Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 24

Wed, 21 Feb 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Simon Montagu" <simon.montagu@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 18:37:58 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Three Sifrei Torah

On 2/19/07, Galsaba@aol.com <Galsaba@aol.com> wrote:
> What are the cases , and how many time in the year we take out three Sifrei
> Torah?
> 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?

There are altogether four cases, and I think no differences between
Israel and outside it:

1) Simchat Torah (Vezot Haberacha, Yom Tov Maftir, Bereshit). (Here
three is a minimum depending on minhag: many congregations take out a
fourth or fifth sefer)
2) when 30 Kislev falls on Shabbat (Parshat Hashavua, Rosh Chodesh, Chanukka)
3) when 1 Adar (or Adar Beit in a leap year) falls on Shabbat (Parshat
Hashavua, Rosh Chodesh, Shekalim)
4) when 1 Nisan falls on Shabbat (Parshat Hashavua, Rosh Chodesh, Hachodesh)

1) is of course an annual event
2) happens in any ordinary year in which Pesach is on Thursday and any
leap year in which Pesach is on Shabbat. The last time was 5766 and
the next time will be 5769. Parashat hashavua is always Mikketz.
3) happens in any year in which Pesach is on Sunday. The last time was
5765 and the next will be 5768. Parashat hashavua is either Teruma (if
Rosh Hashana was on Thursday) or Mishpatim (if Rosh Hashana was on
4) happens in any year in which Pesach is on Shabbat. The last time
was 5758 and the next will be 5772. Parashat hashavua is Vayikra in
ordinary years and Tzav in leap years.

So altogether, depending on the year we take out three sefarim either
once, twice or three times.

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Message: 2
From: "Michael Kopinsky" <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 20:13:29 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Three Sifrei Torah

On 2/19/07, Galsaba@aol.com <Galsaba@aol.com> wrote:
> What are the cases , and how many time in the year we take out three Sifrei
> Torah?
> 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?
> Thanks,
> Aaron
We always take out three on Simchat Torah (during the day): Vezos
Habracha, Bereishis, and Maftir.

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Message: 3
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 13:45:21 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Three Sifrei Torah

Galsaba@aol.com wrote:
> What are the cases , and how many time in the year we take out three 
> Sifrei Torah?

Simchat Torah, and whenever Rosh Chodesh Tevet, Adar or Nissan fall
on Shabbat (none of which happen this year).

> Do we take three also in Simchat Torah? or this is just in Israel?

It's the same reading in EY and Chu"L, so the same number of Sefarim.

The real question is why EY doesn't read Aser Te'aser as well, since
it's the time when maaser is due, which would require four sefarim.

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: 4
From: "Dr. Josh Backon" <backon@vms.huji.ac.il>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 17:44:07 +0200
Re: [Avodah] female reproductive system

R. Arie Folger mentioned:

>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.

Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 1:31 +0200
From: BACKON@vms.huji.ac.il
IN NATURE AND HIL NIDDAH>Re: Changes in Nature and Hil. Niddah

[Post  from AVODAH archives]

There are many factors (dietary, stress, autonomic) that can affect
the menstrual cycle. My guess is that in the past 65 years, both
oligomenorrhea and normal cycle lengths with anovulation or short luteal
phase have increased as a result of dietary factors [e.g. vegetarianism
may induce menstrual cycle irregularity (See: Am J Clin Nutrition 1999;
70(Suppl 3) 549s); decreased dietary fat affects autonomic activity
(Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiology 1999 26:656-660); increased phytoestrogens
in the diet (e.g. soya) or pseudo-estrogens leached from plastic containers]
as well as changes in environmental lighting (effect of pineal hormones
on fertility).

And with the primacy of the autonomic nervous system regulating ovulation,
reproduction, and cervical secretions (see: Human Reproduction 1993;8:1168;
Pharmacol Rev 1972;24:657-736) *anything* that affects the ANS will effect
changes in cycle length (and this ranges from watching too much television (!)
to type of mattress used for sleeping, from native language spoken to
sleep-work schedules).

A recent paper (late 1998) showed that in primitive societies (Africa, etc.)
cycle length has not changed over the past 3 generations.

To sum up: it is very likely that due to environmental factors (diet, stress,
autonomic) a VEST KAVUA today is quite rare in the USA, Europe or Israel.

And this may also explain the lack of feeling of "hargasha" as well.


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Message: 5
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 18:23:34 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Tzinius and the ILG

R' Micha Berger wrote:
> 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?

HQBH also saw fit to regulate eating. Does the need for that 
legislation show dissatisfaction with the idea? I don't think so.

I think (hope?) we can all agree that Eishes Yefas To'ar *IS* an 
example of something which the Torah allows but only grudgingly. I 
really don't think that eating is an example of that. And this 
discussion is about where the line is located, and on which side of 
that line slavery falls.

Akiva Miller

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Message: 6
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 18:40:18 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Slavery

R"n Toby Katz suggested that:
> What he seems to own is not the eved but the right to the
> eved's labor.

R' Michael Kopinsky disagreed:
> 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.

I must reluctantly agree with RMK. The Mishne Brurah 304:1 gives an 
introduction to the halachos of the requirement that one's eved must 
not do melacha on Shabbos. In that paragraph, he uses the 
phrase "Eved hakanui l'yisrael kinyan haguf" - "An eved acquired by a 
Jew, where the body is acquired." And he uses that phrase not once, 
but twice.

I'm sorry folks, but I cannot come up with a more politcally correct 
way to translate this phrase. The body of that eved is owned by 
someone else.

Akiva Miller

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Message: 7
From: "A & C Walters" <acwalters@bluebottle.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 15:17:46 +0200
[Avodah] zov bezman hazeh


Is there a metzius of a zov bezman hazeh? Is there any nafka mina? If not, 
is the Mechaber in Or"Ch 301:13 just theoretical? Scientifically, what is 
Zova; Rashi expains the difference between this and zera, see also the first 
Bartenura in Ms. Zovim

Thanks Kol Tuv

AY Walters
Beis Shemesh 

Click for free info on real estate schools and make $150K/ year

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Message: 8
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 13:44:45 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] ten tribes

On Wed, February 14, 2007 3:10 pm, Ilana Sober wrote:
: The Tanach refers to Malchut Yisrael as aseret hashevatim.... Shimon
: was in the southern part of Yehuda, not really an independent nachala....

As per Yehoshua 19:1, "besokh nachalas benei Yehudah". But in Divrei Hayamim
II 11:1, Rechav'am girds Yehudah and Binyamin for civil war in a failed
attempt to bring the other shevatim into line. Shim'on isn't mentioned. If you
look at the division of shevatim that Hashem gives Yerav'am (Melakhim I 11:31,
32, 35, 36), Malkhus Yisrael is 10 shevatim, and Malkhus Beis David gets one
sheivet. See also II 17:18, "lo nish'ar, raq sheivet Yehudah levado". The
Radaq says "levado" because Binyamin was subsumed. Leaving Shim'on to be one
of the 10.

It would seem that because of the onesh mentioned in Bereishis 49:7 "achalqeim
beYaaqov", they were scattered throughout the 12 shevatim, and weren't
musterable as a distinct group by the time the countries split.

Perhaps when Shim'on got scattered from its land in the underutilized center
of Yehudah, sometime before Shelomo haMelekh's death, the majority ended up
north of the border.

As for when, while I'm speculating out loud, perhaps it was during seifer
Shofetim, when Dan moved from the area currently called the Dan Region of
Israel (as per the division in Yehoshua 19:40-48, which includes Yaffo) to the
north. In Shofetim 18:1 we learn that they fail to conquer that land, and are
forced to live in an encampment "Machaneh Dan" in Yehudah (v. 12). This
failure and need to save face makes them ripe for Pesel Mikhah while they are
heading north through Ephraim (v. 13). So, just guessing here, but it would
make sense to me to assume that while Dan left Yehudah to find land of their
own in the north, that's when Shim'on traveled as well.

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: 9
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 13:55:34 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] the anceint western galut

On Thu, February 15, 2007 10:34 am, Newman,Saul Z wrote:
: http://www.huji.ac.il/cgi-bin/dovrut/dovrut_search_eng.pl?mesge1171276403326
: 88760  on the divide, in the era of the churban, of the jews of the East and
: the West. theorizes that the lack of access to Rabbinic halachic judaism led
: to the eventual disappearance of Europe's first jews....

This theory rests heavily on the idea that the concept of TSBP dates to the
rabbinic period, and thus these western Jews, who knew Greek but little
Hebrew, only knew of the Septuagint -- Tzeduqi style. I wouldn't buy into it.

To quote:
> In the east, ... the period after the Temple's destruction was the time in
> which the oral law was developed.... These writings form the basis of what
> became Halachic, or normative, Judaism. The languages of this oral and
> written tradition were Hebrew and Aramaic, the languages known to the Jews
> of the east.

> Since this tradition was not translated, continue the authors, the oral
> tradition remained unknown to the Jews of the west, who spoke only Greek.
> For them, Jewish tradition was conveyed solely through the Bible via the
> Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Bible.... This dichotomy ultimately
> provided a fertile ground for the early emissaries of the Church....

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 10
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 14:22:53 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] ancient western galut

On Fri, February 16, 2007 9:17 am, Eli Turkel wrote:
: OTOH I have always found it amazing that there is almost no mention in the
: gemara about Alexandrian Jewry (minor exceptions like waving the flag in
: the shul in Alexandria). It seems quite clear that the ties to Bavel were much
: stronger than to Egypt....

I wondered the reverse -- what proof could they bring from Alexandria? Despite
what I just posted summarily dismissing theories based on the late dating of
they clearly didn't have much knowledge of halakhah. I would instead attribute
it to the same loss of information as their loss of Hebrew.

Not far from Alexandria was the Temple at Leontopolis, complete with an
attempt to perform the avodah, established by Choniyah, the descendent of
kohanim gedolim. The idea was to replace the BHMQ, which at the time was
desecrated by the Yevanim. However, their Temple lasted beyond Chanukah
eliminating its justification.

Alexandrian Jewry seems to be little proof of halachic norm, some amalgam of
true Yahadus and the Leontopolis variant. In Challah 6:10 their challah is
rejected. And, given their having their own Temple, would they care about the
qiddush hachodesh in the BHMQ?

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: 11
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 14:57:39 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] Slavery

"De'aleikh sani, lekhaveirkha lo sa'avod" is sufficient to raise questions
about slavery.

As I wrote yesterday, there are mitzvos that boil down to "be ethical" with a
presumption that ethics goes beyond things spelled out as chiyuvim and
issurim. Whether it's the Ramban's shitah on "qedoshim tihyu", the Rambam's
"Hilkhos Dei'os", or "ve'asisa hatov vehayashar"...

On Mon, February 19, 2007 1:23 pm, kennethgmiller@juno.com wrote:
: HQBH also saw fit to regulate eating. Does the need for that
: legislation show dissatisfaction with the idea? I don't think so.

But Hashem writes why He imposed the regulations He did, at least the rashei
peraqim to chapters we can't understand. Minimally, it does show
dissatisfaction with the idea of eating beheimos temei'os, with eating without
care about how to slaughter, or without concern for bishul gedi bachaleiv imo.
Maximally, a vegan wouldn't encounter any of these laws lema'aseh. From Adam
until Noach, that was everyone, and the dor hamidbar only ate meat when eating
qodshim. Perhaps we can say that HQBH shows dissatisfaction with the idea of
eating chullin, or perhaps that is too broad of a generalization.

Tir'u baTov!

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: 12
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 10:44:08 +0200
[Avodah] Ramban

For anyone interested in a depth study of the opinions of the
Ramban I highly recommend the fairly recent book
"Al Derech ha-Emet" (Hebrew)
by Moshe Habertal from the Hartman institute.

The stress of the book is the influence of Kabbalah on every aspect
of the Ramban's thought not just the more obvious ones.

some chapters
historical devlopment of the halacha
death, sin and redemption
hidden miracles - hasgacha pratit
historical attitudes
reason for mitzvot
hidden and/or open kabbalah
between spain and ashkenaz

Eli Turkel

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Message: 13
From: Galsaba@aol.com
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 06:38:11 EST
[Avodah] Zchor Et Asher Assa Lecha Amaleck. Germania?

On Shabat Parashat Zachor, when I will say " Zchor Et Asher Assa Lecha 
Amaleck" I will mean also to Germania.

 The Gemara in Megila Daf Vav Amud Beit mentions that Germamia is Edom, and 
Yabet"z says Germamia is Germania of today.   ie, Germania is Edom.
so Germania is Edom.

Do we have any sources (Mekorot) that refer to Germania as Amalek?
or Edom as Amamlek?


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Message: 14
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 14:01:33 +0200
[Avodah] size of amah.kezayit and chumrot

Looking over various articles on the size of shiurim many of them
prove that the shiur of the amah is about 44cm which is smaller than
the 48cm of R. Chaim Naeh and much smaller than CI. In fact with
the 60cm of CI a kodesh of 500x500 amot could not physically fit
in the Temple area (Rambam says it is a square). Other comparisons
with Hezekiah's tunnel, ancient coins, weights, the old dirham and
excavations which included ancient olives and eggs all so show
that nothing has changed  the ancients used about 44-46cm for an amah.

After going through these exercises the articles then conclude that for
the first Matzah one should use the shiur of CI and a little less for the
others. This leaves me all confused. First there are witnesses that CI
himself did not use this shiur. Second CI paskens that only 1 kezayit
is enough for the first matzah and most they just proved that the shiur
of CI cant possibly be correct. After all the proves the psak ignores the
first part of the article.

I have the same problem with shekia. Speaking to poskim they admit that
R. Tam isn't correct and when forced to (eg chanukah) we pasken like the
geonim. However, having admitted that R. Tam's shittah is incorrect
they insist that one should use lechumra.

Why do some poskim insist on being machmir like a shiur we know is wrong?
BTW CI seems to imply that the doubling of the eggs was accepted by all
Jews which makes it binding. Certainly minhag sefardim and Yerushalayim is
like RCN. Most chassidim did not accept the larger shiurim. I have a
kiddush cip made by my great-grand-father a Regina chassid which is a
"normal" size kiddush cup. I have doubts how many of your standard litvaks
of the old days really used these enormous shiurim.
I always enjoy reading from the sefer of R. Eider where after giving the large
shiur states that this is "defined" as normal eating since eating abnormally
invalidates the mitzvah. I dont understand how one can define as normal
eating filling ones mouth with matzah and then slowly chewing it and then
finaly swallowing it within 2 minutes is normal.

BTW in the bet hamikdash wouldn't they eat of kezayit of korban pesach and maror
also at the same time?

Eli Turkel

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Message: 15
From: "Arie Folger" <afolger@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 04:41:26 -0800 (PST)
Re: [Avodah] Copyright redux

<<There is a long history of protecting the rights of published sefarim,
not allowing others to republish the material on their own.>>

As you did mention, that was based on cherem and on the classicla notion
of hassagat gevul. In fact, the time alotted to recoup expenses and make
profit was much shorter than current copyrights, and it was clearly in
order to promote a societal ood: having more seforim printed. Thus, the
protection afforded in days of yore supports the notion that copyright is
a crated right and that it cannot be arbitrarily legislated. Exactly my

<<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.>>

But the flip side is to consider such artificial rights problematic,
because the transfer of rights may be unwarranted.

<<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.>>

Same as above. It is hard to make patents and copyrights such a simple and
straigthforward moral issue. Personally, I feel that we need to work
within the system, but may be we should both lobby against excessive
intellectual property laws by pointing out how dubiously moral they can
become, and to maximize the available consumer rights, including legally
available loopholes, insofar as these correspond to halakhcally
permissible actions. That last caveat is of course enormous and requires
that much more be written on the subject. Wholesale acceptance of a party
line does not equal analysis.

Kind regards,
With kind regards,
Arie Folger


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