Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 29

Sun, 25 Feb 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2007 22:27:08 -0500 (EST)

On Sat, February 24, 2007 8:22 am, SBA forwarded to Areivim:
:>>>>From: D & J Weil
:> To: kosher@yahoogroups.com Subject: {Disarmed} [Kosher] warning regarding
:> pearl and silver necklace
:> A product is being sold in Yerushalyim which is completely treif but not
:> marked as such. It is an oyster containing a pearl, together with a silver
:> necklace designed to hold the pearl, made by Art Judaica of Yavne. The
:> customer purchases this gift item and opens the oyster, which is preserved
:> in a plastic box containing sea water. If they use a kitchen knife to open
:> the box of water and then the oyster itself, to find the pearl, I believe
:> they run the risk of treifing their kitchen utensils and the surface on
:> which they are opening it. There is no warning on the box. I believe that
:> this product is also sold in the United States...

First, this is like (U)'s recent warning about their symbol appearing on a ham
product. The likelihood of error should be low. People know oysters are treif.

Second, oysters aren't sharp flavored, nor does the consumer have any
motivation to heat it above yad soledes. So what's the likelihood they would
treif up a kitchen knife, even if they unthinkingly used it?

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: 2
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@sibson.com>
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2007 20:35:56 -0500
[Avodah] 13 Ikkarim

 I think that the 13 Ikkarim are a yardstick for Orthodoxy, as Shabbos,
Kashrus and Tahars haMishpacha are a yardstick for "Frum." KT,

The limits of orthodox theology

There may be a parallel discussion in hilchot aveilut re: when don't you
sit shiva for someone. IIRC R'YBS differentiated between one who is
Jewish but not part of klal Yisrael (i.e. chayav bmitzvot, kiddushin is
tofes but yom kipput is noy mchapeir) The mitzvot that would be the
differentiators (iirc based on Avraham avinu)are
mila,intermarriage,belief in hashem and that HKB"H gave E"Y to the
Jewish people.
Joel Rich
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Message: 3
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 03:40:07 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Torah and Slavery

R' Micha Berger wrote:
> (The Roman Empire or the 19th cent US were both eras in which
> the need to feed the masses could not be met without the cheap
> labor. Both were cases of a rapidly expanding population and
> growth on the frontiers. The same economic pressures creates
> pseudo-slavery in sweatshops. But at least there is the human
> dignity of not having qinyan haguf.

"cheap labor" -- Hmmm... I understand this concept. Many would say 
that it applies not only to "19th cent US", but even today, and 
that's why they vote against raising the minimum wage. It could 
easily be argued that even today, there are many businesses which 
cannot afford to pay their workers even that legal minimum, and that 
they'd go out of business if they raised their prices to a point that 
would make that possible, so they continue to employ illegal 
immigrants and pay them a below-minimum wage. I don't know enough to 
argue intelligently either for or against that, but at least it is 
plausible to me.

What I *don't* understand is RMB's comment that:
> When the economy requires slavery to prevent failure, poverty, and
> even worse ills, then Hashem says "this is how to do it".

I don't get it. Could you describe to me which sort of economy 
*requires* slavery? Which sort of economy *requires* kinyan haguf? In 
which sort of economy is a sweatshop too expensive?

Pay them however little you want. Deduct rent and meals and whatever 
else from their salary, leaving only a few pennies left for their net 
pay. Do whatever else you want, and whatever else the Torah requires 
of a baal/eved. But stop short of actually owning them.

What advantage is there (in kinyan haguf) to the employer or to the 
economy? We read all the time of sports figures who are traded to a 
different team, even a team which the athlete might not like. But it 
is only the employee's services which got bought and sold, not his 
guf. Why does the Torah allow this?

Akiva Miller

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Message: 4
From: "Yisrael Medad" <yisrael.medad@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 08:57:04 +0200
[Avodah] Chrein

My wife wanted me to emphasize that when I wrote:
"We stick with the horseraddish - chrein is so much more authentic a term -
*but it is
ground to a pulp*" that it is I who do the grounding and it is done on erev
Pesach which
seems to make it that much more powerful.  Of course, as my grandmother
would say,
it tastes better because you add love to the ingredients when preparing the


Yisrael Medad
Mobile Post Efraim 44830
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Message: 5
From: "A & C Walters" <acwalters@bluebottle.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 13:16:08 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Ivris

See the Meiri beg. B"K who uses the word "Ivris" for the language. Not, 
lehavdil, that is has any shaychus to the haintige language of the same 

See also http://www.israelversusjudaism.org/torah-judaism/lshon-hakodesh.cfm

Kol tuv

> But did those Rishonim use the "-it" suffix to turn a nation's name
> into the language that it speaks?  Nechemiah uses "Ashdodit" and
> "Yehudit", and the Mishnah uses "Yevanit", but AFAIK the Rishonim
> and Acharonim would have said "Lashon Ashdodi", or "Lashon Yehudi",
> or "Lashon Yevani".

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Message: 6
From: "Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer" <frimea@mail.biu.ac.il>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 14:39:15 +0200
[Avodah] Eilu va-eilu and Mistakes

Eilu va-eilu and Mistakes

See R. Zvi Lampel's excellent text: The Dynamics of Dispute

Pror. Aryeh A. Frimer
Chemistry Dept., Bar-Ilan University
Ramat Gan 52900, ISRAEL
E-mail: FrimeA@mail.biu.ac.il
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Message: 7
From: "Michael Kopinsky" <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 14:21:33 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Visiting the kevarim of parents/tzadikim

On 2/22/07, Aryeh Stein <aesrusk@gmail.com> wrote:
> RSBA wrote (on Areivim):
> >>>Some time ago we discussed davening at graves of tzadikim, which,
> IIRC, Litvaks did not do.  Well check up what is going on in BB these
> days, especially on yohrzeits of recent gedolim, eg Rav Shach zt'l.>>>
> ========================================

The Ran in Drashos #8 discusses the idea of davening at Kevarim.

(While this doesn't provide any answers about minhagim today, it does
provide us with at least one Rishon (and a highly rationalist one, at
that) in favor of (or accepting of) the practice of davening at kevarim.)

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Message: 8
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 11:57:17 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Tzinius and the ILG

RAM writes:

> 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.

Perhaps a more interesting example is encapsulated by the following
(Shulchan Aruch, Even Haezer, siman 26, si'if 4):

"Haisha mekudeshes bshlosha drachim: b'kesef, u b'shtar, ou  b'biah, min
hatorah aval hachachamim asru l'kadesh b'biah mishum pritzus"

Now what does this say about what the torah allows versus prohibits?  As
in, what was the Torah thinking of, allowing kidushin by way of biah?
Does the Torah permit pritzus, and it takes chazal to assur it?  Why on
earth did it not assur kiddushin by way of biah in the first place?

It seems to me reasonably safe to say, based on this example, that the
fact that something is permitted d'orisa does not necessarily mean that
the HQBH approves of it (even begrudgingly) - or do you disagree?

> Akiva Miller



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Message: 9
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 00:53:09 +1100
[Avodah] Brisker practice ?

From: "Micha Berger" <>
My father follows the Brisker practice of dipping the maror into
 charoses in a way that no charoses stays on the
maror to interfere with tasting it. 

See KSA 119:7.


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Message: 10
From: "A & C Walters" <acwalters@bluebottle.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 19:43:55 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Visiting the kevarim of parents/tzadikim

It is not only the Litvaks which do not have the practice; also many
Chasidim, specifically Satmar do not to go kivrei tzadikim. (See Kuntrus Al
HaGeula veal HaTmura) Siman 108 (page 166), that the whole inyan of going to
kivrei tzadikim was never a minhag in klal yisroel, except for big tzadikim
who knew the soydos of visiting by the kever, and could connect nefesh
l'nefesh to the nifter. But for us, who don't understand the whole inyan,
there is no point. (There is one exception to this, however, and that is
going to Rashb"i)

A Y Walters

> RSBA wrote (on Areivim):
> >>>Some time ago we discussed davening at graves of tzadikim, which,
> IIRC, Litvaks did not do.  Well check up what is going on in BB these 
> days, especially on yohrzeits of recent gedolim, eg Rav Shach zt'l.>>>

> The Kotzker was not fond of the minhag of visiting the kevarim of
> tzadikim:  

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Message: 11
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@sibson.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 13:03:29 -0500
[Avodah] Paper towels ownership?

A shul has a paper towel dispenser by the washing sink for general use
by the kahal.  Reuvain takes a few back to his seat in shul due to his
having a cold. Shimon reaches over and takes one to blow his nose
without permission from reuvain.

Is Shimon a gazlan/borrower without reshut from Reuvain  or does the
shul somehow maintain ownership and it's kol hakodeim zacha (or is there
some other rule)?

Joel Rich
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Message: 12
From: saul mashbaum <smash52@netvision.net.il>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 22:37:48 +0200
Re: [Avodah] eved b'zman hazeh (from areivim)

What people might be thinking of, is a) getting a friend to buy a female
slave and have her convert l'shem avdus; b) the mamzer then selling
himself as an eved ivri to that friend; and then have the friend marry
him to the now shifcha c'nani.  In which case, any child of his belongs
to the master as an eved c'nani and not to the father - and so arguably
never acquires mamzer status (and if later freed by the master would be
a full fledged non mamzer Jew - although again the prohibition against
freeing would presumably apply).  BUT the problem with that is, that the
sources are very explicit that the concept of an eved ivri does not
exist b'zman hazeh, but only in the times of yovel.  So, while it does
seem like something that might work halachically once we have mashiach
and yovel - I can't see how Rav Aharon Kotler could have been advising
such a thing.
Without addressing R'n CL's points directly (which I think would have to be
on Avodah), I think I misremembered the story. I think it goes that RAK told
him to marry the slave and then free their kids, who would then not be
RMYG apparently got it right the second time around; there is an open mishna on this topic, and an open seif in SA. 
In the mishna in Kiddushin 3:13, R. Tarfon describes a procedure by which a mamzer may legally marry, and his children will be non-mamzerim. A mamzer may marry (l'chatchila) an shifcha c'naanit. The child of such a union is an eved or shifcha, and if freed is  kasher b'Yisrael. This is the halacha, SA EH 4:20. Presumably, this is what RAK was referring to, as RMYG wrote.
In fact there is a siman in SA Orach Chaim about eved c'naani: OC 304, dinei shvitat avdo. The Rama  comments on this siman, and in fact so does the Mishna Brurah. See MB there sk 25, 26, where it is clear that this din applies b'zman hazeh. The MB there also mentions the din mentioned above: the possibility of a mamzer marrying a shifcha c'naanit, and a mamzeret marrying an eved c'naani.
Saul Mashbaum
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Message: 13
From: "Joshua Meisner" <jmeisner@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 17:16:29 -0400
[Avodah] Source of Ibn Ezra word square

A chaveir pointed me to the following word square produced by the Ibn Ezra
referring to the question of whether an insect that falls into honey makes
it non-kosher (hopefully the formatting will come out ok):

? ? ? ? ?
  ? ? ? ? ?
  ? ? ? ? ?
  ? ? ? ? ?
  ? ? ? ? ?

Where does he bring this down?  I wasn't aware that the Ibn Ezra produced
any halachic writings that would provide a context for this statement.


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Message: 14
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 23:46:25 -0000
[Avodah] [Areivim] dan lekaf zechus

Sent to avodah:

RGD writes:

> The statement was made WRT YCT that one must be dan lekaf
> zechus.  Aside from how any allegations against an 
> institution reflect on its sponsors, is there really any such chiyuv?

Well the Chinuch classifies the obligation to be dan l'kaf zechus under
mitzvah 235 "v'od yesh b'klal mitzva zu sherui l'kol adam ludon es
chavro l'kcuf zechus, v'lo yifaresh ma'asav ud'varav ele ltov" . As is
the Chinuch's wont, he explains the reason for this mitzvah to be that
there should be shalom v'reis between people and to spread peace by the
removal of suspicion between men (although he explicitly says that this
aspect of the mitzvah (ie to be dan l'chaf zechus is incumbent on women
as well as men, despite the other aspects of the mitzvah, regarding
judging as a dayan, not being so applicable).

Perhaps to turn the question around, why would you say that this mitzva
d'orita should not be applicable to YCT (meaning at the very least to
the facilty of YCT, who are the individuals most clearly being judged
here, and secondarily to its graduates, who are also clearly in the
firing line)?

> Gershon
> gershon.dubin@juno.com




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