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Volume 21: Number 2

Fri, 03 Nov 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2006 10:44:03 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] Hakafos

In response to private email, citing Tur Barekes (Amsterdam, 1645) as being
Hemdas Yamim (Venice 1731)'s source for hakafot on SA and ST:

I'm curious, given how Yaari presents the Shaar Hakavvanot and the Negid
uMetzaveh (1712): exactly what does Tur Bareket say about the timing?

Whoops!  Oy oy oy why didn't I see this before!  RCV in Shaar Hakavvanot
also notes that the Ari did hakafot at shacharit & mincha on ST, but that
he wasn't present to witness it except for arvit motzaei ST.  Negid uMetzaveh
also brings that doing it in the daytime is the minhag of the Jews of EY.

According to Yaari:
  1) RCV recorded in Shaar HaKavvanot that the Ari made 7 hakafot 
     on the night motza'ei ST (which in Tzfat was also SA), as well
     as shacharit & mincha.
  2) Communities in EY (Hevron and J'lem did just that.
  3) 1712: Negid Umetzaveh records "on the night of ST", leaving out
     "motza'ei", also saying that the custom in EY is to do them 
     shacharit & mincha.
  4) 1731: Hemdat Yamim copies Negid Umetzaveh, but is also 
     mechadesh doing hakafot on SA.  He also dismisses hakafot
     during the day as inconsequential (ein bchach clum), although
     noting that some communities make the daytime the ikkar.

Yaari quotes Tur Bareket, but only for a ta'am why we do seven.
Does Tur Bareket also say to do hakafot on SA?

Apparently the big deal for Yaari isn't hakafot stam, but hakafot at
night.  All his sources agree that from the Ari onwards, they did 
hakafot at shacharit & mincha.  The question was about aravit, and 
whether it was aravit motzaei ST (per RCV) or aravit leil ST (per the
Negid uMetzaveh).

Some communities only adopted one time or another; some Germans only
adopted the daytime hakafot; and I don't know anyone today who does
hakafot at mincha.  Does the Old Yishuv?

(posting to Avodah, so left out correspondent's name, unless he wants me
to put it in)

        name: jon baker              web: http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker
     address: jjbaker@panix.com     blog: http://thanbook.blogspot.com

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Message: 2
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2006 14:47:05 -0500 (EST)
[Avodah] honey [was: Hakafot on Shmini Atzeret]


> But to add to what others said about the gemara and honey. I understood the
> gemara to be aware that it was using a homonym, and saying that the pasuq
> wouldn't speak of eating devash without a qualifier if the other kind of
> devash were okay. Besides, they didn't matir honey, they found a maqor for
> them common knowledge that honey was okay.

Last first:

As for the last reason, well, isn't that what a lot of drashot are?  We 
know the halacha is X, now how is that derived from the psukim?

A lot of this argument is about just that kind of position: it is
"common knowledge" that bee-honey is permitted only because of confusion
in the word "dvash" with date-honey, but now that we're trying to look
for textual evidence, it's not so clear-cut.

Usage in the time of the Gemara isn't at issue.  Of course by the time
of the Gemara it was a homonym.  The question is when did it become a

A major rav & I have been arguing about this offline, based on the 
references in Shmuel and Shoftim.  As of our last exchange, I argued
that the two references quoted are 

  a) late (Shimshon is the last judge before the Eli-Shmuel-Saul-David
     narrative), about 300-400 years after entry into the Land;

  b) qualified: by Shimshon it specifies dvash from dvorim (why not dvorot?),
     and with Yonatan:

     i)  it's again qualified as y'arat dvash, or

     ii) it's not even clear that it is dvash dvorim, the commentators are
         divided whether it's bee honey or some plant syrup or sap (cf.
         Zev's posts).

300-400 years ago "corn" was a general word for grain, today it's used
for "maize" exclusively.  Usages shift, particularly as society changes 
(from Mitzrayim to Kena'an).  Although, it can't be that they didn't 
know from bee honey before then. I consulted a bee expert (Neil Tsutsui,
UC-Irvine; I had seen his name in the news), who said that honeybees
were in the area probably before human habitation.  (so I can't make a
domesticated-camels argument).

        name: jon baker              web: http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker
     address: jjbaker@panix.com     blog: http://thanbook.blogspot.com

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Message: 3
From: saul mashbaum <smash52@netvision.net.il>
Date: Wed, 01 Nov 2006 21:46:49 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Lighting Neros on Yom Tov

If, OTOH, one wanted a hard boiled egg, and there was 
already one in the fridge, and assuming that normal people can't 
tell the difference between just cooked and one day old, and 
further that there is no significant possibility that a second egg 
will be needed that day of Yom Tov- I would assume that it such a 
case it would be assur.
I believe that one may almost always cook something on YT and rely on the possibility (it need not be a likelihood) that unexpected guests will come and the cooked food will be used to serve them (Shema ikleu orchim). Indeed, in the last minutes of YT, where there is virtually no possibility to use the food for such theoretical guests, it is forbidden to cook food one does not need at all for YT. I don't know exactly how close to the end of YT one has to be for this prohibition to apply, but my impression is that we're talking about a matter of a few minutes.

Saul Mashbaum

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Message: 4
From: "Newman,Saul Z" <Saul.Z.Newman@kp.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2006 14:28:11 -0800
[Avodah] hilchos 9-11

http://www.bariveshema.blogspot.com/ the  halachic issues in shooting down
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Message: 5
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2006 01:03:14 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Lighting Neros on Yom Tov

R' Micha Berger wrote:
> Actually, specifically for hiddur mitzvah. RSZA explicitly
> calls the first case a hiddur mitzvah, and bediqas chameitz
> doesn't /require. OTOH, yom tov lights are a taqanah, an
> actual din derabannan, not "only" hiddur. Now that would
> only work for the first light. After that, we are left with
> comparing minhag yisrael to hiddur, for which I would think
> minhag Yisrael kedin spells that it's a greater need, and
> therefore makes sense that we lemaaseh call it "letzorekh".

You seem to be saying that the second of the two Neros Yom Tov is a 
bigger hiddur/minhag/kedin/tzorech than the Ner of Bedikas Chometz 
is. I have trouble accepting that. Using a ner for the bedikah is the 
first mishna in Pesachim! I don't think the second Ner Shabbos is 
mentioned anywhere near that far back.

Even more significantly, the Shaar Hatziyun in question (435:9) says 
that because of his Tzarich Iyun of whether or not one may light the 
Ner Bedikas Chometz on Yom Tov, he has no choice but to delay the 
bedikah until Chol Hamoed (assuming, of course, that there is no 
already-lit ner that can be used). If it were less important than the 
Second Ner Yom Tov, wouldn't he have told us to do the bedikah 
without the ner?

and RMB also wrote:
> But I wonder what RSZA would have said about the norm of
> using candles on Simchas Torah -- a hiddur minhag. Aside
> from shuls that use two candles to light the way, or to keep
> the aaron from being empty, before people worried about the
> fire hazard, many decorated the tops of flags, etc...

This morning, R' Jacob Farkas suggested to me (offline) that we might 
look at Yahrzeit lights as another example of this problem. I 
recalled that the Shmiras Shabbos dicusses this issue, so I went to 
look it up.

The Shmiras Shabbos 13:6 does say that it is okay to light nerot in 
shul, even during the day, and also to light for a brit milah, and 
also to light Ner Neshama in shul. BUT lighting a Ner Neshama at HOME 
is a bit of a problem. This could be the key to our question: What is 
the nafka mina between a ner neshama in shul and a ner neshama at 
home? He lists several sources, mostly in Orach Chaim 514, but I have 
not yet had a chance to look them up. I hope to do so soon.

R' Daniel Israel wrote:
> Given that RAM explicitly assumed that Neros don't add
> hanah in a room that is already fully lit electrically his
> question still stands.  (Although I am not sure I agree
> with that assumption.)

Let me remind you that (as I mentioned in my original post) Rav 
Shlomo Zalman Auerbach did make that same assumption. His words, in 
Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa 43 note 171, are: "leika klal shum simcha 
yeseira mizeh - there is no extra simcha whatsoever from the candles".

Akiva Miller

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2006 23:02:20 -0500
Re: [Avodah] My Noah Problem

On Tue, Oct 31, 2006 at 03:32:43PM -0500, Zev Sero wrote:
: The root of your problem is in the word N-Ch-M (vayinachem,
: ki nichamti), which you translate in the conventional manner
: as regret, which implies that He realised He had made a mistake.
: That's precisely why Rashi (6:6-7) takes care to translate the
: word differently. He first cites Onkelos's translation, as
: "to take comfort", and then gives his own, "to consider a future
: course of action". In other words, He did not regret his past
: actions, but took note of them and their result when considering
: what to do next.

RSRH writes that aveilus is a state of "aval", but. It's an inability
to deal with the new reality. If so, then nechamah is being reconciled
and ready to work with that new reality.

Which would explain Rashi's position, that HQBH uses the word "nichamti"
to mean that He is about to change His course of action because of new
facts on the ground.

Which is necessary, even though He knew the decisions people will be
making, and therefore the facts aren't new to him. Because if Hashem
were to interact with us based on His knowledge of our future actions,
the problem of "hakol tzafui vehareshus nesunah" would be
insurmountable. Hashem chooses not to act on the foreknowledge of our
decisions lest it rob us of bechirah.

: One may object that if this is so, then why does the decision to
: bring the flood come after the world turns corrupt, and why does
: the decision not to bring any more floods come after the effects
: of the first one become apparent. But the premise of this
: objection is the fallacy that He acts in time....

He does not act in time, but Hashem does make sure the effects of His
action (intantional lashon yachid) preserves the causality of our choices
by coming after we make them.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When a king dies, his power ends,
micha@aishdas.org        but when a prophet dies, his influence is just
http://www.aishdas.org   beginning.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                    - Soren Kierkegaard

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Message: 7
From: RallisW@aol.com
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2006 23:21:13 EST
[Avodah] Taking Tums On Shabbos and/or Yom Tov?

Are Tums considered candy or medicine in regard to taking on  Shabbos and/or 
Yom Tov? If one has heartburn as opposed to pregnant women  taking them as a 
calcium supplement.
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Message: 8
From: Jacob Farkas <jfarkas@compufar.com>
Date: Thu, 02 Nov 2006 07:23:40 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Lighting Neros on Yom Tov

R' Zev Sero wrote:

> Not so.  The obligation is to have light in every room that one will
> use, so that one won't hurt oneself stumbling around in the dark.
> That obligation is adequately fulfilled with the electric lights,
> and indeed the common practise is that we do *not* light candles in
> most rooms of the house, relying on the electric lights to fulfill
> the mitzvah.  Lighting candles in one location for the bracha, is a
> hiddur mitzvah, surely no more important than having an avukah for
> havdalah, or a ner for bedikat chametz.

Good point. But the obligation to light is still an obligation. If one 
chooses not to be Yotzi with the current light, it is not a Hiddur to 
light candles, it is a Mitzvah. Ner shel Mitzvah (even when not formally 
obligated) is sufficient for tzorekh qetzas required by some Rishonim as 
a parameter of Mitokh [SheHuterah l'tzorekh Huterah nami shelo l'tzorekh].

[See OH 514:5 (discussing lighting candles in a shul on Yom Tov) 
"...SheHarei b'hadlaqaso yeish Mitzvah" and the MB [SQ 33] explains that 
the Mehabeir meant to imply even when the light is not necessary.]

Jacob Farkas

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Message: 9
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2006 14:43:41 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Knowledge of Good and Bad

Let's begin with the idea that in the beginning, Adam and Chava only 
knew emes and sheker, and did not understand tov and ra until after 
eating from the tree.

A long time ago, I understood this in a manner very reminiscent of 
Mr. Spock from Star Trek, that they had no emotions or opinions, and 
made their decisions in a purely logical manner. However, Chava's 
observation - prior to eating - that the fruit was "tov l'maachal" 
has shown me that they *did* have emotions and opinions prior to 
eating. This was my (unstated) reason for beginning this thread, 
whose purpose is to suggest that "tov v'ra" should not be translated 
as "good and bad", but as "right and wrong".

R' Micha wrote:
> if Adam and Chavah had to choose, their minds contained
> opinions about which was true. There is no indication that
> they were omniscient, so their choice was trying to
> determine the truth.

Yes, this is an important point. They knew emes and sheker, but this 
does *not* mean that they had some magical ability to distinguish 
them. They did not have an intuitive understanding of which fruits 
were healthy, for example. They had to do some sort of research to 
find out about the world. They only understood the *concepts* of emes 
and sheker, but they did not have the *information*.

I wrote:
> The nachash explained, "Eat this, and you'll be like G-d!!!"
> To someone who does not understand right and wrong, but does
> understand benefit and loss, I'd think this would sound like
> a great idea...

and RMB asked:
> How? Why would Adam and Chava possibly believe that
> disobeying the Source of everything would bring benefit?
> ... I still wonder why Chava would possibly lack the
> knowledge that doing G-d's will must in the long run lead
> to more benefit than would defying it.

Chava lacked that knowledge because no one had taught it to her.

Consider these synonyms: simple, innocent, naive, gullible. I hope 
this doesn't count as lashon hara against someone who was 
called "only slightly lower than the angels", but would the nachash 
have said those things if he didn't think they'd fall for it?

HaShem said that if they'd eat from the tree, they would die. That 
warning was adequate while there were no competing claims. But when 
the nachash said that they could eat and *not* die, it seems that she 
did not know who to believe. She understood the concept of truth and 
falsehood, but did not know who was telling the truth and who was 

Why didn't she give more credence to the Creator? I'm not sure, but 
my guess is that although they had emotions and desires, that relates 
to ideas like "which do I enjoy more", or "which is more beneficial". 
The topic here is a different emotion, namely: trust. Trust can be 
seen as something built on past experience, which at this point was 
zero. Alternatively, trust is an emotion linked to loyalty, which is 
based on concepts of right and wrong, which I propose they did not 
yet have. Either way, Chava was not particularly inclined to give 
much more credence to HaShem than to the nachash.

If the nachash would have stopped there, Chava could leave the 
question unanswered, and get on with her life. But the nachash did 
continue, and spoke of benefits that could be gotten from eating the 
fruit. And that's what tipped the scales.

If they had a sense of right and wrong prior to eating the fruit, 
that would have given them the understanding that despite any 
benefits (real or imagined) that the fruit might give, it was still 
*wrong* to go against HaShem's word. But they did not yet have that 
sense; they did not yet have a conscience. And so they ate.

Akiva Miller

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Message: 10
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2006 14:02:29 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Lighting Neros on Yom Tov

Aruch haShulchan O"C 514:19 writes "A Ner Shel B'teilah is when you 
don't need the light at all. But if you want to add much more light 
(l'hosif ohr harbeh), that is certainly mutar, and is Oneg Yom 
Tov..." Regarding neros in shul, he writes there, "It is for Kavod 
HaTzibur, and everyone is noheg to allow it. Nevertheless, you should 
warn them not to have overly many (shelo l'harbos harbeh), especially 
on the day of Hazkaras Neshamos, when they do infinitely many 
(she'marbin bli shiur), and you should stop them from this."

From this language, it sounds to me that the AhS believes that while 
in general more light is more oneg, it can reach a point where there 
is so much light that additional candles are considered Shel Batalah. 
This is extremely similar to Rav SZ Auerbach's comment (Shmiras 
Shabbos K'Hilchasa 43:(171)) that when electric lights are already 
on, Neros Yom Tov add no extra simcha whatsoever.

Okay, let's turn to the Chofetz Chaim. Mishneh Brura 514:30 writes 
that when having a bris (which is obviously during the daytime), even 
if it is at home, one may light candles, because it is for "kavod and 
chivuv mitzvah". Similarly, he writes in 514:31 that candles may be 
lit in shul even during the day, because it is for the kavod of the 

He discusses Yahr Zeit candles in the Beur Halacha there, "Ner Shel 
Batalah". He offers four ideas. I'll list them in the same order that 
he gives them, but I'll number them with what seems to be his 

1) Light it on Erev Yom Tov.
3) If it wasn't lit on Erev Yom Tov, light it in the dining room, so 
as to get additional dining light.
2) But even better is to light it in shul, which solves any chashash 
of ner shel batalah
4) B'shaas had'chak, we can allow it anyway, because it is sort of 
("ke'ayn") a ner shel mitzvah, being that it is to honor his parents.

I find it noteworthy that even in this worst-case scenario, he still 
allows lighting the yahrzeit light, even though it is NOT a "ner shel 
mitzvah", but is only "ke'ayn ner shel mitzvah".

But now I am even more confused than before, because by Bedikas 
Chometz, in the worst-case scenario, the Chofetz Chaim (Shaar 
Hatziyun 435:9) advises delaying the bedikah to Chol Hamoed, rather 
than lighting a ner for it on Yom Tov. He seems to be saying that 
lighting a yahrzeit candle on the day of the yahrzeit is a bigger 
mitzvah than using a ner to do a bedikas chometz as soon as he 
remembers. Wow, I never realized that yahrzeit candles were that 

And Rav SZ Auerbach (presuming that he agreed with Beur Halacha 
514:Ner) would seem to be saying that even though the general rule is 
that lots of lights means more oneg, the extra hidur of using an 
avukah for havdala is not as big a deal as yahrzeit lights. Okay, but 
I wonder why.

Akiva Miller

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Message: 11
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2006 20:23:51 +0100
Re: [Avodah] establishing mamzerut

On Wednesday, 1. November 2006 20:10, avodah-request@lists.aishdas.org wrote:
> DNA testing WRT igun means finding proof that the body is the husband's.
> Accepting the evidence is a matir. But WRT mamzeirus, the proof could be
> used either lehaqeil or lechumrah. So it's not clear to me why one could
> generalize even from igun to mamzeirus

Let's just repeat that the speakers at the Conference of European Rabbis, 
including one that was trying to represent RYSE's POV, considered the 
validity of DNA testing for both 'igun and mamzerut to be in the same 
category. To be matir an 'agunah, you need a greater than 999?% (promille) 
certainty. That is definitely enough to supercede rov be'ilot a'har haba'al. 

And please don't bring any proof from nishtaheh hazera' (that we consider the 
husband the father of the child even if he didn't cohabit with the child's 
mother for more than 9 months ... up to a year), for that is a difficult 
matter, which, since qabbalah hi, neqabel, but we can't enlarge that concept 
to include other completely unlikely things. One day, science might even give 
us a greater understanding of that argument by Chazal, and may be we will 
understand the difference between nishtaheh hazera' and other things.

As an additional piece of information, I recall having somewhere in my 
archives a reprint of a letter by RYSE to the rosh mate artsi of the Israeli 
police, where the link between dna and mamzerut is clearly stated. If we 
accept the tests' validity, we will suddenly find out about many previously 
unknown mamzeirim.

Kol tv,

Arie Folger

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Message: 12
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Date: Fri, 03 Nov 2006 15:39:41 +0200
[Avodah] Prophets are infallible?

Sefer HaIkkarim 3:17 says that prophets other than Moshe are fallible 
i.e. they can misunderstand what they are seeing.

Does anyone else state that prophets are fallible?

Daniel Eidensohn

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Message: 13
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2006 9:48:04 -0800
Re: [Avodah] Bnei Noach

On Tue, 31 Oct 2006 16:35:20 -0500, R Zev Sero <zev@sero.name> wrote:
> R Micha Berger wrote:
>> On Thu, October 26, 2006 3:05 pm, R Zev Sero wrote:
>> : Inventing a new religion, it seems to me, is assur to a BN for the
>> : same reason that it's assur to us; it is a denial of the Torah, and
>> : therefore against the things all humans are required to believe.
>> : This fits in with the fact that BN not only have to actually keep
>> : the 7M, but must do so because Hashem told Moshe Rabbenu that they
>> : must....

>> This requirement is specifically the Rambam's, though. AFAIK, it's a da'as
>> yachid.

> Is it?  Who disputes it?  If the Rambam is the only one to express
> an opinion on the subject, then it doesn't qualify as a daat yachid.

Actually, we both erred. It's not required by the Rambmam. The Rambam requires belief that the mitzvos are from Sinai for someone to qualify as a Ger Toshav. Here's RDR's post from v14 (old) n14 -- the second time he corrected me on it:

: No.  I thought I'd quoted this before, but here it is again: "If someone
: fulfills the 7 Mitzvoth because they seem reasonable (mipnei hechrea daato)
: he is not a resident alien (ger toshav) and is not a pious gentile.  Instead
: he is a wise gentile (H. Melachim ed. Frankel 8:11)."  The Vilna edition has
: a different text but RZV emended it as in Frankel's text.  There's no
: requirement there to beleive that God told him to do them: he's fulfilled
: the 7 Mitzvos, which is all that's asked of him.  His only disadvantage is
: that he can't become a ger toshav, and thus suffers certain debilities.


Micha Berger             When memories exceed dreams,
micha@aishdas.org        The end is near.
http://www.aishdas.org                   - Rav Moshe Sherer
Fax: (270) 514-1507      

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Message: 14
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2006 11:03:43 -0800
[Avodah] Idioms and ruach memalela (was: Honey)

On Tue, 31 Oct 2006 17:37:50 EST, T613K@aol.com wrote:
> Reminds me of a monkey trained in sign language who referred to ketchup by
> the signs for "tomato" and "toothpaste."  It would not be so rare at all
> to find words in Tanach used metaphorically for more than one purpose (if
> it's not a stretch to call a honeycomb a forest). One example is in this past
> week's parsha, Noach, where an animal and its mate are called "ish ve'ishto" --
> "a man  and his wife" -- the words "man and wife" being used metaphorically
> to refer to a bonded pair.

And the yeri'as on the mishkan are attached ishah el achosah. It's idiom. No different than "'Yad' Hashem".

However, I wanted to comment on this "monkey". RnTK is describing a Chantek, an orangutan, which figured out "tomato toothpaste" for ketchup and "eye drink" to describe contact lens solution. Does this show a comprehension of language that challenges peshat in the Unqelus that Adam uniquely had a "ru'ach memalela"? (BTW, what do people who believe that other homosapiens were around and their communities survived even after Adam do with this Targum?)

Since we're talking about combining words, note that orangutan comes from the Malay urang + hutan, man + forest. That's pretty close to the "adnei hasadeh" of Chazal. The jump from field to forest is made by the Tif'eres Yisrael in Yachin, who translates "adnei hasadeh" as "Waldmensch" (forest men). Adneh hasadeh are describing as being close enough to human that a person can be oveir retzichah for killing one of them, and for R' Yosi to hold that they transmit tum'ah like a ben adam (Kelaim 8:5).

The Yerushalmi (quoted by the Bartenura) describes them as having a stem and roots, growing from their umbilicus. AFAIK, such a thing would be a huge stretch according to today's science. Although the TY in Boaz, said they could be extinct and we could yet find their fossils.) Perhaps it's a poetic descrition of their need to live off the field, they are figuratively mechubarei qarqa in a way other animals aren't. This is true of the orangutan, which requires great skill to be separated from their habitat in a mental state where they would continue eating. Few other apes, for that matter few other animals would starve to death even when food is offered. But an urangutan taken from his "hutan", would.


Micha Berger             The Maharal of Prague created a golem, and
micha@aishdas.org        this was a great wonder. But it is much more
http://www.aishdas.org   wonderful to transform a corporeal person into a
Fax: (270) 514-1507      "mensch"!     -Rabbi Israel Salanter


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