised: Very few shuls have 
the sink in the sanctuary itself. Almost everywhere, the kohanim must 
leave the room, and wash in a place where the shliach tzibur can be 
heard only with difficulty, if at all. (This is similar to RJR's 
point that some leave the room to get their lulav.) This would be 
another reason for the kohanim to wash beforehand, or to have 
established a basic part of shul architecture that there must be a 
washing area within earshot of the chazan. I'm not aware of any such 
established minhag (though in recent years I think some shuls have 
been doing it as a hidur).

I have no conclusions. I am only bringing some evidence that 
*perhaps* it is not *as* important to hear chazaras hashatz as it 
might seem at first glance.

Akiva Miller

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Message: 2
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 13:09:31 +0200
[Avodah] women learning Torah

 <Please note I am not coming out here against women learning torah at all
b'zman hazeh , of course. It is now considered a thoroughly necessary sha'as
hadchak, in most people's opinion. I am merely responding to the poster's
questions. >>

RYBS and RAL consider women learning Torah bzman hazeh as a lechatchilah
not as a bideved.
MATAN in various cities in Israel does a wonderful job of teaching Torah to
women at ALL levels and have the haskaka of various rabbanim who also
teach there on a lechatchila basis.

I still remember when my wife was in college (eons ago) she took a class
on hilchot nidah from Tova Lichtenstein/Soloveitchik that included a
detailed discussion of shitot of rishonim with no hint that this was a
shaas hadchag

Chag Sameach

Eli Turkel
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Message: 3
From: "Cantor Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 07:12:42 -0400
[Avodah] Hoshana Rabbah

Someone once said that in parts of pre-war Eastern Europe Hoshana Rabbah was known as Yom Kippur Katan. Normally, Yom Kippur Katan refers to the day before Rosh Chodesh as this is likened to a beginning and therefore, more of an opportunity to do teshuva. It does make perfect sense that Hosahana Rabbah would be understood in this way since it resembles a minor Yom Kippur in some ways.  

In the Midrash, God says to Abraham, "I will give your descendants a special day for forgiveness: Hoshana Rabbah. If they are not forgiven on Rosh Hashana then let them try Yom Kippur; if not, then Hoshana Rabbah."  Also, some of the nusah for Hoshana Rabbah is the same as Yom Kippur in both text and melody. 

Rabbi Yeshaya Horowitz, author of Shelah (Shnei Luchot Habrit) compares the ten days between Yom Kippur and Hoshana Rabbah to the Aseres Y'mei Teshuva, Ten Days of Repentance. Also, in some places (don?t ask me where) on Hoshana Rabbah it is a custom for some people to wish each other a "pitka tava," which means "a good ticket" (hopefully, front row center). This refers to the idea that the ultimate and final sealing of one's yearly judgment occurs on Hoshana Rabbah (sort of a last ditch effort).

Wishing each other ?pitka tava? made me think of an interesting analogy.  When one goes to the theater or concert, the better the seat, the more it costs.  So it is, how we conduct our lives. The more effort we put in and the harder we work determines the location of the heavenly concert.

May we transfer our sins to the willows and beat the ?hell? out of them.
A guten Hoishana and Yom Tov.
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Message: 4
From: menucha <menu@inter.net.il>
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 14:39:32 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Schooling for women (was 12 steps)

I must say that I have never understood using this piece of Gemara as an 
argument for women learning Torah Shebeal Peh.  This is saying that 
everyone was conversant in the pertinent Halachot of Tuma and Tahara, 
halachot that women specifically have to be familiar with (Vesafra la et al)
It would be like saying that today every one would know the laws of 
Kashrut.  Amazingly admirable, but by no means proving one way or the 
other as far as women and Torah Shebeal Peh.
Interesting teshuva on this point in Tzitz Eliezer 9,3
chag sameach

> <toramada@bezeqint.net> wrote:
>>I must say that this has always bothered me. The idea that
>>teaching women Yiddishkeit in an organized way is only b/c of
>>"sha'at had'chak".
>>Even more so, after learning the G'mara that in the time of
>>Chizkiya, when they checked, they couldn't find a "Tinok o
>>Tinoket" who didn't know all Torah SheBe'al Peh including Tohorot.

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Message: 5
From: "Yisrael Medad" <yisrael.medad@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 15:58:46 +0200
[Avodah] Chazarat Hashatz

From the sefer Ishay Yisraelby Avraham Yehoshua Papofeuer (ok:
24:15 -
*/therefore one should not talk [**of matters not related to prayer, i.e
., "chullin"**], do not say tachnunim, or learn Torah*
*(and not even study from a book) during the repetition of the Shmoneh Esrei
even if he is sure he can meditate and answer at the end of each bracha/*

*See note Kaf HaChayim 124:16...and see Mishneh Brura 125:1 which indicates
that this refers only to Kedusha.  And see Responsa Revavot Efrayim Vol. 8,
Yisrael Medad
Mobile Post Efraim 44830
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Message: 6
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 12:05:36 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Rav Keller's JO article on evolution

Thu, 12 Oct 2006 from: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name> 

> Zvi Lampel wrote, quoting R Saadia Gaon: 

>> In the conventional/primary sense, Hashem's saying that when 
>> giving maaser "you shall test me through this" (Devarim 6:16) 
>> contradicts the pesukim prohibiting testing Hashem. 
>> "Uvchanuni na bazot" is not Devarim 6:16, it's Malachi 3:10. 
>> Devarim 6:16 is "lo tenasun et Hashem".
I stand corrected. The text I was paraphrasing had it right, but I confused it. Y'yashas kochacha! By the way, I'm working on getting the passage,as well as the similar Sefer HaIKarrim passage, on a URL, so that all can see them in the original (or in the original Hebrew translation in the case of the RSG passage.)

> RSG seems to say that the contradiction must be resolved by 
reinterpreting the pasuk in Malachi, so that it doesn't really 
allow testing Hashem. I was taught the exact opposite, that 
this is an exception to the rule, and one is allowed to test 
Hashem in this particular case. <

I had the same problem. Perhaps if we can get our hands on the RSG's commentary on Malachi we can find a solution.

> Both Malachi and his audience were familiar with the pasuk in 
Devarim, as are we, and nevertheless Hashem told him to call 
on his audience to test Him, and this [as well as the Torah's passage-ZL] was written ledorot, so the contradiction is resolved in favour of the latter.<
One may argue that since they were all familiar with the Torah's prohibition, they all knew that Malachi's intent was not "al pi peshuto." <

> ...we find a similar exception in the Torah itself, 
in parshat Behar, where Hashem promises that if we keep shemita 
and yovel, He will make the harvest of the 49th year last for 
3 years instead of one.<

But that is not presented as something we should intentionally use as a test of Hashem, any more than are any of the other promises of results for our deeds (such as in kriass shema, the tochahchos, etc.).

Zvi Lampel

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Message: 7
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 13:31:43 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] Rav Keller's JO article on evolution

I actually have something new to say on the subject, a tweak in my position
due to my thinking about RSCarmy's post. (The ideas below are mine, sparked by
his; I still think the below would try RSC's patience with its reashing
conclusions from oversimplications.)

In the days of the rishonim, there was no concept of science. Instead there
was "natural philosophy". The whole idea of gathering empirical data never
really crossed people's minds. The one semi-exception I could think of was the
addition of epicycles to the neat Ptolmeic universe. But even then noone set
out to collect the data, it was a by-product of following the planets for
astrological purposes. And they just tweaked the popular system, not
consciously tested and experimented.

Aristotle's physics was "simply" a categorization of how people innately think
the world works. We are born expecting an object to continue in roughly a line
until its impetus runs out, then it should curve into a staight fall. A person
who can catch a high pop must know on some level about parabolic trajectories,
but that mis-knowledge is still in all of us. (And in cartoons, BTW.)
Aristotle provided a theory for what people took for granted to be true, and

But at no point in the process did people set out to get new data points.

Therefore, rishonim thought of natural philosophy as a subspecie of sevara.
Reason crosses the lines of discipline. A conclusion is based on whatever you
have at hand; experience, mesorah, commonsense postulates, taught material,
and in whatever mixture you want.

Science vs Torah discussions start with the assumption that we have two
conflicting sources of data; not a conflict between Torah data and reason.

It therefore seems to me to be difficult extend the rishonim's positions to
our current science and Torah discussion. Regardless of my debates with
RMShinnar about whether the Rambam limited allegorizations to those compelled
(directly or by implication) about mesorah. Their notion of "natural
philosophy" blends with the idea of necessary by implication from the mesorah
with no clear line to draw between the disciplines. OTOH science is clearly
defined as distinct, because of the experimental process for finding patterns
in empirical data. It is about the conscious collection of non-Torah

And thus, the two would be different in kind in my formulation. A rishon could
theoretically assert that requiring philosophy is sevara, and thus inherent in
the Torah, and not a violation of "Toras H' temimah" or the creation of a new
shitah yeis mei'ayin.

The Me'iri I mentioned earlier we were pointed to a couple of years back by
RGStudent, it's on Avos 3:11. There are three kinds of pesuqim: those that
chazal tell us are allegory, those that are literal, and those that are both.
There is no category of "allegory even though chazal didn't tell us" in his
list. RGS didn't make this diyuq, just cited a ra'ayah that there were
allegorical pesuqim.

AFAIK, this and the MN in dispute are the only rishonim we found for when one
may allegorize and when not. But due to the above, even if a rishon were shown
to allow allegorization to accomodate natural philosophy, it would not
convince me he would allow it to accomodate science.

I was also asked off list yesterday how I personally approach the question.

There are two possibilities if some archeological finding seems compelling: it
is correct, or it only seems compelling, but is flawed.

If it actually happens to be correct, I believe that there would be some hint
somewhere inside TSBP that our old understanding was wrong. Some al mi

If the archeology seems compelling, but no such tzad exists, I simply have to
wait  without an answer to see the archeology upshlugged, or the implication
found from within mesorah.

Which is how I feel compelled to accept the peshat of the mabul as history
(not localized orallegorical). Because I see no shitah suggesting otherwise,
only people trying to be meyasheiv it to the archeology. So that leaves me
with a she'elah? I can live with the question. There are many things I don't
know, this one has no halakhah lema'aseh so I am doing okay adding it to the

Perhaps, and I suggested this before, we can extend the Maharal's notion (also
developed by REED in MmE I) of different planes of reality to hold the
question in abayence. The mabul happened, but the scientist lives on the wrong
plane of reality to experience its aftereffects.That would explain why the
human record is full of myths founded in the mabul experience, but the ground
shows nothing. Why people both remember the flood and remember building
societies elsewhere at the time (and before migdal bavel!). And if the ground
had eroded, there would have been no olive tree for the dove to find! The
Torah itself says something was up that would change or eliminate the
archeological record.

But I don't NEED an answer, and thus I do not feel compelled to take a strong
position one way or the other, and certainly not legalos panim baTorah
(acknowledging that "shelo kahalakhah" *might* not apply to aggadita).

Bereishis 1, OTOH, I treat differently only because I believe that even before
Hubble (big bang) and Darwin we had shitos of (1) an old universe (2) or a
process in which dating parts of ma'aseh bereishis is not meaningful without
Hubble (big bang) or Darwin.

There is only one emes. It's not a matter of "sufficient to contradict" as
though we're playing a game and looking to see who has more points. Both
sources of data must be in concert. If they aren't, then obviously I don't
understand one of the other. How am I supposed to predecide which I do not
understand? Nu, so I live with questions.

To my eye, RMShinnar predecided -- the Torah makes no empirical or historical
claims beyond those needed to justify halakhah. Those on the other tzad
predecided -- science can only disprove, not prove, so who knows what will be
considered scientific truth tomorrow? I do not assume I fully understand
either, so I wait.

I believe both must point to the same thing. Until we get there, I do not
assume I know enough of the truth to dismiss either the science or the shitah.
I acknowledge my ignorance, and get on with the lemaaseh.

On Wed, October 11, 2006 11:57 pm, Zvi Lampel wrote:
:From the Introduction to Rabbeynu Saadia Gaon's Full Commentary on the Torah:
:> If I would further clarify this, I would add that it is proper for every
:> person of understanding to always grasp the sefer Torah according to the
:> peshat of the words that is mefursam [conventional/widely-known/familiar]
:> among those who use that language, and [take the meaning that is] used more.

Which would include idiomatic or poetic usage, or even rare but accepted
usage. IMHO, this doesn't touch the inyan of whether "yom" must mean day
rather than era unless we are told.

: For the goal of every written work is that its ideas be wholly grasped by
: those who hear it [read]. The only exception is if the chush (sensory
: perception) or the seichel contradicts that terminology, or if the peshat of
: that terminology clearly contradicts another verse, or contradicts the mesorah
: of the prophets....

A case in the point I was making above, except that I said "rishonim" not
"ge'onim" (although the two seem to carry the same halachic authority in the
eyes of acharonim). Chush and seichel could very well include philosophy, but
not include of all science.

I assume also "the mesorah of the prophets" will raise the same contention
between ourselves and RMShinnar as did the MN. Does this mean "the body of
mesorah as a whole", ie defy some ikkar or shoresh, or does it mean the
mesorah about the particular pasuq?

: RMB and I have had a usually unexpressed disagreement over the "argument from
: silence." If I understand him correctly, when Chazal and/or rishonim say
: nothing about the meaning of a word, nothing can be learned about how they
: understood it. I always maintained, and I submit the original quote from Sefer
: HaIkarrim and now this passage from Rabbeynu Saadia Gaon demonstrates, that
: the primary, conventional understanding of words is the correct way to
: understand them, and is the way to understand how Chazal and/or Rishonim took
: them, unless they state otherwise....

I think it's more like when the ba'alei mesorah say nothing about the meaning
of the word, any peshat meaning is valid, whereas you are limiting it to the
most usual usage. Your way would involve gray area, BTW. If the homonym has
two equally common translations, you obviously can't say one to the exclusion
of the other. So how much more usual need it to be before it qualifies as a
default assumption?

But I am shying away from your position because (leshitas RSRH and I assume
others) homonyms in Hebrew come from the two meanings having a single
underlying commmon theme, and the word's translation really meaning that
theme. The translations are really limiting the broader idea by fitting it
into context and thus coming with different English words (or other
descriptions in the translation) and are not really different translations.

IOW, if yom refers to a time period of a certain sort, and both eras and days
are times period of that sort, neither usage is the more primary translation
-- they are just different assumptions about context coloring the same
translation: "And it was evening and it was morning, one
some-sort-of-time-period." If we take RSSchab's shita, that time period is one
day on the supernal clock, and the pasuq actually begins: "And the Supernal
Light was mixed with Darkness, and it again emerged from that Darkness..."

: RMB (and Rav David Gottleib) have already pointed out that the rishonim would
: not regard archeological-type "proofs" of what existed in the past to be the
: "muskal" RSG and others refer to, and to be in fact inferior means for
: establishing the truth. They therefore would not relinquish the conventional
: meaning of words on such basis.

Not quite. I said that I have no idea how they would regard it, as the idea
never crossed their minds. That's not the same as asserting they would hold
one way or the other -- that's just my guessing, not their shitah.

But there are two other points:

1- Is using an idiomatic translation "relinquishing the conventional meaning"?
If we find the translation elsewhere, I don't see why. IOW, allegory and idiom
are different things, as are idiom and less common but real usage.

2- Does any rishon actually go out and say one may allegorize something
despite his belief that there is no mesorah doing so? To use RMShinar's
example, the Rambam's peshat in parashas Vayeira is based on his presupposing
this was already said by R' Chanina in the medrash. We have no ra'ayah the
Rambam would still have given this novel peshat in the pasuq if it were not
necessary from his peshat in the medrash.

A guten kvitl un a guten yom tov!

Micha Berger             One who kills his inclination is as though he
micha@aishdas.org        brought an offering. But to bring an offering,
http://www.aishdas.org   you must know where to slaughter and what
Fax: (270) 514-1507      parts to offer.        - R' Simcha Zissel Ziv

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Message: 8
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2006 01:46:46 +1000
[Avodah] Schooling for women (was 12 steps)

From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net>
Even more so, after learning the G'mara that in the time of Chizkiya, when 
they checked, they couldn't find a "Tinok o Tinoket" who didn't know all 
Torah SheBe'al Peh including Tohorot.

"All Torah SBP" ???


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Message: 9
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2006 01:44:19 +1000
Re: [Avodah] Ushpizin and Sheva Berakhos

From: saul mashbaum <smash52@netvision.net.il>
It depends which order one has the Ushpizin in. I know of three:
Yoseif at the end, in spherotic order; Yoseif after Yaaqov, historical 
and Shelomo instead of Yoseif, at the end, in both historical and spherotic
I believe that RMB is mistaken about the position of Yosef, according to the
first order cited. Yosef is sixth, corresponding to yesod; David Hamelech is
seventh, corresponding to malchut.

The Zemiros Divrei Yoel quotes the SR relating a debate between the 2
tzaddikim  - Reb Eizikel Komarner and Reb Eizikel Ziditchoiver on whether 
or Moshe come first as a an Ushpize. REK said that he saw with his own
eyes how Yosef appeared in the Sukka a day before Moshe.

REZ replied that he sees Moshe first...

The SR explained that each tzaddik saw whomever he invited earlier...

Al pi zeh, Reb Saul, wouldn't Reb Micha's know best who arrives first at his 


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Message: 10
From: "Simon Montagu" <simon.montagu@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2006 19:13:51 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Chazarta Hashas.

On 10/13/06, kennethgmiller@juno.com <kennethgmiller@juno.com> wrote:
> But we can cite something which is entrenched even more deeply than
> tefillin and lulav: Duchening. And on two distinct levels.
> I have no conclusions. I am only bringing some evidence that
> *perhaps* it is not *as* important to hear chazaras hashatz as it
> might seem at first glance.

All of the above are tzorech tefilla, and not evidence IMHO for
permitting learning shelo letzorech tefilla.

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Message: 11
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2006 21:48:06 +1000
Re: [Avodah] Ushpizin and Sheva Berakhos

From: saul mashbaum <>
Furthermore, I believe that there is a "heichei timtza" in which there could 
be sheva brachot on Hoshana Rabba. I believe that if a wedding takes place 
in the late afternoon, but the seuda and sheva brachot are at night, the 
sheva brachot start from the night. Thus, if a couple were married erev 
Succot, but the wedding meal was leil Succot, their sheva brachot end on the 
seventh day of Succot, Hoshana Rabba.

Can anyone confirm something I have just heard, that the Gerrer rebbe shlita 
is strongly promoting the have chuppas take place Friday afternoons, with 
the seuda being at night? My informant explained that the savings would be 

I understand that this was the way many did it in earlier years.


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Message: 12
From: "Akiva Blum" <ydamyb@actcom.net.il>
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2006 10:15:32 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Chazarta Hashas

> Teshuvos Mem Ayin..

Tshuvos Menachem Azaria by Rama mePano.?



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