Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 56

Mon, 19 Mar 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Moshe Yehuda Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2007 23:01:05 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Ikkarim Redux

R' MS:
1. The facts that poskim occasionally frame things in terms of ikkarim does
not mean that they are actually normative - ikkarim are used as a shorthand
for the issues of belief - but not in the formal sense that you would like
to use them in.

This comment is not necessarily a response to this particular point of R'
MS: I happened onto a Teshuvos Radvaz (1:344) that speaks to this topic. It
is worth seeing the whole thing (it is quite short), but he disagrees with
the Rambam, and says that the entire Torah, kol prateha v'dikdukeha, are
each an ikkar, a yesod, and a pinah; _and someone who is makchish it (that
ikkar, yesod, and pinah - MYG) is called a kofer and does not have a chelek
in Olam Habah._ The Nafka Minah L'halachah that he says is that if someone
says, "Be M'challel Shabbos to go against your religion," he should be
M'challel Shabbos. But, if they say, "transgress achas m'kol mitzvos
ha'amuros b'Torah because Hashem didn't command it, or because it was only
temporary _and it doesn't apply anymore_ he should be killed, v'al yaavor.
Ayin Sham.
The point is, that according to Radvaz, all C and R "halachic" discourse is


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Message: 2
From: "david guttmann" <david.guttman@verizon.net>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 06:56:08 -0400
[Avodah] Ikkarim Redux

I have been following the debate on and off so I apologize if I touch on
something that has already been said. 

> I said they have halachic import, as they are used to assess people 
> for stam yeinam and geirus. Then there is also shechitah. This 
> includes things like RASoloveitchik's lenient ruling WRT meshichtzin, 
> which was written in terms of the 12 ikkar. 

A question: Muslims believe in Ychud hashem therefore are not menassech
Yayin the same way as Ovdei Avodah Zarah. They deny though all the other

We also find that in the matter of Ein Lahem Chelek there is a wider range
(hil Teshuvah) while as far as Aveilut (Evel 1:8-9) Rambam the list is
narrower. For Geirut he lists Ychud and Avodah Zara.

I agree with RMS that Ikkarim are arrived at independently of Halacha. They
are applied to each Hallacaha as they are pertinent to that specific din. We
cannot make a broad statement that someone who denies one of the Ikkarim is
michutz lamachaneh. Denying metziut, ychud and issur Avodah Zarah would put
one outside. (Even here there is room for different understanding - vide
Ra'avad re eino guf). The others would be looked at on a case by case basis.

>This is especially true as most poskim, both today but also historically,
lacked philosphical training - and a posek who lacks  >>>  philosophical
training is as ill equipped to pasken on ikkarim as a posek who lacks
knowledge of physics is to pasken on electricity on shabbat.

This is probably the biggest problem we face nowadays, the lack of
discernment between a gadol in halacha and one in both halacha and
hashkafah. Rambam in his letters comments on this many times.

David Guttmann
If you agree that Believing is Knowing, join me in the search for Knowledge
at http://yediah.blogspot.com/ 
Ve'izen vechiker (Kohelet 12:9) subscribe to Hakirah at www.hakirah.org 

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Message: 3
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 09:43:37 +0200
[Avodah] Rosh Chodesh - a time for renewal

As I was preparing for a shiur I noticed something of interest.  Rav HaLevy 
in his book Makor Chaim starts the volume of the Chagim with Hilchot Rosh 
Chodesh.  This section includes relevant halachot and customs.

>Rav Ovadia Yosef, in his Haggada for Pesach, which includes all the 
>halachot relevant to Pesach, also starts with the issues of the month of 
>Nissan, before going over to hilchot Pesach.

Here are some interesting Halachot and ideas:

Rav Ovadia Yosef, (YLTA) reminds us that Davka during Nissan [when fruit 
trees bear flowers during this period in Eretz Yisrael]: HaYotzeh Beyemei 
Nissan VeRoeh Ilanot SheMotzi'im perachim Mevarech:  BAH... Shelo Chiser 
BeOlamo Klum U'Vara Bo Beryiot tovot Ve'Ilanot Tovot LeiHenot Bahem Bnei 
Adam. .... and this beracha should be said only once a year, and women 
should also say this Beracha during the month of Nissan.

>Rav Chaim David HaLevy ZT"L writes that Rosh Chodesh is recognized during 
>Bayit Rishon as a time of joy and family get-togethers [probably connected 
>with the extra korban of the day], see for example the story of Shaul, 
>Yonatan and David when David did not come to the Se'udat Rosh Chodesh.

In one of the notes Rav Chaim David HaLevy tells us that the Gaon, Rav Uziel 
ZT"L, Chief Rabbi of Israel and Rishon LeTzion told that in Yeshivat 
"Tiferet Yerushalayim" it was customary for the rabbis and students to go 
out into nature for a picnic out of town, on Rosh Chodesh.

> In Ein Aya, Rav Kook ZT"L discusses Berachot 57;B:  Shalosh Meshivim Da'at 
> Shel Adam: Kol U'Mareh VeRei'ach.

The paragraph is in very difficult Hebrew, so I'll just write the relevant 

Our day-to-day lives distance us from the pure and natural and holy 
spiritual aspects and the mind is clouded. One way to return to spiritual 
clarity is by finding pleasure in nature via the sound of songbirds and the 
wonderous view of the Carmel and Sharon with their blooming flowers and the 
fragrance of the roses and fruit in Hashem's garden that He gave to mankind. 
These return his spirit and mind to their natural place after society and 
culture have distanced him, and as man returns to the source of Hashem's 
creation, man's natural spiritual character will return to the holy aspects 
and his soul will be lifted to Hashem...

- a way of renewal. [this description is especially apt for Rosh Chodesh 
Nissan in Israel]

>To continue this idea, Rav Kook ZT"L in his introduction to Olat Ra'ayah 
>discusses the placement and importance of the 3 prayers: [a very short (!) 
>summary]  Shacharit is said when you start the day, it gives you strength; 
>Mincha forces you midday to stop, take a look at yourself, and renews your 
>strength for the rest of the day; Ma'ariv is said at the end of the day, 
>again it gives you strength to look back on your day and continue.


Rosh Chodesh apparently has, besides the calendar related aspects, also a 
spiritual aspect of renewal of the spirit.  Especially now, Erev Rosh 
Chodesh Nissan, Chazal found it important that we realize that every aspect 
of our lives can contain Kedusha.  The calendar that we focus on with 
respect to when to conduct the Chagim is not just that.  Besides our daily 
moments of prayer and reflection, Rosh Chodesh, the time of the renewal of 
the moon, is set to help us take a moment, examine ourselves and seek 

Chodesh Tov.

Shoshana L. Boublil

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Message: 4
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 10:05:44 +0200
[Avodah] Renewal and Pesach (part 2 of Rosh Chodesh and

Rav Kook in Ein Aya on Berachot 57:B does not stop with the first part of 
Kol, Mareh and Rei'ach, but continues in the same section to discuss also: 
Shlosha Marchivin Da'ato Shel Adam: Dira Na'ah VeIsha Na'ah VeKeilim Na'im.

[again the Hebrew is extremely complex, so I'll summarize the major point - 
this is NOT a translation!!!)

While the renewal of man's spiritual powers is very nice, he still needs a 
way to expand his spiritual powers and LeHotzi MeHaKoach El HaPo'al what is 
obscured, and in this case generalities are not sufficient, specifics are 
important - so while sound, vision and smell were discussed earlier, now 
specifics that bring advantages to man are part of the path - "Isha Na'ah 
Nachalat Hashem, Dira Na'ah and Keilim Na'im".

It is through the actualities and actions that mankind rises above himself 
for the good of humanity and the nation and these desires are a path in the 
advancement of mankind by bringing spiritual contentment.


And this brings us back to Rosh Chodesh - the time of spiritual renewal, 
Rosh Chodesh Nissan - the first month of the year, and as we move from Rosh 
Chodesh to Pesach, the time of our physical redemption, we spend time in the 
physical world, cleaing and purchasing new clothing, and new dishes so that 
at the Seder night, when we get together to celebrate Ye'tzi'at Mitzraim of 
our physical selves, we have prepared a stage of a beautiful family and 
dishes and a clean and lovely house which engage our spirits and lift them 
to create the harmony of the spiritual and the physical on the Seder night.

Chodesh Tov,

Shoshana L. Boublil

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Message: 5
From: "ira rosen" <iramrosen@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 09:44:16 -0400
Re: [Avodah] donating blood

Toby Katz wrote:

"BTW for some men, and possibly some post-menopausal women, giving  blood
not be "harming yourself' and may actually have a health  /benefit/, because
some people have too /much/ iron in their blood and when the  excess is not
shed by menstruation or by giving blood, extra iron can be  harmful.  You
look it up (I'm too rushed to look it up myself right  now) or maybe some
doctor here can confirm."

CNN article on the subject:


Seems that this is an assumption rather than a confirmed fact.  I've also
heard that cholesterol is lowered, and donation is good for the heart (BTW -
I run blood drives about 4 times a year).

And now for something a bit beyond halacha - the Pakistan Red Crescent
Society answer on their FAQs page:

*Q. What are the benefits of blood donation?*

functions more efficiently.

? Blood donation reduces blood cholesterol, artgry clogging, risk of heart
attack and high blood pressure.
a. Blood donors live longer than non-donors.
b. It is SADQA & ZAKAT of your body.

[Islam's version of Tzedakah/Ma'aser]

c. Allah rewards you for saving all humanity.
d. You gain tlic pleasure and nearness of Allah & the Prophet (PBUH) for
your humanitarian service of saving human lives.
e. It enhances your self esteem and confidence as a "*Life Saver*" and
a "*National

Food for thought?

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Message: 6
From: Elliott Shevin <eshevin@hotmail.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 11:33:13 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Halachic who is right from "The Lost Scotch"

M. Samuel Svarc cited:
> Is Davidi entitled to get paid despite not having sung? "> > The author then writes:> > " No. ... when the real Chaim ben Zundel showed up Yehoshua> and Davidi were equally surprised, sufficient grounds to exonerate Yehoshua> from paying. " 
I summarized MSS's summary for my Rav, and he suggested that my gut instinct was valid: 
Yehoshua should compensate for Davidi's time. (I don't know whether he was saying that 
the halacha goes that way, or whether it's just darchei shalom, and I haven't yet shown him the 
complete story [I bought the book]). 
Yehoshua can hardly claim surprise at the fact that Davidi devoted his night to fulfilling his end of 
the deal.
"Striving to bring Torah Judaism into the 58th century"
It?s tax season, make sure to follow these few simple tips 
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Message: 7
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 08:46:32 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Ikkarim Redux

Much discussion has been had here re :

Bris  Avos and Bris Sinai

WADR, RYBS never suggested that Bris Avos was more important a  consideration 
than Bris Sinai, but rather a factor that was a very important  bulwark 
against assimiliation in the post Holocaust Jewish world. In  fact,  in Chamesh 
Drashos and elsewhere, RYBS emphasized that we should never come to  the mistaken 
conclusion that Medinas Yisrael is a more important value than  Elokei 
Yisrael. In another shiur on the Aseres HaDibros, RYBS emphasized in the  aftermath 
and as a critique of the resolution of the Langer case by R Goren ZTL  and the 
role of Mizrachi in Israeli politics at the time , that Melech Elyon is  
always superior to Melech Evyon and that Knesset Yisrael should never view  
Medinas Yisrael as taking precedence over Elokei Yisrael. 
Steve Brizel

************************************** AOL now offers free email to everyone. 
 Find out more about what's free from AOL at http://www.aol.com.
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Message: 8
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 06:29:57 -0700 (PDT)
Re: [Avodah] Ikkarim redux

  I would point out, for example, that RM Feinstein, who believed that  
most C rabbis were mehallel shabbat, and therefore viewed them as  
pasul le'edut, accepted the testimony (and marriage) of those known  
to be shomer shabbat - without questioning about ikkarim - even  
though blblical criticism is standard material.  In the end, shmirat  
hamitzvot is determinative...
  How far does one take this? What if someone is an atheist, yet observes Mitzvos because that's how he was raised, that's the comunity he is in, and he does not want to become ostracized. If a Mesader Kedushin knows that about someone,  is he still Kosher L'Eidus according to RMF?

Want Emes and Emunah in your life? 

Try this: http://haemtza.blogspot.com/
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Message: 9
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 10:28:22 -0400 (EDT)
[Avodah] Each tribe had different Torah?

From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
> Daniel Eidensohn wrote:
> > Pesikta DeRav Cahane[1] <#_ftn1>**(Appendix 1): *R? Huna sated that 
> > Moshe wrote 13 Sefer Torahs. Twelve were for the 12 Tribes and one was 
> > given to Levi?im so that if one of Tribes wanted to elminate anything 
> > from the Torah ? the Levi?im would be able to produce their Sefer Torah 
> > and correct the false text.
> What if Shevet Levi decided to change their Torah? ...  Why single out
> Levi as the tribe least likely to want to change things?

Because R' Huna was a Kohen? 

Note that this is not the Rav Huna the Babylonian Amora, and talmid of
Rav, but a 4th-century EY person.  From the Encyclopedia Judaica (new ed.):

: HUNA (Huna, Hunya, Nehunya) BEN AVIN HA-KOHEN (mid-fourth century C.E.),
: Palestinian amora. His full name appears in the Pesikta Rabbati (5:15b
: et al.). Huna was born in Babylon, where he studied under R. Joseph,
: but immigrated to Erez Israel, and he gives a personal account of this
: immigration (TJ, RH 2:2, 58a). He is seldom mentioned in the Babylonian
: Talmud, but very frequently in the Jerusalem Talmud and Palestinian
: Midrashim, both in halakhah and aggadah....
: accepted as an authority in practical halakhah (TJ, Shev. 6:1, 36d;
: MK 1:2, 80b; BB 52b, 55a; et al.).

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

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Message: 10
From: Elliott Shevin <eshevin@hotmail.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 12:19:04 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Retzei

MSS wrote:
> The way my father explained it to me is the following: If one will say,"Ve-ishei Yisrael > utefilatam be-ahava tikabel..." "And receive with love the fire-offerings of Israel and their > prayers....", he has just said something incomprehensible. There are no fire-offerings these > days (unfortunately). 
I don't think it's incomprehensible at all. Before asking that the fire-offerings and prayers (once the avodah is resumed) be received, we ask that the prayers we recite now be accepted and the avodah restored. That prayer is mentioned twice doesn't imply concurrency.
> The most logical construct is, "vehashaiv et avodah lidvir betacha ve-ishei Yisrael" > "and return the service and the fire-offerings of Israel to the Holy of Holies > of your house".
It's logical, but I don't think your translation matches the text.
Here's an idea, if you'll permit me to emend the text: 
"... and return the avodah  to the Holy of Holies of your house, and [return] the fire-offerings of 
The text before the comma refers specifically to avodah done in the Devir (there's only one such, 
right?) The part after the comma refers to fire-offerings, which, being burned on the mizbeach, 
are offered *outside* the Devir. We're asking for the return of each of two separate things. The 
sentence has two direct objects, separated by a comma. 
 Elly"Striving to bring Torah Judaism into the 58th century"
Take a break and play crossword puzzles - FREE!
http://games.msn.com/en/flexicon/default.htm?icid=flexicon_ wlmemailtaglinemarch07
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Message: 11
From: "A & C Walters" <acwalters@bluebottle.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 13:27:25 +0200
[Avodah] Snuff (tobacco/shmek tabak) on Pesach



Regarding the psak in MB 467:33 regarding if it?s mutar to use snuff on
Pesach, he concludes: ??? ?? ????? ??? ??????? ?? ????? ?? ? nowadays, one
should inquire from the experts/manufacturers if they do this (i.e. add
chometz to the snuff)


Therefore, I wrote to Wilson?s, who is the biggest snuff manufacturer and
asked them:


Dear Sir/Madam,


I wonder if you can help me. As a regular user of Wilson?s Snuff, I would
first of all like to thank you for the excellent quality, service, and
prices which you provide. However, I have a query which I hope you can help
me with.


As you may or may not be aware, in about 3 weeks is the Jewish Festival of
Passover. As ordained in Exodus 13:3, it is forbidden for Jews to eat, own
or use or benefit from Chometz for the period of a week. See
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chametz> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chametz.
My question is, do any of your snuffs contain any ingredients which could be
considered chometz. This includes any grain-alcohol which may be used, as
well as in flavourings.


If not, please let me know, as here there are a lot of Wilson?s snuff users
who are worried about what to do.



With regards


They replied: 


Dear Mr. Walters,

We have been studying your Wikipedia definition of Chametz and conclude that
there is nothing in our snuffs that could form any part of it. Even
fermentation, which we used to do on our tobaccos, we discontinued thirty
years ago.

Best regards,

Wilsons & Co.(Sharrow) Ltd.



My question is: can one be soimech on them, or not


Kol Tuv



Avrohom Yitschok Walters

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