Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 23

Mon, 19 Feb 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 17:19:36 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Copyright redux

On Mon, Feb 12, 2007 at 03:10:23PM -0700, Daniel Israel wrote:
: I don't see it, though.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but the issue 
: here is ye'ush, no? ...

 From what I recall from learning Lulav haGazul... Yiush makes the item
the ganef's but does not make it any less geneivah. The lulav is still
assur mishum mitzvah haba'ah ba'aveirah.

So, IIUC, even if we can assume the author, artist or publisher is
meya'eish, how does that make it permissable?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             A pious Jew is not one who worries about his fellow
micha@aishdas.org        man's soul and his own stomach; a pious Jew worries
http://www.aishdas.org   about his own soul and his fellow man's stomach.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                       - Rabbi Israel Salanter

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 17:28:00 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Copyright redux

On Wed, Feb 14, 2007 at 08:39:57PM +0200, Michael Kopinsky wrote:
: Like it or not, this goes way back.  The Ran in Nedarim (sorry, don't know
: where) says that it doesn't apply in EY.  In other countries, they have a
: "migo" that since they could just kick you out of the country, they can
: take your money...

First, are we talking "could" as in able, or as in having the legal

Second, Israel has extradition laws. They reserve the legal authority to
evict even Jews, given sufficient motive.

Third, I don't want to go to far into this political can of worms,
but the Israeli gov't already exercised the power to evict communities
from their homes without full reimbersment. Admittedly not from the
land as a whole.

Last, does DDD apply to international law? The UN doesn't have the
authority to kick anyone out, but a country could choose to punish its
citizen for disobeying international law. Copyright law isn't only
on the national level.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Spirituality is like a bird: if you tighten
micha@aishdas.org        your grip on it, it chokes; slacken your grip,
http://www.aishdas.org   and it flies away.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 17:29:29 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Copyright and Dina deMalkhuta

On Thu, Feb 15, 2007 at 01:30:51PM +0100, Arie Folger wrote:
: Numerous posters have recently discussed the applicability of DDD (Dina 
: deMalkhuta) to copyright legislation...

It's not the only issue, though.

There is a long history of protecting the rights of published sefarim,
not allowing others to republish the material on their own. Hasagas
gevul was often invoked. This notion of trying to protect the publisher's
investment has strong parallels today. But the reasoning only works when
threatening the income of another Jew. There are charamim on people
who commit such breaches that well predates secular copyright law.

Also, the SuM's reasoning raises the notion of obeying the society's
moral code well beyond any limitations of DDD or even any loopholes in
any laws based on the moral stance.

This also gets to the issue of ve'asisa hatov vehayashar, where the din
is simply to be moral rather than the din defining specific behavior.
However, that's a topic for another post.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "The worst thing that can happen to a
micha@aishdas.org        person is to remain asleep and untamed."
http://www.aishdas.org          - Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv, Alter of Kelm
Fax: (270) 514-1507      

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 17:42:43 -0500
Re: [Avodah] early bird specials and ribbis

On Wed, Feb 14, 2007 at 11:11:47AM -0500, Zev Sero wrote:
: Except that that's clearly not true.  Giving a discounted wage advance
: to a future employee is only forbidden because it *looks* like a loan,
: not because it is one...

Avaq LH is assur because it leads to LH.

Is avaq ribis prohibited as ribis, or prohibited as mar'is ayin?

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 17:42:43 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Tzinius and the ILG

On Mon, Feb 12, 2007 at 02:58:50PM -0700, Daniel Israel wrote:
: Or, to put it in l'maaseh terms, I don't have a problem with 
: someone who chooses to buy such merchandise nor with someone who 
: doesn't.  The problem is someone who denies that there are ethical 
: (by which we here must mean halachic) implications to the decision.

There are laws which simply say "be moral" or "be ethical" without
specifying what morality is. "Ve'asisa hatov vehayashar." "Qedoshim
tihyu." Not only does halakhah inform ethics, but these chiyuvim require
using aggadic notions of ethics to define halakhah.

On Wed, Feb 14, 2007 at 07:29:57PM -0500, dfinch847@aol.com wrote:
: Here's the problem: Contemporary Torah Judaism can engage in the same 
: Talmudic machlokes that sparked dispute eight centuries ago, and thus 
: help preserve Talmud as a living dialectical instrument of law and 
: reason. Torah Jews can even pine away for the reestablishment of the 
: Temple and its customs of priests and animal sacrifice..

Well, these are chiyuvim. Slavery isn't obligatory; the halachos are all

On Tue, Feb 13, 2007 at 04:40:12PM -0500, Shmuel Weidberg wrote:
: The truth is, it is the same with slavery. Although the gemara
: determines that it is a zechus for a slave to be freed. The gemara
: does not consider it a slam dunk...

Only because he gets encumbered with ol mitzvos after living a life
of greater license. In olam hazeh, it is a "slam dunk"; it's the risks
to olam haba that raises questions.

We really don't see that halakhah endorses slavery. Rather, that
HQBH saw fit to regulate it rather than prohibit it. Certainly the need
for such legislation shows a dissatisfaction with the idea. So, why
isn't there an actual issur?

Of the ways to get cheap labor, halachic slavery is far from the worst
in terms of both quality of life AND human dignity. The ideal would be
to avoid needing any such compramise. But an economy never was local
to a single country. My personal theory is that economically, Israel
couldn't ban slavery unless everyone did.

Much like the eishes yefas to'ar, there are times when human nature
calls for curtailing rather than altogether prohibiting.

This is the same dilemma we face today considering the sweatshop laborer.

Which is why I agree with the sentiment in RnTK's post of
Sun, Feb 18, 2007 at 12:26:32AM -0500:
: AFAIK the Torah does not have different words for "slave" and "servant"  -- 
: the word eved is used for both. I'm not sure the demarcation is
: so clear-cut....

On Wed, Feb 14, 2007 at 03:29:13PM -0500, Rn Ilana Sober wrote:
: 2) I will not get into a discussion about whether, given all the givens, the
: people who make our clothes are a lot better off than they would be if they
: were unemployed, or worked in coal mines, or were sold into brothels, or
: whatever. Indeed they are - but they are also quite a bit worse off than I
: am, and that should matter to me...

But so should refusing to support the least of evils of their choices.
We need to really sit down and determine how our actions would best
improve the odds of their having a better life. Refusing to participate
in the least of evils may give one the satisfaction of keeping our
hands clean, but might actually make their lives worse. Unless the
alternative is an earlier death of the system as a whole. We really
have to sit down and think these things through. I don't see easy answers.

The same issue with slavery. If one lacks the power to fix the universe
one may be forced to support a lesser evil. If the Chinese economy can't
feed everyone otherwise, and we can not fix that in the short run, is
it better to refuse to funnel money to sweatshopes than make sure they
at least can buy enough food to keep soul in body?

The metzi'us side isn't simple, IMHO.

But I fail to see how doing hatov vehayashar can involve anything less
than my trying to sort it out and worry about this issue when shopping.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When you come to a place of darkness,
micha@aishdas.org        you don't chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org   You light a candle.
Fax: (270) 514-1507        - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

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Message: 6
From: "Michael Kopinsky" <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 09:00:33 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Slavery

On 2/18/07, T613K@aol.com <T613K@aol.com> wrote:
> ...  What he seems to own is not the eved but the
> right to the eved's labor.

Is this correct halachically?  Is ownership of an eved considered a kinyan
haguf or kinyan peiros?  I believe that at least for an eved k'naani, it
is considered a kinyan haguf.

(Toby's point remains unchanged, that despite the particular technical
halachic categorization, the owner essentially only has the right to the
eved's work, not to do anything with him at all.)

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Message: 7
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 19:45:33 +0200
[Avodah] hargashah

What about the disappearance of Hargasha?>>

I was taught that the women (and men) of old were more aware of
their bodies. Thus, there is no difference in the biology.
The disappearance of hargasha is because women today are too
busy with other things and don't have the same feelings.

Thus the change is psycological not biological

Eli Turkel

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Message: 8
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 14:25:11 EST
Re: [Avodah] Rashi/Rambam on female reproductive anatomy

From: Yoav Elan 

>>(a) RASHI and TOSFOS explain that the Aliyah is located on the  roof of the 
Prozdor (that is, it is only to one side of the  cervical canal). 
Occasionally, blood comes into the Prozdor from the  Aliyah,  but its blood is not like 
the blood of Nidah. ....
(b) The RAMBAM (Perush ha'Mishnayos, and Hilchos Isurei Bi'ah  5:3) explains 
that the Aliyah refers to the uterine (fallopian) tubes  that are attached to 
the top of the uterus from either side, which  connect  the ovaries to the 
uterus. This explanation matches the  actual  anatomical structure much more 
accurately, as the Chasam Sofer  points out. The Rambam writes further that it is 
not common for blood  to  flow into the uterus from the uterine tubes, but it  
occasionally happens due to a wound or illness. Such blood is not Dam  

Doesn't have to be a  wound or illness, it seems to me.  I don't  know 
halacha, gemara or anatomy, but I do know that some women experience some  spotting 
at the time of ovulation (which often corresponds with the time of  tevilah, 
BTW, and may create shailos).  This is possibly relevant  here.

--Toby  Katz
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Message: 9
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 20:33:35 +0100
Re: [Avodah] female reproductive system

RJR wrote:
> What about the disappearance of Hargasha?

Rabbi Willig claims that even today there is hargashah, but because we are 
running around all day, we aren't attuned to our bodily developments. IIRC, 
he believes that at the time when taharot were being treated, women would 
separate on their day of onah and wait to see when what will happen.

Another theory is that artificial lighting and other modern amenities have 
upset our biological clocks and sent them out of whack.

I let the 'hevrah speculate on which is a better guess and whether there are 
other plausible theories.

Kind regards,
Arie Folger

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Message: 10
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 20:32:25 GMT
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] LO BDU Peasch

On 2/18/07, Galsaba@aol.com <Galsaba@aol.com> wrote:
> I know that Pesach will not fall in BDU, but I dont know if
> this automaticlly happens as a result of not havig Rosh Hashana
> on Sunday, Wed, Friday. Is at a result? or needs to be taken
> seperaltly?

It is a result of TWO factors: The days on which Rosh Hashana cannot 
fall, and the fixed number of days in the months.

There was a point in history when "lo BDU Pesach" did not yet apply, 
and I was told that this was because although Lo ADU Rosh was already 
in force, the lengths of the months were still variable. Evidence for 
this can be seen in non-Jewish religious writings, according to which 
a certain false Moshiach was executed on a Friday which was also the 
first day of Pesach.

Akiva Miller

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Message: 11
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 18:05:01 -0500
Re: [Avodah] early bird specials and ribbis

Micha Berger wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 14, 2007 at 11:11:47AM -0500, Zev Sero wrote:
> : Except that that's clearly not true.  Giving a discounted wage advance
> : to a future employee is only forbidden because it *looks* like a loan,
> : not because it is one...
> Avaq LH is assur because it leads to LH.
> Is avaq ribis prohibited as ribis, or prohibited as mar'is ayin?

But this isn't avak ribbis, it's only "nir'eh" like ribbis.  That is
the entire difference between a future employee and a current one; the
transaction itself is exactly the same in both cases, so why is one
assur and the other muttar?  Because when the recipient is a current
employee, "it's apparent (nikkar hadavar) that it's an advance on wages,
and it doesn't appear (ve'eino nir'eh) like a loan".  (SAHarav, Ribbis 14)

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                       	                          - Clarence Thomas

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Message: 12
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 01:20:09 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Talmud Torah

I wrote:

> : I am confused. There are indeed two lists in the Mishna in Peah, but
> : they come one right after the other (ie eilu dvarim is 
> there as well, in
> : the versions of the Mishna I have)...
> I can't speak to your versions, but the second list is woven 
> from the gemara in Shabbos and a beraisa. It is because it's woven
that the 
> Ashkenazi and Sepharadi nusachos differ; Ashkenazim include hachnasas 
> kallah, levayas hameis, and v'iyun tefillah, the Rambam and my
> siddur do not.

I was looking at the Kehati version of the Mishna Peah (the second time,
ie when I wrote this) and he certainly seems to think there are two
lists in that first mishna, the one right after the other, ie with eilu
d'varim sheain l'hem shiur and then another eilu d'varim sheadam ochel,
just as we find in morning davening.  However, you are right that
hachnasas kalla, levayas hameis and v'iyun tephila are not in that
Mishna (in either the first or the second list) - all it has as the
second list is kibud av v'aim, gimilus chassadim v'havas shalom bein
adam l'chavero and then ending with v'talmud torah kneged kulam. So
indeed my reference to talmud torah kneged kulam being said in the
Mishna vis a vis v'iyun tephila in my original post in response to RSBA
is not correct - nor strictly speaking does it seem to be correct to
refer to the gemora in shabbas either - ie as you say, the second list
in my siddur appears to be woven from the Mishna in Peah, with additions
added from another list that is given in Shabbas - but the list in
Shabbas regarding v'iyun tephila etc is given following eilu d'varim
sheain l'hem shiur - so it is interesting that in davening we seem to
have moved them from the first list to the second.

> There is a machloqes whether "veha'arev" is a second of three 
> birchos haTorah, or if it's the body of the first berakhah, a
continuation of 
> "la'asoq bedivrei Torah. On the weight of the first opinion, we make
sure to 
> learn from all three chalaqim of talmud Torah -- miqra, mishnah and
> The second eilu devarim is the gemara.

But looking at the gemora (Shabbas 127a), that actually doesn't seem
right either (unless they had a different girsa in the gemora than I
have), because the gemora does not end the list containing v'iyun
tephila with v'talmud torah kneged kulam - so the morning davening does
not seem to be a direct quote, but rather it is as if somebody took the
Mishna in Peah, and added in a couple of extra things (such as v'iyun
tephila) drawn from one of the different lists in the gemora in shabbas
- but for some reason they added them in the second list (ie the shadam
ochel list) rather than the first (whereas from the gemora in Shabbas,
if one was going to add them into one of the two lists, one would have
thought they would go). 

> (Alternatively, the two berakhos 
> correspond to TSBK and TSBP.)

On that basis is the amalgamation of the two lists in the davening an
example of TSBP post the closure of the gemora?
> The Bartenura holds that "ein lahem shiur" refers to a lack  of
minimum shi'ur deOraisa. Which would mean that if talmud Torah has a
> shi'ur, the Bartenura would hold it's deRabbanan.

That does, as I think I said, seem a logical pshat read on its own.  But
given the second list (and I confess I am no mishna scholar, and that I
tend to assume that what Kehati says is the Mishna, is the Mishna) in
the Mishna in Peah, and the ending of the mishna with talmud torah
kneged kulom, seems to me to make the more natural holistic reading, if
one had to choose, that of no maximal limit rather than no minimum.
Although to be honest I am not really sure why you cannot have both - ie
even if you can explain the first eilu d'varim as being about having no
minimum, why does this exclude it also being about having no maximum?

> -- 
> Micha Berger             Spirituality is like a bird: if you tighten



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Message: 13
From: "Simon Montagu" <simon.montagu@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 08:02:37 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Copyright redux

On 2/14/07, Michael Kopinsky <mkopinsky@gmail.com> wrote:
> Like it or not, this goes way back.  The Ran in Nedarim (sorry, don't know
> where) says that it doesn't apply in EY.  In other countries, they have a
> "migo" that since they could just kick you out of the country, they can
> take your money.  But in EY, since they don't have the right to kick you
> out, they don't have the right to take your money.  (Taking money=taxes
> being at least the primary application of DDD.)

In EY today, I don't see that you need this migo: if the tax
authorities decide that you owe them money they can and will
confiscate your property.

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Message: 14
From: Galsaba@aol.com
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 06:23:53 EST
[Avodah] Three Sifrei Torah

What are the cases , and how many time in the year we take out three Sifrei 
At least one of them, I think, is when Rosh Chodesh Tevet falls on Shabbat.
Do we take three also in Simchat Torah? or this is just in Israel?

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Message: 15
From: "Michael Kopinsky" <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 14:22:53 +0200
Re: [Avodah] early bird specials and ribbis

On 2/19/07, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 14, 2007 at 11:11:47AM -0500, Zev Sero wrote:
> : Except that that's clearly not true.  Giving a discounted wage advance
> : to a future employee is only forbidden because it *looks* like a loan,
> : not because it is one...
> Avaq LH is assur because it leads to LH.
Meheicha teisi?  Maybe it is prohibited because it in itself is slightly
derogatory, even without passing the d'oraisa test of what's considered

> Is avaq ribis prohibited as ribis, or prohibited as mar'is ayin?

As Zev said, there are different categories.  Mechzei K'ribbis (which he
says is applicable here, I haven't looked up the sources properly to agree
or disagree in this particular case) is different from Avak Ribbis.  The
Rosh writes in Eizehu Neshech (on the sugya of "Ein Sochrim mimenu
b'pachos") that Mechzei K'ribbis is subjective, and thus dependent on the
situation.  If I lend money to a stranger and then he starts letting me
use his stuff, that's a problem. If I lent money to a friend who would
normally let me borrow his stuff, I do not need to stop because of the

Avak Ribbis does not have these limitations.  Malveh Se'ah b'Se'ah is
always assur.  While other cases do have certain contingencies (such
as certain issues of Agar Natar), they are not as subjective as Mechzei

(Disclaimer:  What I wrote here is my inferences from Gemara+Rif+Rosh.  I
have not learned Shulchan Aruch or other poskim on these issues.)


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